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In the Press

  • Three purpose-built blocks are to open within high-security jails to hold the most dangerous extremist prisoners away from other inmates.

    The Ministry of Justice said the blocks will have their own facilities and be able to hold up to 28 people in total.

    The first unit will open this summer at Frankland Prison, County Durham, with two more to follow at other jails.

    Read more.

  • A group of 53 people have been charged in Nigeria after they were arrested last week from what police say was a party celebrating an unofficial gay wedding.

    The group pleaded not guilty to charges relating to conspiracy, unlawfully assembly and membership in an unlawful society, the BBC reports.

    Homosexuality has been illegal in Nigeria since 2014, and homosexual acts could result in a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

    Read more.

  • The number of babies who survive premature birth at 23 weeks has increased to a record one in three, official figures revealed yesterday.

    The success treating babies who would until recently have been considered unlikely to live led to demands for a reduction in the limits set by abortion laws.

    The increased survival rates suggest the law – which can permit abortion at up to 24 weeks – allows routine termination of hundreds of foetuses capable of a viable life.

    Read more.

  • The Champs Elysee attacker, like the majority of France's terrorists, was believed to be "known to police".

    The man has not been officially identified.

    But, if it is confirmed that he was familiar to authorities, it will raise yet more questions about how able Europe's police forces are to cope with the large number of potential attackers.

    Read more.

  • On Thursday, Russia's Supreme Court has ruled the activities of the main center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia to be extremist, banning its work and seizing the property.

    "The Supreme Court has ruled to sustain the claim of Russia's Ministry of Justice and deem the 'Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia' organization extremist, eliminate it and ban its activity in Russia," the judge Yuri Ivanenko ruled.

    Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Justice applied for an order to shut down the organization's national headquarters near St. Petersburg.

    Read more.

  • In Australia's Northern Territory (NT), a bill to amend the Northern Territory Medical Services Act, in order to decriminalise abortion, has passed in parliament. Voted through by 20 votes to four, this new bill brings in dramatic, positive changes for women in the NT seeking abortion services.

    Women will no longer have to visit hospitals – sometimes hundreds of miles from home – to access abortion services. Instead, they can now attend specialist, local clinics. The bill also legalises the use of abortion drugs such as RU486 for up to nine weeks into pregnancy, offering women the non-surgical option to terminate a pregnancy in its infancy. As well as this, the bill officially changes the criminal code, meaning abortion is no longer regulated by the criminal law in the NT.

    This hasn't come easy. The bill is the result of months of difficult campaigning. In May 2016, a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) tried to get the amendments debated in parliament as a matter of priority, but this was voted down, stalling the next discussion by a number of months. The proposed changes also received strong opposition in the lead up to the vote, with another MLA describing abortion as a 'fashion'.

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  • Who writes these things? Honestly, since when was it a sin to despair? Don't the brokenhearted, poor and homeless despair? What about the starving and dying? Or the persecuted or suffering? What about those in a state of unbearable grief or mourning? Didn't the 'perfect and upright' Job despair?

    Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
    Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
    Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it (Job 3:3ff).

    Wishing you'd never been born and cursing the day you were sounds a bit like despair, doesn't it? And what about Jesus?

    Read more.

  • Parents have reacted angrily to a family fun day held to raise money to help rehabilitate paedophiles.

    Advertised as a fun day with bouncy castles and face paints, dozens of families attended the event without realising where the proceeds were going.

    The Safer Living Foundation, which aims to help people rehabilitate sex offenders, held the event on Saturday at Keyworth United's football ground in Nottinghamshire.

    Read more.

  • Pharmacy regulators have removed a 'conscience clause' from their standards code meaning Christians and other religious people could be forced to ensure that contraceptives and other medicines are handed out against their beliefs.

    The General Pharmaceutical Council (GphC) said allowing personal religious beliefs and values to dictate dispensing practice was 'not compatible' with a 'person-centred care' they wanted to offer.

    The regulatory body that sets standards across British pharmacists said they wanted to ensure patient care is 'not compromised by religious belief'.

    Read more.

  • A new primary school in Glasgow with unisex toilets to stop transgender pupils from being bullied has been given the go-ahead despite a backlash from parents.

    Council bosses say the toilets will cut bullying and prevent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils from having to worry about using the 'wrong' ones.

    Several parents wrote letters of objection to the local authority after it emerged boys and girls will share lavatories at the new Blairdardie Primary.

    Read more.

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