Press Roundup Friday 23 October 2009

By Press Office
October 23, 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

Council scraps Christian prayer tradition as it might offend other faiths
A council has scrapped its 115-year-old tradition of saying Christian prayers before meetings after one compliant that it may offend other faiths.

There’s no God say 96% in web poll 'sting'
A Christian advertising campaign has proved an Almighty failure after its own survey declared: "God doesn't exist."

Comment:My Church is not a safe haven for bigots
The road to truth should draw people to Catholicism, not its problematic moral cul-de-sacs.

Comment: How Catholics must fight back
The Catholic church has been a force for good, and one of the foundations of our civilisation. We need to fight our corner in debate.

Comment: St Peter and the miserable worms
Perhaps the Anglican communion has been broken for very much longer than anyone will admit.

Comment: It is a long way from Canterbury to Rome
The Church of Rome’s recent gambit does nothing for the patient work conducted on all sides towards Christian unity.

Comment: God and despair
Once you confront the reality of despair, the need for faith becomes evident.

Comment: Stand tall against the extremists
Al-Muhajiroun, a few noisy extreme Muslims, are back. Join us on 31 October to oppose them, and their anti-Muslim enemies.

Economy & Politics

History shows that BNP will follow Mosley’s Fascists down the drain
Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time may mark the beginning of a new surge in popularity for the far Right. Or it may represent the high-water mark for the BNP, the moment when the party was seen for what it is, and crashed in flames.

Former lord chief justice calls for abolition of House of Lords
Jack Straw, the justice secretary, is backing moves to try to table full democratic reform of the Lords before the general election, as the former lord chief justice Lord Bingham called last night for the house to be replaced by an appointed chamber responsible for reviewing, but not revising, legislation.

MPs’ three-week Xmas break sparks outrage
MPs faced fury last night after it was announced they will have three weeks' holiday this Christmas.

MPs dodge tax gain probe
Rattled MPs have blocked moves to force them to pay back thousands of pounds made by the dodgy flipping of second homes.

Comment: The BBC gave Griffin the oxygen of publicity. He choked
Tom Sutcliffe on Nick Griffin’s Question Time appearance.

Comment: Upholding the Human Rights Act
Tory outrage over Keir Starmer's support for the HRA is distasteful – it is our best means of protecting vulnerable people.

Comment: The law needs to recognise that rights do not exist without responsibilities
The Human Rights Act promotes the privileges of special interest groups, rather than a rational view of rights.

Crime & Justice

Machine-gun police set to patrol Brit streets
Cops armed with machine-guns are to patrol the streets on foot in a revolutionary move for British policing.

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic threatens boycott of genocide trial
Radovan Karadzic sought to disrupt his trial for genocide and war crimes by boycotting the start of the hearing into the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.

Prisoner's High Court battle for the right to vote
A prisoner has launched a High Court battle for the right to vote in parliamentary and EU elections.

Comment: ‘There is no other realistic choice but to deploy armed police’
The decision by the Metropolitan Police to place armed patrols in gun crime troublespots will not have been taken lightly.

Peace & War

Sworn enemies across the disarmament table
Bitter enemies Iran and Israel, whose normal discourse is that of threat and counter-threat, engaged in a rare face-to-face exchange of views at a nuclear disarmament conference in Cairo, Israeli media reported yesterday.

US-Israel war games start as deadline for Iran to approve nuke deal draws near
The US and Israel launched a major joint military exercise yesterday as a deadline neared for Iran to approve a deal to delay its development of nuclear weapons and prevent Israel from attacking its nuclear facilities.

Caught in the crossfire of war against the Taliban
Pakistan's military offensive has driven thousands of refugees to the frontier town of Dera Ismail Khan. Omar Waraich witnesses their plight.

Republican dissidents in bomb attack on TA base
Irish republican dissidents yesterday emphasised their continuing threat to peace in Northern Ireland with a bomb attack on a military base in north Belfast.

Race & Identity

Immigration judges: 'Afghanistan is not in a state of war'
Hundreds of Afghans living in Britain face being deported after immigration judges ruled that their home country's bloody conflict did not make the region an unsafe place to return failed asylum-seekers.

Comment: Griffin is trying to peddle hatred against Muslims
This was not a normal Question Time. When the BBC has someone with views as odious as Nick Griffin's on the panel, it is difficult to have a mainstream debate about what most people would think to be the pressing issues in Britain.

Comment: A flawed philosophy that bolsters the BNP
The chatter of the chattering classes fades to a whisper whenever cultural difference comes up. That’s why extremists flourish.

Comment: Can the BNP define 'British'?
Which is more British, reggae or Morris dancing? Native culture evangelist Nick Griffin might not find this so easy to answer.

Ecology & Environment

Foreign Secretary David Miliband accuses public of climate change apathy
The Foreign Secretary accused the public yesterday of lacking a sense of urgency in the face of the potentially devastating consequences of climate change.

Americans go cool on global warming
The number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence that the Earth is warming because of pollution is at its lowest point in three years, according to a survey.

Oil spill in Timor Sea is causing 'massive marine disaster'
A major marine disaster is unfolding in the Timor Sea, where millions of litres of oil are pouring into the ocean from an oil well that ruptured over two months ago, warn environmental experts.

Sex & Gender

Trafalgar Square death raises homophobia fears
Metropolitan police figures show 20% rise in recorded incidents of crime against gay people in capital.

Swedish church agrees to conduct gay weddings
Sweden's Lutheran Church agreed yesterday to conduct gay weddings, becoming the first major church to do so.

Same-sex marriage to be law in NY
New York Governor David Paterson said he expects to sign a same-sex marriage bill into law in the coming weeks.

Globalisation & Development

Ethiopia begs for aid as starvation threatens 23 million east African drought victims
A five year drought across east Africa has pushed 23 million people to the brink of starvation.

Face of 1984 Ethiopia famine says food aid does not help
Television pictures of three-year-old Ethiopian Birhan Woldu's emaciated face became the iconic image which moved the world to one of its greatest ever acts of charity.

Life & Death

£120k to save young on death row in Iran
An Iranian lawyer has made a desperate appeal for four juvenile offenders on death row, asking for donations towards the £120,000 in blood money that could save their lives.

Chinese gangsters get death penalty in Chongqing trials
China has sentenced six gangsters to death for murder, machete attacks and price fixing amid growing fears over the expanding power of crime syndicates.

Education & Culture

Comment: Equality, not education, is the key to individual transformation
Political parties fail to understand or address the root causes of the country's failing education system.

People & Power

BBC gives John Witherspoon the credit for bringing freedom to masses
If history is shaped less by the famous and more by the quiet people behind them, then it can be claimed that a modest clergyman from Paisley defined the coda of the modern world.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.