Press Roundup 11 December 2009

By Press Office
December 11, 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.

Globalisation & Development

China's human rights record worse than a year ago
China's record on human rights has deteriorated in the last 12 months after it repressed a range of basic freedoms, including the right to free speech and a fair trial, according to a new report.

Doctors' massacre highlights medical crisis in Somalia
Public anger spills over into protests over suicide bombing.

Libya to host press conference on its human rights abuses
Libya is marking another step forward in its quest for international respectability by hosting the country's first press conference by a human rights organisation scrutinising leader Muammar Gaddafi's record.

Egypt constructs huge Gaza wall
Egypt has reportedly begun building an underground iron wall along its border with the Gaza Strip in a major upgrading of its efforts to end smuggling through tunnels.

Comment: We must nurture hope in Iran
The battered and bruised Iranian protest movement is focusing world attention on the country's lamentable human rights record.

Comment: We need an index of human rights
Measuring and ranking every country's observance of human rights would give nations an incentive to raise their game.

Ecology & Environment

Climate cash vow for poor nations
Multibillion-pound pledges to help developing countries meet the costs of tackling climate change will be confirmed at an EU summit in Brussels.

'US should spend as much on global warming as war'
Poor countries have demanded that the US spends as much on tackling climate change as it does on warfare.

Next year to be the world’s warmest on record, Met Office predicts
Next year is “more likely than not” to be the world’s warmest year on record and man-made climate change will be a factor, according to the Met Office.

Surge in spending on 'green goods'
UK households are slowly going green and are now spending more than £250 a year on environmentally friendly products such as low-energy lightbulbs and energy-efficient appliances, figures have suggested.

Comment: How to finance a climate change fund
Money for a vital 'green fund' in the developing world could come from a loan of IMF special drawing rights.

Peace & War

When war is just – by Obama the peace prize winner
US President's Nobel speech forecasts more bloodshed to come in Afghanistan.

Syrian ultimatum to Israel over Golan Heights after Bill on seized territory tabled
Syria warned Israel that it put peace talks in peril after the tabling of a Bill requiring any withdrawal from annexed territory to be approved by an absolute majority, then be put to a referendum.

Britain uses food labels to put pressure on Israel over settlements
Britain has advised UK supermarkets on how to distinguish between foods from the settlements and Palestinian-manufactured goods in a move that will put pressure on Israel over its illegal West Bank settlements.

Comment: Sudan at the crossroads
With the expiry of the comprehensive peace agreement, Sudan faces turmoil. The worldwide church should not stand by,

Religion & Society

Archbishop Rowan Williams urged to retract comments on election of lesbian bishop
Thousands of Anglicans have urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to repent following his tepid response to the election of a lesbian bishop in the US.

Pope to address MPs in Westminster during state visit
Pope Benedict XVI will preach to MPs and peers in Westminster Hall when he visits England next September, Vatican sources said today.

Rabbis rage against net 'abominations'
Ultra-orthodox rabbis in Israel are trying to crack down on growing use of the internet among their followers, saying that it is filled with "abomination" and is leading believers astray.

Vatican tells clergy not to show off on television
Media-friendly priests and bishops beware: the Vatican has warned clergy who appear on television to remember they are not glamorous “stars" or “showmen" but only communicators bringing the Christian message to a mass audience.

Economy & Politics

MPs expenses scandal continues as tax soars
Greedy MPs snatched a further £10million in lavish Commons expenses last year while tax bills for millions of households soared, it was revealed last night.

Comment: The reform of MPs' expenses is mired in muddle
The best way to regulate MPs' expenses is to keep it simple, not create yet another watchdog.

Life & Death

Ohio execution delayed again
A US man whose Ohio execution was halted after prison authorities spent two hours trying in vain to insert a needle has received a new injunction delaying his execution by lethal injection.

China begins to phase out the firing squad
A Chinese province has announced that it has become the first region in the country to halt execution by firing squad in favour of lethal injection.

Community & Family

Household wealth survey reveals great divide
Average household wealth in the south-east of England is almost twice that in Scotland, according to the Office for National Statistics' first "wealth in Great Britain" report, which also found that London was not as wealthy as you might think.

Race & Identity

Men who force wives to wear Burka 'not welcome in France'
Muslim men who force their wives to wear the full Islamic veil should not be granted French citizenship, Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said on Thursday.

Sex & Gender

Comment: Rick Warren repudiates Ugandan homophobia
The most important evangelical preacher in America has denounced the Ugandan anti-gay law.

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