UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Reform of UK’s monarchy laws – enlightened or meddling?

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Discussions between the British premier and monarch to reverse religious discriminatory laws going back 300 years have sparked consternation in a conservative newspaper while attracting little response from the Roman Catholic church.

Proposed changes of the 1701 Act of Settlement would allow a future king or queen to marry a Roman Catholic, but would still preclude a royal of that faith becoming monarch.

It would also give female heirs an equal claim to the throne.

Nevertheless, Steve Doughty writing an analysis piece in the Daily Mail suggested it was an attack on Britain’s constitution, heralding the end of the monarchy as we know it and the Church of England.

“The trouble with pulling down pillars of the constitution is that you never know what may fall with them,” he wrote.

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. 

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

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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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