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.




Analysis: India cancer ruling opens door for cheaper drugs

Kaustubh Kulkarni and Henry Foy - Reuters

India's move to strip German drugmaker Bayer of its exclusive rights to a cancer drug has set a precedent that could extend to other treatments, including modern HIV/AIDS drugs, in a major blow to global pharmaceutical firms, experts say. On Monday, the Indian Patent Office effectively ended Bayer's monopoly for its Nexavar drug and issued its first-ever compulsory license allowing local generic maker Natco Pharma to make and sell the drug cheaply in India.


Attorney-General representative to attend R18+ classification hearing

Andrew Colley - Australian IT

A representative from the Attorney-General's department will tomorrow attend a short public hearing to answer questions on plans to introduce an adult game classification. The Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee was scheduled to table its report on a proposed bill to introduce a R18+ game classification on Friday. Instead, the committee has chosen to delay the report in order to hold a public hearing late tomorrow. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) cautiously gave its support to introducing the category as long as it was backed by stronger measures to ensure the games don't fall into the hands of minors.

Drugs & Alcohol

Drugs behind family torture

Lauren Dickson - Manly Daily

The number of parents seeking advice for their children’s drug and alcohol use has risen significantly in the past year. Manly Drug Education and Counselling Centre reported a 22 per cent increase in the number of people accessing the service for another person’s drug use. Drug and alcohol counselling co-ordinator Belinda Volkov said the service was seeing an “increasing amount of young people incapable of managing their lives themselves”.


Apprenticeship scheme a mess, says minister

Bianca Hall - The Age

Apprentices – some of whom earn less than $6.40 an hour – should get a pay rise as part of a desperately-needed overhaul of the sector, the Skills Minister, Chris Evans, said yesterday. Senator Evans told the National Press Club the existing apprenticeship scheme was "a mess", and that lifting the wages of apprenticeships should be a key part of fixing that mess.


British stroke victim wins right to ask for euthanasia

Alan Cowell - SMH

A British stroke victim paralysed from the neck down and suffering from locked-in syndrome won the right to seek changes in a law that would enable a doctor to end what he has called an ''intolerable life'' without risking murder charges.


New hope for Gold Coast homeless

Laura Nelson - Sun Community Newspapers

Seventy-nine agencies on the Gold Coast have joined forces to create the first formal strategy to fight rising homelessness in the city. Prisoners returning to the Coast and children leaving state care will be among those who will benefit from the Gold Coast Homelessness Action Plan, which has taken more than a year to develop. Liz Fritz, the spokeswoman for the initiative and chairwoman of the Gold Coast Homelessness Network, said this was the first time so many agencies had come together to create a strategy for people at risk of homelessness.

Human Rights

Baillieu wins Vic human-rights fight

Melissa Jenkins - NineMSN

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has won out amid opposition from some cabinet colleagues with a decision to retain the state's human-rights charter. There has been division in the ruling coalition over the future of the charter after members of a parliamentary committee last September recommended the role of the courts and tribunals in interpreting it be eliminated.


Indigenous rehab centre goes into administration

Stephen Smiley and Karyn Wilson - ABC

A drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Mount Isa, which provides services to an Indigenous community in north-west Queensland, has gone into administration. The directors of the Kash Aboriginal Corporation asked the Federal Government to step in and take over the organisation due to financial concerns.

Fear tough laws may jail more Aborigines

Dan Harrison - The Age

Labor senators have expressed concern that proposed tougher penalties for alcohol offences in indigenous communities could lead to higher rates of Aboriginal imprisonment. The warning is contained in a report by the Senate Community Affairs committee on the Gillard government's ''Stronger Futures'' proposals, which would extend by 10 years several measures introduced by the Howard government as part of its 2007 intervention in the Northern Territory.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Move to ban forced marriage in Australia

Daniel Flitton - SMH

Women in forced marriages will be the target of a $1.2 million fund the Gillard government will devote to the victims of human trafficking. Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins told a breakfast at Parliament House this morning that the government was introducing laws to ban the practice of forcing women to marry against their will.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Bideford Town Council prayers ruled unlawful


A Devon town council acted unlawfully by allowing prayers to be said at meetings, the High Court has ruled. Action was brought against Bideford Town Council by the National Secular Society (NSS) after atheist councillor Clive Bone complained. Mr Justice Ouseley ruled the prayers were not lawful under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972.

'This is a war on anyone who dissents from Darwin': Nasa scientist claims he was sacked for believing God created the universe

Daily Mail

A former Nasa computer specialist, who claims he was sacked due to his belief that God created the universe, is due in court today. David Coppedge, who worked as a 'team lead' at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in California, is suing the agency after claiming he was discriminated against after talking about 'intelligent design' and handing out DVDs on the theory at work. Intelligent design is the belief that a higher power must have had a hand in creation because life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone.


Another win for refugees as court time limit lifted

Kirsty Needham - SMH

The Immigration Department has suffered another significant judicial defeat, with the Federal Court's full bench ruling there is no time limit on boat arrivals accessing the courts. The department had issued letters to asylum seekers it had rejected as refugees stating they had 35 days to seek judicial review of the decision, or the government would begin making arrangements to deport them.

Sexualisation of Society

Muslim radical on child porn, terror threat charges


A convert to radical Islam has appeared in a Sydney court on charges of possessing child pornography and making a hoax terrorist threat against the city's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon is accused of posting the threat on the Facebook page for 2Day FM's Kyle and Jackie O Show.


Congolese rebel leader found guilty of using child soldiers

Jurjen Van De Pol - SMH

Amsterdam: In its first ever ruling, the International Criminal Court has found Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese rebel leader, guilty of war crimes for using child soldiers. Lubanga, 51, conscripted children under the age of 15 as fighters for his Union of Congolese Patriots rebel group between September 2002 and August 2003, presiding Judge Adrian Fulford said at the court in The Hague yesterday.