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In the Press

  • A man who used a Catholic anti-abortion agency to try to illegally adopt a baby almost 20 years ago is connected to a string of new agencies operating across Ireland and the UK under a different name, The Times can reveal.

    Yesterday an undercover investigation by this newspaper exposed a Catholic anti-abortion group that has been linked with a crisis pregnancy agency in Dublin. A counsellor at the Women’s Centre at 9 Berkeley Street in Dublin 7 was secretly filmed telling a woman that abortion can cause breast cancer and turn women into child abusers.

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  • ISIS has outlawed the burka at their security centres in a northern Iraqi city, despite previously brutally enforcing a law requiring them to be worn.

    The terror group have banned women entering the buildings in Mosul while wearing the full-face covering after a number of commanders were killed by veiled women.

    Previously women in Syria and Iraq have been beaten or even killed by ISIS's 'morality police' for not wearing a veil to conceal their body and eyes.

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  • The Scottish Government is facing an open rebellion from families against its controversial named person scheme.

    As MSPs return to work today, an exclusive poll for the Press and Journal shows that more than two thirds of people would not cooperate with their state guardian.

    More than 70% also said they were not in favour of the scheme, which was knocked back by the UK’s highest court in July, with three judges branding aspects of it “unlawful”.

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  • Christians continue to be slaughtered in the Middle East. But as reports of genocidal atrocities mount up, our governments have found a new reason to sit on their hands. Christians, the theory goes, don’t have it as bad as the Yazidis. As ‘people of the book’, Christians enjoy privileged status. Rather than suffering the full extent of Islamic State’s depravities, they can pay a tax (Jizya) in return for protection. It sounds credible and contains just enough theology to bamboozle the secular population of the international community. 

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  • I’ve just discovered another class of persons whose courageous choices must be defended against bigotry: bearded breast-feeding ladies. No, this is not a side-show in Barnum & Bailey; it’s a major feature in this week’s Time magazine which is being praised as “amazing, poignant, incredibly compelling, extraordinary, beautiful and honest.”

    Journalist Jessi Hempel describes the pregnancy of her transgender sister (who is living as a man). “My brother Evan was born female. He came out as transgender 16 years ago but never stopped wanting to have a baby.”

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  • A protocol released on 31 Aug 2016 by the state Lutheran church, Suomen evankelis-luterilainen kirkko, said the new law will have no impact on church weddings, as the church’s prayer book defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. “It can be concluded that the changes to be introduced to the Marriage Act on 1 March, 2017, will have no effect on the rights of pastors to officiate church weddings,” the report (below) states.

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  • The former Bishop of Rochester and others have been criticised on social media for being part of a delegation that has met President of Syria Bashir al-Assad.

    Besides Michael Nazir-Ali, the delegation included Rev Andrew Ashdown, the Bishop of Winchester's former interfaith adviser, who was the group leader; Baroness Cox, a committed Christian and a crossbench member of the House of Lords; David Clark of Cambridge University; and Raymond Hilton of Parliament's human rights committee.

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  • A counsellor at the Dublin crisis pregnancy clinic exposed in an undercover Times investigation claimed that abortion could make a woman suicidal, frigid and obsessed with babies. She also said that a first-trimester foetus was more sensitive to pain than an adult.

    An undercover reporter secretly filmed the exchange at the Women’s Centre in Dublin which has links to a Catholic anti-abortion group.

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  • We have high expectations of our schools in Britain. We expect them to take our very young children, care for them, nurture them and turn them into numerate, articulate young people. We want schools to test our offspring, give them qualifications and make them ready for the workplace.

    The other thing we expect is that they keep our children safe. So for many parents, the figures showing that a rape is reported every day of term in a UK school, and that girls are experiencing shockingly high levels of sexual harassment and abuse, are incredibly worrying. It’s also surprising that many young people are still leaving school having never been taught about sex and relationships, as demonstrated by the #SREnow hashtag on Twitter - a catalogue of stories about woeful education and appalling harassment.

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  • There has been only one successful prosecution of forced marriage since it was criminalised two years ago, despite Theresa May’s pledge that new legislation would help to stamp out the “terrible practice”.

    Figures also show that charges, prosecutions and convictions related to “honour”-based violence have fallen by up to 30 per cent in the past 12 months, causing concern at the Crown Prosecution Service.

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