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In the Press

  • A head teacher's claims of a "Trojan Horse" Islamic takeover at a school have "no basis", a council investigation has found.

    Patricia O'Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School, Oldham, also alleged she had received death threats.

    Oldham Council said it investigated the claims made in December but concluded, in a report leaked to the Sunday Times, it had "no concerns" about any schools.

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  • Catch them if you can is a now a popular blood sport in Pakistan. The hunters on the prowl are fanatical fundamentalist Muslims. The prey they are tracking, trapping and devouring are the few feeble Christians who constitute a minority of Pakistan’s population. The bait is blasphemy.

    Last month, police arrested Shahbaz Babu, who has been evangelising for the past 15 years, for blasphemy. His huntsmen accused Pastor Babu of writing his name on the pages of a Koran. They have no eyewitnesses to prove it. Babu is illiterate and cannot write. But that doesn’t matter. The rules of the hunt are the rules of Islamic Shariah law. 

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  • Legalisation of same-sex marriage in US states has been linked to a drop in suicide attempts among teenagers.

    Researchers say suicide attempts among high school students fell by an average of 7% following the implementation of the legislation. The impact was especially significant among gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers, for whom the passing of same-sex marriage laws was linked to a 14% drop in suicide attempts.

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  • Norma McCorvey, who died on Saturday, was unknown; as the Jane Roe in Roe v Wade, she became one of the most famous women in America, her name synonymous with abortion rights. When pro-choicers want to defend the abortion status quo, or pro-lifers want to overturn it, they’ll say it’s about Roe v. Wade.

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  • Max Hill QC, a leading prosecutor in many of the most serious terrorism trials, has been named the new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.

    He will replace the human rights lawyer David Anderson QC, who marked his upcoming departure this weekend with a warning that the government's anti-radicalisation strategy Prevent is faltering because it is not trusted by "a very large number of decent British Muslims".

    Hill, the head of Red Lion Chambers in London, has a background in prosecuting and defending in complex cases of terrorism, homicide, fraud and corporate crime.

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  • Norway has joined an international initiative to raise millions of dollars to replace shortfalls left by U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on U.S.-funded groups worldwide providing information on abortion.

    In January, the Netherlands started a global fund to help women access abortion services, saying Trump's "global gag rule" meant a funding gap of $600 million over the next four years, and has pledged $10 million to the initiative to replace that.

    Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Canada and Cape Verde have all also lent their support.

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  • It looks as though the Church of England now has a new buzz word. In the past few years the buzz word has been ‘good disagreement’ but now it appears to be ‘radical inclusion.’ In his speech at the conclusion of the debate in General Synod on the House of Bishops report on Marriage and Sexual Relationships after the Shared Conversations the Archbishop of Canterbury talked about the need for ‘a radical new Christian inclusion.’ The same phrase was then used by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in their letter issued in response to the debate.

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  • The gap between rich and poor in the UK is growing, as savings and home ownership decline among the poorest families but rise among the richest, a report by insurer Aviva shows.

    In a sign of growing financial strain, low-income families had just £95 of savings and investments, excluding pensions, this winter, compared with £136 in the same period last year. That figure jumps to £62,885 among high-income families, up from £50,208 a year earlier.

    It means the savings gap between the richest and poorest has grown by 25% over the past year, from £50,072 to £62,790.

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  • Children as young as five are ringing a helpline to hear bedtime stories because their alcoholic parents are too intoxicated.

    Some of the youngsters call the counsellors at the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa) so regularly their favourite story books are kept by the phones.

    According to a parliamentary group there are 2.5 million children of alcoholics in the UK.

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  • Fears of a second wave of Islamist plots to take over schools have been raised after a teachers' union revealed it was dealing with a "variety of apparent Trojan Horse issues".

    A head teacher in Oldham has reportedly said she has started working at home having been subjected to a campaign of "death threats" and verbal abuse by people determined to introduce an Islamic agenda.

    In an email to Oldham council, seen by the Sunday Times, Trish O'Donnell said she had "very strong reasons to believe...a 'Trojan Horse' agenda is being played out" at Clarksfield Primary School. 

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