UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from FaithWorld:

Faith overtones heard in Occupy protests but many religious leaders wary

(A banner outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London October 31, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett)

Religions condemn greed. The "Occupy Wall Street" protests around the world condemn greed. So theoretically, religious leaders should find common ground with the rallies denouncing the inequalities of capitalism.

Some activist clergy have turned up at protest camps. Not long after Occupy Wall Street began in New York, some Christians arrived in Zuccotti Park with papier-mache statues of a golden calf, a Biblical symbol of idol worship.

But the hierarchies have kept their distance - or tried to - even though the protests have religious overtones with appeals to equality, charity and justice. When protesters camped at St Paul's Cathedral in London, its Church of England staff found itself torn between God and Mammon.

from Left field:

Federer at his sublime best in Paris

By Greg Rusedski

The Paris Masters was going to determine who was going to be the last players to qualify for the ATP world finals in London. The last few places were up for grabs and all the players that were in pole position ended up qualifying. The top eight for the field ended up being Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish.

The other story of the week concerned Djokovic and whether he would play after shoulder problems in Basel. If he didn't play he would have missed his commitments for the master series events and it would have cost him over 1 million pounds in bonus pool money. He did play!

from FaithWorld:

Church of England regions for women bishops to break “stained glass ceiling”

(An English village church in Ault Hucknall, Derbyshire, 11 September 2009/Trevor Rickard)

The Church of England's dioceses, or regions, have voted in favour of consecrating female bishops, campaigners said on Sunday, clearing one hurdle in a long legislative battle to let women break through the "stained glass ceiling."

from Breakingviews:

Music gods again divert EMI’s destiny

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The music gods have meddled again with EMI’s destiny. In the minds of financiers and industry wags, the union of the British music group - home to the Beatles and the Beastie Boys - with U.S. rival Warner Music was just a matter of time. But the star-crossed match has been knocked off course again by the sale of EMI’s two divisions to Sony and Vivendi’s Universal Music.

from FaithWorld:

London City workers criticize pay gaps, declining ethics – St Paul’s poll

(A placard is balanced on a statue outside St Paul's Cathedral in central London November 6, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett)

Most London City workers believe there is too great a gap between rich and poor in Britain and that traders, company bosses and stockbrokers are paid too much, a survey by a think-tank linked to St Paul's cathedral said on Monday.

from FaithWorld:

Former top London banker sees moral disaster in market economy

(Former Lazard International Chairman Ken Costa listens during a Future of Finance Initiative conference in Horsham, southern England, December 8, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

A former top London banker, weighing into a protest movement in Britain against abuses and excesses of modern capitalism, said on Sunday the market economy had lost "its moral foundations with disastrous consequences."

from FaithWorld:

Ireland to shut Vatican embassy in financial crisis cost overhaul

Ireland will close its embassy to the Vatican, one of the Catholic country's oldest missions, as part of a cost-cutting programme prompted by the country's EU-IMF bailout.

Relations between the Irish government and the Vatican, once traditional allies, are at an all-time low over the Church's handling of sex abuse cases. But Eamon Gilmore, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, denied the embassy closure was linked.

from Felix Salmon:

Europe’s doomed fate

This is beginning to feel like 2008, complete with all the rumor and chaos and volatility we saw back then. MF Global is a bit like those Bear Stearns hedge funds which went bust -- an isolated datapoint in one respect, but ominous in many others. And right now the best case scenario is that Greece ends up being Bear Stearns, rescued by an international community petrified of what might happen in the event of a chaotic collapse.

But Greece being Greece, of course, a chaotic collapse has to be pretty much an inevitability at some point.

from Breakingviews:

Becalmed UK in danger of double dip

By Ian Campbell
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK economy looks dangerously becalmed. While GDP did increase a good-looking 0.5 percent in the third quarter, the number was flattered by a catch up from a royal wedding-distracted spring. Besides, there has only been a 0.5 percent rise over the full year. And now a euro zone storm is brewing. That Tuesday's UK manufacturing survey for October dropped to the lowest level for over two years is no coincidence -- but is alarming.

from Left field:

‘Real deal’ Kvitova has talent to dominate

The season-ending WTA championships had many story lines. Could Maria Sharapova recover from her ankle injury to threaten at the year-end championships and become world number one again? Would one of the new major winners lift the trophy? Could Caroline Wozniacki continue her reign as world number one for a second straight year and win the end of season championships for the first time?

This is the first time the end of season championships have been held in Istanbul, Turkey. The crowds have been packed all week so it was an excellent choice of city. The stadium looked great and so did the green tennis court with the purple outer court. The tennis throughout was brilliant.

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