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.



China's village of the bachelors: no wives in sight in remote settlement
Tania Branigan - Guardian UK

This is the perverse outcome of the country's longstanding preference for sons, and its sudden modernisation. Traditionally, the family line is passed via men. When a woman marries, she joins her husband's family. Having a boy is a cultural and a pragmatic choice: you expect him to continue your lineage and support you in old age. The result has long been a surplus of men, because of female infanticide or excess female deaths through neglect. But in the last 20 years, the problem has exploded thanks to the spread of prenatal scans. Sex-selective abortion is illegal, but is clearly widely practised.

Children & Family
Decline in marriage blamed for neglect

Adele Horin - SMH

The well-being of Australia's children and young people has declined alarmingly in the past decade - and plunging marriage rates are partly to blame, a major study has found. Growing rates of child abuse and neglect, of children being placed in foster care, and of teenage mental health problems, including a rise in hospital admissions for self-harm, are rooted in the rise of one-parent families and de facto couples, violent and unstable relationships, and divorce, the report says. Its author, Patrick Parkinson, professor of law at the University of Sydney, has called for a review of government policy to ensure marriage is not being undermined.

Do more to protect kids: Christian lobby

A new report showing the psychological wellbeing of children has deteriorated has prompted calls by its author for the federal government to do more to protect young people from fractured family lives. The report For Kids' Sake, commissioned by the Australian Christian Lobby and to be launched in Canberra on Tuesday, found the wellbeing of many children and young people, especially adolescent girls, had deteriorated in the past 10 to 15 years.

Marriage is about rights of the children
Nicholas Tonti-Filippini - SMH

Same-sex marriage ignores what a marriage means and who it serves. In an extraordinary show of unity, more than 50 national leaders of Christian churches have endorsed a document on marriage as a legal institution that promotes and protects the identity of children and their internationally recognised right to know, to have access to and to be nurtured by both their mother and father.

Time to ban the sickos that celebrate anorexia

David Penberthy - The Punch

Of all the sick and creepy subcultures that flourish on the internet, few are more disturbing than the pro-ana websites devoted to the celebration of anorexia - not as a mental illness but a lifestyle choice. There are dozens of these shocking sites. Some of them are big-production numbers with well-designed photo galleries of scrawny models and external links to websites selling food substitutes and appetite suppressants.

Australian school curriculum to force acceptance of multiculturalism

Bruce McDougall - The Courier-Mail

School students are being targeted in a major new push to force acceptance of multiculturalism by "embedding" it in the national curriculum. Young Australians will be trained in "cultural competency" during classes as part of the Gillard Government's plan to boost support for multiculturalism and outlaw negative attitudes. Thousands of teachers have been surveyed about how the policy is working and to uncover racism under special research entitled "Rethinking Multiculturalism/Reassessing Multicultural Education".

Hunter clubs hitting the wall
Gabriel Wingate-Pearse - The Herald

Hunter clubs are under siege, with six more about to join the ranks of 39 that have closed or amalgamated over the past 15 years, a record for any region in NSW. Ageing memberships, increased competition for gambling dollars and smoking bans have all taken their toll, industry sources say. Financial pressures are so great only about half of the Hunter’s clubs are making money, Martin Le Marchant, the senior manager at Newcastle-based professional services firm Forsythes, said.

Human Rights
Violence against women affects us all

Julie McKay - Online Opinion

In a world full of acronyms 'VAW' is one that is not well known. It refers to events that impact the lives of millions of women every day, is one of the most widespread violations of human rights in the world, devastates communities, families and economies and in Australia alone will cost an estimated $15.6 billion in 2021-22. VAW or violence against women will affect one in three women in their lifetime – look around, who in your life will become a statistic? It's important to note that violence against women is not limited to physical abuse, but also psychological, sexual and economic abuse, that cuts across the traditional boundaries of age, culture, wealth and geography.

Polls no indicator for same-sex marriage attitudes

Jim Wallace - ABC

Despite the grandstanding, the Greens' attempt to demonstrate that there is majority support for gay marriage in the suburbs and regional Australia has failed, in fact backfired. But it wasn't for want of trying. Their ally GetUp! - for all intents and purposes a subsidiary of the Greens - was panicked into action. It told its members that their contact with politicians showed MPs offices had received vastly more correspondence from those supporting marriage, speaking of the MPs as having been "inundated" with emails.

A novel notion of justice
Robert R. Reilly - MercatorNet

Affirming the right to same sex marriage makes about as much sense as promoting the goodness of smoking cancer-inducing cigarettes. The extent to which people will go to advance their rationalizations for sexual misbehavior grows ever more amusing and ambitious, with consequences, however, that are less jolly. The ultimate level of absurdity has now been reached by the claim that justice requires the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Overseas Aid
Al-Qaeda affiliate, not famine, is responsible for Somalian genocide

Rachel Alexander - Town Hall

Somalia is in the midst of a famine, suffering from the worst drought in 60 years. 29,000 Somali children have died within the past three months, and 100,000 Somalis are expected to die in the next few weeks. The al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab has destroyed the country, taking over much of the southern part of the country where it has imposed a strict version of Sharia law. The Taliban-like organization refuses to allow humanitarian organizations associated with the West to provide aid to the starving people. Al-Shabab expelled the U.N.’s World Food Programme, which had provided the bulk of the aid, from much of the country in January 2010, accusing it of being a U.S. proxy.

Religious Persecution
Atheist group sues over cross at 9/11 memorial

Condace Pressley - WSBRadio

A cross controversy at Ground Zero reaches all the way to Atlanta. An atheist group is suing to stop the display of a steel cross at the September 11 memorial. American Atheists say they have nothing against the cross. Their problem is with the presence of a religious symbol at a government-supported display.

Charities call for onshore processing


More than 200 charity organisations are backing a push to end offshore processing of asylum seekers who come to Australia by boat. The Australian Council of Social Service says more than 200 major charities and social welfare organisations have signed a public statement seeking humane treatment of asylum seekers.

Activist judges give mixed signals
Gerard Henderson - SMH

Julia Gillard has received considerable criticism for her comments on Chief Justice Robert French and the High Court's decision in the Malaysian offshore processing case. On Friday, Justice Philip McMurdo, on behalf of the Judicial Conference of Australia, declared that the Prime Minister's statement was "extraordinary, unfair and curious" and suggested that she may have "upset the balance of separated powers", which is essential to the operation of a free society.

Give social media giants your real name or say goodbye to your friends

Ben Grubb - SMH

Google and Facebook are trying to remove anonymity from the web by forcing people to sign up using their real names and banning those who use pseudonyms.