Press Roundup Friday 2 July 2010

By Press Office
July 2, 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

Britain to vote next year on electoral reform
Britain will vote next year on whether to change the electoral system, ministers will announce next week.

We will axe the new expenses watchdog, warn angry MPs
Furious MPs are plotting to scrap Parliament's expenses watchdog only weeks after its launch. They are angry at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's strict demands that they submit receipts with every claim they make.

MPs sleep on camp beds and sofas in the Commons
MPs are secretly bedding down in the Commons after being stripped of their second home allowance.

Comment: Thanks, Nick! Free at last
Clegg's website wants our say on laws to scrap. The consensus: most of them – and legalise those drugs.

Peace & War

Hague optimistic of Afghan pull-out by 2014, but propaganda war hots up as Taliban says: 'We won't be talking to anyone'
Foreign Secretary William Hague said today he would be 'very surprised' if Afghan forces were unable to look after their own military affairs by 2014.

MPs urge Iraq inquiry to recall Blair
Tony Blair could be brought back before the Iraq war inquiry to face questions over whether he pressurised his Attorney General to change his advice and declare the invasion to be legal.

Comment: Talk is cheap for Taliban
The Taliban may say they have no need to enter talks, but there is little substance behind the points-scoring rhetoric.

Religion & Society

Church seeks revival with John Paul II, the musical
Mamma Mia certainly did the business in reviving Abba's worldwide reputation; now the Catholic Church is hoping a new, all-singing, all-dancing biography can do the same for John Paul II and his flock.

Comment: Without its immunity, can the Vatican survive?
A US supreme court decision could have serious implications for the Holy See, historically protected by its sovereignty.

Comment: a religious TV series that should replace Thought for the Day
It’s hardly pushing boundaries, but a new Channel 4 strand on religion impresses Damian Thompson.

Community & Family

Gap in life expectancy increases
The gap between the life expectancy of the rich and poor has widened despite efforts to close it, an official Government watchdog has revealed.

Comment: I love being married. Yet it's no solution for society's ills
What's not leftwing about a loving union? Just note that happy marriages are built on stable homes and income, not vice versa.

Education & Culture

Muslim pupils taken out of music lessons 'because Islam forbids playing an instrument'
Muslim pupils are being withdrawn from music lessons because some families believe learning an instrument is anti-Islamic.

Comment: Parents haven't time to run free schools
Asking parents to take over the education system is a bit like asking the prime minister if he's got time to run France as well.

Sex & Gender

UN Assembly's gender equality deal
The UN General Assembly reached an "informal agreement" to establish a single UN body with greater clout to promote equality for women.

Comment: Queer, Christian and proud
Ultra-conservative anti-gay Christians are a just a noisy minority. That's why this coming Pride, the rest of us should raise the roof.

Crime & Justice

Comment: Is Ken Clarke right about prisons?
The Justice Secretary's proposed overhaul of Britain's penal system will mean jailing fewer people. He'd better be right, says Philip Johnston.

Ecology & Environment

Network Rail study to assess impact of climate change
Potential safety threats to thousands of miles of railway from extreme storms, floods and heatwaves as the impact of climate change worsens are being investigated by railway engineers and meteorologists.

Life & Death

'Help us save our mother': Pleas from the children of 'adulterous' Iranian woman who faces death by stoning
An Iranian woman faces death by stoning after being convicted of adultery. Amnesty International yesterday called on the Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution of mother-of-two Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and the hanging of another woman said to be a political activist.

People & Power

No chance a Roman Catholic could become king after monarchy reforms are abandoned
David Cameron has dropped plans to reform the monarchy which might have allowed a Roman Catholic to become king.

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