UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from FaithWorld:

Pope must make amends, say British abuse victims

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abuse (Photo: Mark Fabbro, Chris Daly, Sue Cox, Margaret Kennedy and Peter Saunders (L-R), who said they were survivors of abuse by Catholic priests, pose after a news conference in London September 15, 2010/Toby Melville)

Victims of abuse by Catholic priests urged the Vatican on the eve of Pope Benedict's visit to Britain to hand over lists of suspected offenders to the police to prevent further cases of clerical sex crimes.

Speaking in London on Wednesday, a group of victims and activists said the Vatican should go beyond verbal apologies and offer concrete steps to make amends over clergy abuse.

"The pope is the boss. He has the capacity to do these things. Words must be backed up by actions," said Peter Saunders, chief executive of a charity called the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. "We need the pope to say: 'I will hand over all information I have about abusing priests, wherever they are in the world, to the authorities of the countries where these people are being protected'."

In an open letter in the Guardian newspaper, more than 50 British public figures said the pope should not "be given the honour of a state visit" and accused him of failing to address cases of child abuse as well as other issues.

Tiny anti-Pope rally draws huge police response

BRITAIN/

By Maria Golovnina

Peaking through the iron gates of the Vatican’s residence in London, four people rallied quietly on a rainy afternoon holding photographs of children they said were abused by Catholics priests around the world.

With a week to go before Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain, the low-key rally drew little press and the activists were about to leave when six police cars swooped on the scene flashing warning lights.

from FaithWorld:

“Ordain women,” London bus ads will urge Pope Benedict during September visit

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CWO BUS

Pope Benedict will be confronted by posters on London's famous red buses during his trip to the British capital next month which will call for the ordination of women priests.

One group of women, Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will have its message plastered on the side of the buses as they travel along key routes, including past Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, where the pope is set to deliver a speech to Britain's civic society on September 17.

Olympic debt and land deal gives momentum to legacy

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OLYMPICS-LONDON/VENUES

The government has signed off a multi-million pound debt and land deal with the Mayor of London, which could have endangered parts of the 2012 Olympic legacy and threatened to turn it into an unseemly Conservative spat.

Margaret Ford, chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) responsible for managing the Olympic Park post-Games, had used every possible opportunity to flag up the debt issue ever since the Conservative-led coalition government said it was to review the previous Labour government’s deal.

from Breakingviews:

Hedge funds may still escape EU pay crackdown

Hedge funds should stop panicking. It is true that some have been lumped in with banks on tough new European Union rules regulating pay. But there are a number of factors that should defuse the threat.

Managers have understandably looked askance at the new rules, which were passed by the European Parliament today. They feel that interfering with their pay is unjustified, given that the sector was not the prime driver of the financial crisis, and did not receive taxpayer bailouts.

from The Great Debate UK:

Confronting the immigration conundrum

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BRITAIN-IMMIGRATION/

-Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.-

After being the third rail of British politics for a generation or more, immigration is suddenly a topic which can be spoken about in polite society.

from Afghan Journal:

The Afghan conference: a meeting of victors or the vanquished ?

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AFGHANISTAN/If you listened to some of the rhetoric in the lead-up to Thursday's conference on Afghanistan in London and followed the coverage accompanying it, you would think it is a meeting of the victors of war.

Here we are, at a meeting attended by representatives from more than 50 countries, offering the Taliban a chance for peace before the "surge" of 30,000 additional U.S. troops hits them. They better grasp it before the tide turns decisively against them, seems to be the message.  Host British Prime Minister Gordon, according to this report, vowed to "split the Taliban" while offering them a full part in the rebuilt Afghanistan if they united behind the government in Kabul.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Failed airline attack raises fresh questions about battle against al Qaeda

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departuresIn the absence of a coherent narrative about the failed Christmas Day attack on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, the debate about how best to tackle al Qaeda and its Islamist allies has once again been thrown wide open.

Does it support those who want more military pressure to deprive al Qaeda of its sanctuary on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, or suggest a more diffuse threat from sympathisers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa? Should the United States open new fronts in emerging al Qaeda bases such as Yemen and Somalia, or focus instead on the fact that the attempted airline attack did not succeed, suggesting al Qaeda's ability to conduct mass-casualty assaults on U.S. territory has already been severely degraded in the years since 9/11?

The London 2012 Paralympic Games is already changing lives

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dametanni- Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson is Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete, with a total of 16 medals, including 11 golds. She is part of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Vice-Chair of the Sports Advisory Group. The opinions expressed are her own. -

One of the best parts of being involved in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is that I get to see for myself how hosting the London Games is already changing people’s lives across the world.

How bad is the “Tube”?

tubeNews that London Underground suffers from terrible problems with overcrowding probably not really going to surprise many commuters.

From unbearable heat or the sweaty odours emanating from fellow passengers during the summer months, to being unceremoniously poked with umbrellas in the winter, travellers on the Tube are used to uncomfortable journeys.

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