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.




Abortions in Africa rise despite US aid ban

Nursing Review

Stanford University analysis shows the number of abortions in Africa doubled despite the US cutting funding for abortion counselling. The number of abortions has increased in African countries where the US heavily cut funding to NGOs providing or counselling women on the procedure, new research suggests.


Online, phone games don't need classifying


New laws to exempt most online and mobile phone games from classification for a further two years have passed the lower house. The laws are an interim measure to ensure mobile phone apps and online games are treated the same as other online content while the Australian Law Reform Commission conducts a review of the National Classification Scheme.

Customs defends porn raids

Bianca Hall - The Canberra Times

The battle of the little big porn continues, with Customs confirming its officers have been seizing material its officers deem ''so objectionable'' they believe it would be refused classification from the Australian market. In July, Customs officers seized 50 so-called ''dwarf porn'' titles from the Midget Mania series. The move outraged Australia's adult industry representative body, Eros, which claims that Customs' role is not to act as moral arbiters, but to prevent exotic food and plant material from entering Australia.

Latest Twilight movie has parents worried with sex, nudity and bloody birth scenes

Gabrielle Devenish - Christian Post

The latest installment in the Twilight Saga film series, "Breaking Dawn – Part One," will be released in theaters nationwide Nov. 17. With the film’s release comes a renewed wave of concern regarding the fascination with vampires. But added to the bloodsuckers, parents also have two new worries with “Breaking Dawn”: sex scenes and vampire baby.

Drugs & Alcohol

Overdoses in ACT jail

Bianca Hall - The Canberra Times

There have been 12 drug overdoses at Canberra’s jail, internal prison reports show. Documents published because of a freedom of information request by The Canberra Times reveal - among other things - the incident reports on prisoners who have overdosed on methadone or other drugs at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, which opened to prisoners in March 2009.

Big Tobacco’s looming High Court challenge to plain packaging law

The Conversation

Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced today that the implementation of plain packaging for tobacco products will be pushed back until December 1 next year. The Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill passed through the House of Representatives in August but is still held up in the Senate as the government attempts to get other legislation through. Regardless of when the Bill becomes law and starts operating, tobacco companies have promised to take the government to the High Court to argue it is unconstitutional.


And yet, it moves

George Pell - Mercatornet

A Catholic prelate finds himself in the party of Galileo and against the consensus of true believers on climate change. Four centuries ago Galileo was condemned by the Papacy for promoting the theory of a heliocentric universe, because the science was in conflict with Biblical beliefs. Recently, Australian prelate Cardinal George Pell rang the changes on the belief versus science theme in a lecture delivered at the 2011 Global Warming Policy Annual Forum, Westminster Cathedral Hall, London.


NT urged to bring back euthanasia laws


The Northern Territory government is being urged to reintroduce voluntary euthanasia laws following new legislation that curbs the federal government's veto powers. The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a Greens bill that removes the commonwealth's power to get rid of territory laws it doesn't like.

Elder abuse – a reality that we cannot ignore

Paul Russell – Online Opinion

Whenever I speak on the subject of euthanasia & assisted suicide, one of my main points is always the issue of Elder Abuse. Elder Abuse has been called the 'crime of the 21st century' and is rightly the focus of significant concern in the welfare and aging sectors and across the community, generally.


Tatts and Tabcorp: worth a punt?

Scott Phillips - SMH

With the race that stops the nation now run and won, bookmakers and the lucky few punters who picked the winner are tallying their gains. Australia has long been a nation of gamblers – it’s often claimed (probably correctly) we’d happily bet on two flies crawling up a wall. It’s perhaps no surprise then that we have our share of ASX listed gambling companies.

Human Rights

Slavery is alive and well in our own backyard

Frances Simmons and Brynn O'Brien – The Punch

On the northern tip of Queensland, a young woman from the Philippines worked up to 18 hours a day for a married couple. She looked after their three small children, cleaned their house at night, and worked in their store in the day.


Indigenous higher education: A policy game-changer?

