Press Roundup Wednesday 4 November 2009

By Press Office
November 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

Euro court bans crucifixes in classrooms
Displaying a crucifix in a classroom violates religious and education freedoms, according to a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Vatican's fury as court bans crucifixes in Italian classrooms because they 'breach religious rights of children'
Crucifixes have been banned in Italian schools by a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights.

Church of England squandered clergy pensions in 'reckless' stock market gamble
The Church of England was accused today of squandering its clergy pensions through reckless betting on the stock market.

Diarmaid MacCulloch on his new series A History of Christianity
Diarmaid MacCulloch presents a history of Christianity but, says Damian Thompson, its outlook is too politically correct.

Divine help is in commuters' pockets
Commuters are to get a little divine help on their stressful journeys thanks to a new book of prayers written by a retired bishop.

Comment: A good day for democracy
Supporters of Islam4UK called off their demonstration, but on Saturday we went ahead, marching to defend secular values.

Comment: Why God needs chance
The reality of chance isn't a robust argument for atheism. It might even be necessary for God's existence.

Ecology & Environment

Binding treaty no longer a realistic goal for climate summit, UN chief concedes
A legally binding agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions is no longer a realistic goal for next month’s Copenhagen summit, the UN Secretary-General says.

Now judge puts green beliefs of a worker on a par with Christianity
Green beliefs are as worthy of protection in the workplace as religious ones, a judge ruled yesterday in a landmark case.

Insurance will 'soar' over global warming
Householders face big rises in home insurance premiums as climate change increases the risk of flooding and storms, an expert report warned yesterday.

Rent clothes to cut carbon emissions, says green watchdog
Large wardrobes of seldom-used clothes are no longer environmentally acceptable and people should instead rent outfits and accessories, according to the Government’s waste watchdog.

Comment: Copenhagen is an opportunity for ethics to trump economics
Avoiding action on climate change because it might be too expensive is on a moral par with harming other people for money.

Peace & War

Howells calls for Afghan withdrawal
A former Foreign Office minister has dramatically broke with Government policy on Afghanistan by calling for the phased withdrawal of the bulk of Britain's military force from the country.

Settlement by stealth belies promises of restraint
Hillary Clinton has praised Israel for its policy on settlers but, the displacements go on.

Israel: Hamas rockets can now reach Tel Aviv
Hamas has successfully tested a rocket with sufficient range to strike Tel Aviv for the first time, Israel has claimed.

Britain accused of 'genocide denial' over Armenia
Britain was accused of "genocide denial" today after the disclosure of Foreign Office documents revealing the government's refusal to recognise the so-called Armenian massacre of 1915, in which up to a million people died.

Comment: Why should I be pressured into wearing a poppy?
The plan must be to honour the dead of past wars by starting new ones.

Race & Identity

An amnesty for illegals 'would cost UK £130bn’
An amnesty allowing illegal immigrants to stay in Britain could cost taxpayers a staggering £130billion, a report claimed last night.

Griffin tells of driver’s ‘threat’
An Asian driver threatened to shoot BNP chief Nick Griffin during a demo, a court heard yesterday.

UK keeps partial block on EU immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria
Immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria will be denied open door access to Britain for at least another two years, the Government said yesterday.

Landscape of neglect is fertile breeding ground for far right extremism
Fact and fiction blur as Heartland novelist Anthony Cartwright take Chris Arnot on a tour through estates of despair.

BBC in new racism row
The BBC has become embroiled in a new race row after an Have I Got News For You presenter described the Queen and her husband as "that Greek twit and his Kraut wife".

Sex & Gender

City grandee rejects Harman's demand to review 'nightmare' of men-only boardrooms
Equality minister Harriet Harman’s hopes of ending the ‘nightmare’ of male-only boardrooms suffered a blow yesterday.

Comment: Violence against gay people can – and must – be stopped
The answer lies in changing the culture of two institutions - schools and the police.

Comment: Putting gay marriage to the test
Voters in Maine have an opportunity today to legalise same-sex marriage and advance the cause of gay rights in America.

Globalisation & Development

Pakistani war zone is aid nightmare
Civilians are pouring out of Pakistan's war zone, fleeing battles between soldiers and the Taliban, but the fate of those left behind is uncertain.

Zimbabwe to escape censure over abuses in diamond mines
Zimbabwe looks set to escape any punishment over its trade in blood diamonds after a ruthless lobbying campaign by the Mugabe regime that has included threats and intimidation of a key witness at an international summit in neighbouring Namibia.

Life & Death

Elderly couple found dead after writing suicide letter criticising assisted dying laws
An elderly couple, Dennis and Flora Milner, have been found dead after sending a letter to the BBC saying their "basic human right" to legally end their lives had been denied by Britain's assisted dying laws.

Saudi murderer to be beheaded and crucified for rape
A Saudi court has ratified the beheading and crucifixion of a young man who raped five children, among them a three-year-old boy left to die in the desert, it has been reported.

Crime & Justice

Charity says 9% of disabled people have been victims of hate crime
Leonard Cheshire Disability included question on disability-related crime after high-profile incidents in which disabled people had been targeted.

Economy & Politics

Nick Clegg: only 'Alice in Wonderland' Westminster would delay reform of 'rotten' Parliament
Attempts to reform the system of MPs expenses have been a complete disaster.

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