Press Roundup Tuesday 19 January 2010

By Press Office
January 19, 2010

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

BBC’s ‘marginalisation’ of religion to be criticised by Church of England’s governing body
The BBC’s “marginalisation” of religious programming is to be criticised by the Church of England’s governing body.

Religion on TV either marginalised or freak show, clergy complain
The Church of England is to debate the "sensationalist and unduly critical nature" of religious programming on British television amid growing discontent about a decline in output.

Plans to build super-mosque at Olympic site blocked
Plans by an Islamic sect to build a mosque for 12,000 worshippers close to the Olympic site in London have been blocked, according to reports.

Freed Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II is allowed to visit Pontiff's grave as he proclaims: 'I am a messenger from God'
The man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II will be allowed to pray at his tomb, Vatican officials said after the hitman was released from jail on Monday.

Richard Dawkins pushing a form of 'aggressive atheism', says presenter
Professor Richard Dawkins has been accused of “parading his own failure of imagination” by failing to consider the possible existence of God in an attack by the author Howard Jacobson.

Muslim rioters torch church in Nigeria
Angry Muslim youths set a church filled with worshippers ablaze in northern Nigeria, starting a riot that killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 300 others in the latest religious violence in the region.

Court ponders Hindu man's funeral pyre plea
A Hindu fighting for the right to be cremated on a traditional funeral pyre took his case to the Court of Appeal today.

Comment: Hindus don't need open-air cremation
There is no religious reason to demand open-air cremations. To pursue this 'right' in court does Hinduism no credit.

Comment: To some, sermonising is a sin, but Christians still value the preacher
Sermons, history shows, can be among the most revolutionary forms of human speech. From John Calvin to Billy Graham, preaching has had the power to topple princes, to set nation against nation, to inspire campaigners to change the world and impel people to begin life anew.

Comment: Freedom must apply to all faiths and none
The Christian’s right to wear a cross must be defended as fiercely as any other religious liberty.

Globalisation & Development

UN pledges more troops for Haiti
The United Nations will hold an urgent vote today to send 2,000 more troops and 1,500 extra police to protect Haiti's aid convoys from lawless gangs roaming the quake-hit streets.

Row over US 'occupation' of Haiti
A French minister has called for a United Nations investigation into the dominant US role in Haiti, saying international aid efforts are about helping the quake-stricken country, not "occupying" it.

Comment: A time to break silence
We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace and justice in the developing world.

Comment: Haiti is real life, not an episode of Thunderbirds
Do we really expect heroes to swoop from the skies? It’s far too easy to criticise the rescue from the ignorance of home.

Peace & War

Taliban storm Kabul with wave of suicide bombings
Fighting raged across downtown Kabul yesterday after a group of Taliban militants equipped with suicide vests and automatic weapons attacked major buildings in the city centre, including the presidential palace, in one of their most ambitious assaults.

Iraq inquiry: war on the 'assumption' of WMDs
Britain went to war with Iraq on the “assumption” Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, admitted a top Blair aide yesterday.

Military strength vital: Navy chief
The head of the Royal Navy is set to warn that Britain must maintain its military capabilities if it is to retain its influence in the world.

Race & Identity

Comment: Nothing liberal about defending burkas
These masks are a symbol of ideology, not a fashion statement.

Comment: How to tackle immigration
With rising concern over immigration to the UK, it is important to examine its sources – and how we can limit them.

Comment: Better to draw a veil over this daft idea, Nigel Farage
UKIP says it hasn’t fully thought through how a burka ban might work. Too right.

Community & Family

Adoption agencies warned off Haiti's orphans
For newly orphaned children wandering the streets of Haiti's capital begging for food, it sounds like a dream come true. But agencies trying to evacuate children whose parents died in last week's earthquake have been criticised for bypassing proper adoption processes to rush them to families offering new lives in the West.

Comment: Family life is a vipers' nest politicians should not poke
Cameron's marriage tax break is unworkable and unjust. But before Labour gloats, beware: this is a banana skin for them, too.

Life & Death

Death toll soars amid quake horror
The extent of the devastation in quake-hit Haiti appears clearer after officials estimated that 200,000 are dead and 1.5 million are homeless on the Caribbean island.

Mother 'helped daughter to die with lethal drugs cocktail'
A "devoted" mother helped her suffering daughter die by handing her a lethal dose of morphine and then administering a lethal cocktail of drugs, a court heard yesterday.

Crime & Justice

Spain to extradite 'death flights' pilot to Argentina
Spain's high court has ordered the extradition of a Dutch-Argentine pilot to Argentina to face charges of throwing political prisoners out of aircraft into the sea under the military dictatorship 30 years ago.

Economy & Politics

MPs' fury at creche plan for Westminster bar
Commons Speaker John Bercow faces a backlash from MPs over plans to turn a Westminster bar into a nursery.

People & Power

Royal rules 'breach human rights'
Rules governing royal marriages and the succession to the throne of the UK breach the European Convention on Human Rights, an influential parliamentary committee said today.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.