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In the Press

  • A controversial Mexican state governor has pushed through a draconian anti-abortion bill as his term comes to a close. Lawmakers in Veracruz state approved a constitutional amendment on Thursday to “protect life from conception” – effectively outlawing abortion in all circumstances.

    “I congratulate legislators of the Veracruz legislature for saying yes to life,” Governor Javier Duarte tweeted after the vote.

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  • The Supreme Court’s ruling on the future of the Scottish government’s controversial “named person” legislation offers something to all parties. The government can point to the fact that the broad principle governing the measure was deemed lawful by the court. There is nothing intrinsically objectionable about a so-called state guardian acting as a single contact point for child protection and welfare agencies.

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  • The Scottish government has flatly rejected calls to abandon its controversial “named person” scheme after a Supreme Court ruling found the legislation to be “incompatible” with European human rights law.

    The policy sets out to appoint a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, to assist all youngsters under 18. It was due to come into force at the end of next month, but the judgment outlaws the new rules.

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  • More than 484,000 Google keyword searches a month from around the world, including at least 54,000 searches in the UK, return results dominated by Islamist extremist material, a report into the online presence of jihadism has revealed.

    The study found that of the extremist content accessible through these specific keyword searches, 44% was explicitly violent, 36% was non-violent and 20% was political Islamist in content, the last being non-violent but disseminated by known Islamist groups with political ambitions.

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  • A hundred thousand Panamanians took to their capital city’s streets to oppose a new national bill that would introduce both sexuality education and gender ideology into their schools.

    "This law is a colonization attempt. It was written and imposed on Panama by UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and it is not the fruit of our legislature’s will," Juan Francisco de la Guardia told the Friday Fax. De la Guardia is president of the Panamanian Alliance for Life and Family and one of the march organizers.

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  • At the beginning of his war memoirs, Charles de Gaulle famously wrote, ‘All my life I have had a certain idea of France’ and its ‘eminent and exceptional destiny’. It was not only an abstract concept: the picture in his mind was of ‘the Madonna in mural frescoes’.

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  • Five books regarded as "extremist" by the Prison Service remained in jail libraries in England and Wales for seven months after a review called for their removal, the BBC has learnt.

    Two of the authors are seen as having inspired jihadists in the Arab world.

    Extremism academic Dr Chetan Bhatt said the presence of these books within prison libraries was "worrying".

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  • Could the jihadists inspired by Islamic State stoop any lower? Father Jacques Hamel was 85 years old. His young attackers reportedly attempted to behead him in front of the altar of his church. They failed in that but succeeded in killing him and in proving, once again, that an evil is stalking the continent and it is willing to plumb any depths in its attempts to terrorise and enslave us.

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  • Ms Justice Mary Laffoy is to chair the citizens’ convention tasked with examining the Eighth Amendment.

    Ms Justice Laffoy, a serving Supreme Court judge, was appointed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to lead the body.

    Her role will be to chair the 100-member convention which has been asked to consider issues including the Eighth Amendment, which places the life of the unborn on an equal footing with the life of the mother.

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  • For more than two decades Barnabas Fund has spoken out and supported persecuted Christians, particularly in Muslim-majority contexts. We have recognised that to support our brothers and sisters facing persecution overseas we must speak out both on the persecution itself and on the ideology driving that persecution. In doing so we have always sought to strike a careful balance, distinguishing between ideology and people. On the one hand are the root causes of persecution in terms of Islamic concepts such as jihad, dhimmi and shari‘a and on the other hand are Muslim people – who must be accepted and loved – the majority of whom in the West at least, practise a peaceful, primarily devotional form of Islam.

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