Key Quotes for 2013

Key Quotes for 2013

A world perspective in bite-size chunks
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Last update: Monday 22nd July
 
Accusations of witchcraft against children are the focus of a major call to action for Christians following the publication of a new report. The Stop Child Witch Accusations (SCWA) coalition of Christian groups published the Responding to beliefs that harm children report, which calls some ‘child witch’ accusations ‘a crime against humanity’. SCWA, whose steering committee includes representatives from Urban Saints and The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, is calling on churches and individuals to become aware of the scale of ‘child witch’ accusations and to get involved in the fight against them.
Social IssuesChristianity, October 2013
 
Young people’s happiness has dropped significantly in the UK in the last few years, according to a major new report. The 2013 Good Childhood Report, published by Christian charity The Children’s Society, found that well-being has declined among children and young people since 2008, having previously been on the rise since 1994. The report, which evaluates the well-being of Britain’s eight-17 year-olds, collected data from 42,000 children and young people throughout the UK, and found that in particular, many were concerned and troubled by their self-image.
Young PeopleYouthwork, October 2013
 
Benefit cheats will face increased jail terms of up to 10 years in a crackdown on those who ‘flout the system’, Britain’s most senior prosecutor has said. Keir Starmer QC warned it was time for a ‘tough stance’ against the perpetrators of benefit and tax credit fraud as he set out new guidelines for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The Director of Public Prosecutions said the £1.9 billion annual cost of the crime to the taxpayer should be at the ‘forefront of lawyers’ minds’ when considering whether a prosecution was in the public interest. Suspects can now be charged under the Fraud Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, the CPS said. In the past, benefit cheats have often been pursued under specific social security legislation which carries a maximum term of seven years.
CrimeThe Sentinel, September 17th, 2013
 
Governor Mark Carney defended the Bank of England’s radical new forward guidance policy, insisting it has ‘reinforced the recovery’. Mr Carney told the Treasury Select Committee the Bank remains ‘vigilant’ over a house price bubble, as prices and demand are pumped up by Government stimulus schemes. It could recommend banks set limits on how much households can borrow, he said.
MoneyThe Sentinel, September 13th, 2013
 
Nick Clegg has urged the British people to put the Liberal Democrats back in government in 2015 to curb the excesses of Tories or Labour. “We are the only party that can finish the job of economic recovery, but finish it fairly,” he told the Lib Dem conference in Glasgow. After three years of coalition Britain was now a “step closer” to the death of single party government, he claimed. The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke at length about his family and personal values.
PoliticsThe Sentinel, September 19th, 2013
 
Apple has sold a record nine million handsets worldwide in the first weekend that the 5S and 5C models were available to buy, the company said. The figure for the first three days represents a leap of four million compared with the iPhone 5, which sold five million units in the same period last year.
ShoppingThe Sentinel, September 24, 2013
 
A Muslim free school which discriminated against women and required staff to cover their hair has been ordered to make ‘swift’ changes or risk closure. Al-Madinah Free School in Derby has been warned by the Government that it must take immediate action to address concerns over the way it is being run. In a highly critical letter to the chairman of the governors, Schools Minister Lord Nash said that the school had failed to keep pupils safe, provide a good education and has discriminated against female staff. He said the school had ‘manifestly breached’ its conditions, and can expect to lose its state funding – effectively forcing it to close down – if it does not take action. The school has been told it must provide evidence it has stopped practices that lead to women and girls being treated ‘less favourably’ than men and boys.
Religion/SpiritualityThe Sentinel, October 9 2013
 
International inspectors have begun destroying Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons and the machinery used to create it, a United Nations official said. A team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is overseeing the removal of the weapons. It is not clear which site the crews were at but the official said work included dismantling missile warheads and aerial bombs. The team was sent in following international condemnations of a chemical attack near the Syrian capital Damascus in August.
Disasters/WarThe Sentinel, October 7 2013
 
