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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.
Peace & War
Talk to Taliban for peace, says Afghan envoy
Nato's new top civilian representative in Afghanistan has warned that a lasting peace will require talking to some "pretty unsavoury characters" with appalling human rights records, and bringing them within the Afghan political system.
Thousands of Taliban fighters may be paid off by West
Western nations are planning to attempt to buy off up to 12,500 members of the Taliban with a promise that they will be paid to defend their own villages.
Iran has same plan as Hitler, says Auschwitz survivor
In the biting cold of the Polish winter, warnings of the renewed rise of anti-Semitism and the threat posed to world peace by a nuclear-armed Iran marked Holocaust Memorial Day, the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
North Korea resumes artillery fire
North Korea has resumed firing artillery near its disputed western sea border with South Korea, a day after the country fired dozens of shells and prompted South Korea to fire back a barrage of warning shots.
Comment: To rehabilitate these criminals without justice is a betrayal
Reconciliation in any post-conflict situation is a necessary step. But on whose terms?
Comment: We will stay until Afghanistan is secure
Transition is not a code word for exit. Today’s conference will give our mission another boost.
Community & Family
Forced marriage victims' calls going unanswered
Calls for help from forced marriage victims are being ignored because the Government has cut funding to a new emergency hotline dedicated to helping women escape so-called "honour violence".
Media and politicians 'fuel rise in hate crimes against Muslims'
A rise in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in London is being encouraged by mainstream politicians and sections of the media, a study written by a former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer, published yesterday, says.
Comment: Harmanism: It's not the middle classes but social engineering zealots like Ms Harman who are to blame for Britain's inequality gap
After 62 years of the welfare state and 13 of New Labour, Britain is becoming a less equal society.
Comment: Inequality harms all of us
It's not only the poorest who suffer from inequality – in an equal society, fulfilment and health improve for everyone.
Ecology & Environment
Government's chief scientist: 'uncertainties' over global warming
Climate change sceptics should be given a fair hearing because there are “substantial uncertainties” surrounding global warming, the Government’s chief scientific adviser said yesterday.
Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data
The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny.
Report wants better Green Belt use
Green Belt land could be used to provide more local food, community farms and allotments, conservationists have suggested.
Comment: Obama commits to climate change bill
President Obama pledges to help pass 'comprehensive' climate change law, but also backed nuclear power and drilling.
Economy & Politics
Slump...but MPs laziest for 30yrs
Lazy MPs have spent their least time in the House of Commons for three decades - despite the worst recession in living memory.
Plans for political reform following expenses scandal could be scrapped
Plans to strengthen the independence of Parliament are facing the scrapheap after opposition from Harriet Harman and Labour whips.
MPs in line for retrospective pay rise under post-expenses scandal reforms
MPs could get retrospective pay rises under government plans set out today to reform how politicians' salaries are set in the wake of the expenses scandal.
Harriet Harman threatens 'equality tax'
Harriet Harman yesterday called for a punishing tax squeeze on Middle Britain to make the country more equal.
Race & Identity
Government 'tick box' approach to ethnicity drives whites towards BNP, IPPR report says
A Government ‘tick-box’ approach to describing people’s ethnicity is creating resentment among white working class people and driving then towards supporting extremist groups, a report says today.
100 on run from immigration centres
More than 100 foreign nationals are on the run after escaping from immigration detention.
Comment: Throw open our doors to Haitians
'Disaster asylum' would do far more than pouring in vast amounts of aid.
Religion & Society
Archbishop of Canterbury warns of ‘casual attitude to human life’ in Holocaust message
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned of the dangers of taking a “casual attitude” to human life in a message for National Holocaust Memorial Day.
Comment: Why would the pope whip himself?
Mystifying though the practice may be, I've been thinking of reasons why John Paul II might have used physical mortification.
Comment: May church press officers be gay?
The fine print of the equality bill has bits in it which suggest that no one thought through the religious exemptions.
Sex & Gender
Closing gender pay gap 'won't solve inequality'
Closing the gender pay gap would do almost nothing to end division in British society, the Government's equality tsar declared yesterday.
Comment: Women suffer from Gandhi's legacy
Mohandas Gandhi held India back when it came to women's rights – and his own behaviour around them could be bizarre.
Comment: A ban on headscarves just leaves women out in the cold
Excluding women who cover their heads just pushes them deeper into societies where they are likely to be more downtrodden.
Crime & Justice
Britain complicit in torture of terror suspects, claims damning UN report
The United Nations today gave backing to the devastating charge that the British government has been complicit in the mistreatment and possible torture of UK residents during the 'war on terror'.
Freeze on suspects' assets 'illegal'
Gordon Brown's personal contribution to the "war on terror" when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer was a fundamental breach of the Human Rights Act, the country's highest court has said.
Globalisation & Development
Green and Black's to go 100% Fairtrade
Organic chocolate maker Green & Black's today pledged to switch its entire worldwide food and beverage range to Fairtrade by the end of next year, in a groundbreaking move that will make it the world's leading manufacturer of organic Fairtrade chocolate.
Life & Death
Survivors gather to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
Elderly survivors of Auschwitz gathered today at the site of the former death camp to mark the 65th anniversary of its liberation.