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In the Press

  • The same judge who ordered Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has now rejected a motion filed by the ACLU that would have forced her to issue the licenses with her name and title on them.
     
    "There is absolutely no reason that this case went so far without reasonable people respecting and accommodating Kim Davis’s First Amendment rights," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. He continued;
     
    "From the beginning we have said the ACLU is not interested in marriage licenses. They want Kim Davis’s scalp. They want to force her to violate her conscience."
     
    According to Liberty Counsel — which is defending Davis — once Davis was released from jail and returned to her elected post as county clerk, she removed her name and her title as Clerk of Court from all marriage licenses. The ACLU, however, objected, demanding that her name and title remain on the licenses. Davis objected to her name being on the licenses because same-sex marriage is against the beliefs of her Christian faith.
  • The government has been accused of hiding the real results of a consultation on its plans to extend Sunday trading hours for large shops in England and Wales.
     
    Ministers have published the outcome of its process to find out what the public thought about the proposals but unions and Christian campaigners are not satisfied.
     
    Shop workers trade union USDAW said the government had "not only failed to listen to the retail industry, but has gone out of their way to ignore the views, research and evidence of everyone".
     
    Under the proposals included in the Enterprise Bill local authorities would be able to relax current laws which prohibit large shops to just six hours trading on a Sunday.
     
    The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it had received 7,000 responses to the consultation from a number of groups including Christian organisations.
  • Minority parties in the Northern Irish legislature are trying to open the door to abortion on demand by slipping amendments into a government omnibus bill and giving the legislature only two weeks' notice for a vote. A pro-life group calls the maneuver both "anti-democratic" and a "mockery of the legislative process."
     
    The amendments come from the Alliance and Green Parties and would permit abortions of unborn babies conceived by rape or incest, or who are seriously disabled.
     
    In December, a court ruled that the country's de facto criminalization of abortion except when the mother's life is threatened violates the European Union's human rights laws, but the government is appealing. What is more, the judge's decision does not bind the government.
     
    Liam Gibson, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children's Northern Irish organizer, said that by introducing the amendments on January 29, February 1, and February 3,  the pro-abortion MLAs were attempting to avoid the "analysis and painstaking scrutiny" that any measure ought to undergo before being voted on. As well, it precludes much of a response from the public. In legislative terms, "these amendments really are last-minute."

    Not only is the SPUC calling on all Northern Irish pro-lifers to lobby their MLAs against the amendments, but for the first time, it is also appealing to Northern Irish around the world to contact their families and friends back home and urge them to do the same. The tactic, Gibson told LifeSiteNews, is designed to get around the pro-abortion news media, who "are not reporting the real seriousness of these bills."
  • Parents could lose their right to take their children out of sex education classes, if the Welsh Liberal Democrats get their way.

    They backed a motion to bin the current legal right for a pupil to be taken out of any part of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).

    Lib Dem activist Cadan ap Tomos introduced the motion by warning about rates of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

    The policy motion – named “let’s talk about sex” – appears to have been the reason the Welsh Lib Dems' website was blocked by Senedd public Wifi last week.

    It led to the party's conference programme containing the word “sex” or “sexual” 18 times - meaning it was banned by a filter classing it as "adult content". The block has since been lifted.

  • Another euthanasia scandal in Belgium. Two sisters have complained on a television program, Terzake, about the euthanasia of their sister. Tine Nys was 38 at the time and had broken up with her live-in boyfriend. On Christmas Eve 2009 she announced that she was going to be euthanased.
     
    After interviews with doctors, she was given a lethal injection on April 24, 2010, with her mother and father and her two sisters, Lotte and Sophie, at her bedside.
     
    Belgium allows people to request euthanasia if they have unbearable psychological suffering, not just a terminal illness. Tine was obviously a troubled woman and 15 years before she had been seeing a psychiatrist regularly. But she was recovering from a love affair, not suffering unbearable mental anguish.
     
    Three doctors were supposed to concur that she met all requirements: a psychiatrist and two other doctors. This time a psychiatrist casually made a diagnosis of “autism”. The sickness from which euthanasia candidates are suffering is supposed to be incurable. Autism may not be curable, but Tine was functioning adequately. None of the doctors made an effort to treat her – but they were willing to kill her.
     
    What horrified her sisters was their callousness and how little interest they took in persuading her to live.
  • Growing up in a single-parent household should be treated as a form of “poverty”, the think-tank founded by the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has suggested.
     
    Parents mired in personal debt or children achieving low scores in primary school tests are also among potential “life chance risks” which should be taken into account when assessing whether families should be classed as living in poverty, according to the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).
  • Pro-life activist David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) rejected a plea bargain deal on the charges slapped on him for creating a fake licence and posing as a buyer of human tissue during his undercover investigation of abortion service provider Planned Parenthood.
     
    Daleiden and his employee Sandra Merritt, who printed the fake licence, were indicted by a Texas grand jury last month instead of Planned Parenthood, the defendant in the case.
     
    His lawyers announced at a press conference that Daleiden refused a plea bargain that would have given him probation, which means the charges against him would be dropped if he keeps clean for a certain period of time, according to Raw Story.
     
    Daleiden said until Texas authorities prosecute Planned Parenthood for the illegal sale of baby parts, the nefarious trade would continue in the state.
  • Around 70% of Muslim prison chaplains teach a hardline fundamentalist interpretation of Islam which challenges British values and encourages radical thinking.
     
    The findings are expected to be revealed in a new study by former Home Office official Ian Acheson, which is scheduled to be published next month.

    Muslim prisoners represent just 10.8% of the total prison population in the UK, with 12,622 people in jail identifying as a Muslim, according to the Ministry of Justice.

    The Acheson study was commissioned by justice secretary Michael Gove. It examined 200 Muslim chaplains and found that 140 of the imams working in prisons, had previously studied Deobandi Islam, according to the Sunday Times.
     
    Deobandi Islam first came to prominence in India in reaction to the measures imposed by its colonial British rulers. It takes its name from a madrassa in the Indian town of Deoband, located around 100 mile from the city of Delhi.
     
    Its core elements claim to focus on purifying Islam through the banning of music and promotes gender segregation in an attempt to follow closely a literal interpretation of the Koran.
  • A bill banning sex-selective abortions narrowly passed a state Senate panel 4-3 on Wednesday night.
     
    According to The Spokesman-Review, Senate Law and Justice Committee chairman Mike Padden said the bill was part of lawmakers' "obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us." The bill, which is now being considered for a vote on the floor of the Senate, would enact penalties against abortion doctors who conduct sex-selective abortions.
     
    Democrats say such abortions are not done in their state, and that the bill targets Asians and Pacific Islanders. The doctor-patient relationship could also be violated if doctors are legally required to ask whether sex was a reason for an abortion, according to Democratic state Senator Jamie Pederson.
  • The UK’s terror watchdog has called for an independent review of the government’s flagship anti-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, over concerns that it is sowing mistrust and fear in the Muslim community.
     
    The programme, particularly its duty on schools to spot and report signs of radicalisation in pupils, has become a “significant source of grievance” among British Muslims, encouraging “mistrust to spread and to fester”, said David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism laws.
     
    In his written submission to the home affairs select committee inquiry into the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, he also raised concern that elements of Prevent were “ineffective or being applied in an insensitive or discriminatory manner”.
     
    “It seems to me that Prevent could benefit from independent review,” wrote Anderson, who has no authority to conduct such a review.
     
    He continued: “It is perverse that Prevent has become a more significant source of grievance in affected communities than the police and ministerial powers that are exercised ... The lack of transparency in the operation of Prevent encourages rumour and mistrust to spread and to fester.”

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