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In the Press

  • A spate of transgender prisoner deaths highlights the need for action to be taken, a watchdog has said.

    The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said jails should be more flexible and proactive in managing such inmates.

    Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen said although his office had investigated relatively few deaths and complaints, numbers were on the rise.

    Read more

  • A day barely passes without transgender issues hitting the news. It might be a human interest feature about someone transitioning from one sex to another, and how they’ve been received (or not) by their communities. It might concern the politics of rights for transgender men and women, and which restrooms should be available to them. It might have to do with complex discussions about the causes of and treatments available for transgenderism. But one thing’s for sure: This issue isn’t going away anytime soon, and we Christians can’t afford to avoid it.

    Yet many of us will want to. We know we’re treading on hugely sensitive ground. We know we’re dealing with areas of deeply personal pain for many men and women, and we will be wary of saying things that might add to that pain.

    Read more.

  • A Bill described as "a bonfire of child protection rights", which would let councils opt out of key legal duties to children, is being debated on Tuesday.

    The Children and Social Work Bill would let local councils apply to set aside children's rights and checks on care to try out innovative ways of working.

    The government argues it is a bold approach to removing red tape.

    Read more.

  • Greg Clarke, the Football Association chairman, has spoken to gay footballers and suggested the idea of a group of players coming out together.

    Clarke said last year that he "wouldn’t recommend" a footballer coming out at the moment because of the risk they would be verbally abused, but believes several players sharing the spotlight may be the answer. "I put the message out there that if a number of top-level pros want to come out, why don’t we synchronise it? So one person doesn’t have to come out on their own," he said in an interview with the Times newspaper.

    "The Premier League, the Football League and the FA could do it at the start of the season. At the start of the season everybody thinks it is their season, the crowds are happy, the sun is shining. I was asked [recently] if football is ready for top-level pros to come out and I said I’m not sure we were."

    Read more.

  • An Islamic school has been downgraded by Ofsted after its pupils did not know who Theresa May and Hillary Clinton were when quizzed by inspectors.

    The independent, all-boys Darul Hadis Latifiah school was branded inadequate across all areas, as the school watchdog concluded pupils were "not prepared for life in modern Britain" and many were unable to name the country's Prime Minister.

    Inspectors also found CCTV cameras in the school toilets and a book which "promoted inappropriate views" on how girls and women should behave in the Bethnall Green school.

    Read more.

  • In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, widow Jandark Behnam Mansour Nassi, 55, and her son, 16-year-old Ismail, describe their experiences at the hands of Daesh extremists.

    Ismail, who the militants jailed, recounts seeing gun-wielding Jihadi children kill orange-clad Daesh prisoners and how he witnessed a woman bound hand and foot being stoned to death. The teenager goes on to describe how Daesh threatened to kill him if he refused to convert to Islam. He recalls the pain of later converting to Islam against his will and how he went to a Daesh "correctional camp" where the Jihadi militants tried to force him to marry in spite of him being only 15 at the time.

    Read more.

  • Sharia courts administering Islamic justice in Britain are run by clerics who believe some offenders should have their hands chopped off, according to Muslim scholar Elham Manea. She described the prevailing attitude as "totalitarian" and as more backward than some parts of Pakistan.

    Teaching children fundamental British values is an act of "cultural supremacism," according to the National Union of Teachers, which wants to replace the concept with one that includes "international rights."

    Read more.

  • I’ve been trying to work all day, preparing sessions for a conference on the Fatherhood of God. It’s been tough to keep my mind on my work, however, because this is a topic with which I was thrilled to the depths by a man of God who, several days ago, was suddenly taken from us and into the presence of his Lord, Jesus Christ.

    The Revd. Dr. Michael J. Ovey was my principal at Oak Hill theological college, and even since I left college had continued to be a mentor and encourager and teacher and good friend.

    As I’ll say below, Mike’s death is a huge loss to so many people. But I need to say at the start that this reflection on him cannot capture the depth of grief, and loss, that his precious family are suffering. His wife and children are hurting, and I could never let it be heard that what the rest of us feel is comparable to that. Theirs is the pain that needs most comfort, and prayer.

    Read more.

  • The introduction of standard prenatal screening into public healthcare has lead to the (near) elimination of Down syndrome in some countries. In Iceland, for a number of years, hundred percent (100%) of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome were aborted. In Denmark this number is 98 percent. In 2017 the Netherlands will make NIPT (Non Invasive Prenatal Testing) available to all Dutch pregnant women. NIPT can detect a range of chromosomal and genetic variations in the unborn child simply by testing the blood of the mother. Last week members of the opposition party SGP asked the Dutch Minister of Health, Mrs. Schippers, if she planned to take any measures to prevent the Danish and Icelandic scenario from happening in the Netherlands. Mrs. Schippers answered: "If freedom of choice results in a situation that nearly no children with Down syndrome are being born, society should accept that". She said withholding information from parents about the health of their future children is‘undesirable’ and that participation in the National population screening program is an individual decision.

    Read more.

  • The first British man to conceive a child is four months pregnant and proudly showing off his bump.

    Former Asda worker Hayden Cross, 20, decided to pause his gender reassignment process so he could give birth.

    He found a sperm donor on Facebook and became pregnant four months ago.

    Read more.

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