Press Roundup Tuesday 4 August 2009

By Press Office
August 4, 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

US Episcopal Church nominates gay and lesbian bishops
Leaders of the US Episcopal Church in America have risked deepening tensions in the Anglican Communion after nominating homosexual and lesbian priests as bishops.

Controversial bishop attacks Roman Catholic archbishop over Facebook
A controversial bishop has denounced the head of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales for portraying Facebook as a suicide risk.

Car boot wood 'could be Crusades tabernacle'
An antique dealer believes that an ornate piece of wood he picked up at a car boot sale may be a 1,300-year-old artefact from the Crusades.

Pope Benedict condemns 'senseless attack' of Christians burnt alive by Muslims in Pakistan
Pope Benedict XVI has condemned the 'senseless attack' in Pakistan in which seven Christians were burned alive.

Comment: Social media, God and suicide
Was the Archbishop of Westminster right to suggest that social media can cause suicide?

Comment: Churchgoers don't care
The institutional church has nothing of interest to offer its members that isn't already provided by secular organisations.

Comment: Quakers make the right decision
It's not only the Quaker decision to recognise same-sex marriages that deserves praise, but also the way it was arrived at.

Race & Identity

New migrants face points test for citizenship in Britain
It has been a long journey since David Blunkett set out to get a grip on immigration policy and insisted that would-be citizens knew something of the language and customs.

Anti-war migrants could damage citizenship hopes
Immigrants who take part in anti-war demonstrations or fail to integrate into the British way of life will damage their chances of getting citizenship under government proposals published yesterday.

PC PCs? Officers in burkhas dismissed as gimmick
Three women police officers spent a day in full Muslim dress as part of a scheme to improve community understanding.

Calais people smugglers 'more likely to be British'
People smugglers trying to sneak illegal immigrants into the UK from Calais are increasingly likely to be British, figures have revealed.

Crime & Justice

MPs and peers call for inquiry into torture
Democratic accountability of the security and intelligence agencies is "woefully deficient" and an independent inquiry must be set up to investigate numerous and detailed allegations of their complicity in torture, a cross-party group of senior MPs and peers will say today.

Guantánamo Bay inmates may be moved to single US mainland complex
President Obama’s pledge to shut Guantánamo Bay appeared beset by confusion last night with the emergence of conflicting plans over how to close the prison.

Comment: West must stay alert to rights abuse
Torture in Iraqi prisons was widespread during Saddam Hussein’s time but Britain and the United States hoped to change all that by installing a new, democratic government that would respect the rule of law and human rights.

Life & Death

Government may allow Commons time to hear assisted dying bill
The government is to consider giving time for a bill to allow assisted dying if the director of public prosecutions fails to come up with clearer advice on when it is legal or illegal to help someone to die.

Comment: It's an unholy mess – people must be allowed to die as they wish
The Director of Public Prosecutions needs to be bold and brave as he writes the rules on assisted suicide, argues Mary Riddell.
Peace & War

Tribal violence kills at least 160 in Sudan
More than 160 people, mostly women and children, were killed when heavily armed south-Sudan tribal fighters launched a dawn raid on a rival group.

People & Power

Harriet Harman: 'If only it had been Lehman Sisters'
Harriet Harman yesterday laid the blame for the financial crisis on the male domination of the top jobs in banks. The deputy Labour leader suggested that the presence of more women in the boardrooms of financial institutions could have eased the impact of the meltdown.

Economy & Politics

Large pay rise for parliamentary officials who ran MPs' expenses
The officials who run the parliamentary expenses system were awarded a rise in pay and perks of up to £25,000 last year.

Education & Culture

Jewish school wins right to appeal against ruling its entry policy was racist
Europe's largest Jewish school succeeded today in winning leave to appeal against a court judgment that said its entry policy was racist.

Globalisation & Development

BBC forces George Alagiah to quit role as Fairtrade charity patron
The BBC is facing a barrage of criticism after forcing one of its most senior newsreaders to step down as patron of a charity that supports farmers in the developing world.

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