Millions of young people could face the removal of a sweeping range of benefits if the Conservatives win the 2015 general election, David Cameron has signalled. As he promised pro-business policies and hinted at tax cuts after the election, the Prime Minister warned that there will be no options of a life on the dole for under-25s, telling the Conservative Party conference that he wanted all of them ‘earning or learning’. Full details of the reforms are expected to be included in the Tory manifesto for the 2015 poll, but Downing Street aides said that young people who are not in work, education or an apprenticeship and decline to take up training places can be expected to lose their automatic entitlement to benefits including jobseekers’ allowance and housing benefit. Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has now been commissioned to carry out a review of training and education for under-25s.
Young PeopleThe Sentinel, October 3 2013
 
Suspected Islamist gunmen have attacked a college in north-eastern Nigeria, killing up to 50 students. The students were shot dead as they slept in their dormitory at the College of Agriculture in Yobe state. North-eastern Nigeria is under a state of emergency amid an Islamist insurgency by the Boko Haram group. They are currently fighting to overthrow Nigeria’s government to create an Islamic state, and have launched a number of attacks on schools. Casualty figures from the latest attack vary, but a local politician said two vanloads of bodies had been taken to a hospital in Yobe’s state capital, Damaturu.
World IssuesThe Sentinel, September 30 2013
 
David Cameron denies claims in a new book that he regretted putting same-sex marriage into law in England and Wales. The Prime Minister said Britain was a “fairer” country because of the new law, but admitted he did not expect the “furore” it generated. It caused tensions in the Tory ranks, with Mr Cameron accused of being out of touch with his grassroots.
Social IssuesThe Sentinel, September 30 2013
 
David Cameron says he wants to offer more patients the chance to visit a GP in the evening or at weekends. Under a scheme to be piloted in nine areas of England, surgeries will be able to bid for funding to open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Manchester is already piloting an extended-hours scheme for GPs, with GPs grouping together to offer extra care, in what is being billed as an attempt to prevent ‘unnecessary’ visits to hospital A&E wards. The wider scheme will see practices applying for a share of a £50m ‘Challenge Fund’, with surgeries becoming ‘pioneers’ in each of nine regions, starting in 2014/15. Mr Cameron is also promising more ‘flexible access’, including email, Skype and telephone consultations for patients who prefer this to face-to-face contact.
HealthThe Sentinel, October 2 2013
 
Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for a High Court battle over where the remains of King Richard III should be reburied, lawyers for the Justice Secretary argued yesterday. In a move which could stop the case in its tracks, the lawyers challenged moves to shield from legal costs relatives of the monarch who have launched the battle, which is being described as “the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part 2”. A judge sitting in London said he would give his ruling on the costs issue as soon as he could. Richard’s remains were discovered buried under a council car park in Leicester last year and the plan is for them to be re-interred at the city’s cathedral. But the relatives have formed the Plantagenet Alliance Ltd to fight for the remains to be buried at York Minster, claiming it was the King’s wish.
PoliticsThe Sentinel, September 27 2013
 
The Government’s controversial benefits cap is now fully in place across the country, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced. The cap – which limits benefits to £500 a week for couples and lone parents and £350 a week for single adults – is a key plank of Mr Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms. It is expected to affect about 40,000 households…Ministers argue that it restores fairness to the benefits system, ensuring that households where no-one is working cannot claim more than the average family earns. But critics say that it penalises out-of-work families in areas with high housing charges, forcing them to move out to cheaper areas.
Work/EmploymentThe Sentinel, September 27 2013
 
The number of women in work has increased over the past 40 years, while men’s employment has fallen, new research claims. Around 67 per cent of women are in employment, up from 53 per cent in 1971, while for men the rate has slumped from 92 per cent to 76 per cent. The Office for National Statistics said of the 13.4 million women in work, 42 per cent were part-time, compared with 12 per cent of the 15.3 million men in employment. Men in full-time jobs worked an average of 44 hours a week, four more than women.
Work/EmploymentThe Sentinel, September 26 2013
 
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