Press Roundup Thursday 4 February 2010

By Press Office
February 4, 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

Christianity being squeezed out in the name of 'equality', Archbishop of York warns
Christianity is being wiped out from public life in the name of equality, the Archbishop of York said yesterday.

Lack of faith in politicians ‘damages Britain’, says Archbishop
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, believes that Britain is beset by such a deep crisis of faith in politicians that society is being badly damaged.

BBC Director-General discusses coverage of Pope’s visit at Vatican amid criticism from clergy
The Director-General of the BBC has had high-level discussions about coverage of the Pope’s forthcoming visit to Britain, amid criticism of the quality of the corporation’s religious broadcasting.

Vatican blamed for 'bogus dirt' that ousted Catholic editor
Whispers were reverberating around the corridors of the Vatican yesterday over incendiary claims by the editor of the Berlusconi family newspaper that the Holy See was the source of bogus documents sent to blacken the name of a Catholic editor.

Cherie Blair in the dock for religious stance
Tony Blair has said he felt unable to speak openly about his faith while he was prime minister. Now, his wife Cherie has discovered that religion can be dangerous in her profession, too.

Comment: The churches stand for pluralism
This argument is not about secularism but the principles of a plural society, with real moral disagreements.

Life & Death

Nine more facing execution in Iran as Shah anniversary demos loom
Nine more Iranian dissidents are to be executed soon, a senior member of the country’s judiciary declared yesterday as the regime stepped up its efforts to deter another huge opposition rally planned for next week.

Heavy sedation of patients prevents them from having 'good death', Catholic church warns
Heavy sedation of patients in their final days prevents them from the opportunity of having a “good death”, according to the Roman Catholic Church.

Couple found guilty over the death of their teenage son in faith healing trial
A U.S. court has found a couple guilty for praying over their ill son instead of seeking medical help.

Comment: Reasonable, yet appalling
Terry Pratchett's arguments for changing the law on assisted suicide will convince many. But the prospect is a grim one.

Comment: One in three of us is going to join Terry Pratchett in mental disintegration
His common sense and dignity has changed for good the debate about assisted dying.

Ecology & Environment

Climate change researchers must be more open, says chief scientist
The government's chief scientist has called on climate researchers to be more open when dealing with critics and transparent when they make errors.

Climate change cynicism a tragedy says Lord Smith
Scepticism over climate change is on the increase ­following a spate of controversies about the research, the head of the Environment Agency admitted yesterday.

Comment: The green debate goes tribal
Climate change believers and sceptics are two sides of the same coin – it is logical that one will always hate the other.

Comment: Our licence fees pay for climate denial
The BBC spouts rightwing bias while ignoring environmental science. So why not give other conspiracies a platform too?

Peace & War

Cyber-warfare 'is growing threat'
International Institute for Strategic Studies says cyber attacks could become weapon of choice in future conflicts.

Comment: Palestine's impossible dream
Lavish, unrealistic plans for Palestinian development are a dangerous alternative to the struggle for independence.

Comment: The lessons of Iraq have been ignored. The target is now Iran
The US military buildup in the Gulf and Blair's promotion of war against Tehran are a warning of yet another catastrophe.

Comment: Nuclear arms will soon proliferate. So here's a plan to scrap them all
The tipping point is close when every country will want to be another nuclear France. Changing our global course is vital.

Race & Identity

Minister: Ban dole for new migrants
A senior Labour minister said last night that new immigrants should be banned from claiming benefits.

Nigerian prince: 'I'd rather be sent back to my torturers than stay in a detention centre'
A Nigerian prince who fled to Britain after being tortured in a tribal dispute over his family's claim to a royal throne has now begged the Home Office to send him home.

Comment: Target apathy to stop the BNP
I was racially abused for the first time ever, in an area where some residents see no alternative to the party's blame games.

Sex & Gender

Cameron: No new gay rights under the Tories
No new legislation is needed to protect gay people, David Cameron has insisted, in an interview discussing his voting record on gay rights.

Malawi man arrested for putting up gay rights posters
A man has been arrested in Malawi for putting up posters championing gay rights in the latest sign of official intolerance towards homosexuality.

Comment: Let's talk about sex: Johann Hari grills David Cameron over gay rights
Once upon a time, the Tory party set its face against gay rights. In the Cameron era, all that's changed. Or has it? Johann Hari puts the would-be PM in the firing line.

Crime & Justice

Sudanese president may face genocide charges
Sudan's president faces being charged with genocide over the seven-year conflict in Darfur after a war crimes court ruling.

Tzipi Livni to visit London to test arrest warrant
Tzipi Livni, Israel's opposition leader and former foreign minister, is planning to visit London to test the process by which Britain issues arrest warrants for alleged war crimes.

Economy & Politics

Fiddling MPs will get away with it
MPs are set to win the battle to hang on to their fiddled expenses as the Westminster sleaze inquiry descended into chaos last night.

Expenses payback MPs to be named
MPs were braced for a fresh onslaught over their expenses as the long-awaited report naming those parliamentarians ordered to pay back cash to the taxpayer is published.

People & Power

Prince of Wales: 'I was accused of being enemy of the Enlightenment'
The Prince of Wales has revealed how he was once accused of being the ''enemy of the Enlightenment'' and claimed he has faced ''unbelievable abuse'' for voicing his views.

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