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In the Press

  • A Court of Appeal ruling on whether a heterosexual couple can have a civil partnership is due later.

    Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, from London, took their case to the Court of Appeal following a defeat at the High Court last year.

    They are challenging a ruling that they could not have a civil partnership because they did not meet the legal requirement of being the same sex.

    The couple said they faced discrimination.

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  • randparents have long been regarded as the ultimate reliable and cheap childcare solution for busy working parents.

    But a new report reveals that many find the task so daunting they regularly hire in babysitters to do it for them.

    A survey by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) think tank and insurer Ageas has found that almost a quarter of all grandparents admit to paying for a babysitter, and among those charged with regular childminding duties the rate is 60 per cent. 

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  • The shortage of teachers is a major challenge for the education sector in England, particularly in certain regions and subjects such as computing, physics and maths, says the Education Committee report.

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  • Brendan Howlin has accused the health minister of reneging on a promise to reform rogue crisis pregnancy agencies after a bill to regulate the services stalled.

    The proposed bill, introduced by the Labour Party, passed the Dáil with cross-party support last November after The Times exposed a clinic run by a Catholic group claiming that abortions could cause breast cancer and turn women into child abusers. 

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  • Muslim parents are sending their children to Christian schools to prepare them for "life in modern Britain", according to a senior figure at the Church of England.

    Rev Nigel Genders, the Church's chief education officer, said Muslim families see Christian schools as an attractive option because children will be able to integrate with the wider community from a young age.

    While some schools have a tendency to "squeeze out" and "marginalise" religious education from the curriculum, Church schools "take faith seriously" and offer pupils "spiritual as well as academic development", he said.

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  • A head teacher's claims of a "Trojan Horse" Islamic takeover at a school have "no basis", a council investigation has found.

    Patricia O'Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School, Oldham, also alleged she had received death threats.

    Oldham Council said it investigated the claims made in December but concluded, in a report leaked to the Sunday Times, it had "no concerns" about any schools.

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  • Catch them if you can is a now a popular blood sport in Pakistan. The hunters on the prowl are fanatical fundamentalist Muslims. The prey they are tracking, trapping and devouring are the few feeble Christians who constitute a minority of Pakistan’s population. The bait is blasphemy.

    Last month, police arrested Shahbaz Babu, who has been evangelising for the past 15 years, for blasphemy. His huntsmen accused Pastor Babu of writing his name on the pages of a Koran. They have no eyewitnesses to prove it. Babu is illiterate and cannot write. But that doesn’t matter. The rules of the hunt are the rules of Islamic Shariah law. 

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  • Legalisation of same-sex marriage in US states has been linked to a drop in suicide attempts among teenagers.

    Researchers say suicide attempts among high school students fell by an average of 7% following the implementation of the legislation. The impact was especially significant among gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers, for whom the passing of same-sex marriage laws was linked to a 14% drop in suicide attempts.

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  • Max Hill QC, a leading prosecutor in many of the most serious terrorism trials, has been named the new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.

    He will replace the human rights lawyer David Anderson QC, who marked his upcoming departure this weekend with a warning that the government's anti-radicalisation strategy Prevent is faltering because it is not trusted by "a very large number of decent British Muslims".

    Hill, the head of Red Lion Chambers in London, has a background in prosecuting and defending in complex cases of terrorism, homicide, fraud and corporate crime.

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  • Norway has joined an international initiative to raise millions of dollars to replace shortfalls left by U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on U.S.-funded groups worldwide providing information on abortion.

    In January, the Netherlands started a global fund to help women access abortion services, saying Trump's "global gag rule" meant a funding gap of $600 million over the next four years, and has pledged $10 million to the initiative to replace that.

    Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada and Cape Verde have all also lent their support.

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