The ACL compiles a daily media monitoring services of stories of interest relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. See here to read what's in the news today.


Children & Family
Kids dying of neglect - and DOCS aware of abuse

Kate Sikora - The Daily Telegraph

At least 30 children who died because of abuse or neglect over a two-year period were known to NSW Family and Community Services, an ombudsman's report said yesterday. Two children had open files with Community Services (formerly DOCS), who had been in contact with the child just weeks before their death, the Ombudsman said.

Drugs & Alcohol
Man gave girl drugs then raped her

Mark Oberhardt - The Courier-Mail

A family friend who gave a 15-year-old girl marijuana and then raped her should be jailed for eight years, a court heard. In the Supreme Court in Brisbane, prosecutor Sal Vasta was making submissions on sentence after the man, now 51, was found guilty of 21 charges.

NSW police launch officer drugs crackdown

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has made clear there is no room for drug users among the state's officer ranks. One in three New South Wales police officers will be tested for illegal drugs over the coming year.

Rising numbers of assisted suicides, coroners turning a blind eye: Study
Ananya Mandal - Medical Net

At least 10% of suicides in England are by someone with a chronic or terminal illness, found researchers who tried to obtain information on the subject from local health authorities. Coroners told them that people were increasingly killing themselves at a younger age, rather than waiting until they were in severe pain in their 80s or 90s.

Too much information?

The PR department of a hospital thought so, but patients are entitled to consider all sides of an issue such as euthanasia.

Human Rights
Spike in child abuse mars indigenous gains

Lauren Wilson - The Australian

Julia Gillard has been handed a mixed report-card on attempts to overcome indigenous disadvantage, with strides in home ownership and workforce participation being undercut by a sharp rise in child abuse and little improvement in health. In its fifth report to parliament since 2002, a steering committee reviewing services to indigenous communities has found little or no progress has been made to close the gap in areas including health and school education rates.

Electoral surveys snub gay marriage

Joe Kelly - The Australian

Electoral surveys on legalising gay marriage conducted by MPs have attracted only a small response from constituents, with results suggesting there is still majority support for preserving marriage between a man and a woman.

Same-sex marriage debate sees little support for change
Naomi Woodley - ABC

Some Federal MPs spent today reporting back to Parliament about their constituents' views on same sex marriage. Of the 30 MPs who took part in the debate, only five said that they would like same sex couples to be allowed to marry, and one other reported community support for a change to the Marriage Act.

Outlook bleak if gay bill goes to conscience vote
Michelle Grattan - The Age.

A bill for gay marriage would clearly fail if Labor gave a conscience vote, MPs' reports to Parliament on the issue indicated yesterday.

Federal MPs split over gay marriage
Alison Rehn - The Daily Telegraph

It's a debate that polarises opinion like few others - and after more than two hours of straight talking yesterday, federal politicians are still divided on gay marriage. Thirty MPs spent five minutes each discussing the issue in parliament, with some claiming Australians are ready to embrace change while others believe it's a waste of time.

Let's shoot straight on gay marriage
Elizabeth Farrelly - SMH

Have I told you how much I love Penny Wong? Not like that, obviously. Never met the woman. In fact, my one attempt to interview her, back when I had her tagged as the first female prime minister, met with rebuff, rebuff and more rebuff from her staunch staff stockade. But I love her anyway because she strikes me as really bright, really principled and really straight. Not hetero-straight, clearly. Look-you-straight-in-the-eye straight. Straight-shooter straight. Straight, straight.

Greens push for same-sex unions fails to win support in parliamentary debate
Matt Johnston - Herald Sun

Gay marriage has been rejected by the majority of MPs who took part in a special parliamentary debate on the issue.

Overseas Aid
Won’t someone, please, think of the African children

Adam Baidawi - The Punch

Neuroscientists have found that over 80 per cent of calories that newborns ingest fuel their brains. The colossal statistic accounts for how rapidly the young brain grows and develops. It paints us a new picture of malnutrition. It tells us that babies caught up in the developing famine in East Africa will almost certainly suffer starvation-induced damage that will have long-term developmental effects on their minds.

Religious Persecution
Iranian authorities seize 6,500 Bibles & burn 300 say they are protecting the youth
All voices

According to an article posted by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor of Beliefnet" Iranian authorities have seized 6,500 copies of the Bible in northwest of Iran. In another incident, officials burned 300 Bibles." it was also said that "A spokesman said the Bibles were confiscated to block missionaries who “are trying to deviate our youth.”

Parliamentary inquiry to review freedoms for Christians
Christian Today

A parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the freedoms that exist for Christians within British law. The inquiry has been launched by Christians in Parliament, the all-party parliamentary group, to seek clarity on what Christians may and may not do under the law.

Pressure on Craig Thomson mounts as Health Services Union passes records to police

Ean Higgins - The Australian

Craig Thomson will almost certainly face a formal investigation into allegations he engaged in fraud, theft or embezzlement of union funds after the Health Services Union resolved yesterday to take the claims against the federal Labor MP to NSW police. The move came as pressure mounted on the member for the NSW central coast seat of Dobell from within the union movement and the Labor Party.