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.




There's no such thing as a good divorce: the kids always suffer

Adele Horin - SMH

Even a ''good'' divorce may not protect children from the fall-out of a marriage breakdown. A new study questions the concept of the ''good divorce'', a term popularised in the 1990s to describe a break-up in which the parents are co-operative, the children remain close to both and emerge, apparently, unscathed. ''Creating a positive post-divorce family environment, although worthwhile, is no guarantee that children will be unharmed by marital dissolution,'' said Paul Amato, the lead author and professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University.

Poly conflict resolved

Star Observer

Sydney’s polyamorous community claims it has resolved a conflict with organisers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras over its Parade entry. Polyamory Australia allege Mardi Gras organisers were initially resistant to allowing them to march in the parade as a ‘queer’ group, instead relegating them to a ‘supporter’ entry. The group said as a result Mardi Gras put restrictions on the type of slogans they could display at the event. “For many polyamorists, it was particularly offensive because the parade’s slogan is ‘infinite love for all’, and the logo is a pair of hearts arranged to form an infinity symbol,” Polyamory Australia said in a statement.


Newspaper ABCs: SMH drops 12%, rival accuses Fairfax of “abandoning” print


The Sydney Morning Herald was the biggest major casualty in the latest round of figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, losing 12% of its weekday circulation in a year. In another difficult period that saw newspaper circulations atrophy by 4% overall, the Fairfax title’s circulation fell from 209,644 to 184,613 between December 2010 and December 2011.


TOPEKA, Kan. (WTW) — An influential anti-abortion legislator is blocking the push for a ban on abortion in the Kansas Constitution, highlighting a split among abortion opponents over tactics and frustrating the group advocating the "personhood" proposal Friday.

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Two Texas women's health clinics and an Illinois waste disposal company will have to pay fines after state environmental officials concluded they improperly disposed of fetuses in a landfill.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Rushing to end a political uproar, President BarackObama on Friday will announce that religious employers will not have to coverbirth control for their employees after all, The Associated Press has learned. The administration instead will demand that insurance companies will be the ones directly responsible for providing free contraception.

Children & Family

ROCKPORT - A couple convicted on charges related to the death of their 18-month old son were back in an Aransas County courtroom today fighting to maintain parental rights over their four other children.

A damning new study has found 33 per cent of Queensland women in relationships were psychologically or economically abused by their partners, while 13.1 per cent suffered physical, including sexual, abuse.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Do mothers matter? Having no mother was -- at least until recently -- widely agreed to be a tragedy. Psychiatric case studies, Disney movies, and well-known spirituals such as "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" have testified to the importance of mothers and the pain of mother loss. But such views have not meant that every child has lived in a society that affirms the importance of the child's bond with his or her mother. Children have been denied their mothers because of class biases (see, poor); racial and ethnic biases (Indian, Aborigine); as part of severe civil conflict (Argentina, Dirty War); amid widespread, institutionalized human rights abuses (slavery); or because their mothers were rightly or wrongly perceived to be unfit (see: history of adoption, good, bad, and ugly).

Two years after giving away the baby boy she'd carried for nine months, Gao cries less. His new mum treats him well, and she finds comfort in the smiling family photos uploaded online. Besides, she has her own biological seven-year-old to care for – and she's busy searching for another infertile couple seeking a womb.


Six euthanasia flying squads of a doctor and a nurse will begin making house calls in the Netherlands on March 1. The teams will visit people who want to end their lives but whose wishes have been thwarted by another doctor who refuses to take their request seriously or who is simply unwilling to do it.

“When you are ready, put the bag over your head. Then slowly open the helium valve.” An instruction film made by Dutch psychiatrist Boudewijn Chabot explains how someone can kill themselves using a roasting bag and two tanks of helium. Self-help methods are becoming less of a taboo.


GIRLS as young as 11 are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate in Northern Territory indigenous communities where family violence is rife.


The California poster couple for lesbian and gay marriage want to dissolve their wedding vows. When federal appellate court judges ruled California's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson had already filed for divorce.

AUSTRALIAN girls as young as 13 are being forced into marriages with older men they have never met, who live abroad and to whom they may already be related.  The Weekend Australian Magazine today examines four cases in which Australian girls alerted their teachers or the Australian Federal Police to the fact they were being sent abroad by their parents for the purpose of marriage.


The anniversary of Sorry Day was beset by Labor Party leadership speculation yesterday as Julia Gillard moved to gag her ministers.  The Prime Minister has reportedly ordered senior members of her team not to talk to newspaper editors about Kevin Rudd's ambitions to return to the prime ministership.

Just a week after Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd labelled Campbell Newman a "foreigner" because he lives outside the key Ashgrove seat, the LNP Leader again was defending his team against similar accusations.  Labor yesterday admitted 27 of its 89 candidates lived beyond their electorate boundaries while the LNP remained tight-lipped despite having preselected all but two candidates.

Unions and individual workers would be able to bargain with employers over flexible work hours for parenting and caring for family members, under a bill being brought to parliament by the Australian Greens.  Greens MP Adam Bandt said research had shown Australians rank at the top of western nations in terms of working hours per week - an average of 44 hours for full-time workers - and most would like to work at least five hours less per week.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

In the wake of an uproar over the Obama administration’s new mandate that all employers offer health insurance covering contraception — including religious organizations — the White House offered an “accommodation” to religious groups whose belief systems conflict with the government rule. But according to some initially opposed to the mandate, the adjustment to the rules is not enough.

Catholic bishops are warning that if the Bashar al-Assad (left) regime in Syria falls to Islamists, there may well be a mass genocide of Christians, such as seen in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Though Christians cannot support the brutality of the Assad dictatorship, few believe that rule by Muslim extremists will be any better.

SEOUL, South Korea -- Some North Koreans have been able to escape from the Communist country and its strict human rights violations. Kim Eun Jin is one of those survivors.  The 31-year-old was born in Pyongyang, North Korea. She was part of the nation's secret underground church, and her story has never been told until now.

Refugees 4764d857cf.51

GENEVA — The UN refugee agency said on Friday it needs $145 million (110 million euros) in extra funds to help thousands fleeing fighting in Sudan's Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.  The sum would cover the basic needs of up to 185,000 Sudanese people who are continuing to flock to Ethiopia and South Sudan, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said.

(Reuters) - In an obscure part of southwest China, a refugee crisis from one of the world's longest running and least known conflicts in Myanmar is slowly unfolding, largely ignored by the outside world and denied by China.  Thousands of refugees bringing tales of rape and violence have flooded across the border into China, fleeing fighting between Myanmar government troops and ethnic minority Kachin rebels.