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In the Press

  • Self-harm among young people, particularly girls, has rocketed in the last decade. The number of girls admitted to hospital after cutting themselves has quadrupled, incidents of poisoning have risen by more than 40%, and demand for university counselling services has mushroomed. Behind these figures are young people and families struggling to cope with toxic levels of mental distress.

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  • This Thursday morning 1 December 2016 there will be a debate on Transgender Equality in the House of Commons.

    The government’s response to the Transgender Equality Inquiry conducted in 2015-2016 by the Women and Equalities Committee will be debated. The debate is billed as a Backbenchers’ Debate on the Parliament website, having been brought forward by the Backbench Business Committee following representations by Maria Miller, Ruth Cadbury and Angela Crawley. The Women and Equalities Committee report on Transgender Equality made over 30 recommendations to changes in public policy including changing the Equality Act 2010 so that ‘gender reassignment’ as a protected characteristic is changed to ‘gender identity’.

    The documents from the inquiry, including the Government’s Response published in 7 June 2016, can be viewed here.

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  • More than 30,000 children were missing from schools in England and Wales for substantial periods of time in the 2014-15 academic year, local education authority figures show.

    Of these, almost 4,000 children could not be traced by the authorities.

    The National Children's Bureau said some may be at "serious risk" of abuse and exploitation, including forced marriage, FGM and radicalisation.

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  • Social media giants should block children from sharing explicit images to help to curb Britain’s “sexting” crisis, the health secretary has said.

    Jeremy Hunt also heaped pressure on tech and mobile phone companies to tackle sexting among under-18s. Technology existed to allow social media platforms to block explicit images from young users automatically, following a request from their parents, he said.

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  • It’s a pretty heavy thing to be accused of homophobia. The word is not an intellectual judgement but a more damning moral one.

    There have always been examples of unkind attitudes, bullying and discrimination towards people who appear to be, or who identify as, homosexual, just as there has always been racism, snobbery and other ugly traits. Sadly, Christians have sometimes been guilty of this, and in doing so we are failing to follow the way of Christ.

    However, in recent years the accusation of ‘homophobia’ has been levelled not just at these unkind attitudes towards gay people, but also reasoned biblical convictions about problems associated with homosexual practice, and any expression of concern about the power and intolerance of pressure groups. We are told that no matter how compassionate a person is towards gay people, if we do not fully embrace the goodness of the gay identity and lifestyle we are homophobes. We are said to rely on irrational feelings and thoughts to reject and damage homosexual people.

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  • The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a car and knife rampage at a US college on Monday that left 11 people injured.

    The attack at Ohio State University was carried out by Somali-born Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a student at the Columbus campus, authorities said.

    The IS-affiliated Amaq news agency called the 18-year-old business undergraduate a "soldier".

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  • An employee of the German intelligence agency (BfV) has been arrested after making Islamist statements and sharing agency material, German media report.

    A BfV spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency did not confirm a report in Die Welt newspaper that the man was suspected of planning a bomb attack on the BfV's Cologne office.

    "There is no evidence to date that there is a concrete danger," he added.

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  • Dutch MPs on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to ban the Islamic full-face burka from some public places such as schools and hospitals, the latest such move in a European country.

    "The law is adopted," said the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Khadija Arib, referring to legislation which will also ban burkas, and face coverings just with eye-slits, from public transport.

    The motion "to ban all clothing which completely covers the face" from government buildings was approved by 132 members in the 150-seat house, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte's ruling Liberal-Labour coalition.

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  • BRITAIN'S first Islamic law compliant stand-alone High Street bank has opened for the first time in Scotland.

    Al Rayan Bank, formerly the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), which has just over 2000 customers north of the border, has opened an office in Glasgow.

    The West Midlands-based bank will not pay or charge interest and is founded on an Islamic financial model in which the customer and the bank share the risk of any investment on agreed terms, and divide any profits between them.

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  • MPs have asked how new rules aimed at stopping children seeing pornographic content will affect websites such as Twitter.

    The Digital Economy Bill will lead to sites that do not ask for age verification being blocked.

    It received an unopposed third reading from MPs on Monday evening, meaning it is set to become law.

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