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.



Children & Family

Families forced to face legal minefield

Nicola Berkovic - The Australian

A federal government bungle that has cast doubt on all Family Court orders relating to the financial affairs of de facto couples is making life harder for people to take action against deadbeat parents who avoid their maintenance obligations. A Melbourne mother of five, who cannot be named, faces losing her home because her former partner has stopped paying the mortgage as he was ordered to do by the Federal Magistrates Court last August.


Attorney-General Nicola Roxon mulls classification review

Andrew Colley - Australian IT

The federal government's review of the national classification scheme could be tabled in parliament within weeks. The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) today said it has completed the review and sent its findings to Attorney-General Nicola Roxon's office. It is understood that the Attorney-General has 15 sitting days to table the report in parliament. Parliament has one more sitting day this month, eight days in March and does not return again until May 8. The ALRC's classification review is part of Labor's controversial plan to make ISPs filter internet content on a mandatory basis. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy put the plan on ice in July 2010 pending the review's completion.

Conroy says Telstra, Optus using filter

Computer World

Communications minister, Stephen Conroy, says Telstra and Optus are already using the government's controversial internet content filter with more internet service providers (ISPs) tipped to get on board. Conroy said three companies, including Telstra and Optus, were using the content filter and, despite predictions from some, the internet had not slowed down and collapsed.

Drugs & Alcohol

Report identifies patterns in misuse of illicit and prescription drugs among young adults

News Medical Net

A new report from researchers at the Drexel University School of Public Health identifies patterns in the misuse of illicit drugs among young adults who also misuse prescription drugs. The report, "Misuse of Prescription and Illicit Drugs among High-Risk Adults" in Los Angeles and New York, was recently published in the first issue of the Journal of Public Health Research. This is the first report to compare patterns of prescription and illicit drug misuse among high-risk young adults who are already misusing prescription drugs.


Teach kids all faiths in state schools

Alex White - Herald Sun

Parents have launched a landmark legal bid to end Christianity's ruling role over religious studies in government schools. Fairness in Religions in School believes "Sunday school lessons" by church volunteers should be replaced by "culturally diverse and unbiased" classes. Lyle Shelton, a spokesman for the Australian Christian Lobby, said the move defied Australia's cultural heritage.

Ignoring - wilfully or not - the Gonski review's conclusions

Bronwyn Hinz - ABC

It's as if nobody wants to understand the Gonski report. The greatly anticipated Gonski review of school funding was released a week ago, and so far everyone has - wilfully or not - ignored its conclusions. This is perhaps because it doesn't feed into the tedious obsession both sides of politics have with the public-private school divide. Instead, the report is interested in outcomes and the complex, misunderstood issue of state and federal roles in education.


Online and mobile gaming is the future

Daily Telegraph

Gaming machine supplier Aristocrat Leisure says it must position itself for the online and mobile gaming market rather than just selling "a box''. Aristocrat chief executive Jamie Odell said today that the gaming industry would be transformed over the next three to five years by online and mobile technology. He said it was important that Aristocrat develop the content to be carried on that technology.

Poker machines gulp $149,000 a day

Benjamin Millar and Andria Cozza - Melton Weekly

Melton gamblers are losing almost $149,000 a day in poker machines, according to new figures. Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation data shows the area's gamblers poured more than $54 million into the machines last year, about $670 for every adult. The Productivity Commission estimates that 40per cent of pokie losses come from people with a serious gambling problem, and another 20 per cent from those with a less serious but nonetheless well-developed problem.


Christian soldiers to slay civil unions

Koren Helbig - The Courier-Mail

Campbell Newman could be forced to scrap civil unions if the party's Christian candidates are elected on March 24. The combined forces of what is known internally as the LNP's "Christian soldiers" may have the numbers to force the LNP leader's hand.

Campbell Newman 'panders to Christians' on repealing civil unions

Jared Owens and Andrew Fraser - The Australian

Campbell Newman has struggled to clarify his position on same-sex civil unions, telling the Australian Christian Lobby he would attempt to repeal the laws despite previously saying he "wouldn't be doing anything" about them. The Liberal National Party leader yesterday insisted his position had not changed, as Premier Anna Bligh said the backflip proved "the growing influence of some far right-wing groups" among Queensland's conservatives.

Overseas Aid

Somalia's so-called peace does not spare its children's suffering

Dan McDougall - The Times

In a basic military clinic filled with wounded children, the sour smell of infection hung heavily in the still air. Smothering her son's screams with her palm, Mina pulled back a thin sheet to reveal the terrible scars on his torso left by an al-Qa'ida attack just metres from the pavement where she was sleeping with her refugee family. Her youngest child, Abdiyasin, aged two, had been castrated, his bowel ripped apart by a suicide bomber's explosives shrapnel. In an adjacent bed, another small baby whimpered in the heat. His bandaged hands clutched at a bullet wound in his abdomen.


Power surge a one-day wonder

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

The authority conferred on Julia Gillard through her crushing victory over Kevin Rudd as Labor leader has lasted less than 24 hours. The Prime Minister is too weakened to act as leader and can't stop potentially disastrous decisions and campaigns of retribution by factional leaders and ambitious ministers. A many-headed hydra has sprung forth from Rudd's blood.

Let Sydney pick Labor's Town Hall candidate

Meredith Burgmann - SMH

Monday's vote in Canberra showed up a disconnect between what Labor voters wanted and what the parliamentary party decided. Speculation surrounding Mark Arbib's Senate vacancy is equally top-down in emphasis. In NSW, we have been struggling with this disconnect for some time. Parliamentary coups and conga lines of leaders are alienating for our voters.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Terror group 'enjoys' killing Nigerian Christians

George Thomas - CBN News

An African terror group linked to al Qaeda has declared war on Nigeria's Christians. Islamic fighters have killed scores in multiple attacks on Christian homes and churches. There have been calls for revenge, but also for forgiveness.

Christianity gets less sensitive treatment than other religions admits BBC chief

Paul Revoir - Daily Mail

BBC director-general Mark Thompson has claimed Christianity is treated with far less sensitivity than other religions because it is ‘pretty broad shouldered’. He suggested other faiths have a ‘very close identity with ethnic minorities’, and were therefore covered in a far more careful way by broadcasters.

Sexualisation of Society

Sexualisation of girls blamed on digital age

Cathy O'Leary - The West Australian

A Perth academic says the sexualisation of pre-pubescent girls and "yummy mummies" is worsening because of technology such as mobile phones and Facebook. University of WA Winthrop Professor Donna Chung said spray tans, make-up and padded bras were being marketed heavily to promote a sexualised appearance in young girls.


Gay Australian fathers arrested over alleged child sexual exploitation of their son

Paul Toohey - The Daily Telegraph

The gay fathers of a six-year-old Australian boy have been arrested in Los Angeles after being indicted on child sexual exploitation charges relating to their own son. The men, MN, 42, a citizen of the United States and resident of Queensland, and his partner, PT, 32, an Australian citizen from Cairns, were arrested in a 6am raid at the home of MN’s aunt in Los Angeles, on Thursday morning. A third man, JRP, a lawyer from Florida, has also been arrested and indicted, and is named as the lead defendant. He is further charged with procuring a boy aged between eight or nine for sexual exploitation.