Press Roundup Tuesday 1 December 2009

By Press Office
December 1, 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.

Peace & War

Troops to top 10,000, says PM
The Prime Minister announced today that Britain's total military effort in Afghanistan will increase to more than 10,000 troops.

Iran threatens to pull out of nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Iran lashed out at international attempts to curb its nuclear ambitions today, threatening to pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and insisting that it would forge ahead with plans to step up uranium enrichment.

Comment: What will it take to tame Tehran's nuclear plans?
Time is running out for the West's conciliatory approach after President Ahmadinejad's latest provocation, says Con Coughlin.

Comment: Wake up: we cannot wish away Iran’s bomb
Iraq and Afghanistan may seem problem enough, but this threat is too big to ignore. Only concerted sanctions will work.

Comment: A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan
If Barack Obama heralds an escalation of the war, he will betray his own message of hope and deepen my people's pain.

Comment: What a mess our military has made
Just as in 1914-18, the handling of the Afghanistan conflict reflects a failure to understand modern society's impact on war.

Religion & Society

Swiss minaret ban condemned by Vatican
The Vatican has condemned the Swiss ban on the construction of Islamic minarets as a 'blow to freedom of religion'.

Comment: Public funds must not be used to propagate an Islamic state
Ed Balls is wrong about Hizb-ut-Tahrir's influence on faith schools, says Michael Gove.

Comment: Todays fanatic, tomorrow's saint
It's popular to think that the world gets changed by nice people, but the lives of activists past and present tell us otherwise.

Comment: Minarets are not an essential part of Islam
The Swiss vote does not infringe Muslim religious rights.

Community & Family

Now it's war: David Cameron in savage attack on Labour's 'pathological' refusal to accept marriage is key to happy families
Labour was accused of a 'pathological' opposition to supporting marriage by David Cameron yesterday as he promised a Tory government would reward every wedded couple.

Cabinet minister John Denham: poor whites have had a raw deal
White working-class communities feel a justifiable sense of grievance and deserve additional help reserved for minority groups, a Cabinet minister told union leaders yesterday.

Comment: Labour's Katherine Rake is wrong: it takes two to mend a 'broken society'
It is not in the interests of children to suggest that the nuclear family is dead, argues Jill Kirby.

Economy & Politics

Soak the rich to avoid Victorian levels of poverty, warns Labour think tank
The rich should be clobbered with higher taxes to stop Britain returning to Victorian levels of inequality, a major report by a Labour think tank has warned.

SNP makes the case for Scottish independence
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond set out on the road to fulfilling his lifelong political ambition yesterday by launching a White Paper that he hopes could lead to a referendum delivering full independence from Westminster possibly as early as next year.

New polls suggests hung parliament
Britain could be on course for a hung parliament after the next general election, a survey has suggested.

Ecology & Environment

Major cities at risk from rising sea level threat
Sea levels will rise by twice as much as previously predicted as a result of global warming, an important international study has concluded.

EU emissions pledge 'unambitious'
The European Union's pledge on the amount it will cut its emissions by 2020 is "woefully unambitious" and could easily be doubled as part of efforts to avert a climate catastrophe, environmentalists have said.

Education & Culture

5,000-place Muslim girls school plan
Plans for a 5,000-place Muslim girls’ boarding school will be scrutinised closely by the Government.

Comment: Intelligent design should not excluded from the study of origins
Complex biological systems have not been explained by neo-Darwinian processes.

Globalisation & Development

US makes HIV conference announcement on World Aids Day
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that the International Aids Society will host its 2012 conference in Washington, as the Obama administration lifts a decades-old ban on HIV-positive visitors.

Anger as Commonwealth slashes funding for Aids fight
The leaders of Commonwealth countries meeting in Trinidad and Tobago were facing a scandal last night after it emerged that the organisation has withdrawn most of its funding for preventing HIV and Aids.

People & Power

British sailors' families hope for swift end to Iran ordeal
The families of five British sailors being held captive in Iran have said they are hopeful their ordeal will be over soon.

Aid workers feared kidnapped by al-Qaeda's north Africa wing
Three Spanish aid workers kidnapped in Mauritania on Monday are believed to be being held by the group linked to al-Qaeda which beheaded a British hostage in June.

Race & Identity

Swiss official hints at reversal of minaret ban
A top Swiss official said yesterday that voter approval of a ban on minarets next to mosques could be struck down in court, as critics at home and abroad condemned the vote, saying it undermined the country's secular image.

Comment: What lesson does the Swiss ban on minarets hold for Britain?
British voters can only dream of such an opportunity: any initiative supported by 100,000 or more signatories is put to the nation in a referendum.

Sex & Gender

Gordon Brown caught up in gay rights storm as Uganda debates death penalty for homosexuals
Gordon Brown has been caught up in a gay rights row rocking the Commonwealth.

Comment: End the gay blood ban
Any man who has had sex with a man, even once, even 50 years ago, and even if they test HIV-negative, cannot give blood.

Crime & Justice

Comment: Justice will not be served by this trial, even if he is found guilty
What court with an ounce of humanity would send an ailing nonagenarian to jail?

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