Mon, 12 Nov 2018

Former NSS president calls on BBC to expand Thought for the Day

Former NSS president calls on BBC to expand Thought for the Day

Former National Secular Society president Barbara Smoker is calling on the BBC to allow non-religious voices on Thought for the Day.

Patheos

Buckfast monks rake in cash as tonic wine profits soar by £5m

Buckfast monks rake in cash as tonic wine profits soar by £5m

Buckfast monks are raking in the cash after sales of the tonic wine have soared following a crackdown on minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland. While cheaper rivals like cider went up in price, the price of Buckfast remained largely unchanged.

Daily Record

Melbourne police see Islamic State 'inspiration' behind stabbings

Melbourne police see Islamic State 'inspiration' behind stabbings

An Australian man who set fire to a truck laden with gas cylinders in the centre of Melbourne and stabbed one person to death on Friday was inspired by Islamic State but did not have direct links with the group, police said.

Reuters

Australian PM: Muslim ‘community’ must be more proactive in tackling terrorism

Australian PM: Muslim ‘community’ must be more proactive in tackling terrorism

Scott Morrison has said "Muslim religious communities" in Australia must be more "proactive" in tackling the threat of terror attacks.

The Guardian

Bangladesh PM: 'Anyone who offends Islam will be prosecuted'

Bangladesh PM: 'Anyone who offends Islam will be prosecuted'

Bangladesh's prime minister has said she will not tolerate people offending Islam.

Premier Christian Radio

Woman who bore rapist’s baby faces 20 years in El Salvador jail under abortion laws

Woman who bore rapist’s baby faces 20 years in El Salvador jail under abortion laws

A rape victim is facing 20 years in jail charged with attempted murder after she gave birth to her abuser's baby in a latrine in El Salvador. The case highlights the rigidity of the country's abortion laws.

The Guardian

Atheist Ireland campaigns to replace politicians’ religious oath

Atheist Ireland campaigns to replace politicians’ religious oath

After its victory getting Ireland's blasphemy laws overturned, Atheist Ireland is launching a new campaign to replace the religious oaths taken by Ireland's political leaders with one that's both secular and universal.

Patheos

Fri, 09 Nov 2018

Church lobbies government to include religious views in RSE classes

Church lobbies government to include religious views in RSE classes

In its submission to the Department for Education consultation on its sex education guidelines, the CoE says it is "at a loss" to understand why schools have not been asked to include religious views in their RSE classes.

The Telegraph

‘This Christmas, beware evangelical Christians bearing gifts’

‘This Christmas, beware evangelical Christians bearing gifts’

The Samaritan's Purse charity sends shoe boxes filled with gifts to children in countries with large Muslim populations. Polly Toynbee says the boxes contain a pernicious, hidden agenda.

The Guardian

Scotland claims ‘world's first’ inclusive LGBT+ education

Scotland claims ‘world's first’ inclusive LGBT+ education

Scotland's schools are to recognise the issues faced by LGBT+ people as part of the curriculum.

BBC

‘Time to draw a line under blasphemy laws’

‘Time to draw a line under blasphemy laws’

Karen Harradine says our free speech is under attack from creeping Islamism and post-Liberal Puritans who are perpetually outraged on our behalf.

The Conservative Woman

'Billy Connolly is right about needing to end Scottish sectarianism'

'Billy Connolly is right about needing to end Scottish sectarianism'

Sir Billy Connolly has warned that religious bigotry is holding Scotland back. This leading article says the country needs a renewed campaign to drive sectarianism from society.

The Scotsman

Asia Bibi seeks asylum in the Netherlands, lawyer says

Asia Bibi seeks asylum in the Netherlands, lawyer says

An asylum application has been filed in the Netherlands for Asia Bibi, the Christian Pakistani woman acquitted last week of blasphemy charges, her lawyer tells CNN.

CNN

Study shows pivotal role of parents in efforts to change sexual orientation of LGBT teens

Study shows pivotal role of parents in efforts to change sexual orientation of LGBT teens

New research reveals how efforts by parents, therapists and religious leaders to change sexual orientation contribute to higher risk for LGBT+ young people.

Medical and Life Sciences News

Extremist preacher Shakeel Begg invited to Labour anti-racism rally

Extremist preacher Shakeel Begg invited to Labour anti-racism rally

Labour activists in Lewisham have been condemned for inviting a known extremist cleric Shakeel Begg to an anti-racism rally.

Times

Guided walk to mark 150th anniversary of Charles Bradlaugh's epic political career – NSS mentioned

Guided walk to mark 150th anniversary of Charles Bradlaugh's epic political career – NSS mentioned

A guided walk and pub lunch will mark the 150th anniversary of NSS founder's epic political career.

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Charity grant to boost numbers of students to take up RE teaching

Charity grant to boost numbers of students to take up RE teaching

Bangor University is set to help boost the number of teachers of religious education thanks to a £75,000 grant from All Saints Educational Trust.

