Monday, October 20, 2008

Passport Needed to Buy Cellphone in U.K.

Everyone who buys a mobile telephone will be forced to register their identity on a national database under government plans to extend massively the powers of state surveillance. Phone buyers would have to present a passport or other official form of identification at the point of purchase. Privacy campaigners fear it marks the latest government move to create a surveillance society. A compulsory national register for the owners of all 72m mobile phones in Britain would be part of a much bigger database to combat terrorism and crime.

Hollywood Republicans Feel Stifled, Bullied

It's no secret that the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly liberal - political donations this presidential cycle from the movie, TV and music industries recently were running about 86% Democrat versus 14% Republican. But being outnumbered is one thing, but being bullied by your liberal co-workers into keeping your opinions to yourself is quite another. Is that what's going on? Yes, say many of the industry's conservatives.

Britain's Horrifying Fertilization and Embryology Bill

On Wednesday MPs will vote on a bill which would allow the creation of human/animal hybrid embryos to be used for stem cell research, change the conditions for granting IVF and possibly liberalise the abortion laws. The passage through Parliament of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been dogged by controversy. Failed attempts to outlaw late abortion have dominated the debate, while scientists, medical ethics experts and religious leaders have clashed over the hybrid embryo issue ... It can now be revealed that a Government amendment, agreed after the main parliamentary debates, would allow tissue to be used from people who lack the "mental capacity" to give consent, children whose parents give permission, and anyone who has previously donated samples to hospitals for medical research but can no longer be traced.

'Lack of Cultural Diversity' in Journalism

"While there's been heavy gender and racial diversity ... there's a lack of cultural diversity in journalism," including religion. Since the 1980s, when the Christian right emerged as a powerful force in American culture and politics, evangelicals have made significant inroads in law and government by training believers to work inside secular institutions. But while the same universities that helped students launch careers in those fields are offering similar programs in journalism, they haven't been as successful at changing the nation's newsrooms.

Documentary Exposes Criminalization of Christianity

A growing movement that experts believe could end up in the criminalization of Christianity in the United States is being exposed in a new documentary being prepared for airing on October 26, officials at Coral Ridge Ministries have announced. "Hate Crime Laws" is a half-hour exposé that shows how Christians in America, Canada, Australia, and Sweden have been arrested and prosecuted for expressing opinions that are rooted in the Bible regarding homosexual conduct, Islam or other topics about which Scriptures express clear teachings.

Abortion: A $35 Trillion Drag on the U.S. Economy

"The 50.5 million surgical abortions since 1970 have cost the U.S. an astonishing $35 trillion in lost GDP," a leading pro-life population researcher declared here. However, he added, "If you include all the babies lost to IUDs, RU-486, sterilization, and abortifacients, the number climbs to $70 trillion!" Dennis Howard, President of the Movement for a Better America, has been researching the economic impact of abortion since 1995. The estimates are based on GDP per capita per year times the cumulative number of abortions since 1970.

China Extends Influence Into Central Asia

China has begun a multi-billion-pound scheme in the far-Western province of Xinjiang to build roads and railways that will open up Central Asia. By the end of this year, nine railway lines will be under construction, including a railway from China to Pakistan and a rail link through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, at a total cost of over £50 billion.

Desmarais Family at Centre of Proposed Trade Pact

Mr. Sarkozy … has a long relationship with the Montreal financier Paul G. Desmarais Sr. Through the Power Corporation of Canada, Mr. Desmarais and his family control investments in several prominent European companies, including the French oil and gas company Total and GDF Suez, a major gas and water utility operator.