Press Roundup Tuesday 15 December 2009

By Press Office
December 15, 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

Bishop sorry for praising Taliban in interview
The newly appointed bishop for the armed forces said yesterday he was "deeply grieved" to have caused offence by suggesting the Taliban could be admired for their loyalty and religious conviction.

Tough sanctions against Iran are needed urgently, Washington says
Revelations that Iran has been working secretly on a trigger for a nuclear bomb urgently underscore the case for tough new sanctions against Tehran, the Obama Administration said.

Sri Lankan government killed surrendering Tamil Tigers, says general
Three Tamil Tiger rebel leaders who tried to surrender during the bloody climax of Sri Lanka's civil war in May were shot and killed on the orders of the country's defence minister and a senior adviser to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the army commander at the time has claimed.

Comment: Reforging the just war in Afghanistan
Obama's comments revive a moral principle used to damn the enemy and forgotten if the 'evil' regime has no strategic value.

Comment: Symbolic gestures won’t deter this regime
If Iran is on the verge of building a nuclear bomb, Obama must accept that the time for talking is over.

Comment: No freeze on Palestinian suffering
International excitement about the West Bank settlement freeze means little to those facing the sharp end of Israeli military rule.

Religion & Society

Britain on course for first woman bishop
Oxford graduate Dr Alison Peden has been chosen as one of three candidates for the vacant episcopal see of Glasgow and Galloway in Scotland.

Catholic Church 'scared Hollywood into dumping His Dark Materials'
Sam Elliott, the American actor, has accused the Catholic Church of scaring Hollywood producers into shelving the remaining two films in Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.

Schools criticised for replacing baby Jesus with sheep in nativity plays
School nativity plays that relegate baby Jesus to a supporting role, instead focusing on angels or even sheep, have been criticised by the church.

Comment: We are being gagged: The right to speak freely is being undermined by those who should be protecting it
Common sense has, for once, prevailed. The criminal case – yes, criminal case – against a Christian couple, Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, has been dismissed.

Comment: Religion is not admirable

Ecology & Environment

Copenhagen climate change talks stall
A fraught day in Copenhagen yesterday saw disputes cause the loss of five vital hours of negotiating time and the UN and Danish organisers accused of sidelining developing nations by holding informal consultations with selected countries.

Gordon Brown dashes to Copenhagen climate talks in bid to seal deal
Gordon Brown and Prince Charles fly out to Copenhagen today amid fears that the ' historic' international climate change talks are falling apart.

100 reasons why global warming is natural
Campaigners yesterday attempted to pour scorn on “tenuous” global warming theories by issuing a dossier detailing 100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made.

Comment: This is bigger than climate change. It is a battle to redefine humanity
It's hard for a species used to ever-expanding frontiers, but survival depends on accepting we live within limits.

Crime & Justice

Judges are 'irresponsible' for wanting to reveal Binyam 'torture' files, says Miliband
Lawyers for David Miliband today launched an extraordinary verbal assault on two 'irresponsible' High Court judges who want to reveal information which allegedly proves British involvement in torture.

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni 'cancels London visit over prosecution fears'
Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister, has cancelled a visit to Britain amid reports that pro-Palestinian activist groups might have sought a warrant for her arrest on alleged war crimes charges.

Saudi Arabia to flog 75-year-old for breaching sex segregation rules
Amnesty International has called on Saudi Arabia to cancel a sentence of 40 lashes handed down against a 75-year-old woman for breaching the kingdom's sex segregation rules.

Race & Identity

Brown attacked for not scrapping asylum policy that leaves hundreds of children behind bars at Christmas
Gordon Brown was last night accused of 'moral cowardice' for failing to scrap a controversial asylum policy that will see hundreds of innocent children spend Christmas behind bars.

Nativity scene with black Holy Family causes storm in Italian town that launched 'White Christmas' drive
A nativity scene featuring a dark-skinned Jesus, Mary and Joseph has caused a storm after going on display in a Verona courthouse.

Comment: Anti-Muslim groups protest in vain
Odious as they are, the Harrow mosque protests will make our community of Muslims and non-Muslims stronger.

Sex & Gender

Comment: Copenhagen must bring gender justice
Marginalised women across the developing world will be hit hard by climate change – but their voices are rarely heard.

Comment: A Ugandan politician's view of gay people
The death penalty may go from the Ugandan anti-gay bill, but the rhetoric, and the revulsion, remains strong.

Comment: Ours is not the same homosexuality
It's anachronistic to call ancient Israelite culture anti-gay. In any case, Christians must keep their moral thinking mobile.

Economy & Politics

Call for 'fundamental rethink' of value of work
Hospital cleaners are worth more to society than city bankers, according to a new method of calculating the value of different jobs published today.

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