Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 22 2007
After 30 years as a closet Catholic, Blair finally puts faith before politics June 22 2007
Outgoing PM seizes early opportunity to convert free of dilemmas of public role
Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
His spiritual awakening goes back at least 30 years, to his time as an undergraduate at Oxford, but due to political considerations Tony Blair's conversion to Catholicism has been a long time coming.
He has been attending Catholic mass, often with his family but also occasionally alone, since long before he became prime minister. His wife, Cherie, is a lifelong and practising Catholic, and in accordance with church rules their children have been brought up as Catholics and were sent to church schools.
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Times OnLine June 22 2007
Rail firm’s secret plan for penalty fare cash June 22 2007
Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent
Britain’s biggest train company has told its guards that they will be disciplined and possibly dismissed if they show discretion to passengers who are unable to buy tickets before boarding because of long queues at stations.
It is the latest example of the lengths to which operators are going in order to pay the billion-pound premiums demanded by the Government for rail franchises.
A confidential memo, obtained by The Times, reveals that South West Trains is introducing a system under which guards are judged according to the amount they collect in penalties. The memo, headed “commercially sensitive, please do not circulate”, instructs guards to treat passengers as fare dodgers even if they come up to the guard on the train and ask to buy a ticket.
The guards must sell the most expensive peak ticket and give no railcard discounts, meaning that passengers will usually pay more than double the normal price. Those travelling between London and Weymouth are being charged £82 on board for a ticket which would have cost £35 at the station.
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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 22 2007
You, Europe, and your rights June 22 2007
The Government is blocking an EU charter which would protect these fundamental rights for British people. Why?
Prohibition of eugenic practices, particularly those aiming at the selection of person. Article 3
What's at stake: Science is seeking to eradicatedisabilities by genetic manipulation. It might be possible for parents to order a "designer" baby.
Expert opinion: "I would be totally opposed to any attempt to socially engineer people."
Ian Gibson, vice-president, Royal Society for Public Understanding of Science
No one should be subjected to torture. Article 4
What's at stake: Since the invasion of Iraq, British soldiers have found themselves in the dock over the abuse of civilian detainees
Expert opinion: "It is all the more deplorable when some of the most powerful men on earth seek to justify the use of torture."
Moazzam Begg, a torture victim and former prisoner in Guantanamo Bay
Trafficking in human beings is prohibited. Article 5
What's at stake: This year the UN said that human trafficking had reached epidemic proportions. The Home Office said that in 2003, 4,000 women were trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation
Expert opinion: "It is shameful that this country is trying to duck out of a charter that specifically prohibits child trafficking."
Louise Christian, human rights lawyer
Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her. Article 8
What's at stake: A vast amount of data is stored on each of us already. From 2010, ID cards will be compulsory for anyone applying for a passport in the UK.
Expert opinion: "It's... a safeguard to protect the right of the individual in relation to the state."
Maurice Frankel, director, Campaign for Freedom of Information
Right to protest
Everyone has the right to freedom of assembly and of association. Article 12
What's at stake: Anti-war protests prompted the Government to bring in legislation to prevent unlicensed demos within quarter of a mile of Parliament
Expert opinion: "Allowing dissent in the form of peaceful protest is the hallmark of a country that understands respect for human rights."
Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK director
Every citizen of the Union has the freedom to seek employment... in any Member state. Article 15
What's at stake: The Conservatives' fear is that Poles and other east Europeans have taken up jobs and housing at British workers' expense
Expert opinion: "People who come to work in the UK are providing vital services which would collapse without them."
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary
No one can be removed to a state where there is a serious risk of torture. Article 19
What's at stake: The Government's determination to deport terror suspects to countries with questionable human rights records
Expert opinion: "In an effort to circumvent its obligations, the Government has secured 'memoranda of understanding' with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon."
Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty director
Workers have the right to take collective action to defend their interests, including strike action. Article 28
What's at stake: The right to strike has been restricted in the UK since the 1980s. There are rules about ballots andpicketing. None of these restrictions is mentioned in the charter
Expert opinion: "We back the right to strike, to negotiate, to fight against unfair dismissal."
John Monks, European TUC leader
The employment of children is prohibited... except for limited derogations. Article 32
What's at stake: Could be a threat to family-run corner shops where children help out, or to the pocket money others earn from babysitting or paper rounds
Expert opinion: "To keep children safe, we must ensure parents and employers are clear about how and when children and young people can be employed."
Everyone has the right to preventative health care. Article 35
What's at stake: Earlier this month, The Independent highlighted a new pill that could help hay fever sufferers, which the NHS will not prescribe because of cost. Critics say this clause could open the NHS to litigation
Expert opinion: "This article would not give much backing to any patient who took on the NHS."
Dr Evan Harris, member Medical Ethics Committee
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BBC OnLine News June 22 2007
EU leaders struggle over treaty June 22 2007
European Union leaders have begun a second day of tough negotiations in Brussels amid disagreements over new rules to run the 27-member bloc.
After a first day of talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there had been no breakthrough.
Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, has drafted proposals to replace a planned constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.
But both the UK and Poland are threatening to veto the blueprint.
Meanwhile, the draft appeared to be dropping references to one of the founding principles of the common market - "undistorted competition" - and to be replacing it with talk of a social market economy and full employment, says the BBC's Alex Ritson.
BBC OnLine Full Story
BBC OnLine History June 22 2007
June 22 1941: Hitler invades the Soviet Union
German forces have invaded the Soviet Union.
In a pre-dawn offensive, German troops pushed into the USSR from the south and west, with a third force making their way from the north towards Leningrad.
At 0500 GMT, an hour after the invasion began, the Nazi Minister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, went on national radio to read a proclamation by Adolf Hitler promising that the mobilisation of the German army would be the "greatest the world has ever seen".
BBC OnLine Full Story