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.



Yearning for a baby: why developing countries say they need IVF too

Nicole Brady – The Age
A group of scientists is working to help women overcome the stigma of infertility in desperately poor countries.

Children & Family
Britain looks to Howard to improve welfare of lost youth
Phillip Coorey - SMH
The British government minister Iain Duncan Smith attributes his political revival to John Howard. Dumped in 2003 after two years as the opposition leader, Smith says a conversation with Howard, then at the peak of his own prime ministership, helped motivate him to keep going.

Why a big family has become a luxury item

Helen Pow - The Sunday Telegraph
Australia's birth rate is predicted to fall as cash-strapped couples rethink the number of children they have. The cost of raising a child to the age of 24 has jumped to almost $600,000, or about $25,000 a year, says McCrindle Research - and that doesn't include full-time daycare, preschool or private schooling. Social demographer Mark McCrindle said families with two children will hold off having a third and those with three who were considering a fourth will think twice, impacting on the nation's birth rate.

Swiss police call for ban on “Darkness“ game

The local
Swiss police have called for a ban on a violent computer game in which players shoot at police. The first part of the controversial adult game “Darkness“, is already available in Swiss stores. The sequel is planned for release in early 2012. “On a dark street, hands holding pistols appear. A police car comes into view along with a policeman in uniform. Shots are fired. The official breaks into pieces, covered in blood.“ According to 20 Minuten (Newspaper), these are images from the violent game Darkness II, which is planned for release in early 2012.

Drugs & Alcohol
New laws to hit drug makers: WA govt

The West Australian government is to deal "harshly" with illegal drug manufacturers, introducing mandatory jail sentences for harming children during homemade drug operations. WA Police Minister Rob Johnson has announced a raft of new laws to deal with the growing problem of clandestine drug laboratories, now uncovered at a rate of nearly one a day. Under the proposed news laws, any adult found guilty of causing harm to a child during the production of illegal drugs will be sentenced to a minimum term of 12 months jail.

Killer prescription drugs are increasingly being misused
Staff writer - Herald Sun
Hillbilly heroin - the drug of choice in the US - is on the march in Melbourne with overdoses of opiate-based painkillers jumping 21 per cent in 2009-10. The growing abuse of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, often in combination with alcohol or illicit drugs, is seeing more overdose victims hospitalised and extending the time taken to treat them. Overdoses of pharmaceutical opioids such as codeine, methadone, morphine and propoxyphene are of concern, rising four-fold since 1999 to 521 in 2009-10.

Hopes chaplaincy program will survive: Pyne

The federal opposition says it will be a shame if the High Court rules against the national school chaplaincy program. The costly federal program initiated by the Howard government has placed about 2500 chaplains in public schools to help guide students' spiritual wellbeing. But Queensland father Ron Williams is challenging the policy in the High Court, arguing it is unconstitutional and a waste of taxpayers' money.

Row over creationist's class lecture
Sarah Elks – The Australian
The furore over government-funded school chaplains is intensifying after a Queensland chaplain arranged for creationist John Mackay to deliver a "scientific" lecture to students.

Modest growth expected for gaming

Australian gambling companies are expected to report modest growth in earnings this reporting season as consumers rein in their discretionary spending and casino operators face tough competition from overseas. 'Gambling is part of discretionary expenditure, so I'm anticipating that gambling expenditure will be down,' Morningstar gaming analyst Ross MacMillan said. Earnings in the gambling sector may grow two or three per cent, but 'It's going to be very subdued earnings growth if we see any at all,' Mr MacMillan said.

Greens call for free ALP vote on marriage laws

Petrina Berry and Lema Samandar - Brisbane Times
Hundreds of same-sex marriage advocates, some dressed as Jesus Christ and the Pope, gathered in Brisbane as part of a national day of protest yesterday. Gay and lesbian rights protests were held across the country ahead of the ALP National Conference in December.

Opposites could attract on same-sex unions
The Australian
Earlier this year peaceful protesters for same-sex marriage in Adelaide and Brisbane were jeered and jostled by counter-demonstrators identifying as Christians.

Marriage focus for gay reform activists
Phillip Thomson - Canberra Times
A Catholic family in the conservative and rural southern Queensland town of St George was not the first place you'd expect to meet a couple of gay blokes. Graham Perrett, now a federal MP, was under the impression he did not know any homosexuals while growing up.

Madam on child prostitution charges

Yoni Bashan - Daily Telegraph
A Sydney madam has been charged by police after allegedly pimping a 14-year-old girl to clients at her establishment. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal investigators from the State Crime Command's Joint Investigation Response Squad charged the woman on Friday following several weeks of investigation. A State Crime Command spokeswoman confirmed that child prostitution charges were formally laid against the madam and that she will appear at Sutherland Local Court next month.

Religious Persecution
Group starts petition to save Christian mother

The Voice of the Martyrs, a group that monitors the persecution of Christians worldwide, has launched a petition campaign on behalf of a Pakistani mother convicted of blasphemy. Asia Bibi is awaiting execution for defending her Christian faith to her Muslim co-workers. The 45-year-old mother of five has been imprisoned for more than two years for violating Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Sexualisation of Society
'Sexting' on the increase due to smart phones

Hannah Silverman - The Advertiser
Smart phones are contributing to an increase in "sexting", prompting police to issue a warning to teenagers of its unexpected consequences. Police say "sexting" - the term used to describe the act of sending provocative or sexual images, messages or videos - is on the rise as a result of a growing number of teens owning smart phones or phones with cameras and internet access. Senior Sergeant Barry Blundell, from SAPOL's Electronic Crime Section, said children do not understand the consequences of "sexting" and parents don't understand the technology.