Press Roundup Wednesday 16 December 2009

By Press Office
December 16, 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.

Ecology & Environment

Gordon Brown warns talks could end 'with no deal'
The “future of humanity” is at stake in the Copenhagen climate change talks, Gordon Brown has said, as he warned that they could end without a deal being done.

Difficult talks at climate summit
High-level talks at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen are due to get under way, with Gordon Brown admitting that it may not be possible to get a new global warming deal.

Gordon Brown: global warming critics 'ignorant'
Gordon Brown delivered a sneering attack on global warming sceptics last night after jetting to the Copenhagen climate summit.

'Green' aircraft takes to the skies
More than two years later than originally planned, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner has taken to the skies for its maiden test flight.

Comment: Sussex will be desert before the climate deniers accept reality
Many prominent sceptics seem to be in the pay of the energy industry.

Comment: If Obama signs anything at Copenhagen it should be seen as a bonus
Belching carbon but laden with good intentions, Air Force One will take off tomorrow night for Copenhagen on one of the most delicate and daunting missions of President Obama’s first year in office.

Religion & Society

Just half of Britons now call themselves Christian after a ‘sharp decline’ in faith over past 25 years
Only half of Britons now consider themselves Christian after a “sharp decline” in religious belief over the past quarter of a century, according to a new academic study.

Pope Benedict will be sent to Coventry for climax of his visit
As the backdrop to the climatic moments of Pope Benedict XVI's historic first trip to Britain, it seems, to say the least, unexpected.

Burial cloth found in Jerusalem cave casts doubt on authenticity of Turin Shroud
Archaeologists have discovered the first known burial shroud in Jerusalem from the time of Christ's crucifixion - and say it casts serious doubt on the claimed authenticity of the Turin Shroud.

Vicar hounded from home by parishioners
A vicar claims he has been forced to leave the Church of England after a four-year campaign of abuse and intimidation from parishioners.

Comment: An Orthodox message for the planet
The Orthodox Christian story of the nativity, unlike the western version, has much tell us about the importance of nature.

Comment: Muslims, beyond the headlines
The Open Society Institute's report on Muslims in Europe paints a picture that we're not used to seeing in the papers.

Economy & Politics

Race to charge MPs in expenses scandal: Looming election forces early deadline on the DPP
Prosecutors are facing a race against time to bring charges over the MPs expenses scandal because of the looming General Election.

Disgust as MPs start Christmas break early
MPs will start their Christmas break tonight – the earliest date since records began.

Peers say cash cut is an “insult”
Members of the Lords have branded plans to trim their lavish expenses an “insult”.

MEPs pay rise takes salary to £86,000
MEPs have been awarded an above-inflation pay rise that will take their salaries to almost £86,000 next year.

Comment: Peers should serve the nation, not be in it for the money
While our politicians are held in particularly low esteem following the expenses scandal, at least for members of the House of Commons enduring a healthy public scepticism is nothing new.

Crime & Justice

Israeli fury after British magistrate issues arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni after she defended Gaza War
Israel reacted with fury tonight after it emerged a British magistrate had issued an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes against Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

MPs sue CIA to shatter secrecy on Britain's role in rendition
A group of MPs is suing the CIA in the American courts in an attempt to force the agency to hand over information about Britain's secret involvement in its extraordinary rendition programme.

Australia detention centre 'breaches human rights'
Australia's offshore immigration detention centre has been attacked by Amnesty International which says the Christmas Island facilites are in breach of human rights.

Life & Death

MPs 'back helping patients to die'
A majority of MPs think doctors should be allowed to help people to die in certain circumstances, according to a new survey.

Comment: Judiciary shouldn't decide how we die
Parliament has for 48 years avoided debating assisted suicide: it must stop relying on principled distortions of the Suicide Act.

Comments: Opponents of assisted suicide are in a minority
Faith drives those who are against it, while most of the rest of us favour change.

Education & Culture

More parents 'educating children at home'
Growing numbers of parents are shunning state schools to educate their children at home, according to MPs.

Poor white boys sliding down GCSE pass rates
Boys from white working class homes are falling further behind their classmates when it comes to GCSE passes, according to a breakdown of this summer’s results.

Peace & War

US and Russia close in on nuclear treaty
The United States and Russia are close to a breakthrough on a new treaty to cut their arsenals of nuclear weapons and the missiles, submarines and bombers that would be used to launch them, according to officials and analysts.

Deadly faultline threatens to reignite civil war in Sudan
The uneasy peace that has kept the two disparate halves of Africa's biggest nation together is under threat.

Sex & Gender

Judge expresses sympathy for Christian registrar sacked for refusing to marry gay couples
A registrar who refused to conduct civil partnership ceremonies because they were against her Christian beliefs broke the law, Appeal Court judges ruled yesterday.

Comment: A judgement Christians should celebrate
A registrar who refused to perform civil partnerships has lost her case. There was nothing Christian about her actions.

People & Power

Comment: The fairytale farce of the monarchy
Before we end up with a King Charles speaking out of turn or a bland, waving King William, let's rethink the whole royal situation.

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