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.




Seven years ago today, Terri Schiavo lived her last day

Steven Ertelt - LifeNews

On March 30, 2005, Terri Schiavo had her last full day of life on this earth and both her family and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life are remembering the last moments they shared with the woman whose former husband won a court order to take her life. Terri was killed on March 31, 2005 when her former husband won a protracted legal battle against the Schindler family for the right to disconnect her feeding tube. Doctors who examined Terri say she was not in a persistent vegetative state and that her condition could have been improved has she been given access to more medical care and rehabilitative treatment.


Legislation in UK to protect children from porn

Christian Today

A Bill to stop children from accessing hardcore porn was introduced to Parliament this week. The legislation requires internet service providers and mobile phone operators to block pornography at the network level unless the customer is 18 or over and asks for the block to be removed through an opt-in mechanism. Baroness Howe of Idlicote, who introduced the Bill in the House of Lords, said the change would help parents to protect their children.

Drugs & Alcohol

Crime syndicates can track container searches

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie - The Age

Crime syndicates are exploiting flaws in a federal government computer system that have enabled them to learn if shipping containers holding their drugs are being scanned and searched by authorities. The flaws are in the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's Integrated Cargo System, which provides importers of goods with a means to track the movement of their cargo through port terminals.

Drugs war 'a failure' that bred criminals

Mark Metherell, Geesche Jacobsen - SMH

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, is among a group of prominent Australians who have declared the ''war on drugs'' a failure in the most significant challenge to drug laws in decades.


The sad state of current conversations in Australia – hobbled by hypocrisy

Ruth Limkin - Bread And Justice

If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny. I just watched the video of this morning’s Sunrise segment which discussed Christian Schools wanting to retain the right to employ men and women whose values and lifestyles align with their organisational values. The article they were discussing was about proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws which may remove exemptions currently afforded to religious organisations. A submission by Christian Schools Australia asked for the current protections for religious organisations to remain. It made the point that ‘parents chose to enrol children in a Christian school because they desired an education based on Christian values and beliefs’ and that ‘teachers were regarded as role models who taught the doctrines and values of the faith to students by way of example’.


Clubs Australia calls off pokies campaign

Herald Sun

Clubs Australia has called an end to its campaign against poker machine reforms, asking its members across the country to withdraw beer coasters, posters and other material. It has welcomed the federal government's deferral until May of measures to address problem gambling and a planned trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology to start in the ACT in February 2013.

Casinos demand reform to bring in high rollers

Australia's 13 casinos want the nation's tourist visa system relaxed to allow more Chinese high rollers to visit, and to stay longer. The Australasian Casino Association, which represents casinos including Adelaide Casino, also wants special priority processing by immigration and customs officials in Australian airports for tourists willing to pay.


Celebrating 50 years of indigenous voting

Jo Coghlan and Scott Denton - Online Opinion

This year marks the 50th anniversary of indigenous voting in Australia. In 1962 the Commonwealth Electoral Act was amended so that all Indigenous peoples had the right to vote in federal elections. Celebrating this milestone is the 2012 National Indigenous Youth Parliament, funded by the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program.

Overseas Aid

Appeal for support as Christians leave Sudan

Christian Today

Barnabas Fund has launched an emergency appeal as Christians continue to pour into South Sudan. The organisation, which supports persecuted Christians, is providing emergency supplies to Christian families “effectively forced to leave Sudan”. The predominantly Christian South Sudan gained independence from the largely Muslim Sudan in July last year, a move that prompted the Sudanese government to remove the citizenship rights of South Sudanese.


Labor's dire poll result far from a one-off - its problem with voters is entrenched

Phillip Coorey - SMH

The long-term poll trend against Labor since the last federal election would cost it at least 18 seats in the key states of NSW, Queensland and Victoria if it persisted until election day, an analysis of the Herald/Nielsen polls shows. As Labor reeled from the latest Nielsen poll, published this week and showing another slump in ALP fortunes, a dumped cabinet minister, Robert McClelland, questioned the government's mandate for the carbon tax and attributed its low standing to the public's being ''absolutely repulsed'' by political spin.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex 'slave' rarely allowed out, court told

Louis Andrews - The Canberra Times

A Thai sex worker allegedly kept as a slave in a Canberra brothel today told a jury she rarely left the apartment, except on grocery shopping trips. And the witness has said the alleged brothel madam asked her not to tell a fellow sex worker she was paying off a debt and working in breach of her visa conditions. Watcharaporn Nantahkhum is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court charged with possessing a slave and perverting the course of justice.

It's in the fine print: sex, Sachs and the city

Nicholas Kristof - SMH

Goldman Sachs has a 16 per cent stake in a company which runs a website that is a forum for the sex trafficking of under-age girls, writes Nicholas Kristof. The biggest forum for the sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a website called This emporium for girls and women - some of them under age; some forced into prostitution - is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media.

