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In the Press

  • Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish parliament that the devolved government would explore the possibility of giving women from Northern Ireland access to abortions in Scotland’s health service free of charge.

    Responding to a question from Green party MSP Patrick Harvie on Thursday, the first minister said: “I am happy to explore with the NHS what the situation is now in terms of the ability of women from Northern Ireland to access safe and legal abortion in NHS Scotland and whether any improvements can be made.

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  • Christian couple who have been fostering two young children from the early part of this year have had their application to adopt them turned down, because guess what? That’s right, they have the wrong views on same-sex parenting. It doesn’t matter that reports from social workers have praised the couple for the ‘lovely care’ which they have provided, nor does it matter that the couple already have two adopted children who have formed strong relationships with their foster siblings and neither does it matter that this Christian couple have 'worked well with all professionals'. 

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  • In my previous post (which I have renamed so that this flows more clearly from it), I observed a growing crisis for progressivism, as people across the political spectrum are rejecting its form of discourse. Within this post, I will venture into far more controversial territory. I will speak directly about some issues that we commonly politely skirt. It is not my intent to give offence, although I appreciate that may easily be taken. For this reason, I request your patience and charity. If we never talk directly about such issues, we will forever be falling into the same problems and little progress will be made.

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  • His new book Black Flag Down: Counter-extremism, Defeating ISIS and Winning the Battle of Ideas calls for a rejection of the idea that there is a simple connection between faith and extremism, according to the Guardian.

    He said the idea had led officials to define "extremism" so broad even the Archbishop of Canterbury fell foul of it.

    "I'm now convinced we need a new model of radicalisation that reflects the fact that it is grievance, not God, that inspires many to turn to violence," he wrote in the Guardian.

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  • FOR years, the victims say, he touched boys memorising holy texts at the Supreme Koran Council in Tehran. On trips abroad, the Koranic reciter would allegedly lure Islam’s equivalent of choirboys, some as young as 12, to his hotel room. But Saeed Tousi had a mellifluous voice. Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, called him a “model to be followed”. His clerics knew of the complaints, but let him chant on. He continued to sing for the Supreme Leader, won a prize and opened a session of parliament.

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  • The Chairman of major phone retailer, Carphone Warehouse, has apologised for offence caused by the company’s ‘pro-choice’ advertising campaign which appeared to be taking a position on the abortion debate in Ireland.

    The massive advertising campaign, which used a ‘We’re Pro-Choice’ tagline, led to sharp criticism from pro-life advocates, and to pro-life protests outside Carphone Warehouse retail units. Large numbers of pro-life consumers also contacted the company to say they would be bringing their custom elsewhere.

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  • A second private Muslim school has been told to improve its standards following a long-running Sky News investigation.

    Education watchdog Ofsted has ruled that Zakaria Muslim Girls' High School in Batley in West Yorkshire is not meeting independent school standards and requires improvement.

    A previous report into child safety at the school was withdrawn by the regulator after Sky News revealed the inspector had not talked to pupils or teachers because he was told they were celebrating the Eid religious festival.

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  • Olivia loves Disney’s Frozen princesses, all things sparkly, bright tights and ballet. During her family’s Cuban vacation last summer, she danced in the children’s “mini-disco” before the evening shows, twirling and leaping across the stage. One night another guest turned to her parents, exclaiming, “Your daughter is the girliest girl I’ve ever seen!”

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  • Pink filing cabinets will be placed at London landmarks by campaigners calling for the capital to get its first dedicated museum of gay history.

    The decorated cabinets symbolise millions of stories and events involving LGBT Londoners that lie buried in official archives.

    Campaigners want them to be unearthed to chronicle the city’s battle for equality and are appealing for support to mark next year’s 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which relaxed laws against homosexuality.

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  • Voluntary euthanasia has been knocked back in South Australian Parliament for the 15th time after a marathon late session in the House of Assembly overnight.

    The bill initially passed a second reading stage with a vote of 27 to 19, leading to a debate that continued up until about 4:00am.

    But the Death with Dignity bill from Liberal MP Duncan McFetridge was examined clause by clause and a conscience vote was tied at 23 votes for and against. 

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