Displaying items by tag: United Kingdom
Down's syndrome and abortion law
Heidi Crowter is a woman with Down's syndrome who has previously challenged legislation allowing foetuses with the syndrome to be aborted up until birth. But judges at the Court of Appeal decided the Abortion Act did not interfere with the rights of the living disabled. Heidi is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights ‘because it is downright discrimination that people with disabilities are treated differently. Disabled people are valued equally after birth but not in the womb.’ In England, Wales and Scotland there is a 24-week time limit for abortion, unless there is a substantial risk that the child would suffer from physical or mental abnormalities, including Down's syndrome. If Heidi’s appeal is successful, it would not only have implications for the UK, it would set a legal precedent for all 46 member countries of the Council of Europe.
Christian concerned over freedom of speech
Hatun Tash, a Christian street evangelist who regularly preaches at Hyde Park's Speakers’ Corner, has raised concerns about freedom of speech in the UK after Edward Little, 21, pleaded guilty on 19 May to attempting to kill her. In September, police arrested him when they found him in possession of thousands of pounds in cash, intending to purchase a gun to murder Tash and her camera crew. He was apprehended before he could carry out his plan. In response to his admission of guilt, Tash said, ‘l am glad that the police were able to act and stop Mr Little before he harmed me and people around me. This should concern everyone in the UK. It shows that the teaching of Islam is not compatible with British values if it inspires men to attempt to murder Christian evangelists.’
Helped British in Helmand - now rejected by UK
An Afghan colonel who fought alongside British troops in Helmand province joint operations has been threatened with deportation to Rwanda. He was not helped in any way after Kabul fell to the Taliban, and recovering from a combat wound he fled to find safety. After journeying across 11 countries he reached the UK on a small boat last September. He has now received a notice of intent from the Home Office threatening him with deportation. While he was still in Afghanistan he applied to the Ministry of Defence’s resettlement scheme, known as Arap (the Afghan relocations and assistance policy). He received one follow-up call from a British official but heard nothing since. He is one of many Afghan veterans who had to use illegal routes to get to the UK due to restrictions and delays plaguing the government’s dedicated Afghan resettlement schemes.
Cardiff: unrest after fatal crash
Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and Harvey Evans, 15, died in a bike crash in Cardiff. Shortly afterwards rumours spread across social media that they were being chased by the police when they crashed. The rumour spread like wildfire and sparked a riot. 150 masked vandals set vehicles alight and aimed missiles and fireworks at police, injuring 15. 12 were hospitalised. The clean-up operation will cost about £22,500. The vicar at the local church said, ‘I can't even begin to imagine the amount of pain and grief the family of Kyrees and Harvey will be feeling. It is absolutely vital that communication between the police and community is handled properly. This community is very difficult to police. We have some people who are very antagonistic towards police; a police presence anywhere will wind them up.’ May God’s peace fill the atmosphere in this community and for police enquiries to run smoothly. See
Workers justified in asking for wage rise
‘We have a low-wage, high-welfare economy, which means people depend continuously on tax credits and all sorts of other welfare help in order to get by. That is not a sustainable situation for millions of households up and down the country’, says Christian economist Professor Adrian Pabst. As the cost of living crisis continues, the prospect of corporations engaging in increasing the cost of items at the shopping till to keep their profits high is facing investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) amid ‘ongoing concerns about high prices’. The CMA is looking at whether increases are linked to ‘any failure in competition’. Recently, Tesco’s chairman said it was ‘entirely possible’ that food producers are hiking prices more than necessary. Professor Pabst asks, ‘Do workers deserve a pay rise to match inflation? Christians should be on the side of the dignity of labour, not siding with private profit.’
Scotland police force institutionally racist
Speaking at a Scottish Police Authority meeting on 25 May, Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone said, ‘It is the right thing for me, as Chief Constable, to state clearly that institutional racism, sexism, misogyny and discrimination exist within the force. Publicly acknowledging they exist is essential to our absolute commitment to championing equality and becoming an anti-racist service. There is no place in Police Scotland for anyone rejecting our values and standards. Our vigilance has never been stronger - rigorous recruitment, enhanced vetting, more visible conduct outcomes and a focus on prevention. The onus is on us, the police, to address gaps and challenge bias, known or unwitting, at every level, and wherever bias occurs, to maintain and build confidence with all communities’. Sir Iain will retire in August; his statement is the first of its kind by a police chief and a ‘watershed moment’ for policing in Scotland and the UK.
Ten men charged with 76 crimes
Ten Rochdale men charged with 76 crimes appeared in court on 19 May as part of an investigation into child sexual exploitation between 2003 and 2008. Jurors heard that the victims were 'mere objects' to be groomed, humiliated and sexually abused by the defendants. But on 23 May judge Tina Landale dramatically discharged the jury of seven men and five women. The trial, which will resume once a new jury has been sworn in, is scheduled to last up to 12 weeks. See All the defendants have pleaded not guilty, and deny all the charges brought against them.
Lord Sentamu told to step back from active ministry
The former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, was ordered to step back from active ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle after he criticised a review into the church's handling of abuse allegations against a late priest. The Church has formally apologised to the victim of sexual abuse after the review found that senior figures - including Sentamu - failed to act appropriately when disclosures were made to them. The current Archbishop of York said that the diocese remains committed to the highest standards of safeguarding, placing victims and survivors at the heart of this work. The Church of England's lead bishop for safeguarding said, ‘We all have a bigger moral duty when it comes to safeguarding matters: to really look at it, refer to it, ask questions, hold each other to account, and be curious about how things have concluded. Because of that moral imperative I think that with good training we all would know we need to act differently'.
UK economy is in an uncomfortable place
Independent Christian economist Bridget Rosewell, previously economic advisor to the Greater London Authority, said, ‘I'm expecting the economy to be in an uncomfortable place and we shouldn't lose sight of the long term, in the short term.’ The Bank of England has raised interest rates twelve times in a row and believes inflation will fall slower than predicted as food prices stay stubbornly high. Interest rates take a while to feed through into prices but more stable prices will eventually come through. People with mortgages should expect their interest payments to rise. Pray for people to not overextend themselves or take out loans if they are not sure how they will repay them. Ask God to remove envy and the love of mammon across the UK so that people do not think that they have to have everything that others have.
PM meets Zelenskyy at Chequers
The UK has agreed to send hundreds of long-range missiles and armed drones to Ukraine. This is on top of last week's decision to provide Kyiv with Storm Shadow cruise missiles. These moves mean the UK is going further than any other country in providing weapons with the potential to tip the war in Ukraine's favour. President Zelenskyy met Rishi Sunak at Chequers for two hours of talks as part of his tour of Western allies in preparation for the much-anticipated counter-offensive against Russia. If Ukraine can destroy Russia's command centres, logistics hubs and ammunition depots in occupied territory, it may prove impossible for Moscow to continue resupplying its frontline troops. Mr Zelenskyy said the Ukraine and UK are ‘real partners’.