Press Roundup Wednesday 27 January 2010

By Press Office
January 27, 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

Christian group's insistence on a white Jesus causes dismay
A Christian group has upset anti-racist campaigners by advertising for a white man to perform the role of Jesus Christ in a play.

Mosques targeted in 'Allah' dispute
Worshippers have found severed heads of pigs at two Malaysian mosques following a spate of firebomb attacks on churches amid a dispute over the use of the word Allah by Christians, officials said.

Comment: Let's fight the church on equality
Christian conservatives have won a victory for discrimination in the Lords. Secularists should make their voices heard.

Comment: Secularism and bigotry
The churches cannot concede equality of treatment to gay people, but they will have a hard time defending themselves.

Comment: Church leaders are wrong on equality
By asking to be allowed to discriminate, bishops have done a great disservice to church members, and to their own reputations.

Globalisation & Development

Aid agencies in Afghanistan warning
Aid agencies have united to warn against allowing the military to lead development projects in Afghanistan.

Comment: We invaded Afghanistan - can't we pay to rebuild it?
Foriegn aid needs to better support Britain's national interests, writes Neil O'Brien.

Comment: Tax evasion stifles poorest nations
Global reforms are needed to help developing countries crack down on the scourge of tax avoidance by multinationals.

Peace & War

Tony Blair 'warned by 27 lawyers Iraq War was illegal'
Tony Blair was warned two months before the invasion of Iraq that it would be illegal to go to war without UN backing, it was revealed yesterday.

Koreas exchange artillery fire
North Korea has said it is firing artillery off its west coast as part of an annual military drill and will continue to do so.

Comment: Thanks to this 'illegal' war, Iraqis at last have real hope for the future
Blair will never satisfy those who demand some ritual sacrifice. But he was right to join an invasion that rid Iraq of tyranny.

Race & Identity

Inquiry condemns burka as 'un-French'
The Islamic full-body veil should be banned from French public offices, hospitals, trains and buses, according to a parliamentary investigation which reported yesterday.

Comment: France's attack on the veil is a huge blunder
The ill-founded push to ban the face covering is rooted in a wider crisis of French identity and influence.

Comment: In a burka you’re cutting me off as well as you
A ban would go too far, but covering the face makes normal human contact impossible. It is not right for 21st-century life.

Ecology & Environment

UK's top scientist urges care in presenting results of climate change
A failure by some scientists to be candid on the uncertainty of predicting the rate of climate change is to blame for fuelling scepticism about such predictions, according the ­government's chief scientific adviser.

Ministry of Justice lists eco-activists alongside terrorists
Government officials have labelled environmental campaigners extremists and listed them alongside dissident Irish republican groups and terrorists inspired by al-Qaida in internal documents seen by the Guardian.

Education & Culture

Comment: Those church schools again
There is a strange liberal elite view that a state education is somehow in principle better than a private one - unless it affects you personally, of course.

Comment: Politicians have faith in these schools - so why can't we have more?
Understandably such schools wish to be able to ask prospective parents about the religious upbringing they give their children. That is, after all, rather relevant to their ethos.

Life & Death

Australian soldier sentenced to hang in Afghanistan
A former Australian soldier has been sentenced to death in Afghanistan for shooting dead an Afghan colleague then trying to blame the killing on the Taleban.

Comment: Only clearer laws can bring compassion to the euthanasia debate
A not guilty verdict in the case of Kay Gilderdale was the right decision. Whilst we don't condone acting outside of the law, and it is important that these kinds of cases are investigated, the judge is now able to use his discretion when sentencing Kay Gilderdale.

People & Power

Hong Kong faces 'referendum' over democracy
The government of Hong Kong faces a potentially divisive "referendum" over its relationship to mainland China after five members of the province's Legislative Council resigned in protest at the slow pace of democratic reforms.

Comment: Irrespective of Chilcot, Blair will always remain a pariah
The former PM will never escape the verdict of the court of public opinion.

Community & Family

Poverty gap is the widest since WW2
The gap between rich and poor under Labour is wider than at any time since World War Two, a shock report out today reveals.

Crime & Justice

Prosecution of mother was right, says DPP
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has defended his decision to bring a murder charge against a loving mother who helped her seriously ill daughter take her own life.

Sex & Gender

Gay couples should be allowed to ‘marry’ in church, Government minister says
Homosexual couples should be allowed to “marry” in churches, a Government minister has said.

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.