Sexualisation of Society

'Stalker' app pulled after 'tool for rapists' outcry

Ben Grubb - SMH

An iPhone app that essentially allowed users to stalk women nearby using location-based social networking service Foursquare has been pulled from the iTunes app store by its developer after an outcry of criticism. The "Girls Around Me" app utilised publicly available data from the check-in service Fourquare to show where women had checked in nearby before Foursquare yanked the Girls Around Me app's access to its data, which in turn led to the app's developer removing it from iTunes as it didn't work properly.

Sexism for Dummies: why Kyle Sandilands needs proper punishment

Melinda Tankard Reist - melindatankardreist blog

Four months ago, live on 2DAY FM, breakfast radio’s out and proud bad boy Kyle Sandilands verbally attacked News Limited online journalist Alison Stephenson. For commenting on his new poorly rating television show A Night with the Stars, Sandilands let forth.

UK: Girls' lack of confidence about their appearance is blighting their futures

Luke Salkeld - Mail Online

A generation of adolescent girls will fail to fulfil their professional potential because they are suffering from low self-esteem about their appearance, it was claimed yesterday. One in four females aged between 11 and 17 are weighed down by pressure to conform to an 'ideal notion' of how they should look, a survey suggests. The study concludes that the low self-esteem will have a disastrous effect on their career prospects.

New study shows abstinence education effective

Rachel Turner - LifeNews

Research published this week revealed more evidence that a Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence program is effective in delaying sexual onset. Four major conclusions are drawn from the article, entitled, Impact of the Choosing the Best Program in Communities Committed to Abstinence Education.


Welcome the opportunity to engage with atheists

Staff writer - Melbourne Anglican

Two leading philosophers will discuss the topic ‘The role of reason in faith and unbelief’ in a public conversation at St Paul’s Cathedral on 12 April. Professor Peter Singer of Princeton and Melbourne Universities, and an atheist, and the Revd Professor Brendan Purcell, of University College, Dublin, and a Roman Catholic priest, will engage in conversation as part of the Anglican Church’s response to the global atheist convention being held in Melbourne 13-15 April. Following the Convention, a national Coalition of Christian organisations called ‘Reason for Faith’, is planning a ‘Reason for Faith Festival’ to engage with Melburnians who have serious doubts or questions about God and faith, “in a rigorous, yet respectful and generous way,” according to Anglican minister, the Revd Tim Patrick, project manager of the Festival.

The next ABC Q&A Panel - Monday 9 April


George Pell - Catholic Archbishop of Sydney & Richard Dawkins - Outspoken British atheist

Lord Bragg defends the faith against atheist attacks

Mark Brolly - Melbourne Anglican

British writer and broadcaster Lord (Melvyn) Bragg has defended Christianity and mainstream religions against atheist attacks in an Australian television interview, saying they were unfair and “profoundly wrong”. Lord Bragg, who recently wrote a book marking the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, told Emma Alberici on the ABC’s Lateline on 20 March that atheists relied too much on reason. Religion was a neutral bo y of knowledge to be used and abused and it was a calumny to accuse religions of doing terrible things.

Jimmy Little dies, aged 75


Jimmy Little declared that deep Christian beliefs guided his life. In 1959 he appeared in evangelist Bill Graham’s movie ‘Shadow Of The Boomerang.’ Little scored his biggest hit with “Royal Telephone,” which peaked at number one in Sydney and number three in Melbourne. Jimmy Little was born in 1937 on the Cummeragunga settlement near Echuca, on the New South Wales side of the Murray River. His father Jimmy Little Sr. preceded him as an aboriginal entertainment legend, a singer who led his own vaudeville troupe up and down the Murray in the 30s and 40. Jimmy Little Sr’s repertoire consisted of hundreds of songs from every possible source – hymns he’d learned at the mission, hillbilly songs, show tunes, bush ballads and traditional tribal. The younger Jimmy Little just followed in his footsteps.

Stoner honours the late Jimmy Little

Sky news

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner has paid tribute to Mr Little, saying he was, above all, a true gentleman. 'Whether it was on the wireless, in Tamworth or at Sydney Opera House, the boy from Cummeragunja Mission charmed the nation,' Mr Stoner said in a statement on Monday. 'His selflessness saw him provide invaluable assistance to charities that were close to his heart'.

Cuba declares Good Friday a public holiday

Catholic News

Cuba's Communist government has declared Good Friday next week to be a public holiday following an appeal from Pope Benedict - initially for this year only, but a decision will be taken later on whether to make it permanent, reports The BBC. The Pope made the request during his recent visit to the island. It is the first time Good Friday has been recognised as a public holiday in Cuba since the 1960s, when religious holidays were abolished.