February 15, 2011

Court to rule on sterilisation without consent case

by Jan Harris

The UK’s Court of Protection is due this week to rule on a case that is raising interest around the world because of its human rights implications. If the court gives its approval, a woman with a learning disability could be sterilised without her consent when she gives birth by caesarean section the following day. […]




February 14, 2011

Faith groups allowed to register civil partnerships

by Jan Harris

An amendment to the Equality Act, which was passed before the recent general election, has now been put into effect. The amendment, which allows civil partnerships to include religious elements, is long overdue according to equality campaigners and some Faith groups, but the move has caused concern among those who feel the move is against […]




February 11, 2011

Vatican bans confession app for iPhone

by Jan Harris

The Vatican has ruled that an app for the iPhone, that allows Catholics to confess their sins, cannot be used as a substitute for confessing in the presence of a priest. Although the app’s creator, Little iApps, received an imprimatur from the US Catholic Church to publish the software, a Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, […]




February 10, 2011

Church of England votes to update baptism service

by Jan Harris

The General Synod has voted in favour of updating the words of the Church of England’s baptism service to make the ceremony more accessible. For 400 years, until 1980, the version in the Church’s Book of Common Prayer was used, but since then the service has been revised twice. The call for change this time […]




February 9, 2011

John Travolta turned Josh Brolin away from scientology

by Jan Harris

Josh Brolin revealed to the New Yorker that his interest in scientology waned after he witnessed John Travolta trying to heal a cut on the late Marlon Brando’s leg. The incident happened at an LA dinner party, when Brando arrived with an injured leg after helping a stranded motorist. Brolin described Travolta touching Brando’s leg […]




February 8, 2011

Muslims attack Christian churches in Java

by Jan Harris

The normally peaceful town of Temanggung in central Java was the scene of violent attacks today, after a Christian man, 58-year-old Antonius Bawengan, was sentenced to five years imprisonment for blasphemy against Islam. Incensed at a sentence they considered far too lenient, an angry mob of over 1,000 Muslims stormed the courthouse and torched two […]




February 7, 2011

Creationists apply to open UK school

by Jan Harris

The Everyday Champions Church which rejects Darwen’s theory of evolution, is applying to open a school in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Although the school will teach evolution as a theory, the church states on its website “we believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives”. A fundamental […]




Oxford University’s halal meat policy outrages students

by Jan Harris

Students at 17 Oxford University colleges were outraged to hear that the university had routinely served them with halal meat without their knowledge. The student newspaper, Cherwell, discovered that the meat came from catering firm Field Fresh Farms, which confirmed that the meat was slaughtered using halal methods, although it said it had not been […]




February 4, 2011

British Muslims train as terrorists in Somalia

by Jan Harris

Wikileaks has released secret US diplomatic cables revealing that Somalia is a hot bed of “jihadi tourism”, where al-Shabaab, a group associated with al-Qaeda, is training British Muslims to carry out terrorist attacks in the UK. According to a report in The Telegraph, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the United Nations special envoy to Somalia, was so worried […]




Quaker imprisoned for protesting against Trident

by Jan Harris

Bingley Magistrates’ Court yesterday sentenced Sylvia Boyes, a 67 year old Quaker, to fourteen days in prison after she refused to pay £700 in fines for her actions at Faslane Naval Base in Scotland in summer 2009. Mrs Boyes was charged with Malicious Mischief, Breach of the Peace and Aggravated Trespass after she painted “Scots! […]




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