Press Roundup Monday 3 August 2009

By Press Office
August 3, 2009

A selection of stories from today's press and other media that relate to Ekklesia's work, produced daily by James Vincent and covering papers such as The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian.

Religion & Society

Church under pressure over revelations that Vedanta supplies nuclear programme
The Church of England will come under more pressure to give up its stake in a controversial mining group after it emerged that the firm supplies materials to India's nuclear missile programme.

EU equality law is an 'instrument of oppression', Roman Catholic bishops warn
A proposed European Union equality law has been branded an "instrument of oppression" by Britain's Roman Catholic leaders.

Eight Christians burnt to death in Pakistan after Koran is ‘defiled’
Paramilitary troops patrolled the streets of a town in eastern Pakistan yesterday after Muslim radicals burnt to death eight members of a Christian family, raising fears of violence spreading to other areas.

Archbishop of Westminster: 'My every word is picked over'
Vincent Nichols, recently ordained as Archbishop of Westminster, is not afraid to speak out about the erosion of family life - or Liverpool's chances next season.

Parents 'murdered daughter by prayer'
An American couple face 25 years in prison for killing their ill daughter by praying for the 11-year-old girls' recovery instead of calling a doctor.

Benedict XVI's album is Christmas contender for Top of the Popes
He is a debut artist with an established global following, a strong sense of style and a unique selling point that could make him a contender for the Christmas Number One album: he is the Pope.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols voices fears over social networking sites
Social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace encourage teenagers to build "transient relationships" that can leave them traumatised and even suicidal when they collapse, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales warned today.

Italy backs abortion pill as Catholic Church threatens to ex-communicate doctors who prescribe it
The abortion pill has been authorised for use in Italy, despite threats from the Roman Catholic church to excommunicate doctors who prescribe it and patients who take it.

Comment: Who cares about the Anglican schism?
Dr Rowan Williams's characteristically long and ruminative piece on the Anglican schism, or, as he would have it, the futures of Anglicanism, leaves one quite obvious question unanswered: what difference will any of this make?

Comment: Bruce Anderson: The great ethical questions that society chooses to ignore
The level of moral debate in modern Britain is pathetically, contemptibly low.

Peace & War

Tell us why we're in Afghanistan, MPs say
There is a “serious risk” of the Government losing public support for the mission in Afghanistan unless it better explains why British soldiers are fighting and dying there, the chairman of an influential panel of MPs said last night.

Iran is ready to build an N-bomb - it is just waiting for the Ayatollah's order
Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb, Western intelligence sources have told The Times.

Israeli settlers 'are wrecking peace process'
Britain has accused Israel of allowing extremist Jewish settlers to disrupt attempts at relaunching the peace process after police evicted more than 50 Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem.

Economy & Politics

Home Office: 'Support our wars or you'll be denied a UK passport'
Immigrants who take part in protests against British troops could be denied citizenship of this country under controversial new Home Office rules.

Comment: Leading article: Human rights and nuclear arms
Reports by two defectors from Burma that the secretive military regime is collaborating with North Korea to build nuclear weapons should send a shudder down everyone's spines. These are, admittedly, only reports. Moreover, even if the defectors' claims prove accurate, Burma is still a long way behind North Korea, Libya or even Iran when it comes to acquiring this technology. The target date appears to be 2014.

Ecology & Environment

Asian giants put the West’s targets for solar energy in the shade
For years India and China have been cast in the West as the biggest obstacles to international agreement on how to tackle climate change. Now the two emerging economic giants of Asia have challenged the West to match their bold plans to develop solar power.

India looks to the sun for ambitious surge in green power
For centuries Hindus have revered the sun god, Surya, as a source of health and prosperity, building lavish temples and holding festivals in his honour across a country with more than 300 days of sunshine a year.

Race & Identity

At last, a history test if you want to be British: Migrants must prove they have studied UK traditions to gain citizenship
Immigrants will finally be made to take a British history test under plans to slash the number of passports handed out to foreigners each year.

Far right launch campaign of violence and intimidation against opponents
Aryan Martyrs' Brigade issues death threat against anti-fascism activist Weyman Bennett, while student attacked after BNP protest.

Community & Family

Traditions endure on islands facing winds of change and lack of work
Being a crofter with a strong sense of tradition, Donald Macsween always calls his pigs in Gaelic at feeding time. “Trobhad! Trobhad!” he says, not that his two sows need much encouragement when they see him stepping into their paddock with a bucket of feed.

Sex & Gender

Gunman's 'attack on Israeli gay community'
A gunman killed two people and wounded at least 12 in an attack on a gay youth centre in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv last night. Police said the attack appeared to be criminal rather than terrorist. Witnesses said the gunman, dressed in black, fired indiscriminately after entering the Cafe Noir, in the centre of the city.

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