Press Roundup Thursday 27 August 2009

By Press Office
August 27, 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

Muslim man claims he was kidnapped and threatened at knifepoint over prayer sessions
Racist attackers abducted a Muslim community leader at knifepoint, bundled him into a car and threatened his life unless he stopped running prayer sessions in a community hall that has been the target of a British National party campaign.

Vatican paper criticises Ted Kennedy's abortion stance
The Vatican on Wednesday paid homage to Senator Edward Kennedy but criticised his championing of abortion rights.

French Muslims surprised by first TV advert for halal food
The power of the Islamic purse has broken new ground in France with the country's first primetime TV advertisement for halal food.

Comment: Don't be outraged for Muslim women
Western feminists should not assume everyone's struggle mirrors their own – their obsession with the burqa has a patronising whiff.

Economy & Politics

BNP faces prosecution over donations record failure
The BNP has not declared a single donation, despite claiming at the time of the European elections to have a vast war chest.

Nick Clegg fears expenses reform is being swept under carpet
Nick Clegg today launches an attack on the Labour and Tory leaderships for trying to “sweep under the carpet” the need for change in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

Jack Straw plans to get more women sitting in the House of Lords
More women should be sitting in the House of Lords, Jack Straw has said.

Comment: A reformed House of Lords? Not yet
At a Guardian/Unlock Democracy seminar, Jack Straw made it clear that upper house reform will stay unfinished business.

Comment: Labour must not play politics with House of Lords reform
A mostly elected Upper House should attract cross-party agreement.

Comment: Straw's House needs reform, not the Lords
Telegraph View: Downsizing the Commons is a move long overdue.

Crime & Justice

Mohammed Jawad: 'I was 12 when I was arrested and sent to Guantanamo'
Sitting cross-legged on the cushioned floor of a family friend’s house, Mohammed Jawad furrowed his brow and fidgeted nervously as he struggled to explain his extraordinary ordeal over the past seven years.

Ecology & Environment

Synthetic trees and algae can counter climate change, say engineers
Giant fly-swat shaped “synthetic trees” line the road into the office, where blooms of algae grow in tubes up the walls and the roof reflects heat back into the sky — all reducing the effects of global warming.

Education & Culture

Primary school results: boys falling further behind girls
Boys are falling further behind girls after just two years of school, despite millions spent attempting to narrow the gender gap.

Globalisation & Development

Water shortage threatens two million people in southern Iraq
A water shortage described as the most critical since the earliest days of Iraq's civilisation is threatening to leave up to 2 million people in the south of the country without electricity and almost as many without drinking water.

Peace & War

Four British soldiers die for sake of 150 votes
Just 150 Afghan voters dared to go to the ballot box in the area of Helmand province where British soldiers sacrificed their lives to secure a safe election day, it was revealed yesterday.

People & Power

Obama plans to bring Palestinians and Israelis face to face at UN
President Obama plans to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for a face-to-face meeting at the United Nations General Assembly next month in a bid to revive long-stalled peace talks.

Race & Identity

Aborigines ask UN for refugee status
A group of Australian Aborigines has asked the United Nations to register them as refugees, claiming emergency laws brought in to curb alcoholism and sexual abuse have made them outcasts in their own land.

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