Key Quotes for 2011

Key Quotes for 2011

A world perspective in bite-size chunks
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Last update: Monday 22nd July
 
France upheld the traditional definition of marriage in June. France’s law was previously challenged by a lesbian couple, who were calling for same-sex marriage so that they could have the inheritance and joint custody rights reserved for married couples. In January, the Constitutional Council ruled in favour of the traditional definition of marriage, maintaining that it did not breach the French constitution. The court said it was up to parliament to decide whether to change the law, but members of the lower house in June voted 293 to 222 in favour of traditional marriage.
The LawEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
In July, police in New South Wales in Australia were given more powers to remove burkas and other face coverings to identify crime suspects. Anyone in NSW who refuses to remove their face covering could now be fined or jailed for up to a year. The decision comes after a Muslim woman in Sydney, accused of lying about police trying to tear her burka off, avoided jail in June because her identity could not be proved.
CrimeEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
Afghanistan in June topped a list of the world’s most dangerous countries for women.
Experts polled for the list (by Thomas Rueters Foundation) noted physical dangers from ongoing conflicts and NATO airstrikes, as well as health threats, cultural or religious factors, trafficking and sexual violence. Afghanistan was followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rape is being used on a massive scale as a weapon of war.
World IssuesEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
The Shard, a skyscraper which will transform London’s landscape, is a potent symbol of the growing significance of Islamic finance, The Financial Times claimed in June.
Dwarfing all other tower blocks at 310 metres, the new landmark near London bridge, will become the highest building anywhere in the European Union. The project has been financed by shari’a-compliant investment. The Financial Times claims that there are certain conditions on the types of businesses that are allowed to occupy the completed building since it has been backed by Islamic finance.
EnvironmentEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
A Christian radio station in June was allowed to go to court to challenge a ban on an advert which asked Christians to report experiences of workplace marginalisation.
The Radio Advertising Clearance Centre banned the ad from being aired, ruling that it was politically motivated. But Premier Christian Radio rejected that, saying the ad addresses a legitimate issue faced by Christians.
Religious PersecutionEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
The new mayor of Bridport in Dorset has in June dropped Christian prayers from council meetings. Instead, agnostic David Rickard has introduced a ‘short time of quiet, private contemplation’ at the start of meetings.
Work/EmploymentEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
A mental health worker in June was sacked following a Committed Christian Margaret Forrester showed fellow family planning staff a booklet explaining some of the physical and psychological effects of pregnancy termination. The psychological wellbeing practitioner believed the NHS was failing to inform patients about the risks associated with abortion and didn’t offer alternatives. After six months of disciplinary procedures, Ms. Forrester was sacked for ‘gross professional misconduct’ when she failed to turn up for work in a different role she had been forced to take as punishment. She now calls the pro-abortion bias of the NHS a ‘scandal’, claims that Christians are discriminated against by politically-correct NHS managers and is considering an appeal to an employment tribunal.
Religious PersecutionEvangelicals Now August 2011
 
A universal flue vaccine that neutralises all strains of the virus has come a step closer with the discovery of a “super antibody” in a patient’s blood. In tests, the antibody disarmed both the main groups of influenza A viruses which cause a large proportion of seasonal flue outbreaks. Flue is difficult to control because it presents a shifting “target” to vaccines by mutating into new forms. Dr Steve Gambin said: “Our discovery may eventually help to develop a universal vaccine.”
HealthThe Sentinel July 29 2011
 
The government has been ordered to publish documents revealing the discussions held by Margaret Thatcher about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster where 96 Liverpool football fans died. Information Commissioner Christopher Graham ruled the information was in the public interest. In a decision notice, he said: “The commissioner believes the content of the information in question would add to public knowledge and understanding about the reaction of various parties to that event in the early aftermath.”
PoliticsThe Sentinel July 27 2011
 
Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie has expressed his “deepest regret” for crashing head-on into a taxi carrying a newlywed couple while driving the wrong way down a major road. The 100m gold medallist at the 1992 Barcelona Games described the accident as “one of the worst moments in my life” after he was disqualified for 15 months and fined £5,000 for careless driving. Christie, who was also ordered to pay £1,000 prosecution costs, was cleared of the more serious charge of dangerous driving.
What famous people sayThe Sentinel July 22 2011
 
The government has announced controversial plans to introduce a major badger cull in England to tackle TB in cattle. The RSPCA said it was a “black day for badgers”, claiming the scientific case to support the mass slaughter of the animals had not been made. Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, acknowledged there was “great strength of feeling” about the issue but told the Commons: “I believe this is the right way forward.”
EnvironmentThe Sentinel July 20 2011
 
Children under the age of five should exercise for at least three hours a day, new Government guidelines suggest. Babies should be taken swimming and play on “baby gym” mats while toddlers should walk for at least 15 minutes of routine journeys, such as to nursery, child medical officers say. The exercise guidance targets under-fives for the first time and comes amid growing fears over childhood obesity.
FamilyThe Sentinel July 11 2011
 
The Church of England has voted to tackle claims of a “pale, male and stale” leadership with a new campaign to recruit more ethnic minority people. Members of the General Synod voted overwhelmingly in favour of positive action to recruit ethnic minority clergy into the church’s leadership. The move came after a report by the Venerable Daniel Kajumba, archdeacon of Reigate, showed only 1.1 per cent of bishops, archdeacons and cathedral deans posts are filled by ethnic minorities. This was in spite of congregations of up to 90 per cent ethnic minorities in inner cities.
ChurchThe Sentinel July 12 2011
 
The euro is heading for collapse because of the crisis in Greece, and a speedy demise may be better than a “slow death” for the single currency, former foreign secretary Jack Straw warned yesterday. Mr Straw urged ministers in the House of Commons to prepare Britain for “alternatives” to the European Single Currency. His comments came as EU finance ministers refused to hand the Greek government a second bailout package of 12 billion euro (£10.6 billion) unless it agrees to implement a 28-billion euro (£24.8 billion) set of austerity measures.
MoneyThe Sentinel June 21 2011
 
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has issued a plea to businesses to recruit jobless British youths, rather than migrant workers. More than half the new jobs created in the UK over the last year went to foreign nationals, he said. As well as welfare reform and training, he said moves to cut unemployment included tackling competition from jobs from migrants. But he said business should also do their bit, by opting to give jobs to unemployed Britons rather than recruiting labour from abroad.
Work/EmploymentThe Sentinel July 3 2011
 
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