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Christianity “force for good in the world”, says Australian PM

Christianity “has been an overwhelming force for good in the world”, according to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Speaking at the launch of World Youth Day in Sydney, Mr Rudd said that while many criticised the Church it was important to speak about the great good it does as well. The launch and opening Mass was attended by 150,000 people.

16/07/08
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Father of murdered teenage boy urges parents to “get closer” to children

The UK father of a teenage boy who was shot dead as he went for a haircut has urged parents to "get closer" to their children to better understand their lives. Rashid Chaiboub said parents should be aware when their children stop sharing their thoughts and feelings with them, as his 17-year-old son Tarek had.

15/07/08
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Fathers being marginalised in their children's lives, says equality group

Fathers are being increasingly marginalised in children's lives, according to the UK's equality watchdog. According to the chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Nicola Brewer, said that maternity leave laws had led to an increased disparity between the time mothers and fathers spend with children.

15/07/08
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Early sexualisation putting pressure on young girls, study finds

The mental health and emotional wellbeing of young teenage girls is being placed under pressure from numerous directions, according to new research. A report by Girlguiding UK and the Mental Health Foundation discovered that girls feel pressure as a result of sexual advances from boys and also to wear clothes that make them look older.

15/07/08
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30th anniversary of IVF marked

Children and adults who are the result of IVF, the technique developed by Professor Bob Edwards and Dr Patrick Steptoe in the 1970s, gathered in Cambridgeshire yesterday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the creation of In Vitro Fertilisation.

15/07/08
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Tribunal finds in favour of Christian who refused to carry out same sex unions

A State-employed Christian registrar who refused to carry out same sex civil unions because they went against her faith has won a landmark discrimination battle and hailed her triumph as a victory for religious liberty.

11/07/08
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Tory leader slams culture of “moral neutrality”

A culture of “moral neutrality” is preventing politicians and other leaders from saying what needs to be said about the problems facing British society, according to the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron.

08/07/08
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Radical plan to stop ‘white flight’

Catholic education authorities have proposed a radical plan to stop the ‘flight’ of parents from urban schools all over the country. The plan involves requiring parents to send their children to the school closest to them.

08/07/08
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Boy accused of “rights violation” by Swedish school

A Swedish school has accused an eight-year-old boy of violating the rights of fellow school children for not inviting two of his classmates to his birthday party.

03/07/08
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Marriage “intrinsically heterosexual”, says FF Senator

Addressing the need for legislation to protect vulnerable people in dependant relationships does not require the redefinition of marriage, Senator Jim Walsh said in the Seanad yesterday. Responding to reports about his Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party motion last week, he said that the current understanding of marriage as intrinsically heterosexual was “for the propagation of society and the welfare of children”.

03/07/08
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New EU proposal could impact on Churches

A proposed EU anti-discrimination directive, aimed at outlawing any discrimination based on sex, religion or sexual orientation outside the workplace could have implications for Church property.

02/07/08
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Gang life taking the place of family life, says top UK police officer

Gang life is replacing the family for a generation of young people, according to a leading UK police chief. Barbara Wilding, the Chief Constable of South Wales, says that a culture of gangs, drugs and crime has become a way of life in poorer areas in large English cities, and family breakdown is a major part of the problem

02/07/08
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New poll suggests majority of parents favour State-run school system

A clear majority of parents would prefer State-run schools to religious run schools, a poll published on Monday suggests. According to a RedC poll carried out on behalf of the Irish Primary Principals Network, over 70 per cent of parents indicated they would prefer a State run school system.

01/07/08
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UK Government in “witch hunt” against faith schools: report

The UK Labour Government is engaged in a “witch hunt” against faith schools, according to a new document published by think tank the Centre for Policy Studies. And this policy could end up alienating the UK's growing Islamic population, as Islamic faith schools help to integrate young Muslims into British society, the document says.

01/07/08
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Fianna Fail Senator says legislation should guard special status of marriage

A group of Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators are supporting a motion in the parliamentary party to secure the special status of marriage under the Constitution. The motion comes just days after the Government published the heads of a Bill which proposes giving same sex couples many of the rights currently enjoyed by married couples.

27/06/08
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Same sex couples to get marriage like rights under Government legislation

Same sex couples are to be granted marriage like rights under new Government proposals published on Tuesday. Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern launched the proposals, saying that the Civil Partnership Bill did not equate to “gay marriage”.

25/06/08
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Canadian court intervenes to “overturn” father's grounding of daughter

A Canadian court has stated that a father of a 12-year-old girl cannot ground her for disobeying him, his lawyer said last Wednesday.

24/06/08
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More than half of Limerick city births outside marriage

Limerick has the highest percentage of births outside marriage, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The data shows that 56.4 per cent of children born in Limerick city in 2005 were outside wedlock.

20/06/08
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Women do more work in home, study finds

A new report has shown that women do the bulk of caring in the home for children and elderly or ill family members. The report by the ESRI, Gender Inequalities in Time Use is published by the Equality Authority. According to the study, women spend twice as much time as men each day doing unpaid work, including caring and housework.

19/06/08
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Declarations securing Irish family policy on the table ahead of EU summit

Ireland could be given opt-outs from the Lisbon Treaty if it would help the Government win a new referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, according to reports, including an opt-out from family policy.

18/06/08
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.