Press Roundup Wednesday 19 May 2010

By Press Office
May 19, 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.

Economy & Politics

Clegg reveals political reform plan
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to promise to spearhead the biggest shake-up in Britain's democracy in almost two centuries as he lays out the new coalition Government's plans for political reform.

MPs' fury as John Bercow is re-elected Commons Speaker
John Bercow was re-elected unopposed as Commons Speaker yesterday despite a failed mutiny by some MPs.

Coalition sidesteps damaging split over British bill of rights
A battle between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over whether to introduce a British bill of rights, supplanting the European convention on human rights, is to be passed to an independent commission after a disagreement within the new coalition.

Comment: No way to appoint our noble lords
With an additional 180 peers the Chamber would have nearly 900 members and the extra cost would come in at approximately £30.2m a year (at £168,000 per peer pa).

Comment: This giant gerrymander would never survive an independent Lords
The House of Lords will throw out the absurd 55% proposal – unless it is filled with biddable peers.

Comment: Let’s take the tarpaulin off the House of Lords
Blair left the Upper House looking like a building site. A short-term fix won’t finish the job.

Religion & Society

Abuse victims' fury as Cardinal Sean Brady refuses to quit
Survivors of clerical child sexual abuse called on Irish Roman Catholics to make their voices heard today after Cardinal Sean Brady ended months of speculation about his future by saying he would not resign.

Comment: Kässmann's guilt-edged comeback
Margot Kässmann's humility offers an alternative to the model of church authority we're used to in the UK.

Comment: Free speech and hate in Sweden
The cycle of outrage and offence set off by the Danish cartoons of Muhammad continues in Sweden.

Crime & Justice

Call for freeze on new prisons
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has come under pressure to put a freeze on the building of new prisons and stop the record-level jail population rising further.

Comment: Will Theresa be caught by the securocrats?
Deportation is no substitute for a fair trial. The coalition must stop this un-British practice.

Ecology & Environment

Violent hurricanes could hamper oil clean-up
Meteorologists in the United States are warning of an unusually active hurricane season this summer, stirring concerns that just one severe tempest at sea early on could cripple ongoing operations by BP and the US government to plug the crippled oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and contain the already giant spill.

Education & Culture

Focus on league tables harms poorer pupils' university chances
Britain's most selective universities have made no progress in the past 15 years in increasing the number of places given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, a major study out today reveals.

Globalisation & Development

Comment: Aid, Afghanistan and unhelpful hearsay
Afghanistan is often seen in purely military terms. Regeneration is key – and it's wrong to be sniffy about all NGO work.

Life & Death

Comment: Singapore is still out of step on death penalty policy
The decision to hang a teenage drug dealer undermines progress and puts the island state back on the fringe.

Peace & War

Thai Army storms the barricades in all-out assault on Red Shirt protest
Protesters in the centre of the Thai capital were engaged in battle this morning as large numbers of soldiers and armoured vehicles stormed their encampment, opening fire as they broke through the barricades.

Race & Identity

Comment: The revival of sanctuary
This coalition would end child detention, but that's just one aspect of our chaotic and cruel asylum system.

Sex & Gender

Malawian men who tried to marry face 14 years in prison
A gay couple in Malawi are facing up to 14 years in prison after being convicted yesterday under colonial era sodomy laws in a trial that was widely seen as a test case for homosexual rights in southern Africa.

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