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In the Press

  • Last week, the Maltese government rejected euthanasia and decided to codify “living wills.” The Malta Independent news published a statement from government Chairperson, Professor Arnold Cassola.

    “A ‘biological will’ would allow a person, when still in full possession of one’s intellectual faculties, to declare what kind of treatment to accept and whether to prolong or not in an artificial way – through the use of machines or other artificial systems – a life that would otherwise have naturally come to an end. The standards of palliative care should also be looked into to guarantee dignified end-of-life care for everyone.” 

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  • A radical change to the teaching of religion and time set aside for faith formation could be on the way for primary schools.

    The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is finalising proposals on the time given to different subject areas at primary level. A key consideration has been the ‘patron’s time’ allocated within the school day, which current guidelines recommend should include half an hour for religion, or two-and-a-half hours a week.

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  • The ability of the police to collect data routinely from telephone calls and emails was dealt a blow after the government’s surveillance legislation was challenged in a European court.

    A preliminary ruling on the Investigatory Powers Bill, nicknamed the snoopers’ charter, concluded that communications data could be retained for 12 months but must be used only in the fight against serious crime.

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  • Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, Monday called for a regional debate on the issue of euthanasia and other health-related laws that involve the rights of the parties involved, as the Caribbean moves to reform its health sectors.

    Addressing a two-day regional meeting being hosted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Brathwaite said “if we guarantee individuals the freedom of speech, the freedom of property, freedom of movement, should we not guarantee them also the freedom to choose to die, and die with dignity if they so desire?"

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  • Do Christians and Muslims worship the same deity? It has become one of the most pressing and controversial questions in the world in the last fifteen years.

    The question was stirred up in earnest in 2001 in the aftermath of fundamentalist Muslims flying hijacked commercial jetliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. And tragically the question has been stirred up time and time again in the decade and a half since, after a wave of major terrorist attacks, undertaken in the name of Allah. Recent months have brought large-scale tragedies in Paris, Orlando, Istanbul, Baghdad, and now Nice, France.

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  • The congregation of St Mark’s church in Stoke-on-Trent are in tears. The old walls are amplifying a booming version of the traditional Christian hymn Thanks to God as an hour-long baptism ceremony draws to a close. It’s a powerful, emotive rendition, yes, but the tears are for something else.

    This particular voice is the Iranian Muslim Amir Nowjavni, singing in Farsi, who is one of 16 asylum seekers converting to Christianity on a Saturday afternoon.

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  • Couples who struggle to conceive a child are sometimes given the option of using a donated embryo. In the US this is commonly referred to as "embryo adoption", particularly at Christian clinics, where it is regarded as saving a life - and where the future parents may have to be married and heterosexual to be eligible for treatment.

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  • A family in Cambridgeshire are thought to have become the first landed gentry to change the inheritance rules of a trust to allow their estate to pass on to the partners of gay descendants.

    Richard Pemberton, 46, won approval for the changes at the High Court last week for the Trumpington estate, which his family have owned since 1715. Lawyers for the family told Judge Hodge that the changes would bring “a huge moral benefit” to future generations.

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  • A former Archbishop of Canterbury should be investigated by police, lawyers said, after newly released Church of England files exposed the scale of the alleged cover-up of sex offending by a disgraced bishop.

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  • There was never any doubt that Boris Johnson would be a more colourful Foreign Secretary than his rather grey predecessor Philip Hammond. So it comes as no surprise to learn that one of BoJo’s first decisions as our top diplomat has been to reverse the anti-gay-marriage Hammond’s ban on flying the LGBT movement’s rainbow flag at the Foreign Office and British embassies during Gay Pride events.

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