Press Roundup Thursday 5 November 2009

By Press Office
November 5, 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.

Economy & Politics

Shamed MPs in pay rise demand
Brazen MPs started lobbying for huge pay rises yesterday - just hours after a watchdog unveiled plans to clean up their expenses.

Profit is not satanic, says Barclays boss
In an extraordinary address, Barclays chief executive John Varley said banks are the ‘backbone’ of the economy and paying out bonuses is compatible with Christianity.

Comment: A Parliament of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich
Kelly means we’ll never have MPs like John Smith or Ken Clarke again.

Comment: Kelly fluffed it on expenses. But we must back him
Parliament should approve the expenses report immediately – despite all its intellectual flaws.

Comment: I am mystified by Kelly's expenses review
Sir Christopher Kelly's expenses report fails to understand the nature of an MP's job.

Comment: Would Britain really be any worse off if the Commons was blown up tomorrow?
It is hard to resist the thought that what we need today is a modern Guy Fawkes to put a metaphorical bomb underneath Westminster, to blow the political system sky-high and to allow us to start again.

Religion & Society

Christian protests over ‘transsexual Jesus’ play
Three hundred protesters have held a candlelit protest outside a Glasgow theatre over the staging of a play which portrays Jesus as a transsexual.

Pope invites Tony Blair to Vatican summit to discuss Church's fears that politics is losing its religion
Catholic convert Tony Blair is among several world leaders being invited to attend a top level summit with Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the role of the Church in politics.

Fern Britton interviews Tony Blair and Dolly Parton in BBC’s flagship Christmas religious series
Fern Britton is to present the BBC’s flagship religious programme this Christmas.

Comment: Damn this false God! How in the name of sanity can being green be a religion?
Have you ever noticed how closely green zealotry resembles religious fanaticism? Well, now the law has, in effect, recognised environmentalism as a religion.

Comment: Italians reject crucifix ruling
The Italian public has united against the European court in its ruling against crucifixes in classrooms.

Comment: Global warming debate is too hot to handle
Turning a point of view into an article of faith does nobody any favours, says Ceri Radford.

Peace & War

As British soldiers are murdered by Taliban 'police' assassin, relatives and MPs tell Brown: 'Enough is enough'
Gordon Brown was under mounting pressure last night to withdraw British troops from Afghanistan after five of them were slaughtered by a rogue policeman.

Lord Ashdown warns that Britain is 'quite close' to failure in Afghanistan
Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader and former UN high representative for Bosnia, has warned that Britain is "quite close" to failure in Afghanistan.

Israel seizes cache of arms ‘bound for Lebanon’
The Israeli navy yesterday seized a ship carrying what defence officials said was five hundred tons of Iranian-supplied weapons bound for Hizbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, including Katyusha rockets that could be used in the event of renewed Israel-Hizbollah hostilities.

New war in Sudan's Nuba mountains?
Air raids may no longer target the highlands of central Sudan, but heads still turn sharply to scan the skies at the sound of an aeroplane engine overhead.

Yemen civil war spills over border as Saudi official is killed in attack
Yemen’s civil war spilled into neighbouring Saudi Arabia for the first time yesterday when Shia gunmen shot dead a Saudi security officer in a cross-border attack.

Ecology & Environment

Climate change ministry signs up to campaign
The Department of Energy and Climate Change, responsible for promoting energy efficiency, is to sign up tomorrow to the 10:10 campaign to cut carbon emissions.

US scales down hopes of global climate change treaty in Copenhagen
The US has given up hope of reaching a global climate change treaty at Copenhagen and is working towards a deal late next year, the Obama administration said today. The decision ends hopes of a legally binding deal being sealed next month.

Warning over carbon 'double whammy'
Environmental campaigners have claimed the Government' "obsession" with carbon trading as a solution to climate change is "irresponsible and dangerous" and could trigger a sub-prime style financial collapse.

Comment: Climate change, justice and faith
The effects of climate change will fall hardest on the developing world. Our sense of justice demands we act now.

Race & Identity

Saved from the death squads: Darfuris given asylum in UK
Hundreds of Darfuris fleeing persecution in Sudan will be given protection in Britain after a government U-turn on its handling of asylum claims brought by refugees from the troubled African state.

Griffin's 'race abuser' cleared
An Asian man was cleared today of racially abusing BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Comment: Far right embraces fatwas
The English Defence League claims to protest against threats and intimidation – yet one of its organisers has issued a fatwa.

Sex & Gender

Gay marriage thrown out by all 31 U.S. states where it has been put to vote
Voters in the U.S. state of Maine yesterday rejected a law allowing same-sex 'marriage'. It means such unions have now been refused in all 31 states where the issue has been put directly to the electorate.

Humiliation for Harriet Harman as statisticians dismiss her claims on equal pay
Harriet Harman was yesterday slapped down by national statisticians over her claims that women are paid a fifth less than men.

Comment: Mourning gay marriage in Maine
After 31 defeats at the ballot box, America's gay community can't rely on the majority to promote their right to marry.

Crime & Justice

Proposals to outlaw rendition in the UK drawn up
New criminal offences to outlaw the practice of extraordinary rendition – secretly transporting terror suspects to places where they are likely to be tortured – have been drawn up by a cross-party parliamentary committee.

CIA agents sentenced in Italy rendition case
First legal blow to Bush policy of seizing suspects from Europe's streets.

Life & Death

Daughter of couple who committed suicide calls for assisted dying debate
The daughter of an elderly couple who were found dead after saying that they wanted to end their lives has called for a further debate on assisted dying.

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