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In the Press

  • Chile's Senate could vote this week on a bill making abortion legal in cases of rape, life-threatening fetal deformity, and risk to the life of the mother.

    The bill, supported by Chile’s pro-abortion President Michelle Bachelet, has taken a year to wend its way through the country’s lower house, which passed it with a two-thirds majority.

    One committee of the Senate approved the measure and the Constitution committee is considering it now. If approved, the bill will go the full Senate, where Bachelet’s New Majority coalition is in control. Conservative opponents are already talking about a court challenge if and when the bill is passed.

    Read more.

  • A Jewish school has been criticised for not doing enough to encourage tolerance between people of different faiths, cultures and sexual orientations.

    In an Ofsted report Gateshead Mechina was rated ‘inadequate’. Inspectors reported that they were concerned that pupils were lagging behind in secular academic subjects.

    The school had been classed as ‘good’ at its last inspection, in 2009. It caters for 130 boys, aged between 10 and 16, all from the Orthodox Jewish community.

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  • Women across Poland went on strike on Monday in protest against a proposed law that would ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

    Thousands of women dressed in black and refused to go to work, instead joining demonstrations across the country, in a day of protests named “Black Monday”.

    The protests follow the introduction of a bill in the Polish parliament that forbids abortion in almost all circumstances, unless pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.

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  • Though just over a decade has passed, it seems only yesterday that Sally Phillips and her husband Andrew came with their tiny baby, Olly, to spend the weekend with us.

    Olly was born with Down’s syndrome; our daughter Domenica, ten years older than Olly, also has the condition. Mutual friends had suggested to Sally that she get in touch, as she was struggling to come to terms with her situation.

    How wonderful it is to see Sally and Olly now — as the whole country can on Wednesday, when BBC2 broadcasts an extraordinarily powerful documentary presented by the actress and screenwriter (better known for Miranda and the Bridget Jones movies). Now she has three boys, and the programme shows just how happy they are all larking about together, with Olly — alert, articulate and witty — at the centre of this vibrant family.

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  • A triple murderer who was battered unconscious in a jail assault is suing the Ministry of Justice for £100,000 for not protecting him from violent Muslim inmates.

    Michael Steele - one of the 'Essex Boy' killers jailed in 1998 - was beaten with a steel pot in a kitchen after an argument over the use of a telephone.

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  • It is fast becoming the modern way of dying, appreciated by some but frowned on by others.

    A growing number of crematoriums are fitting web cams in their premises to allow mourners to observe funeral proceedings from thousands of miles away.

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  • Children should be taught to understand the mindset of Jihadist terrorists to help them make sense of the world in which they are growing up, the Archbishop of Canterbury has signalled.

    The Most Rev Justin Welby told an audience of headteachers that, for the first time in generations, it is becoming “essential” to grasp the logic of people driven by an obsessive belief that the end of the world is nigh.

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  • SCOTTISH politicians are being urged to pledge their support for a campaign’s proposals to introduce LGBT education into Scottish schools.

    The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign group have launched an online pledge today, appealing for MSPs and members of the public to support their calls for a new national strategy to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.

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  • Jewish leaders have welcomed a statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said the Church had been partly responsible for the spread of anti-Semitism.

    In an article published in a book by the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Most Reverend Justin Welby called anti-Semitism an "insidious evil".

    He added: "It is a shameful truth that, through its theological teachings, the Church, which should have offered an antidote, compounded the spread of this virus."

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  • Pupils at an Islamic faith school have told inspectors that they felt being segregated in separate classes of boys and girls did not prepare them "for life in modern Britain", a court heard.

    The inspector gave evidence to the High Court in a legal battle over a controversial Ofsted report, which the school governing board says should be quashed.

    The court heard that one female student said segregation is "dumb", but not all pupils at the school, which cannot be named for legal reasons, had agreed with that view.

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