October 13, 2011

Housing charity warns rent is unaffordable

by Jan Harris

Shelter today warned that ordinary working families in 55 per cent of local authorities in England are facing unaffordable levels of rent. Rent costing more than 35% of the median average local take-home pay are classified as unaffordable by the housing and homelessness charity’s Private Rent Watch report. Living in high-rent areas leaves few options […]




October 12, 2011

Ban on non-EU young spouses declared unlawful

by Jan Harris

A ban designed to deter forced marriages has been found to interfere with human rights, by the Supreme Court. The ban on non-EU foreign spouses under the age of 21 coming to the UK was introduced by the Labour government in 2008, in response to growing concern about British Asian girls being forced to marry […]




October 11, 2011

79 New Free Schools and UTCs approved

by Jan Harris

The government has approved applications for 55 free schools and 13 university technical colleges (UTCs). The new educational establishments will be able to open from September next year. They include a new Jewish free school in Golders Green, which will become the third Jewish free school in London. The Golders Green Jewish Primary School will […]




October 10, 2011

Archbishop calls for national debate over NHS changes

by Jan Harris

With peers due to vote on the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Bill on Wednesday, The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has warned of the dangers of introducing a commercial culture into the NHS. Dr Sentamu is calling for a national debate on healthcare, amid opposition to the Bill from both patients and […]




October 7, 2011

Catholics pray for 100 Days of Peace for 2012 Olympics

by Jan Harris

Catholic schoolchildren in London have been asked to pray for 100 Days of Peace for the Olympics, as part of their training in the classical virtues of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. The Archbishop of Westminster made the call for prayer at a mass at Westminster Cathedral today, which was attended by around 1,400 children […]




October 6, 2011

Ethiopian tribespeople arrested over dam protest

by Jan Harris

Around one hundred members of the Mursi and Bodi tribes are believed to have been arrested for opposing the construction of the Gibe III dam in Ethiopia. Damning the Omo River will provide water to irrigate sugar cane and biofuel grown on tribal lands in the South Omo region, which are being leased to foreign […]




October 5, 2011

Vatican condemns BBC’s advice on BC/AD usage

by Jan Harris

The BBC’s decision to allow producers to use the religiously neutral terms BCE and CE (Before Common Era and Common Era), instead of BC and AD (Before Christ and Anno Domini), has been condemned in the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. Although the BBC said that it was not official policy to use BCE and […]




October 4, 2011

Women bishops could help to humanise priesthood

by Jan Harris

As the full inclusion of women in the Church of England draws closer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said that this could help to ‘humanise’ the ordained ministry. Dr Rowan Williams has advised the Church to prepare for a culture change when the bar to women’s ordination as bishops is eventually removed. Before the […]




October 3, 2011

Prison separates 17,000 children from mothers

by Jan Harris

According to a report from the Howard League for Penal Reform, ‘Voice of the Child’, around 17,240 children in England and Wales were separated from their mothers in 2010, because the mothers were serving a prison sentence. This includes 11,000 children of non-violent offenders, who could have remained with their mothers if they served sentences […]




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