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In the Press

  • The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has claimed gender confusion will increase in the country if same-sex marriage is brought in.

    It's speaking as the Australian government's been urging people to provide them with their opinions on the introduction of same-sex marriage as part of their consultation. It was receiving responses up until Friday.

    The Australian coalition government wanted to hold a referendum where the people could decide whether same-sex marriage should be brought in, however this proposal was blocked by the Australian Senate.

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  • It was one of the bloodiest periods in English history, with thousands brutally put to death, often burned at the stake for their religious beliefs in the Reformation.

    But even though Henry VIII’s war with the Pope began 500 years ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is expected to express his remorse this week.

    The move was ridiculed by former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe, an Anglican who converted to Catholicism.

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  • Twelve of Britain’s most dangerous Islamist terrorists will be placed in containment units in three prisons at a cost of about £1m a year.

    Anjem Choudary — the country’s most notorious hate preacher, who was convicted last year of supporting Isis — is expected to be among the prisoners placed in the specialist units to prevent them from radicalising other inmates.

    Another high-profile ex­tremist to be separated from the general prison population is understood to be Michael Adebolajo, one of the two killers of the British soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. According to intelligence reports, Adebolajo has tried to exploit his notoriety in prison to recruit other Muslim convicts to the jihadist cause. 

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  • A move to legalise access to abortion for women who experience fatal foetal abnormalities in Northern Ireland will not be considered because of the collapse of the assembly, the Stormont health minister has said.

    Sinn Fein has said it will prioritise increasing abortion access and other equality issues if it is in talks with the DUP after a likely election this year.

    Abortion is banned in Northern Ireland in all but a small number of circumstances. In December 2015, the Belfast high court ruled that denying access to the procedure in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities was a breach of human rights.

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  • Proposals to close an "unfair and illogical" loophole and extend civil partnerships to heterosexual couples have been blocked by the government.

    Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for East Worthing & Shoreham, said the change would allow couples who did not agree with the institution of marriage to enshrine their commitment to each other in the eyes of the law.

    He said it would promote family stability and give couples legal protection on pensions, inheritance and providing for children in the event of separation. 

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  • The UK risks creating a "fatherhood penalty" as an increasing number of men jettison their careers for less demanding jobs which give them more time with their families, according to a major new study.

    The 2017 Modern Families Index, published on Monday, is the largest survey of its kind to measure how families achieve a work-life balance.

    It finds that nearly half of working fathers (47%) want to downshift to a less stressful job because they cannot balance the demands of work and family life. Just over a third (38%) say they would be willing to take a pay cut to achieve a better work-life balance.

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  • My very first column warning against legalizing assisted suicide was published in Newsweek in 1993. It dealt with the suicide of my friend Frances under the influence of Hemlock Society (now Compassion and Choices) suicide-proselytizing literature.

    I ran the logic of the agenda and warned that someday organ harvesting would be tossed into the deadly mix.

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  • It was October 2010 the night the priest came to our door. The knock startled Tim’s dullard beagle into a howl just as Tim’s mother was serving up dinner. She and her husband had flown in from New York a few weeks earlier to care for their dying son.

    Tim and I had moved to London the year before. Our friends — newsroom colleagues — visited sometimes, though only with advance notice. Tim’s brain tumour had severely blunted his wit. I was prone to crying jags. As a couple, we did not inspire drop-ins.

    Tim’s mother told us to start eating and went to answer the knock. The beagle ricocheted in frenzy between food and front door. 'Charity collectors,' Tim’s father guessed. 'They love targeting dinner time.'

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  • An undercover officer smashed a terror cell drumming up support for Islamic State extremists after he spent nearly two years infiltrating meetings to record their inflammatory speeches.

    The officer identified only as Kamal forged close relationships with the Luton chapter of a banned group linked to hate preacher Anjem Choudary as he collected evidence, a court heard.

    Equipped with a false identity including a fake name, fake wife and fake business, he spent 20 months recording hundreds of encounters, and meetings where scores of people heard speeches praising Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil). 

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  • The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell, has been named as the favourite to succeed Richard Chartres as Bishop of London.

    Cottrell is 3/1 favourite with bookmakers William Hill for the Church of England's third most senior job after Archbishop of Canterbury and York.

    Although the formal appointments process has not yet begun, his name is increasingly being spoken of in Church circles as someone with the experience and charisma to lead the Church of England's fastest-growing, most diverse and most complex diocese. 

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