News in Brief
Dutch researchers are trying to grow pork in a laboratory by stimulating and feeding cells. Researchers at Utrecht University hope to end the need to slaughter animals and at the same time help the environment by freeing land used for farming.
Child abuse claims in Italy
The Vatican calls child abuse by priests ‘the American disease’; however Panorama, an Italian language news magazine, reports that the Vatican has received 1000 complaints of paedophilia against clergy since 2001, but only ten cases have been taken up by the church’s tribunal for serious offences and then the verdicts were not made public.
Football strips lose alcohol brands
Replica football shirts sold to children will no longer carry the logos of alcohol-industry sponsors under new rules. Drinks firms have agreed that it is inappropriate for children to wear shirts advertising alcohol brands. The move follows a rise in concern about alcohol consumption by children.
The first Chinese panda released into the wild after being bred in captivity has died, Chinese media has announced. Xiang Xiang was released in April 2006 and was said to be adjusting well to his new life. But the five-year-old was found dead in February. Officials said his death was likely due to a fight with wild pandas.
£1m funding for Islamic studies
The Government has announced a £1m grant towards teaching Islam and training more imams in the UK. At a conference on Islam, Mr Blair also called for closer links between Islamic schools and mainstream state schools. The aim is to reduce the UK’s dependence on imported Islamic teachers, who may be more radical than ‘the voice of moderation’ among UK imams.
New Presbyterian Moderator
The new moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland was recently installed at the opening session of the Church’s general assembly in Belfast. Dr John Finlay, 61, has been minister of Harryville Presbyterian Church in Ballymena for the last 25 years. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has about 300,000 members in 560 congregations.
Eighteen years after the Tiananmen Square Massacre a human rights group in China has issued the names of 13 people still being held in prison. Human rights groups believe Tiananmen will cast its shadow over the 2008 Olympics.