North Wales Chronicle

West Virginia and Alabama are ready to ban abortion

West Virginia and Alabama are ready to ban abortion

Measures approved by voters in Alabama and West Virginia have created 'trigger bans' on abortion. This means abortion will become illegal in those states as soon as the famous Roe v Wade decision is overturned in the US federal courts.

Vox

‘This Malaysian man's story reveals the trauma of Christian conversion therapy’

‘This Malaysian man's story reveals the trauma of Christian conversion therapy’

A prominent Malaysian LGBT+ rights advocate has given a heart-wrenching account of the damage Christian conversion therapy can do to a person.

Gay Star News

Thu, 08 Nov 2018

‘Campaigners' verdict on sex education in England’ – NSS’s consultation response quoted

‘Campaigners' verdict on sex education in England’ – NSS’s consultation response quoted

Campaigning groups have responded to a government consultation on its guidance on sex education in English schools. The NSS took issue with the leeway the guidance gives to religious schools to teach a "distinctive faith perspective on relationships".

Reuters

New guidance lets private primaries 'edit LGBT people out'

New guidance lets private primaries 'edit LGBT people out'

Campaigners have warned that the government is allowing primary schools to "edit LGBT people out" by watering down guidance on sex education.

Tes

NSS criticises Orthodox rabbi for his resistance to UK education standards

NSS criticises Orthodox rabbi for his resistance to UK education standards

The NSS has criticised a rabbi who insists Orthodox Jewish schools should be permitted to keep pupils in a state of ignorance.

Patheos

Abortion pills: Judgement reserved in judicial review

Abortion pills: Judgement reserved in judicial review

Judgment has been reserved in a judicial review brought by a woman being prosecuted for buying her then 15-year-old daughter abortion pills.

BBC

Former minister attends MEND event but then denies support

Former minister attends MEND event but then denies support

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has qualified his recent appearance at an event hosted by a Muslim group which has attacked other campaigners for being too "Jew-friendly". He said his being there in no way amounted to his support for the organisation.

Jewish News

New Isle of Man abortion law moves a step closer

New Isle of Man abortion law moves a step closer

Decriminalising abortion on the Isle of Man has moved a step closer after the upper house of the island's parliament gave reforms unanimous backing.

BBC

‘Why I’m fighting Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law in the courts’

‘Why I’m fighting Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law in the courts’

An interview with Sarah Ewart, who is challenging Northern Ireland's abortion law in the courts.

Stylist

Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi freed from jail but still in Pakistan

Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi freed from jail but still in Pakistan

A Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row has been freed from prison, her lawyer says. News of her release led to some confusion, with reports she had been taken to another country. But the foreign office later confirmed she was still in Pakistan.

BBC

Orthodox priests to be cut from Greek government payroll

Orthodox priests to be cut from Greek government payroll

Athens's leftist government has taken a radical step in transforming the Greek state's relations with the powerful Orthodox Church, announcing an end to the status of clerics as civil servants.

The Guardian

Facebook page for atheists returns – NSS mentioned

Facebook page for atheists returns – NSS mentioned

A huge Facebook page for atheists which was shut down without explanation has returned. The page's representatives thanked the NSS and others for their support.

Patheos

Proposed amendment requiring post-abortion burials voted down in Ireland

Proposed amendment requiring post-abortion burials voted down in Ireland

A parliamentary committee In Ireland has voted against an amendment which would have forced women to bury or cremate a foetus after terminating their pregnancy.

The Journal

Trump administration issues rules letting some employers deny contraceptive coverage

Trump administration issues rules letting some employers deny contraceptive coverage

The Trump administration has issued a pair of federal rules that allow some employers to deny insurance coverage of birth control on religious or moral grounds.

The Washington Post

Wed, 07 Nov 2018

‘The case for and against Operation Christmas Child’ – NSS extensively quoted

‘The case for and against Operation Christmas Child’ – NSS extensively quoted

As the Christmas holidays approach children across the UK will be encouraged to pack up shoe boxes full of gifts and presents. Will Hayward speaks to opponents and supporters of the Operation Christmas Child scheme, including NSS campaigns officer Megan Manson.

Wales Online

Government’s sex ed guidance criticised for making it optional to teach about FGM and forced marriage

Government’s sex ed guidance criticised for making it optional to teach about FGM and forced marriage

The anti-FGM charity Daughters of Eve is among a series of groups which have criticised government guidance on sex education in England. The group has criticised the proposal to make the teaching of female genital mutilation and forced marriage optional.

The Guardian

Government’s new housing tsar under pressure over comments on ‘Islamophobia’, homosexuality and George Soros

Government’s new housing tsar under pressure over comments on ‘Islamophobia’, homosexuality and George Soros

Labour MPs have called on the prime minister to sack her new housing tsar, Roger Scruton, over comments he has made on a series of subjects. The comments they've criticised include Scruton saying 'Islamophobia' was a "propaganda word" and homosexuality was "not normal".

