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.



Charities & NFP

Dumping on charities - Salvation Army says carbon tax will be a costly load of rubbish

Steve Lewis - The Daily Telegraph

Charities will be forced to cut back essential services for needy families as the carbon tax adds millions of dollars to operating costs. In the latest challenge to the Gillard government's carbon tax, the Salvation Army estimated it would add $3.5 million to the annual landfill costs for charitable organisations. It warned the government's greenhouse scheme would force families to dump unwanted furniture and clothing at overcrowded charity bins instead of paying higher prices at local rubbish tips.

Children & Family

Mandatory reporting has not failed children

Jeremy Sammut - The Drum ABC

Amid all the scandals that have engulfed child protection in Australia, the irony is that the system's one undoubted strength is singled out as the greatest weakness by those who support the existing family preservation-based approach to child welfare. Leading academic commentators argue that mandatory reporting by police, education and health professionals of children at risk of harm has failed to better protect children. Instead of promptly identifying the most serious cases of abuse and neglect, it has supposedly led to the enormous growth in the number of reports due to 'over reporting' of 'less serious' cases.

Mounting credit card bills drive bankruptcy boom in western suburbs

Nicole Hasham - SMH

Mount Druitt, Campbelltown and Liverpool have emerged as Sydney's bankruptcy hot spots as families succumb to mounting credit card debt and chronic unemployment. The three suburbs topped a list compiled by the federal agency Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia, which revealed the NSW postcodes most vulnerable to bankruptcy last financial year. The 2770 postcode - Mount Druitt, Minchinbury and surrounds - was the worst affected, with 163 bankruptcy declarations.


Video games addicts sent to rehab centre Teen Challenge

Erin Michael - Herald Sun

Teenagers are being checked into rehab for computer game addictions, with some glued to their screen for up to 18 hours a day. The trend has forced rehab centre Teen Challenge to extend its drug and alcohol addiction services to cater for video game addicts. Fantasy game World of Warcraft has been identified as the most enslaving. Teen Challenge program director David Hunter said youngsters trapped in a psychosis battling video game addiction were being admitted to its Kyabram centre. "We've had several guys come into the program and successfully finish who were spending 18 hours a day playing World of Warcraft," he said.

Drugs & Alcohol

Call for labels on bottles to warn of alcohol's danger to foetuses

Peter Jean - SMH

Foster parents and public health groups have urged federal politicians to take urgent action to prevent more babies from suffering foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. A parliamentary inquiry has been told that warning labels about the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy should be mandatory on liquor bottles as part of a strategy to prevent the disorder.


School gambling education call

Richard Willingham - The Age

Clubs Australia - which defeated poker machine reforms - has called on state and federal governments to develop and trial a national school-based gambling education program. In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the prevention and treatment of problem gambling, Clubs Australia pushes for the focus of gambling reform to be spread across all aspects of the industry, not just pokies.

Lack of Christian charity in school exclusions

Melissa Matheson - The Daily Telegraph

I have a confession to make: as a child, I was kicked out of Sunday school. And I'm proud of it. I wasn't expelled for misbehaving or using the Lord's name in vain. No, I was told I was no longer welcome because I asked too many questions. It turned me off religion for life - and now Christian Schools Australia has upped the ante.


Companies urge war on environmental 'green tape'

Annabel Hepworth - The Australian

The business community has united to demand Julia Gillard and the premiers slash unwieldy environmental assessments and approvals processes, warning "green tape" is jeopardising $900 billion in resources and infrastructure projects. In a rare move, the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry last night issued a joint plea for the Prime Minister and state leaders to declutter the bloated national reform agenda so that it focused on fewer areas that would have the biggest impact on improving the economy.


'Sniffing Sid' Vaikunta under the influence of drugs at casino meetings, inquiry told

Sean Nicholls - SMH

The former managing director of the Star, Sid Vaikunta, was nicknamed ''sniffing Sid'' and was observed to be ''off his face'' during an employee forum last year, an inquiry into the casino has been told. Two former employees, Elizabeth Ward and Greg Culpan, made the claims at the inquiry by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, launched after Mr Vaikunta's sacking in February for sexual harassment.


LNP considers ban on same-sex partnerships

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian

The Newman government has sought legal advice about repealing civil unions in Queensland and is not ruling out the retrospective scrapping of the partnerships. Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said he had requested a full legal brief from his department about the legislation that allows same-sex partnerships. He said all aspects of the law were "open for discussion" and the legal advice would present options for possible changes, including a full repeal of the law or a partial repeal.


