Press Roundup Monday 22 February 2010

By Press Office
February 22, 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

Church of England defends disastrous £40m Manhattan property deal
The Church of England has defended the disastrous decision to invest £40m in a New York housing scheme that led to accusations of wrongfully raising rents and a multi-million pound loss for the Church's pension fund.

Australia gets its very first saint after Pope Benedict approves Mother Mary McKillop for canonisation
Australia has its very first saint today after Pope Benedict approved Mother Mary MacKillop for her work among the needy.

Comment: David Cameron should have more faith in the Christian vote
The electorate may be moving in mysterious ways, suggests George Pitcher.

Comment: To tackle the last decades' myths, we must dust off the big moral questions
A robust debate on ethics is crucial to the pursuit of a good society in which individuals are more than mere economic units.

Comment: The three virtues we need
Courage, modesty and intellectual curiosity can go a long way in cultivating delight in daily life, and protecting our liberties.

Comment: Out of the abyss of individualism
We shouldn't leave politics to managers and economics to brokers – or be afraid to reintroduce 'virtue' to public discourse.

Comment: My generation need to be heroes
Those of us reaching adulthood in the 21st century are more conventional than our parents – and we have a serious job to do.

Globalisation & Development

AIDs 'could be beaten in 40 years'
A global mass-population screening programme could rid the world of the scourge of Aids within 40 years, a South African expert has claimed.

North Koreans' life expectancy falls as infant mortality rises
Life expectancy in North Korea has declined over the past 15 years, with an increase in infant mortality and more mothers dying in childbirth, according to new census figures.

Fairtrade sales growth slowed in recession
Fairtrade's explosive growth slowed during the recession last year as British shoppers thought twice about buying more expensive ethical products, figures to be released today show.

Comment: In absence of a vaccine, this is probably our best hope
In the past, someone with HIV would typically pass on the virus to one person a year.

Comment: Communities will make Haiti strong
Social networks can help to sustain the hundreds of thousands displaced by the earthquake, as well as keep unrest at bay.

Peace & War

Civilians killed in Nato air strike
A Nato air strike in southern Afghanistan killed at least 21 civilians, the Afghan government said.

Darfur rebel group declares ceasefire
Darfur's most powerful rebel group has agreed a truce with the Sudanese government, marking a return to peace talks aimed at ending the Darfur conflict.

Comment: Another big push, another procession of coffins... another unwinnable war
Politicians are so vain and stupid these days that they don't know any history, let alone learn from it. But why can't they even learn from events in their own lifetimes?

Comment: Obama’s slow burn will bring Iran into line
A sledgehammer approach to sanctions will not kill President Ahmadinejad’s nuclear ambitions and might bolster his power.

Comment: To kill or not to kill terrorists: that’s the question
Christians find themselves in a moral maze when it comes to assassinations.

Crime & Justice

Secret service agents accused over five more torture cases
The Attorney General could order a criminal investigation into fresh claims that British secret service agents colluded in torture.

Tzipi Livni scoffs at Tory pledge to end threat of arrest for Israel officials
A Conservative party pledge to end the threat of arrest hanging over visiting Israeli officials has received short shrift from the senior politician whose arrest was sought by a London court in December.

Police chief: my prayers are foiling criminals
A senior police officer claims he has slashed the crime rate in his home town – by praying.

Economy & Politics

Tory drive to raise ethnic MP quota if Cameron wins election
David Cameron hopes to more than treble the number of female Tory MPs and boast up to 15 ethnic minority members if he wins the general election.

Comment: If only they would let us tick a box on polling day that said ‘Hung Parliament’
Every day there is another downpour. The rain won’t stop and the economic news is dire.

Education & Culture

Bill 'will allow schools to teach that homosexuality is wrong'
Campaigners today accused the government of performing a U-turn over sex education in faith schools, after changes to a bill they said would allow the schools to discourage the use of contraception and teach that homosexuality is wrong.

Gap between private and state schools grows
The A-level achievement gap between independent schools and comprehensives has widened in the last decade despite record spending on state education.

Life & Death

Assisted suicide: law to be decriminalised 'by back door' from next week
Assisted suicide will be effectively decriminalised by the back door in landmark guidance to be published next week.

Comment: Promoting life rather than death
It is absolutely right for us to feel compassion for those who have a terminal or an incurable illness and for their near and dear ones who wish to relieve them of this burden, even if this means the death of the one who is ill.

People & Power

'Aristocracy is dead', says Duke of Devonshire as he offers to surrender his title
AS the 12th duke in a line of noble ancestors stretching back three centuries, he has a £500million fortune and calls the 297-room Chatsworth House his home.

Burma plans crackdown on monks as election nears
The military authorities in Burma are planning a crackdown on the country's Buddhist monks to "discipline" them ahead of forthcoming elections.

Race & Identity

Don't wear burkhas begs Straw
Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said he wishes Muslim women would not wear burkhas in the UK.

CPS 'segregated black and white lawyers'
The Government agency responsible for bringing prosecutions in England and Wales is facing widespread claims of racism, including allegations that senior black lawyers have been segregated from their white and Asian colleagues, The Independent has learnt.

Community & Family

Comment: Don't despair, Britain isn't a broken society
We keep hearing a smooth soundbite –  that we live in something called a ‘broken society’. Polls suggest that a majority of people agree. I just don’t believe it.

Ecology & Environment

Barack Obama's climate change policy in crisis
President Barack Obama's climate change policy is in crisis amid a barrage of US lawsuits challenging goverment directives and the defection of major corporate backers for his ambitious green programmes.

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.