Press Roundup Thursday 24 September 2009

By Press Office
September 24, 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

Pope Benedict XVI to make first ever official papal visit to Britain
Pope Benedict XVI will come to Britain next year, making the first state visit by a pontiff. He is expected to meet the Queen, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and may stay at Buckingham Palace.

Archbishop of Canterbury 'delighted' at Pope Benedict XVI visit to Britain
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said he is "delighted" that Pope Benedict XVI is to make an official visit to Britain next year.

Catholic Church urges whistleblowers to report sex abuse priests
The Roman Catholic Church is urging whistleblowers to speak out against bishops, clergy, monks and nuns who they suspect might be guilty of sexual or other abuse.

Panel to investigate Catholic Church abuse allegations
A new independent panel to investigate cases of alleged abuse where the police have taken no action has been unveiled by the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Comment: The right to offend
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion," says the Human Rights Act. This freedom includes "the right to manifest his (or her) religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance."

Comment: What kind of healthcare would Jesus want?
Healthcare reform has re-energised the religious right, with abortion, as ever, central to its concerns.

Commment: We must engage with nonviolent Islamists
Political reform in the Middle East requires dialogue with Islamic parties, so why does the Foreign Office knock such efforts?

Comment: Assisted Suicide: There must be no slippery slope
A truly caring society would not devalue or pressurise its most vulnerable and frailest members, says Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.

People & Power

Shirin Ebadi continues to challenge Iranian authorities
Shirin Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, has been a thorn in the Iranian regime’s side for most of its 30-year existence.

BNP politician Richard Barnbrook faces ban after 'making up' murders
The BNP’s representative on the London Assembly is facing a six-month ban after he fabricated murder stories to increase fear of knife crime.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's renewed attack on Israel hastens walkout
The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, faced a series of walkouts at the United Nations general assembly last night after launching a renewed attack on Israel, which he accused of genocide, barbarism and racism.

Gordon Brown considers cut in nuclear warheads as part of 'global bargain'
The government is considering cutting the number of warheads in its nuclear arsenal, a much more significant move than the plan to reduce the number of new Trident submarines, officials said today.

Comment: The nuclear tipping point
Barack Obama's UN security council summit on nuclear issues is a critical moment in the effort to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Comment: Rupert Cornwell: Has America reached the turning point in Afghanistan?
Barack Obama has committed America to the long haul in Afghanistan – but heavy losses and mounting dissent are forcing him to consider turning the strategy on its head.

Ecology & Environment

Trafigura's £30m payout approved after 'slops' dumped in Ivory Coast
The £30 million settlement of the class action by thousands of Africans against the oil company Trafigura was formally approved in the High Court yesterday.

Oil exploration may hamper blue whale breeding
The ability of endangered blue whales to gather and breed may be being put at risk by equipment used to search for oil and gas lauded for its low environmental impact.

Comment: From Kyoto to Copenhagen
Beating climate change needs a global deal with social justice at its heart. And it needs us to act locally – and defeat the nimbys.

Economy & Politics

Lord Myners wants City to name (and shame) its top earners
The identities of thousands of high earners should be revealed by top companies, a government minister said today in a fresh assault on City bonuses on the eve of the G20 summit of leaders.

UK's 'flying diplomats' aim to tackle terror threat at home
The Foreign Office is flying in senior UK diplomats to talk to British Muslims who live in "terror hotspots" as part of its efforts to prevent domestic and international extremism.

Life & Death

Assisted suicide: DPP unlikely to prosecute relatives who help
The Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday made it possible for relatives to help loved ones to die without fear of prosecution, leading to accusations that he had usurped Parliament.

Comment: The dying are not so easily categorised
The DPP’s ruling on assisted suicide ignores the complex emotions between the sick and their carers.

Peace & War

Russia says it will join sanctions against Iran
President Obama’s biggest foreign policy gamble appeared to pay off last night as Russia opened the door to punishing new sanctions on Iran to halt its nuclear programme.

Britain is appeasing Iran, Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi says
The only Iranian to win the Nobel Peace Prize accused Britain of ignoring the regime’s savage suppression of opposition in order to safeguard talks on its nuclear programme.

Crime & Justice

Budget airline pilot, Julio Alberto Poch, arrested over 1,000 deaths in Dirty War
Argentina took another step towards confronting one of the darkest chapters in its history yesterday with the arrest of a pilot alleged to have played a direct role in “death flights” during the so-called Dirty War.

Globalisation & Development

Comment: Keep maternal mortality on the agenda
UN attention and financial pledges are welcome, but in Africa the roots of the problem are deep and depressing.

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