Press Roundup Monday 25 January 2010

By Press Office
January 25, 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, Guardian, and the tabloids.

Religion & Society

Equality bill: churches and campaigners demand clarity on religion's exemption
The government is facing allegations of duplicity over changes to the equality bill after a leaked document showed conflicting statements about the position of churches and other religious organisations.

More 7/7 attacks to hit UK says Muslim leader
Britain faces more 7/7-style ­suicide bomb attacks for generations because Muslims have not fully integrated into British society, a senior Muslim adviser to the Government warned yesterday.

Harriet Harman's law 'will force churches to hire gays'
Churches could be forced to hire homosexuals and transsexuals against the tenets of their faith when employing staff under planned Labour equality laws, it was claimed yesterday.

Don't blame us, says student Islamic society
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a plane, ran the UCL Islamic Society. But its current members tell Indlieb Farazi that they deplore extremism and terrorism.

MPs urge Government to fund crumbling cathedrals
An influential group of MPs has urged the Government to give direct funding to cathedrals to save them from falling into disrepair.

Haiti earthquake: religion fills the void left by aid agencies
Haiti's evangelical and voodoo priests are providing spiritual and material aid to the homeless and injured.

Pope tells priests to get blogging
Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to use the internet "astutely" and make the most of opportunities offered by modern technology.

Comment: Churches panic over equality bill
Why are the churches fighting the government's equality bill so fiercely in the House of Lords?

Comment: Church statistics: not many dead
The annual church attendance statistics tell a story of very gradual change. This is clearer in pictures than in words.

Peace & War

Nato chief seeks Taliban peace deal
Nato's top commander in Afghanistan has raised the prospect of a negotiated peace with the Taliban.

Afghanistan will take longer to tackle than Iraq, General David Petraeus says
The new American-led surge in Afghanistan will take longer to fight the insurgency than a similar injection of force in Iraq three years ago when violence fell sharply within months, the top US general in the region told The Times.

Tony Blair was told 'war is illegal'
Evidence that Tony Blair was “clearly advised” the Iraq War was illegal is to be revealed this week.

Israelis protest over 'fascist' Jerusalem settlements
At least 15 protesters were arrested yesterday as several hundred left-wing Israelis held their biggest demonstration yet against demolitions and evictions of east Jerusalem Palestinians designed to make way for Jewish settlers.

North Korea threatens South with war
North Korea threatened South Korea with war today after Seoul warned it would launch a pre-emptive strike if the North was preparing a nuclear attack — the latest salvo in a battle of rhetoric despite signs of improved cooperation across the militarized frontier.

Comment: Britain's battle against global poverty risks being twisted into a tool of war
Our work in Afghanistan suggests a dangerous trend, in which aid is militarised, subsumed to western strategic interests.

Comment: British troops face five more years in Helmand
British troops will have to fight the Taleban for another five years, according to a leaked draft of the communiqué that will conclude the London conference on Afghanistan this week.

Race & Identity

Six protesters charged after clashes at English Defence League demonstration
Six people have been charged following clashes at a demonstration by the English Defence League over the weekend.

Ban on burqas receives strong public support in France
A report drawn up by French MPs will this week call for a ban on Afghan-style burqas and other garments that cover a woman’s face.

Comment: We are still in the shadow of the Holocaust
Anti-Semitism is on the rise, which makes memorial day all the more vital, says Michael Gove.

Community & Family

Owe no! Today is poorest day of year
Today is the poorest day of the year for Brits, research shows.

Comment: Cameron's right about Broken Britain, but it will take more than a few tax breaks to reverse our descent into savagery
Never is the inadequacy of party politics more sharply exposed than over the issue of the steady brutalisation of our society.

Crime & Justice

Sarah's Law may go national
Campaigners have welcomed plans to roll out the Sarah's Law paedophile alert scheme across England and Wales.

Government accused in torture case
The Government has applied to have claims by Kenyan victims of alleged British colonial torture thrown out of court, a leading law firm said.

Ecology & Environment

China has 'open mind' about cause of climate change
China's most senior climate change official surprised a summit in India when he questioned whether global warming is caused by carbon gas emissions and said Beijing is keeping an "open mind".

Bogus flood claims fuel warming 'lies'
The world’s leading climate change body was plunged into fresh controversy yesterday for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in ­hurricanes and floods.

Globalisation & Development

World leaders hold talks over Haiti
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Haiti's prime minister and foreign ministers from a host of nations will meet in a bid to improve relief efforts in the quake-ravaged country.

Relief effort 'pathetic' - expert
Italy's top disaster expert has called the Haiti quake-relief effort a "pathetic" failure, criticising the militarised approach of the United States as ineffective and out of touch for the emergency at hand.

Life & Death

Author Martin Amis calls for euthanasia booths in UK's street corners to prevent a 'silver tsunami'
Euthanasia 'booths' should be established on street corners for pensioners to end their lives with 'a martini and a medal', novelist Martin Amis said yesterday.

Mercy killing mum Frances Inglis tells of how she would have faced the death penalty to stop her son's suffering
Mercy killing mum Frances Inglis told yesterday how the long years she faces behind bars are nothing compared to seeing her child suffer.

Economy & Politics

TV election showdown under threat over leaders' demands ... and worst of all it clashes with the football
Gordon Brown's live election debates with David Cameron were thrown into doubt today because of ludicrous demands by both parties that studio audiences should sit in silence throughout.

Education & Culture

David Miliband accused of hypocrisy as he sends son to Anglican school... despite saying he is an atheist
David Miliband is facing charges of hypocrisy for sending his son to a sought-after Church of England school despite being an admitted atheist.

People & Power

Prince William tour leads to surge in support for the monarchy in Australia
Prince William’s successful tour of Australia has led to a significant surge in support for the British monarchy in the host country, according to a new opinion poll.

Sex & Gender

Bollywood to screen first gay kiss in a mainstream film
Bollywood is to screen its first gay kiss in a mainstream film already being billed as India's answer to Brokeback Mountain.

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