UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Hindu wants open-air funeral pyres in the UK

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A Hindu campaigner is going to the High Court in London in an attempt to establish traditional open-air funeral pyres in the UK.

Outdoor cremations are banned in Britain, where the law dictates that cremations are restricted to designated crematoriums. 

But Davender Ghai, 70, argues it is against his faith and a breach of his human rights to prevent a ritual that has taken place in India over thousands of years.

His lawyers are expected to point out in the test case that instances have gone unpunished in the UK the past, including the 1934 open air cremation of the Nepalese ambassador’s wife in Surrey, southern England.

When is a life not a life?

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foetus.jpgMPs vote on Tuesday on the various amendments on abortion that have been tacked on to the The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

These variously suggest the current 24-weeks limit on termination should be reduced to 22, 20, 18, 16 or even 13 weeks.

Is hybrid embryo research “monstrous?”

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embryo.jpgThe Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which MPs are debating today and on Tuesday allows the creation of four types of human-animal hybrid embryos for the purposes of research, including Cytoplasmic hybrids, created by transferring the nucleus of a human cell into an empty animal cell.

This is the main type of hybrid embryo that scientists want to use — because of a shortage of donated human eggs — to create embryonic stem cells to find cures for conditions like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

Let’s talk about debts, baby

Money matters are climbing the list of the talks parents feel they must have with their children: the subjects of debt and saving for the future are now deemed to be more important than educating our offspring on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), racism or religion, research by Engage Mutual Assurance shows.

Debt is the most common financial topic of parental education (64 percent) followed by saving for the future (62 percent). That ranks them fifth and sixth in the top 10 topics for parental “chats”, ahead of racism (58 percent), illness and death (53 percent) and STDs (52 percent). The only “facts of life” considered more important than these money matters in children’s at-home education are drugs and alcohol (78 percent), personal hygiene (74 percent), talking to strangers (73 percent) and the “birds and the bees” (71 percent).

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