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Dundee set to bring back Christmas

A Scottish town has decided to put Christmas back into Christmas instead of calling it ‘Wintermas’.

27/11/09
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Research shows faith schools better at race relations than State sector

New UK research suggest that faith schools are better at tackling extremism and promoting race relations than State run schools.

27/11/09
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UK couple accuse social services of "kidnapping their child".

UK social services have been accused by a couple of "kidnapping" their nine week-old daughter for adoption.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claim that police and council staff forced their way into their home and took the baby away while they were physically restrained. They claim they were not allowed to cuddle the child or say goodbye, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

The couple from Suffolk, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, say their daughter was taken for adoption despite no allegation made against them ever having been proven.

The mother said: "The council have been hellbent on taking our daughter away come what may. We feel we have been a victim of a system which is completely biased in favour of social services."

The couple have started legal proceedings to have their daughter returned.

Earlier this week in the Commons Tim Yeo, their local MP, accused council officials of "kidnapping" the child solely to boost their adoption figures.

The mother, 32, is pregnant again. She says she and the father, 41, plan to emigrate so their second child is not taken. She came to the attention of social services two years earlier, when she was married.

As her marriage disintegrated and a custody battle ensued, allegations were made to social services about her ability to be a mother.

It was claimed that she suffered from factitious disorder – a condition in which sufferers are said to feign illness or exaggerate symptoms. It was also alleged that she had falsely claimed her son suffered from various illnesses. She denies both claims.

On Oct 27, council staff and police banged on their door, moved in and removed the girl. The couple have only been allowed to see their daughter at supervised visits to a children’s centre 15 miles away. Adoption proceedings were finalised in September and the baby is due to be transferred to adoptive parents in January.

Suffolk County Council denied it wanted to take the baby to boost targets. A spokesman said Suffolk did not have targets and followed national guidance and legislation on providing an adoption service.

Simon White, director of children and young people’s services, said: "Decisions of this kind are not taken lightly and follow a rigorous process of assessment. Our highly trained, professional staff are very mindful of the particular circumstances of each case but ultimately it is the welfare of the child or children which must be safeguarded – we reject any accusation otherwise."

27/11/09

Civil Partnership Bill to be debated next week: Green Party

The Civil Partnership Bill is set to be debated in the Dail next week, according to a statement from the Green Party.

26/11/09
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EU Commission attacks UK over employment law exemptions for church bodies

The European Commission has begun legal action against the UK government over its employment law exemptions which allow church bodies to employ on the basis of their ethos.

26/11/09
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EU foreign ministers insist on protection for freedom of religion

A resolution insisting that EU member states protect freedom of conscience and religion has been adopted by EU foreign ministers, according to a report in the Irish Catholic.

26/11/09
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Cardinal Pell accuses Human Rights Commission of intimidation

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, has accused a leading Australian human rights figure of attempting to “intimidate” Christians on moral issues.

26/11/09
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Catholic Church turned to most after family, friends: poll

The Catholic Church is the organisation most turned to by Irish people for emotional comfort and reassurance after spouses, partners, family and friends.

24/11/09
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Christians need to stand up for Christmas: Church of England bishops

Two prominent Anglican bishops have urged Christians to turn back the tide of political correctness by wearing religious symbols during the Christmas period.

24/11/09
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Church to stay involved in secondary schools: Bishop

The transfer of control of certain secondary schools from orders to lay trusts does not mean the Church is getting out of education, a leading Bishop has said.

23/11/09
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Fewer couples separating due to credit crunch: lawyer

Fewer couples are separating in the High Court due to the credit crunch, according to leading family law barrister Gerry Durcan SC.

23/11/09
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Austrian civil union law won’t allow ceremony

Austria's new civil union legislation will not allow same-sex couples to register their partnership in a ceremony at their local registry office.

20/11/09
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Atheists target children of religious parents with ad campaign

The children of religious parents in the UK are being targeted in an anti-religion advertising campaign by the same humanist group that was behind atheist bus ads.

20/11/09
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Leading campaigner envisages forcing churches to host civil union ceremonies

A leading gay rights campaigner in the UK believes that it may be appropriate to force Churches to host homosexual civil unions eventually.

19/11/09
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BBC rejects call for secular "Thought of the Day"

The BBC has rejected demands from atheists that they should muscle in on Radio 4’s three-minute religious slot, Thought for the Day.

19/11/09
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UK Government adviser claims lesbians make the best parents

Lesbians make better parents than heterosexual couples, a senior Government parenting adviser has stated.

18/11/09
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New proposals to equate cohabitation with marriage "bad for commitment": Lady Deech

Proposals to give cohabiting couples in the UK the same rights as those who get married are "bad for commitment" and degrade relationships, according to the chairperson of one Britain's legal bodies.

18/11/09
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Christians must “get involved” with EU: Bruton

Christians must influence EU policy by “getting involved on a day to day basis with its work”, former Taoiseach John Bruton has said.

17/11/09
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Nearly 10 per cent of children from broken homes "suicidal": study

Nearly 10 percent of children from broken families say that the process has left them suicidal, according to a new study. Other children involved in the process said they later sought solace in drink, drugs or crime.

17/11/09
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Scientists create egg from two biological mothers

Scientists have created and fertilised an egg with two biological mothers and one biological father, sparking ethical fears about babies grown from three-parent embryos.

17/11/09
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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.