Joe Lane – Online Opinion

In the late 1990s a sizable proportion of Indigenous higher education students, about 30 per cent, were enrolled in Indigenous-focused studies, usually a two-year Diploma course in Aboriginal Studies, Aboriginal Education, or Aboriginal Health, among others. From about 1998, universities started to wind down their diploma courses, significantly affecting enrolments in Indigenous-focused studies. Those diploma courses had been a major pathway for Indigenous students to get a toehold into university degrees, particularly since the students tended overwhelmingly to be enrolled through Special Entry provisions. So the winding-down of those courses affected total commencement numbers, particularly of Special Entry indigenous students.

Overseas Aid

British PM says aid should consider persecution against Christians

Catholic News

British Prime Minister David Cameron says British overseas aid decisions should take into account persecution against Christians, said a report in the Scottish Catholic Observer. David Cameron told the BBC on Sunday that: "British aid should have more strings attached in terms of do you persecute people for their faith or their Christianity or do you persecute people for their sexuality."


Greens accused after environment snub

Joe Kelly – The Australian

The Coalition has accused the Greens of turning down a leadership role on the environment to pursue a radical platform of social and economic upheaval after the minor party declined an offer to chair a key upper house environmental references committee.

Humphries dumped from key position

Ross Peake – The Canberra Times

ACT Liberal Gary Humphries has been dumped as chairman of the parliamentary Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee and replaced by a new Greens senator.

Bronwyn Bishop lashes GetUp's lack of independence

Lanai Vasek - The Australian

The Coalition has lashed activist group GetUp over its claim to political independence, accusing it of existing solely to support the Labor Party. In a committee hearing this morning on political donations, an enraged Bronwyn Bishop attacked the group for having a "left-wing agenda". "In your submission you claim that you're independent but I think we've demonstrated fairly well that you're not," the veteran Liberal told GetUp's deputy national director Sam McLean.

Carbon Copy – Strange Coincidences

Eric Abetz - International News Magazine

“What an amazing coincidence, the Greens and GetUp! both published messages online this morning pre-empting the Government’s announcement that the Carbon Tax Bills will be fast tracked for a final vote next Tuesday in the Senate. This is more than three weeks before the scheduled final deadline for the vote. Given that the Greens and GetUp! breathlessly made these announcements hours before the Government had even advised the Senate, one wonders who is really running the country, Labor - or the Greens and their extreme activist wing, GetUp!”

November coup plotted on Julia Gillard - pressure on Kevin Rudd to push for top job

Simon Benson and Steve Lewis - The Daily Telegraph

Kevin Rudd is being urged by key backers within the Labor Party to challenge Julia Gillard for the leadership as early as this month. Labor figures behind the push for the former PM to take back the job he was removed from last June have confirmed he was now being advised by his closest confidants not to wait until next year but to launch a challenge as early as the second last week of November.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Call to respect religious freedom


Unless Middle Eastern countries support religious freedom and respect human rights, the "Arab spring" movement will devolve into an "Arab winter," Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai said. Patriarch Rai said the "Arab spring" movement held much promise, but its leaders must "adopt a separation between religion and state".

Christians now need permission to read the Bible as Burma persecution intensifies

Brendan Giusti - Christian Post

The Burmese government recently imposed new regulations restricting the ability of Christians in the country to worship, hold Bible studies and pray, according to reports. The latest move by officials in Burma requires Christians in the Phakant Township, Kachin State to submit a written request at least 15 days in advance to read the Bible, conduct a Bible study, host Sunday school and other prayer-related activities, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Australian Coptic Christians to hold "vigils of peace" commemorating brethren killed in Egypt

David Adams – Sight Magazine

The Coptic Orthodox Church is hosting a series of prayer vigils in major cities across Australia and New Zealand on Friday to commemorate the lives of the at least 27 people who died on 9th October after Egyptian authorities attacked protestors.


'People were trapped below. It was the worst nightmare'

Tom Allard, West Java, Kirsty Needham - SMH

Asylum seekers begged the captain of the tiny vessel not to take them out to sea but were refused and within an hour of its journey to Australia the vessel sunk, drowning at least eight. In an exclusive interview with the Herald, passengers described horrific scenes of a mother having to let her infant drown to save herself.


Archbishop backs Robin Hood tax

Robert Winnett - SMH

The Archbishop of Canterbury threw his weight behind the St Paul's Cathedral anti-capitalist protesters as he backed calls for a new European tax on banks. Rowan Williams said the Church of England had a ''proper interest in the ethics of the financial world'' and warned that there had been ''little visible change in banking practices'' following the recession.