News in Brief
Palliative care for children
Researchers from Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital believe too few seriously ill children are receiving palliative care in their final weeks, with the number dying in intensive care increasing over the last decade. The study also suggests guidance on managing symptoms, rather than embarking on invasive care, is not being given sufficient weight.
Whom do you trust?
A Reader’s Digest survey of 25,000 Europeans in 15 countries found that 95% would put their trust in firefighters, 92% in airline pilots and 89% in pharmacists. Church leaders took tenth place among 20 different professions, with 53% of all Europeans trusting the ‘spiritual professions’. At the bottom of the scale come trade union leaders (23%), car salespersons (17%) and politicians (7%).
Herod the Great
Professor Ehud Netzer from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has announced that after a 35-year search he has finally located the tomb of Herod the Great. If true, this is one of the most significant archaeological finds in the Middle East for decades. Confirmation of the discovery ideally requires finding artefacts on site bearing Herod’s name.
As Nelson looks on …
Vaisakhi – the most important festival in the Sikh calendar – has again been celebrated in Trafalgar Square. This is the fifth time the Sikh ‘new year’ has been marked in London’s famous tourist attraction. Events included hymns, Asian music and free vegetarian food. This year there was a special presentation to mark the contribution of Sikh women to the community.
… and Beltane burns
The annual Beltane Fire Festival took place in Edinburgh at the end of April. The colourful celebration, with dance, drama and bonfires, is said to have its origins in a pre-Christian festival of the same name. Beltane took place to mark and celebrate the coming of spring and is one of the Celtic Quarter-Day festivals of Samhuinn, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. Such events (see news item above) in the UK’s capitals show spurious ‘spirituality’ is alive and kicking in Britain