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In the Press

  • In response to the Westminster attack, a 100-strong new counter-extremism taskforce has been announced to deal with the terrorist threat in prisons. I'm taking some credit for this badly needed focus. In the autumn of 2015, the then Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, asked me to lead an independent review of the threat posed by Islamist extremism in prisons, the probation service and the youth justice system. I used to be a prison governor in what was known until just a few days ago as the National Offender Management Service, so I agreed on the understanding that I reported only to him and that I had his full support to go where the evidence led me, without interference from bureaucrats. To his credit, he agreed immediately.

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  • The chief education officer of the Church of England also tells Tes that all schools – religious or not – would benefit from having a chaplain on the staff

    The Church of England is not interested in opening any grammar schools, despite Theresa May's plans to reintroduce selection, according to its chief education officer.

    The CofE currently operates 4,700 schools, but plans to open an additional 125 free schools by 2020 – more than a quarter of the total number planned for that period.

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  • The Government has committed to making it easier for transsexual people to legally change sex, as part of a review of the Gender Recognition Act.

    A spokesman said that Ministers want to 'streamline and de-medicalise' the process for "changing a person’s legal gender".

    He was responding to several demands by homosexual lobby group Stonewall to make sure trans people are "accepted without exception".

     

  • The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ruled the forced sterilization of transgender people who are seeking legal recognition of their gender identity violates their human rights.

    The court, which is in the French city of Strasbourg, issued the ruling in three separate cases that trans people filed against France.

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  • Jeffrey John, a gay senior Anglican churchman, has been passed over for promotion to a bishopric for a seventh time since the Church of England rescinded his appointment as bishop of Reading in 2003 amid homophobic protests.

    John, dean of St Albans Cathedral, was put forward for the post of bishop of Sodor and Man in February, but failed to make it on to the shortlist despite positive feedback. The rejection came shortly before he was passed over for appointment as bishop of Llandaff after objections to his sexuality allegedly were raised.

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  • The event included a meeting with Kikit, a West Midlands-based group that works with mosques and communities to provide mentoring and support for individuals who are vulnerable to terrorist recruiters.

    The Home Secretary also attended a workshop run by Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST) who encourage and empower family members to intervene where they fear their loved ones may be at risk of becoming radicalised or committing acts of terrorism.

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  • The number of people in the Republic of Ireland who identify as having no religion has increased by 73.6%, according to the latest census figures from the Central Statistics Office.

    The number of people who stated they had no religion increased from 269,800 to 468,400, the census found.

    Some 3,729,100 people identified as Catholic - 78.3% of the population - compared to 84.2% in April 2011.

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  • Two Christian German parents are challenging the country's home-schooling ban in the European Court of Human Rights today.

    In 2013, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich decided to home-school their children even though it is against the law. They say they'd rather not have strangers teach their four kids and believe as Christians parenting should mirror that of God the father and Jesus.

    They say during that first lesson, around 20 German authorities violently snatched their kids from their home.

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  • Australian imam Mohammed Tawhidi, above, claims he has been forced into hiding after voicing support for the ideas of anti-Islam campaigner Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    Tawhidi, of the Islamic Association of South Australia, said he agrees with Ms Ali's call to close Islamic schools in Australia. He has also rejected extremist groups.

    Ali cancelled her tour of Australia this week because of fears for her safety.

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  • Australians woke to news of the brutal murder of Little Red Riding Hood in schools today. After 2000 odd years of storytelling, the Victorian government has finally achieved what the wolf never could: The girl in the crimson coat is no more.

    And she's not the only one. All fairytales promoting gender stereotypes are at risk.

    Apparently - according to some media reports today - the state government will also be doing away with preschool toys that reinforce gender stereotypes.

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