Press Roundup Thursday 19 November 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
Churches head for a showdown in Rome
The Archbishop of Westminster has blamed Church of England bishops for keeping their leader in the dark about the Pope’s attempts to entice Anglicans to Rome.
Atheist author Philip Pullman writes alternative ending for Jesus in Bible
Philip Pullman, the author of His Dark Materials, has written his own version of the New Testament in which the story of Jesus is given a "different ending".
Australian senator brands Scientology a 'criminal organisation'
An Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, has branded the Church of Scientology a 'criminal organisation' and called for a government inquiry into its practices.
Christmas returns to council celebrations following PC complaints
A council is reinstating the word 'Christmas' to its seasonal celebrations following complaints of politically correct pettiness.
Comment: Archbishop of Canterbury must show muscular Christianity
The Archbishop of Canterbury has displayed a munificent turning of the other cheek in response to what many see as a move by the Pope to annex part of his Church.
Comment: Hey, preacher – leave those kids alone
The final phase of the atheist bus campaign will challenge the idea that children can be labelled with their parents' religion.
Comment: Faith is a fact and we must work with it
AC Grayling caricatures my work with faith groups. But it would be foolish not to engage with them at some level.
Comment: Religious propaganda from the BBC
The decision to deny atheists access to 'Thought for the Day' is just one aspect of the BBC's lamentable pro-faith stance.
Comment: Here's a thought
Humanists should be welcome on Thought for the Day – if they would only admit their own fundamental irrationality.
As the details of the pope's offer to disaffected Anglicans sink in, hostility grows to the proposals.
Economy & Politics
Kelly miffed by MPs' expenses snub
Downing Street has denied it is standing in the way of MP expenses reform, after the head of the review of allowances said he was "disappointed" by Gordon Brown's failure to include legislation in the Queen's Speech to implement his proposals.
Brown tries to put policy above personality
Gordon Brown and David Cameron offered two different directions for the country yesterday as the longest general election campaign in recent history got under way.
Labour dethrone Queen in Bill
Labour has dethroned the Queen in the small print of a Bill which drops the traditional description of the civil service as servants of the Crown.
BNP set to launch election campaign
Anti-fascist groups have claimed the BNP is aiming to "divide and weaken" a community by launching its general election campaign in an inner-city suburb.
Peace & War
Barack Obama to set out 'end game' for Afghanistan
President Barack Obama has declared for the first time that his review of policy in Afghanistan will contain an exit strategy designed to avoid a "multiyear occupation".
Barack Obama: new Israel homes 'very dangerous' for peace
President Barack Obama issued a rare warning to Israel that a plan to construct 900 new homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem could prove ‘very dangerous' by provoking the Palestinians.
Barack Obama warns North Korea no aid without disarmament
North Korea must take “serious steps” towards nuclear disarmament if it wants to win any concessions from the international community, the US President Barack Obama has warned following meetings in the South Korean capital, Seoul.
US pushes for Kashmir peace deal
The United States is pushing India and Pakistan to finally solve their dispute over Kashmir to remove biggest obstacle to progress in the war on terror, a Kashmiri separatist leader has claimed.
Ecology & Environment
Rising CO2 could cause catastrophic sea level rise finds Antarctic study
Sea levels could rise by up to 20ft (6m) if the world fails to get pollution under control, according to the latest study in the Antarctic.
Norway and Guyana sign rainforest deal
Guyana and Norway yesterday hailed a historic agreement that will see the Scandinavian country invest $250m (£150m) to preserve the rainforests of the Latin America nation.
Greenpeace chief urges Obama to use 'political capital' to agree climate deal
The new head of Greenpeace has challenged Barack Obama to agree a binding treaty at the UN Copenhagen climate summit or risk inflaming anti-American sentiment around the world.
Globalisation & Development
Give money to hungry not banks, says UN food chief
The director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has questioned how world powers could put so much money into fighting the financial crisis and not feed the one billion hungry.
Demand for illegal ivory soars in booming China
Twenty years after a worldwide ban, there's a new black-market trade in elephant tusks from Africa.
Comment: Ignore the fashionable criticism. Your Government's aid is effective
Every year British taxpayers are helping save the lives of millions of people in the developing world.
Community & Family
Adults 'abdicating responsibility' for children
Teachers and parents are “abdicating their responsibility” by increasingly involving children in major decisions, according to a leading academic.
Comment: The price of community
The chief rabbi is blind to the high price traditional societies often pay for their moral certainty.
Crime & Justice
Secret evidence blow hits Guantanamo seven
Britain’s security services should be able to withold evidence from claimants in civil court cases, the High Court ruled today.
Obama admits defeat on Camp X-Ray closure
President Barack Obama admitted yesterday what his aides and other Washington insiders have known for months: that his deadline for closing the Camp X-Ray prison inside the Guantanamo Bay naval base on 22 January – the first anniversary of his coming into office – will not now be met.
Education & Culture
Oxford and Cambridge 'should be biased to poor'
Oxford and Cambridge should 'explicitly discriminate' against middle-class applicants with top grades to ensure a diverse student intake, researchers claim today.
Comment: Time to clean up Britain's reputation
The MPs' expenses scandal has weakened Britain's authority in the eyes of the world community, as the corruption index reveals.
People & Power
$30m bribe claim sours West’s hope that Karzai can show he is fit to lead
New claims of corruption will hang over Hamid Karzai today as he tries to use his inauguration to persuade Western allies that he is capable of changing his ways and arresting Afghanistan’s downward spiral.
African chiefs urged to apologise for slave trade
Traditional African rulers whose ancestors collaborated with European and Arab slave traders should follow Britain and the United States by publicly saying sorry, according to human rights organisations.
Sex & Gender
Gay priests 'no more likely to molest children than straight ones', U.S. report finds
Gay priests are no more likely to molest children than heterosexual clergy, a preliminary report commissioned by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex abuse scandal found.
Number of female executives in top companies still falling
A disheartening picture for women will be revealed in an influential report today which will show that the number of executive directorships in the FTSE 100 index held by women has fallen over the past year.
Life & Death
Somali woman, 20, stoned to death by Islamic militants after admitting affair with boyfriend
A Somali woman of 20 has been stoned to death after admitting she had an affair, an Islamic militant judge said today.
Race & Identity
Britain's soaring population on course to hit 74million
Britain's population may grow to 74million over the next 20 years, according to official estimates.
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