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.



Pregnancy gender test raises concerns


Boy or girl? A simple blood test in mothers-to-be can answer that question with surprising accuracy at about seven weeks. Though not widely offered by US doctors, gender-detecting blood tests have been sold online to consumers for the past few years. Their promises of early and accurate results prompted genetics researchers to take a closer look. The company also won't sell kits to customers in China or India because of fears of gender selection.

Cry for help hits SA charities

Sarah Martin - The Advertiser

South Australian charities are being swamped by people in financial strife as rising cost-of-living expenses bite. A survey by three of the state's leading charities shows cost-of-living pressures and cuts to government social support has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people turning to charities for help in the past three months. Welfare agencies estimate that after cutting its anti-poverty programs, the State Government is offering the sector less than 12 per cent of what is needed just to maintain services at existing levels.

Children & Family
The Census and Labor's Catholic vote

Brian Lawrence - Online Opinion

How did Labor get enough seats to form a minority Government in 2010? The answer is found in the separation of the Catholic vote from the total Christian vote. Catholics (25.8 per cent of the population) provided the votes that underpinned Labor's electoral survival. The Catholic population varies from 44.5 per cent in McMahon to 12.7 per cent in Mayo. Of the 75 most Catholic electorates Labor holds 46, the Coalition 28, and Independent Bob Katter, one. Of the 50 most Catholic electorates, Labor holds 33. Labor holds eight of the 10 most Catholic electorates. At the other end of the scale Labor has only 17 of the 50 least Catholic electorates.

Why the wild things are
Adelaide Now

The thugs who have brought chaos and lawlessness to the streets of Britain are essentially wild beasts allowed to roam free by a society in tatters. They know no family role models. Most live in homes in which the father is unemployed or from which he has decamped. They are illiterate and innumerate, beyond maybe some dexterity with computer games and BlackBerries. They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable, of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong. They respond only to instinctive animal impulses to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.

NSW backs R18+ video game rating

Anna Patty - SMH

The NSW government has given its formal support for the introduction of an adults-only rating for video games. NSW was the only state at a national meeting of attorneys-general last month not to endorse the agreement. The Attorney-General, Greg Smith, raised concerns at the time but yesterday said the NSW cabinet had now given its in-principle support for the introduction of the R18+ rating.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy
Mixed views on Wong's baby news

Peter Jean - Canberra Times

Australian Christian Lobby chief Jim Wallace said children generally did best if they were raised by a mother and a father. "It's well proven by enough social research to sink a ship that a child does best with a mother and father, and usually a natural mother and father," Mr Wallace said.

Drugs & Alcohol
Transport safety crackdown targets louts

Charlotte Jover - The Age

Alcohol, drugs and anti-social behaviour will be the focus of a public transport safety blitz designed to stamp out bad behaviour on buses, trains and trams. Sniffer dogs will comb train carriages for illicit drugs and police officers will wait on end-of-line platforms to provide a visible safety presence as part of Operation Safe Travel.

Campaign against chaplaincy program reaches the High Court

Tracy Bowden - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Jazz singer Ron Williams is fighting the National School Chaplaincy Program in the High Court, claiming it is unconstitutional. Ron Williams says he's not a religious man, but he's certainly on a crusade. The jazz singer and father of six has launched a self-funded legal challenge to the controversial National School Chaplaincy Program. The case has now gone all the way to the High Court.

Clubs unite to put heat on feds
Rebecca Lollback - Northern Star

Braving a crowd of 800 people at the Ballina RSL yesterday, Page MP Janelle Saffin refused to say whether she would back a Federal Government plan to introduce mandatory pre-commitment gambling limits. Poker machine reforms have been put forward as part of a deal between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie, who claim it will help problem gamblers. But RSL clubs across NSW say it will cost jobs, affect charities and lead to many clubs having to close their doors.

Guilty plea over bribes by illegal brothels

Nick McKenzie and Maris Beck - The Age

A former senior local government official has pleaded guilty to taking $130,000 in bribes over an eight-year period from the operators of a network of illegal brothels across Melbourne. Ken Wolfe, who resigned as the City of Yarra's Co-ordinator of Planning Enforcement after his town hall office was raided last November, yesterday pleaded guilty to taking bribes from three men connected to premises that allegedly offered sexual services without a brothel licence. In return for the payments, Wolfe tipped off illegal brothel operators about impending raids by authorities.

Court bans married Dalby man from using prostitutes?
Brisbane Times

A court has banned a married Queensland man from using prostitution services after he allegedly tied up and robbed a prostitute in Toowoomba. Mark Anthony Sewell, 45, appeared yesterday in the Dalby Magistrates Court charged with deprivation of liberty and robbery with violence. Police claim Mr Sewell met with a 31-year-old prostitute at a Hume Street residence on Monday, tied her up with rope and took her cash about 1.10pm.

Resettlement of refugees goes on despite Malaysia Solution court case

Sian Powell - The Australian

Sixty-six refugees have already been resettled in Australia since the Malaysia-Australia agreement was signed late last month and 17 more Burmese refugees are due to arrive this morning. But the Australian government says the arrivals will not be counted under the swap deal, which has been disrupted by legal action.