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.




Abortion not comic, papers rule

Ewen Macaskill - SMH

A Garry Trudeau Doonesbury cartoon strip lampooning Texas legislation on abortion has been pulled by some US newspapers. Several papers are declining to use the strip at all, and others are switching it from the comic section to editorial pages. The strip deals with a law introduced in Texas and other states requiring a woman seeking an abortion to have a sonogram, which shows an image of a foetus and other details, in an attempt to make her reconsider.

Children & Family

Foster care outsourcing worries union

Lauren Farrow - NineMSN

Foster children could fall through the gaps if the NSW government transfers almost 12,000 youngsters out of state care and into the non-government sector, a union says. Under changes unveiled by the NSW government on Tuesday, 11,813 children and young people now in statutory, or court-ordered, care in NSW will no longer be looked after by social workers from the Department of Family and Community Services (DoCS).


Meeting the classification challenge for 21st Century media

Terry Flew - Online Opinion

We live in an age of media convergence, where new devices and services are making it possible to access seemingly infinite volumes of media content from around the world. As more media is accessed from the home through high-speed broadband networks, and as people become more empowered to be the creators as well as consumers of content, the need to revise media content regulations for the 21st century has become increasingly apparent.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Fertility clinic asks homosexual men to help out

Shannon Deery - Herald Sun

Victoria's leading fertility specialists are turning to gay men in a bold bid to help single and lesbian women start a family. Melbourne IVF is set to launch an aggressive advertising campaign pushing for homosexual men to become sperm donors. The campaign will focus on gay newspapers, magazines, radio and online media outlets in an appeal to gay men to donate sperm.

The legal pitfalls of parenthood

Caroline Counsel, Paul Boers - Herald Sun

It's the vexed question raised by the article "Let Me be Your Daddy - Millionaire in landmark fight for custody of secret son" (Herald Sun - 2/3/2012). The law sets out who are the legal parents of a child. Being considered a legal parent of a child gives a person parental responsibility, meaning they can make decisions concerning a child's day-to-day and long-term care, welfare and development.

Drugs & Alcohol

Three arrested over weapons, drugs

Herald Sun

Three people from the same family have been charged with drugs and weapons offences after police raids on properties in Adelaide. South Australian police allege they broke up a drug ring after a three month investigation of the family, seizing drugs, cash and weapons.

Australian man Edward Myatt faces death penalty over Bali drugs charge

The Australian

Police in Bali have confirmed an alleged Australian drug smuggler will face three charges including trafficking, which attracts a possible death sentence. Edward Myatt, 54, was arrested two weeks ago at Ngurah Rai airport after he was allegedly caught trying to smuggle 1.1kg of hashish and more than four grams of methamphetamines into Bali in his stomach. Police have now finished their preliminary investigations, confirming on Monday the Victorian would face three charges, the most serious of which could put him in front of a firing squad.


Wilkie 'ignored' $1 trial offer

Joe Kelly – The Australian

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has been accused of ignoring a "good faith" offer six months ago to trial the $1 maximum bet technology on poker machines he is now urging Julia Gillard to take up. And, as Mr Wilkie held a crisis meeting yesterday with Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin to thrash out their differences on poker-machine reform, the powerful clubs lobby revealed it had not received a response to any of its letters to the Tasmanian MP in the past 12 months.

Human Rights

Call for NT intervention policy to face human rights test

Dan Harrison - SMH

Proposals to extend aspects of the Northern Territory Intervention for a decade should not proceed until they can be shown to be consistent with Australia's international human rights obligations, the representative body for indigenous Australians says.


Freedom of speech, homosexual marriage, homosexuality, TV

The video

Katie Hinder - Mercatornet

Kirk Cameron, former child star turned born-again Christian, is getting a lot of flack for what he had to say about homosexuality during an interview with Piers Morgan earlier in the week. His remarks, which were far from caustic or damning, enraged many people and thrust him into the limelight. Media outlets are calling his comments an anti-gay diatribe. But if you take the time to listen to what he said there is nothing there that could be defined as a diatribe – a forceful, often bitter, verbal attack.

Cleric slams Church of England's gay stance

Ruth Gledhill - The Times

The gay priest whose appointment as a bishop triggered a crisis over homosexuality in the Church of England has condemned the church as "the last refuge of prejudice". Speaking for the first time in nearly a decade, Jeffrey John, 59, who was pressured by the Archbishop of Canterbury to stand down as bishop of Reading in 2003, said the church's mishandling of the gay issue was at the root of rising secularism.

Marriage in the Netherlands, a decade After SSM

William C. Duncan - National Review

It has been ten years since the Netherlands created same-sex marriage, and a new research brief from the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, relying primarily on information from Statistics Netherlands, provides a snapshot of the institutional strength of marriage a decade later. (The article does not address causation factors.) Its modest findings are that gay marriages are relatively rare, marriage rates are down, divorce rates are stable, and the out-of-wedlock birthrate is continuing to climb.

Overseas Aid

Opposition calls for dramatic increase in Afghan aid

Tim Lesater - SMH

The Federal Opposition's Defence Spokesman has attacked Australia's aid effort in Afghanistan, saying Ausaid's presence in the country is ''extremely low'' and the Gillard Government needs to rethink its approach. Usually careful to support the government's position on Afghanistan, Senator David Johnston told the National Times he doesn't believe ''anyone is critically analysing that civilian side of the (international) operation''.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

AFP seeks to raise awareness of human trafficking

David Weber - ABC

The Australian Federal Police is holding a series of forums in Western Australia and the Northern Territory to raise awareness about people trafficking. It wants more state and territory officers to become experts in identifying the victims of a crime that is little understood in Australia. The AFP says nearly 200 people in Australia have been rescued from people-trafficking arrangements.


Asylum rejects go on to get visas

Paul Maley – The Australian

Almost 80 per cent of the Immigration Department's rejections of asylum-seekers' refugee applications are being overturned in the courts or by independent reviewers. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ric Towle has expressed concern over the disparity between the verdicts reached by the department and those handed down by independent reviewers.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Lands drenched in innocent blood: Boko Haram declares war against Christians

Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online

Boko Haram announced they are planning a "war on Christians" in the "next few weeks". The spokesman said the group "will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country. We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won't be able to stay."

Pakistani woman charged with ‘Blasphemy’ for refusing Islam

Compass Direct

A young mother has been falsely accused of “blaspheming” Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, because she rebuffed attempts by relatives who had converted to Islam to force her to renounce her Christian faith, family members said. Police in Khichiwala, Bahawalnagar district, in Punjab Province, charged 26-year-old Shamim Bibi, mother of a 5-month-old girl, under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s “blasphemy” statutes after neighbors accused her of uttering remarks against Muhammad. She was arrested on Feb. 28.


Daughter disputes Muslim will that gave brothers twice as much

Caroline Overington - The Australian

The Supreme Court of the ACT has stepped into a bitter dispute over whether a devout Muslim's three sons should each inherit twice as much as her daughters on the grounds that "one boy is equal to two girls". The case, known as Omari v Omari, involves Mustapha and Mohamed Omari, who want their mother's estate divided according to Islamic law, under which they would inherit one full share for every half-share given to their sisters.