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In the Press

  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned an Alabama judicial ruling that had refused to recognize a gay woman's parental rights over three children she adopted with her lesbian partner and raised from birth.

    The court took the relatively unusual step of reversing the Alabama Supreme Court without hearing oral arguments in the case. Cases are decided in that fashion when a lower court ruling is considered to be particularly counter to Supreme Court precedents. None of the eight justices dissented.

  • England has become a more tolerant society than it was five years ago - but nearly half (43%) of people think Muslims are "completely different" to themselves, according to a major new report.

    The country's attitudes to immigration have softened and there is growing support for greater protection to be given to religious and racial minorities, according to the report on English attitudes by the charity Hope Not Hate.

  • Women whose babies develop fatal defects in the early stages of pregnancy will be given advice on going ahead with the birth so the NHS can harvest their organs, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

    Most expectant mothers opt for termination after being told the devastating news their child has no chance of survival once born.

    But now, amid a chronic shortage of donated organs, mums will be 'supported' to have the baby at nine months so that the child's vital organs can be taken for transplant.

  • The Queen did not approve of the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the Daily Mail can reveal today.

    While in favour of civil partnerships, as a woman of deep Christian faith she took a different view on the legislation allowing same-sex couples to ‘marry’.

    She expressed her frustration to a friend at the height of the controversy, but admitted she was powerless to intervene, saying: ‘I can only advise and warn.’

  • An NHS consultant who demanded a Muslim surgeon removed her hijab ahead of an operation has been suspended.

    Dr Vladislav Rogozov revealed in a blog that he confronted the surgeon, saying that he could see it was spotted with blood from previous surgery.

    However she refused to remove it and stormed out, later accusing Dr Rogozov, 46, of racial discrimination.

  • A pro-incest political group from Sweden has proposed giving men the right to a ‘legal abortion’ that would allow them to opt out of parenthood.

    The Liberal People Party’s youth wing branch in western Sweden (LUF Väst) say men should be able to decide against being a father up to the 18-week cut-off for abortions, meaning in practice if a woman continues with the pregnancy, the man would have no legal responsibility for the child.

  • Couples will be offered free IVF treatment if they can persuade a friend to donate sperm, under a new scheme designed to encourage more men to become sperm donors following a national shortage.

    Fertility regulator rules mean clinics are not allowed to pay sperm donors, and men currently receive just £35 towards expenses.

  • The Government has moved to stave off a politically damaging rebellion of up to 50 Conservative MPs over its plans to relax Sunday trading laws ahead of the Budget.

    Ministers have resurrected the reforms, despite dropping a vote in November that would have allowed councils the right to extend Sunday trading hours. Ministers feared they could lose the vote amid opposition from backbenchers, Labour and the Scottish National Party. Unions and church leaders are also against the plans.  

  • A Rome family court has approved a lesbian couple’s request to simultaneously adopt each other’s daughters in a legal first for Italy.

    The move comes amid controversy over a move to excise gay adoption rights from a law authorising same-sex civil unions.

    The two women made their application under existing legislation which says the right of a child to "ongoing affection" should be paramount in deciding whether to grant adoption requests.

  • The police are to be given greater powers to hack into electronic devices and to access people’s web browsing history under the government’s new surveillance legislation.

    The strengthening of snooping powers was widely regarded last night as a tacit admission by the authorities that they were powerless to combat the increasingly sophisticated commercial encryption installed on smartphones.

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