Displaying items by tag: Culture
Six people, including a 13- and a 14-year-old, were arrested for stabbing to death a 14-year-old boy in Birmingham. The victim was chased towards the nearby McDonald's by youths who fled from the scene after he collapsed. In London’s Hyde Park a 17 year old was chased by a group of males armed with large knives. He fell and was kicked and stabbed; one onlooker screamed ‘He bored him’ (street slang for stabbing. In South London a 23-year-old man is fighting for his life after being stabbed in the face. In north London a flowerstall man in his 50s was stabbed to death in a brutal daylight attack. Pray for more resources to be provided for teachers, social workers, and youth workers to help children and youths explore themes around knife crime and educate them to make better choices.
Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland in 2019 after Westminster acted during the absence of devolution. Delays in implementing Northern Ireland's abortion laws have been a ‘deeply troubling exercise in finger-pointing’, a court has heard. Stormont is under pressure to establish a permanent, central abortion service; it has not happened yet and is being challenged in a high court judicial review. The Human Rights Commission is taking the case against the NI Executive, the Department of Health, and the NI secretary Brandon Lewis. Currently health trusts only operate a ‘skeleton service’ for medical abortions up to ten weeks of pregnancy. Women seeking a termination beyond that gestation travel to England. Arlene Foster’s party, which opposes abortion, said that abortion proposals were not going to be passed by the executive or the incoming leader, Edwin Poots.
An open letter from ‘Don’t Screen Us Out’ has been sent to Arlene Foster, Edwin Poots, and other leading politicians. It was written on behalf of people with Down’s syndrome and their families, who are asking for their parties to support a bill which has been introduced to the NI Assembly. The bill seeks to amend the current abortion regulations, to no longer allow unborn babies with a ‘serious foetal impairment’ to be aborted to term. This bill would not amend the law in cases of ‘fatal foetal abnormality’. Currently NI abortion is legal up to birth if the foetus has Down’s syndrome, cleft palate, cleft lip, or club foot. This new bill proposes that non-fatal disabilities should not be grounds for abortion, and the current law is discriminatory against those with such disabilities. 90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted.
At least 1,068 people have been killed by police since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minnesota on 25 May 2020. His killing triggered worldwide protests demanding justice and an end to systemic racism. In April 2021 Floyd’s killer was found guilty of murder and manslaughter; sentencing is on 25 June. Between January 2013 and May 2021, US police killed at least 9,179 people, according to data compiled by Mapping Police Violence, a research and advocacy group. Since Floyd’s death, the group has recorded at least 1,068 police killings across the country – an average of three killings every day. Despite being 13% of the population, black Americans are three times as likely as white Americans to be killed by the police. The group also found that ‘levels of violent crimes in US cities do not determine rates of police violence’.
A documentary about a ten-year-old Aboriginal boy's experience in school has reignited the debate about Australia's failure to give indigenous children a good education and a fair start in life. Australia's ‘national shame’ was recognized in 2008, and the government pledged to ‘close the gap’ for indigenous people in terms of life expectancy, child mortality, education and employment. By 2020 most of the seven targets had not been met. Seventeen new targets have now been set, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups. Currently young indigenous people are 17 times more likely to be jailed than non-indigenous counterparts (43 times more likely in the Northern Territory). A young indigenous man is more likely to be in prison than university. In Aboriginal town camps there are days with no milk, and children eat breakfast at school. Some nights there is no electricity, so children play I-spy under the stars.
Authorities arrested 36-year-old Aditya Singh after he had spent three months living in the secure side of Chicago's O'Hare international airport, relying on the kindness of strangers for food, sleeping in terminals and using the bathroom facilities. He was caught by an airport employee asking for his ID. Singh is one of many individuals residing in terminals for weeks, months or years. Since 2018 there has been a rise in the number of homeless people in large airports. Officials try to provide aid and crisis intervention teams to connect homeless people to housing and other services. But most would prefer a solution where airports no longer operated as homeless shelters.
Twelve girls from southern England were in an Instagram chat group whose name refers to suicide. The group was discovered when three of the girls were found seriously unwell in a street and taken by ambulance to hospital for emergency treatment. One of the girls mentioned they had met online and discussed suicide. Police examined digital devices and found the group’s other members. Seven of the girls had self-harmed before being traced by the police. Children's social care services from seven different local authorities are involved in safeguarding members of the group. In November Instagram launched technology to recognise self-harm and suicide images and words in content on its app in the UK and Europe. Sadly, Instagram said it found no suicide or self-harm related content in this group. The police said that peer-to-peer influence increased suicidal tendencies amongst the children involved, to the extent that several escalated to suicidal crises and serious self-harm.
Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Church of England’s first black female bishop, is concerned that a Government’s report on race and ethnic disparities said that the success of the ethnic minority population in education and economy is a model for other white-majority countries. The Bishop said that we will be an example when black people are not just sweeping floors, cleaning, and catering in establishments, but sitting around every table and in leadership in all walks of life. ‘There are serious issues around that report if it is telling us we are now a model country.’ The report, commissioned after the Black Lives Matter movement began, said there was no evidence of institutional racism in the UK: rather, geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture, and religion all impact life chances more than racism. Many say the report was culturally deaf and out of step with public opinion.
November 2020 will be the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts. They left England to escape religious persecution and establish the freedom of self-government, in the New World. The Declaration of Independence and the constitution were laid down by the founding fathers. The USA became a blessing to desperate and hopeful people from the nations, because of the culture of freedom and faith in God. American missionaries invested their lives in the spiritual restoration of the Old Continent, and until now have continued to impact the nations of Europe with the Kingdom of God. However, the strategy of the enemy is to destabilise, create conflicts in society, and gain control of governments. In 2020 the tragic death of George Floyd, BLM riots, and an out-of-control pandemic are threatening a divided electorate prior to November’s elections and the 400th anniversary of God’s freedom in the new world.
As a statue in Lisbon is ‘jokingly’ and ‘inappropriately’ fitted with a face mask, new restrictions have been imposed on the city following a spike in coronavirus cases. Portugal has gone from a European ‘miracle’ to a partial outcast in a matter of weeks, amid a series of setbacks to the country's reopening plans. The capital, Lisbon, and the surrounding metropolitan area woke up on 23 June to increased restrictions and more power for police to enforce them, following a series of illegal parties with as many as 1,000 revelers in recent days. Prime minister Costa imposed new controls just days after celebrating his government's Champions League final phase coup.