News in Brief
Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama has talked of his personal Christian faith, in an effort to dispel rumours that he is a Muslim. The Democratic candidate spoke to the religious website beliefnet.com and Christianity Today magazine. ‘I have been a member of the same church for almost 20 years, and I have never practiced Islam,’ he stated. ‘I am respectful of the religion, but it’s not my own’.
Airport stops for Sunday worship
Backing for a £5m airport redevelopment plan at West Wales Airport near Aberystwyth has been secured with the condition that operators halt flights between 10.30 and 11.30am on Sundays, so that the service at Blaenannerch Methodist chapel is not disturbed. The chapel was a centre in the 1904 revival involving Evan Roberts.
Brazil has agreed emergency measures to stem deforestation as figures revealed a sharp increase in Amazon clearances. In the last five months of 2007, 1250 square miles of forest were lost. Environmental agents and police will be deployed around 36 cities and towns with high rates of illegal clearing.
Franceand gay adoption
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that France discriminated against a woman by refusing to let her adopt a child. In a split decision of 10 to 7, judges decided that the woman was a victim of discrimination because of her sexual orientation as a lesbian. They also said her right to family life had been infringed. Nine European countries allow homosexuals to adopt children.
There has been a 50% increase in rapes in Northern Ireland over the past six years, according to government figures. There were more than 450 reported or attempted rapes last year. The highest figure was in Foyle where 40 assaults wed, whilst 39 incidents were reported in south Belfast.
New government guidance for schools tells teachers to avoid the assumption that a pupil’s parents are heterosexual. It recommends that secondary schools: ‘should make efforts to talk inclusively about same-sex parents, for example, avoid assuming all pupils will have a “mum and dad”. When schools discuss marriage, they may also discuss civil partnership and adoption rights for gay people’.