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In the Press

  • The head of MI5 has said the terror threat to the UK is at its highest level in more than three decades and “growing”.
    Andrew Parker, director-general of the agency responsible for national security, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that police and intelligence agencies had intervened to foil six terrorist plots in the past year alone.
    “That is the highest number I can recall in my 32-year career, certainly the highest number since 9/11,” he said.
    “It represents a threat which is continuing to grow, largely because of the situation in Syria and how that affects our security.”
  • David Cameron last night demanded universities clamp down on hate preachers on campus to ‘protect impressionable young minds’.
    From Monday, colleges will for the first time have a legal duty to put in place specific policies to stop extremists radicalising students. They will also have to tackle gender segregation at events and do more to support students at risk of radicalisation.
  • Fear of the radicalisation of prisoners has been discovered among staff at nearly all of Britain's jails, Shipley MP Philip Davies has discovered.
    For months he has sought answers from the Government and now it has revealed that staff at 130 out of 136 prisons have registered concerns about prisoner radicalisation.
    The Prisoner Officers' Association (POA), which represents staff, has praised Mr Davies for highlighting the issue and said it was "shocked" by the findings.
  • The National Union of Students (NUS) has been told by the government to abandon its opposition to the Prevent strategy designed to counter the spread of extremism in England and Wales.
    The warning comes as David Cameron’s extremism task force meets for the first time in this parliament on Thursday, and peers prepare to vote on the new guidelines tightening the rules that allow extremists speakers on university campuses only so long as they are challenged.
    The Home Office is concerned peers could reject the regulations, which are due to come into force next week, on the grounds they inhibit free speech and thought on campuses.
  • King’s College London, Queen Mary University and SOAS among institutions Prime Minister will name and shame for giving platforms to hate preachers who are determined to undermine British values.

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to gamble his legacy on a high-stakes plan to overhaul the 80 million-strong worldwide Anglican church in what he sees as a “last throw of the dice” to avert a permanent split over issues such as homosexuality.
    The Most Rev Justin Welby has invited the heads of all the other Anglican churches – some of whom have not spoken directly to each other for more than a decade amid a deep liberal-conservative split – to a make-or-break meeting in Canterbury in January.

    He wants them not only to acknowledge the rift but effectively formalise it by scaling the Anglican Communion back into a loosely linked organisation – a step aides liken to “moving into separate bedrooms” rather than full-scale divorce.
  • The first same-sex marriages in the Republic of Ireland are expected within months after cabinet ministers were given details of the new legislation.
    It follows an historic referendum in May, when 62% of the electorate voted in favour of introducing gay marriage.

    Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald brought the Marriage Bill before ministers on Wednesday morning.

    Her spokesman told the BBC the minister hoped the first ceremonies would take place "before the end of this year".
  • Britain's top law officer last night said he 'doesn't know' if the UK will still be signed up to controversial European human rights law by 2020.
    The comments by Attorney General Jeremy Wright are the strongest hint yet that the Government will quit if Strasbourg does not stop its meddling.
    Mr Wright also dismissed claims that Britain walking away from the European Convention on Human Rights would set a bad example to the rest of the world.
    He said there were many countries in the world with proud human rights records which were not members.
    His predecessor, Dominic Grieve, had insisted that leaving the Convention would turn us into 'a pariah state by European standards'.
  • Rowan County clerk Kim Davis of Kentucky suffered another legal setback Tuesday when a federal appeals court denied her request to be exempted from a gubernatorial directive to comply with the Supreme Court's June decision on same-sex marriage.
    In a short order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit noted that "Davis has not demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on her federal constitutional claims."
    This dispute -- which is separate from Davis' legal challenge to an August court order instructing Davis to issue marriage licenses to gay couples -- stems from a countersuit she filed against Gov. Steve Beshear (D), whom she has argued is partly responsible for her present court troubles.
  • Authors, directors, actors and musicians have joined the campaign for the repeal of Ireland’s eighth amendment, which gives a foetus the same constitutional rights as every other citizen in the Irish Republic, even at the earliest stages of pregnancy.


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