Press Roundup Monday 28 September 2009

By Press Office
September 28, 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

Exclude God at your peril, Pope warns Czech Republic’s non-believers
An estimated 120,000 church followers waited yesterday for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI at an airfield in the southern Czech city of Brno, the centre of the country’s Roman Catholic heartland.

Stop the Exodus: Anglicans issue rallying cry
An extra half a million people are expected to help fill the pews in churches across Britain today. Regular worshippers are being asked to help swell congregations by bringing friends or the lapsed faithful back into the fold as part of the Church of England's Back to Church initiative.

She was a simple French girl who died a century ago. So why are thousands across Britain queuing for a glimpse of Little Flower?
With 28 venues in a single month, it's a punishing schedule. This week, her fans will be queueing round the block in Newcastle and Leeds before she starts heading south - via a prison - to take central London by storm in mid-October.

Atheists examine Christmas from angel-free angle
It is a book about Christmas but there's not a manger, virgin birth or angel in sight.

Guru sets out to heal the world with yoga on Scottish island
A tiny, treeless island in the Firth of Clyde has become an unlikely place of pilgrimage , as hundreds of people flocked to see a controversial yoga master who says he wants to heal the planet's population of illness.

Comment: Wishy-washy pleas will not get us back into church
Weekly church attendance figures have now dropped to below one million, but trendy soundbites are not the solution, says Gill Hornby.

Comment: Faith is not an accessory - it's an alternative
The comfort of Christianity is not on special offer at a supermarket near you, says George Pitcher.

Comment: A post-secular age
Part of a sermon preached at St Paul's Cathedral at the installation of Giles Fraser as a canon there last week.

Comment: Human rights before religion
Have we forgotten to protect women in our bid to accommodate practices carried out in the name of Islam?

Comment: Anticipating the antichrist
Claims that the end of days is near have never been far from the evangelical surface.

Comment: Baroness Scotland shouldn't apologise
The Catholic church teaches that we must be hospitable to immigrants. Baroness Scotland did nothing wrong.

Economy & Politics

Jack Straw to take part in BBC debate with BNP leader Nick Griffin
Jack Straw's decision to share a platform with the BNP caused division in Labour's ranks last night.

Excessive bonuses to be banned in war on greed
Alistair Darling will today announce a drive against the "reckless culture" that brought the banks to their knees – starting with a crackdown on annual City bonuses.

Nick Griffin appeals for donations as BNP ‘fights for its existence’
Nick Griffin has warned that the BNP is on the verge of collapse and has written to every party activist appealing for money, The Times has learnt.

SNP denies Labour call for constitutional debate
Alex Salmond last night turned down a challenge from Iain Gray, the Scottish Labour leader at Holyrood, to stage a head-to-head St Andrew’s Day debate on Scotland’s constitutional future.

Peace & War

Defiant Iran responds to West with missiles as sanctions loom
Iran's Revolutionary Guards plan to test-fire today a long-range missile capable of hitting Israel, Egypt and Turkey, as well as US bases in the Gulf.

US threatens to escalate operations inside Pakistan
The US has told Pakistan that it may start launching drone attacks against the Taliban leadership in the city of Quetta in a major escalation of its operations in the country.

China 'may support' UN sanctions against Iran
China may vote in favour of United Nations sanctions against Iran in response to Tehran's growing nuclear threat, Chinese experts predicted.

Comment: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Don't Israel's nuclear weapons count?
Netanyahu has what he wants to keep up the idea of his plucky, vulnerable little state.

Ecology & Environment

Canadians show stomach to fight Europe's seal ban by putting mammal on the menu
Seal meat has been put on to the menu in some of Canada's top restaurants as part of a patriotic backlash against a European Union ban.

Met Office warns of catastrophic global warming in our lifetimes
Unchecked global warming could bring a severe temperature rise of 4C within many people's lifetimes, according to a new report for the British government that significantly raises the stakes over climate change.

Education & Culture

Sack 40,000 teaching assistants says government report
Forty thousand teaching assistants should be sacked to cut down on waste in the schools budget, an internal Government report suggested.

Tories plan biggest shake-up of school lessons for 20 years
The Conservatives are planning the biggest overhaul of the National Curriculum since it was introduced by them more than 20 years ago, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Life & Death

Three sentenced to hang for murder of an African 'ghost'
Three men have been found guilty by a court in Tanzania for murdering an albino boy, in a ruling that campaigners hope will help protect the minority group from being slaughtered for their body parts.

Comment: Will Keir Starmer still think like this when he's old and gaga?

People & Power

Clash at Jerusalem holy site injures 22
Israeli police fired stun grenades today to disperse some 150 Palestinians who hurled stones at Jews visiting a sensitive religious site in the Old City before the start of the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

Grace Mugabe, her 'stolen' farm and how she supplies Zimbawean milk to Nestle food giant
Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace, who has taken over at least six of Zimbabwe's most valuable white-owned farms since 2002, sells up to a million litres of milk a year to Nestlé, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

Community & Family

Embryo error mum gives baby back to biological parents
The biological parents of a baby boy born to an American woman who was implanted with the wrong embryo by a fertility clinic have expressed their "eternal gratitude" to her, not just for continuing with the pregnancy, but also for handing the child back to them.

Crime & Justice

Barack Obama's Guantanamo deadline unlikely to be met, Gates concedes
President Barack Obama will almost certainly not to meet his deadline of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office, the White House admitted on Sunday.

Globalisation & Development

Tropical storm devastates the Philippines, killing at least 80 people and forcing 250,000 to flee their homes
A tropical storm has torn through the northern Philippines, causing the region's worst flooding in more than four decades and leaving 106 people dead or missing.

Race & Identity

Israeli vigilantes target young Arab-Jewish couples
It’s past 10pm, but work has just begun for the group of vigilantes in a small white hatchback patrolling the streets of Pisgat Ze’ev — a Jewish settlement on the outskirts of east Jerusalem.

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