ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



Children & Family
Smack ban plan

Michael Inman - Canberra Times

The ACT Human Rights Commission is pushing for the ACT to become the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban parents from smacking their children.  The rights of young people versus the rights of parents to discipline their children is set to come under the public spotlight as Children and Young People Commissioner Alasdair Roy prepares to issue a discussion paper on the practice.

Report: Australian Video Game Classification System is 'Broken'

James Cottee -

The Australian Law Reform Commission has declared what gamers have known for a long, long time: that the current classification system is completely broken.   The discussion paper released last week by the ALRC included 43 proposals for reforming the system; the most significant change proposed being the introduction of voluntary classification for G, PG, and M games, with only content rated MA15+ or higher requiring an expensive rubber stamp from the Classification Board.

Drugs & Alcohol
Victoria's metropolitan ambulances busy with drug overdoses
Simone Mazengarb -  Herald Sun

A record number of drug-related ambulance call-outs in Victoria's metropolitan areas has health professionals comparing prescription drugs with illicit use.  More than 10 per cent of drug and alcohol-related emergencies in the past two years resulted from people overdosing on prescription medications, a Melbourne study has found.   Turning Point Drug and Alcohol Centre researchers found the steepest increase was in antidepressant, anti-psychotic and pharmaceutical opioid (painkiller) attendances.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard should pledge to take her carbon tax to a new election at this week's tax summit, the Opposition says.  Liberal frontbencher Greg Hunt challenged Ms Gillard to seek a mandate for the controversial policy.   "She can use the tax summit to pledge to take the carbon tax to an election," he told Sky News.

Controversial pro-euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke has risked breaking the law by handing out copies of a banned book giving advice about suicide.  Dr Nitschke's book, The Peaceful Pill, was banned in Australia in 2007.

Pokies' Aussie jackpot

Stephanie Peatling - SMH

There is now one poker machine for every 108 people in Australia, putting the nation in the top 10 of international gambling meccas alongside Monaco and some Caribbean islands.  Australia also has the seventh-highest total number of gaming machines, with 200,057 in pubs and clubs, industry figures show.

George Brandis says Bolt decision should be used to reignite Bill of Rights debate.  The federal opposition has warned against reviving the Bill of Rights debate in the wake of conservative commentator Andrew Bolt's court loss.  The Federal Court on Wednesday found the Herald Sun columnist, blogger and television presenter had breached the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) in two newspaper columns in 2009.  Bolt's articles suggested a number of fair-skinned Aborigines had chosen to identify themselves as Aboriginal to access benefits.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has paid a visit to Papua New Guinea's prime minister to discuss issues such as education, health and infrastructure development.  Mr Rudd said he did not discuss the Manus Island detention centre in "any great detail" during talks with PNG leaders, but said he spoke at great length about the need for more aid in the region.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned Iran’s refusal to overturn the death sentence of a church pastor.  Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has won the admiration of Christians around the world for refusing to recant his faith in appeals hearings – a condition for his acquittal.

A group of hard-line Muslims attacked a church building in Upper Egypt this afternoon, torching the structure and then looting and burning nearby Christian-owned homes and businesses.   The 3,000-strong mob of hard-line and Salafi Muslims gutted the Mar Gerges Church in the Elmarenab village of Aswan, then demolished much of its remains, multiple witnesses at the scene said. The mob also razed four homes near the church and two businesses, all Christian-owned. Looting was also reported.

Sexualisation of Society

Teen mags, not parents, teaching sex education
Melissa Davey - SMH

Teenage magazines are picking up the slack for parents who are failing to teach their children about sex, according to a leading Australian sexuality researcher.  But the author of Getting Real: Challenging the sexualisation of girls, Melinda Tankard Reist, said that with ''occasional exceptions'' teen magazines were not teaching girls to make positive sexual choices.