Key Quotes for 2006

A world perspective in bite-size chunks
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Last update: Wednesday 25th March
The internet is bucking the UK retail market as shoppers spend record amounts online, research out today shows. An estimated £8.2 billion of goods were bought from websites last year - up 28.9% on 2004, according to market analysts Verdict. This growth rate was nearly 19 times higher than the rise in overall retail spending for last year.
ShoppingThe Sentinel - February 13th 2006
The number of visitors to London's tourist attractions fell last year with would be travellers put off by the July bombings in the capital. Visits to attractions were down by 6% compared with 2004.
Travel/TourismThe Sentinel - February 13th 2006
Drug abuse in women’s prison has fallen by almost one third since visitors were banned from kissing inmates. The ban on kissing on the lips was introduced to prevent drugs being smuggled to inmates from mouth to mouth during apparently passionate clinches.

Drugs/Alcohol/AddictionsThe Sentinel – 17th January 2006
Gas and electricity bills are the biggest source of complaints about energy companies. It was the only area which saw an increase in energy customer complaints last year.

Odd FactsThe Sentinel – 18th January 2006
Due to persecution faced by Eritrean Christians in Sudan, who are not associated with the government approved official Lutheran, Orthodox and Roman Catholic denominations, 1,752 Eritrean Christians have been imprisoned for their religious beliefs. Teenagers who are arrested are sent to political camps, or put in metal shipping containers, subject to below freezing conditions at night and plus 40-42 degrees during the day. They are given one cup of tea and a piece of bread each day, and are only allowed out for once a day for about 10 to 15 minutes to relieve themselves. 60% of imprisoned Christians are incarcerated in shipping containers each containing 13 to 20 people.

Religious PersecutionChristian Herald – 21st January 2006
According to Operation World, the church in Southern Sudan has grown from 5% of the population in 1960 to perhaps 70% in 2000, with the greatest growth amongst evangelical Christians.

Religion/SpiritualityChristian Herald – 21st January 2006
In 2004, many Nigerian Christians in the Central states of Plateau and Bauchi lost almost all of their Bibles when nearly 300 churches were burnt to the ground. During 2004, 1,500 to 2,000 Christians, mostly men, were massacred by militant Islamists and 60,000 to 65,000 people were displaced. The massacres left 1,300 to 1,500 women as widows and 8,000 fatherless or orphaned children.

Religious PersecutionChristian Herald – 21st January 2006
Two southern districts of Blantyre and Zomba have been hit by severe food shortages. Currently, there are over 4.5 million Malawians in need of food. In addition, floods at the end of 2005 displaced at least 1,000 people and destroyed a much needed maize crop.

Disasters/WarChristian Herald – 21st January 2006
More and more Christians from different denominations are marrying each other.

FamilyChristian Herald – 21st January 2006
Less than half of Europeans believe immigration has made their country a better place to live. A poll carried out across eight nations for Reader’s Digest showed only 47% believed immigration had been positive.

EnvironmentThe Sentinel – 4th January 2006
It could take another 200 years for women to be as powerful as men. Just 11% of directors at FTSE 100 companies are female, and women only make up 9% of the senior judiciary.

Odd FactsThe Sentinel – 5th January 2006
More than a third of men are self medicating with alcohol to help them deal with stress. A survey by health charity Developing Patient Partnership (DPP) found that 34% of men and 26% of women would consider an alcoholic drink as a way of helping them feel less stressed.

Drugs/Alcohol/AddictionsThe Sentinel – 12th January 2006
The world Christian population continues to grow. It stood at 2,140 million people in the middle of 2005, the latest published figure, some 140 million more than five years earlier. This is one third, 33% of the world’s population, which stood at 6,450 million in 2005.

Religion/SpiritualityThe Church of England Newspaper – 13th January 2006
Ethiopia is facing a return to the famine conditions that killed 50,000 in 2000 if EU chiefs carry out a threat to block $37 million of urgent European Union aid.

Disasters/WarThe Universe – 15th January 2006
Girls as young as 13 are receiving contraceptive injections on the NHS which make them infertile for up to three years. New figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed in a sample of five primary care trusts, seven 13 year old girls have received either an implant or an injection without their parents’ knowledge. The figures also show children as young as 12 have been given the morning after pill. In the same five trusts, one 12 year old girl and 40 13 year old girls have been given the emergency contraception after unprotected sex in the past year.

SexThe Universe – 15th January 2006
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