Politics Home

Schoolgirl 'marched out of classroom by police' to be quizzed over abortion pills

Schoolgirl 'marched out of classroom by police' to be quizzed over abortion pills

A Northern Ireland schoolgirl was allegedly marched out a classroom by police to be quizzed over abortion pills. Her mother is facing prosecution for allegedly buying the pills.

Mirror

Italy working to help Pakistani Christian in blasphemy case

Italy working to help Pakistani Christian in blasphemy case

Italy has said it is working to help relocate the family of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted eight years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy. The news comes amid warnings from Bibi's husband that the family's life is in danger in Pakistan.

The Washington Post

Two US states vote to restrict abortion

Two US states vote to restrict abortion

Voters in Alabama and West Virginia have chosen to amend their state constitutions to restrict abortion. Meanwhile voters in Oregon have rejected a measure which would have prohibited publicly funded health care programmes from covering abortion.

CNN

Muslim anti-vaccine sentiment fuels Thai measles outbreak

Muslim anti-vaccine sentiment fuels Thai measles outbreak

Health authorities in Thailand are racing to contain a measles outbreak in the country's southern provinces. Officials blame the comeback of the disease on low vaccination rates in the area, caused by misconceptions among the Muslim population about the nature of the vaccine.

ABC News

China urged to close mass detention camps for Uighur Muslims

China urged to close mass detention camps for Uighur Muslims

Western nations including the US, France and Germany have called on China to close down detention camps which activists claim hold as many as 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims.

The Independent

Study suggests dramatic drop in FGM rates in east Africa

Study suggests dramatic drop in FGM rates in east Africa

A study published in the British Medical Journal has suggested the number of girls undergoing female genital mutilation has fallen dramatically in east Africa over the past two decades. Experts have advised caution over the figures.

The Guardian

German politicians push for expansion of Islam classes

German politicians push for expansion of Islam classes

Some German politicians are pushing for an expansion of Islam classes in public schools, claiming they will encourage the cultural integration of students from Muslim backgrounds.

The Independent

‘Can biodiverse Bijagós fend off evangelical threat?’

‘Can biodiverse Bijagós fend off evangelical threat?’

Ruth McLean says that for centuries, traditional religious practices have preserved the sacred forests of the Bijagós archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau. Now missionaries are muscling in.

The Guardian

Canada debates assisted death laws after woman is forced to end life early

Canada debates assisted death laws after woman is forced to end life early

The case of Audrey Parker has reignited the debate over assisted death in Canada. Parker was assessed and approved for medically assisted death, but because federal law requires that she be lucid at the time of death her plans were derailed.

The Guardian

Tue, 06 Nov 2018

Kirklees's halal secret – NSS extensively quoted

Kirklees's halal secret – NSS extensively quoted

Thousands of children in the West Yorkshire district of Kirklees are being fed halal meat from animals that have been ritually slaughtered without being stunned, NSS research has revealed.

The Press News

Birmingham school 'still segregating boys and girls despite court ruling'

Birmingham school 'still segregating boys and girls despite court ruling'

A Birmingham Islamic school has been told in strong terms that its continued practice of segregating older boys and girls on faith grounds is against the law. Last year the Court of Appeal ruled that Al-Hijrah school's policy of segregation was unlawful.

Birmingham Live

Northern Irish woman to challenge abortion prosecution

Northern Irish woman to challenge abortion prosecution

A woman who is facing prosecution for obtaining abortion pills for her pregnant underage daughter is due to challenge the move in a potential legal landmark for Northern Ireland's criminalisation of abortion.

The Guardian

UK remains silent on Asia Bibi as asylum calls intensify

UK remains silent on Asia Bibi as asylum calls intensify

Number 10 and the Home Office have both refused to comment on calls that Asia Bibi be offered asylum in the UK, amid reports suggesting the Pakistani Christian mother-of-five is yet to be given an offer.

Premier Christian Radio

Taxpayer money for abortion on ballot in three US states today

Taxpayer money for abortion on ballot in three US states today

The states of West Virginia, Oregon, and Alabama all have measures on their ballots this year related to funding of abortion with taxpayer dollars.

The Epoch Times

Abortion motivating more Democrats than Republicans in US midterms

Abortion motivating more Democrats than Republicans in US midterms

Abortion rights are motivating Democrats in today's US elections more than at any time in the past decade, according to a poll.

The Washington Post

Imam in unfair dismissal claim after whistleblowing on mosque

Imam in unfair dismissal claim after whistleblowing on mosque

An imam is locked in a legal battle with officials at one of Scotland's biggest mosques amid claims he was sacked for whistleblowing on bosses. Yahya Barry raised concerns over financial irregularities at Edinburgh Central Mosque and reported it to the charity regulator.

The Herald

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