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In the Press

  • Last week the UN put yet more pressure on Ireland to change its abortion laws protecting the unborn. The UN Human Rights Committee ruled that Ireland, in its 'failure' to terminate a baby with a rare genetic condition, had breached the human rights of his or her mother. The Irish Times stated that as a result of the ruling, "there is a provision for another State to take a complaint against Ireland" and goes on to summarise the decision by saying "the real impact of the UN decision is to increase the political pressure for change in abortion law".

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  • A school has warned a father his eight-year-old daughter could be radicalised or groomed by predators unless she joined £5-a-time after school clubs.

    Matthew Cable from Telford, Shropshire, says he couldn't believe his eyes when he found a letter his daughter Ellen-May brought home from Holmer Lake Primary School pressuring children as young a four into joining a club.

    The 37-year-old, who says his daughter is a member of some clubs, believes the school is scaremongering the children, and that clubs can cost up to £5, which some parents cannot afford.

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  • Men who are stressed can pass on anxiety and depression to their children and grandchildren, scientists in Australia have found, in a study which indicates parental advice has been “disproportionately” focused on the health and diet of women. 

    The study, based on mice which were fed stress hormones, examined the behaviour of the first and second generations of offspring.  It found that the later generations – that had no contact with their fathers - showed signs of increased anxiety and depression and that such behaviour may be passed on via molecules called “microRNAs” which affected genetic outcomes. 

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  • A Muslim faith school has accused Ofsted of racism after the watchdog slams posters branding music and dancing as 'acts of the devil'.

    The Darul Uloom Islamic High School said the leaflets - described by Ofsted as evidence of safeguarding weakness - were not found on its premises but at the rear door of an adjacent mosque.

    And the independent school in Small Heath, Birmingham, has alleged that an Ofsted inspector angrily refused to take off their shoes during a recent inspection, describing them as 'extremely belligerent' throughout the visit.

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  • Thirty campaigners, including academics, MPs, peers, faith groups and educators, have called on the Government to abolish the law requiring Christian worship in English schools, following criticism of the practice from the UN.

    The signatories to the letter, organised by the National Secular Society, include Ted Cantle, who warned over a decade ago that religious and ethnic communities in Britain were living "parallel lives", Paul Rowe, the CEO of Educate Together, Caroline Lucas MP, historian Dan Snow, Professor AC Grayling and a range of educators concerned about the imposition of Christian worship on pupils.

    "There is a growing consensus," the signatories say, that collective worship in schools should be abolished.

    Current law fails to reflect children's Human Rights, the letter adds.

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  • A police officer accused of making discriminatory remarks to a Muslim colleague after asking him why he celebrated Christmas has been issued with a written warning.

    PC Tracy Houldey appeared before a panel at Cleveland Police headquarters in Marton on Monday after allegedly making discriminatory comments to a fellow police officer on January 4.

    The racist element of a police misconduct charge was dropped after witnesses said they didn't believe it was racially motivated. 

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  • The Government should give parents lessons on how to raise their children, Britain's leading public health expert has urged.

    Professor John Ashton, the outgoing president of the Faculty of Public Health, said today's children are being neglected by "sweatshop" schools and bad parents.

    He said the state must step in to help prevent the next generation being crippled by conditions such as anxiety, anorexia and obesity.

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  • The majority of boys who view online pornography believe it provides a realistic depiction of sex, according to the most extensive survey of British secondary school pupils undertaken.

    Research published on Wednesday reveals that most children – 94% – who have seen online pornography have been exposed to it by the age of 14. But the study also found that almost half of the 1,000 11- to 16-year-olds questioned had never seen internet pornography – findings that are in contrast to many other studies.

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  • In a very concerning development for the pro-life movement and its battle alongside medical, religious and disability rights groups to stop the spread of assisted suicide, the American medical Association appears to be studying dropping its longstanding opposition to assisted suicide.

    Yesterday, at its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) rejected a Louisiana State Medical Society proposal to reaffirm the AMA’s long-standing policy against physician assisted suicide. Instead it approved a study-resolution to explore AMA adoption of a neutral position on physician assisted suicide, which was often referred to as “aid-in-dying” in the debate.

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  • The BMA has been opposed to physician-assisted suicide for the whole of its history, with the exception of one controversial year's neutrality (2005-6). The stance was last debated and confirmed in 2012. Since then the BMA has seen fit to consider the matter settled, but on 21 June, delegates in Belfast will be asked to consider the following motions:

    79 Motion by EAST MIDLANDS REGIONAL COUNCIL: That this meeting, with respect to Physician Assisted Dying, notes the recent rejection by Parliaments of efforts to overturn the law on Physician-Assisted Dying and therefore feels that it is not appropriate at this time to debate whether or not to change existing BMA policy.

    80 Motion by SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONAL COUNCIL: That this meeting believes that the BMA should adopt a neutral stance on assisted dying.

    If the first motion is endorsed, the second will not be debated.

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