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.



China vows to crack down on sex-selective abortions


China is vowing a heavy crackdown on sex-selective abortions in an effort to balance the country's skewed sex ratio, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a government plan. The Outline for the Development of Chinese Children said efforts will be made to "eliminate discrimination against girls" in a country that values male heirs because they ensure the preservation of the family's bloodline. This belief has caused many to undergo illegal sex-selective abortions in the face of China's one-child policy.

Israel rules on eggs of dead girl

Harriet Sherwood - SMH

An Israeli family has been given legal permission to extract and freeze eggs from the ovaries of their 17-year-old daughter, who died in a road accident. The ruling by the magistrates court in the town of Kfar Saba sets a legal precedent in Israel and, according to a lawyer with 10 years' experience in similar cases, is possibly the first of its kind in the world.

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

Peter Jean – The Canberra Times

Penny Wong and Sophie Allouaches baby isn't due to be born until December, but is already the subject of political debates about same-sex marriage and assisted fertility treatment for lesbians.

Longing for a child knows no 'right' conception
Lyn Bender – The Age

Sabiha is a beautiful Tunisian woman has longed for a daughter for what seems all time. Married to a man she cares for, she waits through the months then the years and still no child enters her womb. So Sabiha finds another way — she singles out the most fertile man in the town and seduces him.

Drugs & Alcohol
Illegal use of prescription drugs on the rise


The Australian Institute of Criminology is concerned about the rising illegal market for prescription drugs. New figures show nearly one in five people detained in police watch-houses in the past 12 months used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. In the first survey of its kind, the AIC interviewed nearly 1,000 detainees in capital city watch-houses and found an increasing illegal market for prescription drugs.

Controversy surrounds construction of new school

Alison Savage - ABC

Construction will begin today on a controversial new school for disabled students in Melbourne's north, despite ongoing protests from the local Indigenous community. The Glenroy Specialist School will cater for some of Melbourne's most severely disabled children, between the ages of five and 18. Eighty-five per cent of the school's 150 students have multiple profound disabilities.

Constitutional test for school chaplaincy program
Louise Andrews, Court Reporter - The Canberra Times

The High Court has begun hearing a constitutional challenge to the validity of the Federal Government's controversial school chaplaincy program.

Homeless link to mental illness

Blair Richards - The Mercury

Homelessness can be the result of, and cause of, mental illness, new Tasmanian research shows. The latest report from Anglicare's Social Action and Research Centre says that while several steps can be taken to address both homelessness and associated mental health issues, there can be no solution to the issue without more affordable housing being built.

Human Rights
Top human rights advice about Malaysia ignored by federal government

Alison Rehn and Paige Taylor - The Daily Telegraph

Just four days before the federal government announced its people-swap deal with Malaysia, it was warned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the country's questionable human rights record. DFAT's advice - which highlighted that Malaysia retained the death penalty and caning as forms of punishment - was contained in documents submitted to the High Court by the government's legal team.

MP's baby a Penny for Labor thoughts

Letitia Rowlands - The Daily Telegraph

Same-sex marriage will be a hot topic at the Australian Labor Party's national conference in December. And another dimension was added to the debate yesterday when one of the government's most vocal proponents of gay marriage revealed she and her partner, Sophie Allouache, were expecting a child. Finance Minister Penny Wong said their baby would eventually be told of her sperm donor's biological father.

Religious Persecution
Muslims attack Christian village in Egypt -- 1 murdered, homes looted and torched

Assyrian International News Agency

Muslims attacked Christians in the village of Nazlet Faragallah, in the southern Egyptian Minya province, on Sunday evening. The attack continued until the early hours of Monday morning, August 8. One Copt was murdered and homes were looted and torched when Muslims from Nazlet Faragallah together with Muslims from four neighboring villages started their violence at approximately 8 PM, after breaking their Ramadan fast.

Jesuit priest Frank Brennan argues Malaysia Solution worse option than Howard's Pacific Solution

Paul Maley - The Australian

Prominent Catholic intellectual and lawyer Frank Brennan has savaged the Gillard government's Malaysia Solution. Father Brennan, an avowed critic of the Howard government's Pacific Solution, said the Coalition's alternative policy of processing asylum-seekers on Nauru is the more moral option. He said the Malaysia deal appeared to have been driven by a desire to hatch a policy "more ruthless" than Nauru.