HSU boss 'put $30k a month' on Amex

Kate McClymont - SMH

The corruption inquiries into the Health Services Union are set to widen with allegations that the boss, Michael Williamson, had another secret American Express card. The black Centurion card, which he has had for several years, is a secondary one attached to the private account of his close personal friend Cheryl McMillan, the purchasing officer. Mr Williamson has been spending up to $30,000 a month - largely on dining and other lifestyle expenses - on the card.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

'No deals' on prostitution laws

Beatrice Thomas - The West Australian

Three MPs opposed to the State Government's prostitution laws say their demand to phase out the industry is non-negotiable. Independent MP Janet Woollard and Liberals Graham Jacobs and Peter Abetz have told Attorney-General Christian Porter they are unmoved about their insistence on a sunset clause in the Prostitution Bill. They are backing a set of proposed amendments to the Bill, which also include a cap on the number of brothels and prostitutes working in them.

`Brothel madam in control'

Louis Andrews - The Canberra Times

An alleged brothel madam had control over “really every aspect” of the life of a woman she’s accused of possessing as a slave, a court has heard. But Watcharaporn Nantahkhum’s barrister has told a jury his client’s accuser was a “mercenary” who had a reason to deflect blame. Nantahkhum is standing trial in the ACT Supreme Court charged with possessing a slave, perverting the course of justice and four offences under the federal Migration Act.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Turkey’s religious freedom record slides

Compass Direct

Sentiment against Christians in Turkey has persisted long enough for a U.S. religious rights monitor to recommend it as a “Country of Particular Concern,” and pastor Orhan Picaklar knows such anti-Christian hostility first-hand. Picaklar, of Agape Church in Samsun, lives in the Black Sea region, a bastion of Turkey’s unique Islamic-imbued nationalism, where Christians live under increasing pressure. He has seen his building attacked and his family and congregation threatened.

Tunisia: Muslims threaten church, cover its cross with garbage bags

Raymond Ibrahim Bio - FrontPage

According to Al Quds, last Tuesday it was revealed that the Christian Orthodox Church in Tunis, one of very few churches in the country of Tunisia, is being “abused” and receiving “threatening messages” from “Salafis.” Church members are described as “living in a state of terror,” so much so that the Russian ambassador in Tunis specifically requested the nation’s Ministry of Interior to “protect the church.” The abuse has gotten to the point where “Salafis covered the cross of the church with garbage bags, telling the church members that they do not wish to see the vision of the Cross anywhere in the Islamic state of Tunisia.”

Church pastor attacked in Istanbul

Bia Net

Four people rushed to the Protestant Grace Church in Bahçelievler, Istanbul and physically abused pastor Semir Sertek (58), after forcing him to cite the Islamic testimony of faith. Sertek had depicted the attack which took place on the night of the Orthodox Easter, April 7th.

Sexualisation of Society

Computer games and television 'sexualising' children

Radio NZ

A family counsellor in Taranaki NZ says a growing number of cases of sexualised behaviour in children can be attributed to computer games and television. The Taranaki Safer Family Centre says it has had nearly 60 cases of the behaviour in children, aged five to eleven, referred to it so far this year. Centre manager Tina Gulliver says children are seeing things that they should not and acting them out.


Masters winner Watson not ashamed of his Christian faith

Baptist Press

The winner of the 2012 Masters golf tournament realizes he's not like most famous athletes. Masters winner Bubba Watson credits his Christian faith for turning him from an angry golfer to a calmer golfer. He's also outspoken about his faith, crediting "my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" after his win. Watson is an outspoken Christian golfer and he uses his Twitter account -- along with his platform as one of the PGA Tour's magnetic personalities -- to share about his faith in Christ.

Major life decisions may be subconsciously influenced by how long people believe they will live


Major life decisions such as marriage, divorce, abortion, having a child and attending university may be subconsciously influenced by how long people believe they will live, according to a Queen's University study. "Life expectancy might be driving all of these major decisions," says Daniel Krupp, a post doctoral fellow in the Queen's math department who has a background in psychology and biology. The longer someone expects to live, the more time they will invest in education. If life expectancy is short, someone may decide to get married and have children sooner, or stick with the partner they are currently with rather than seek a divorce.