By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - Church of England clergy would be able to "bless" same-sex relationships under long-awaited proposals unveiled on Thursday as the church adopts a more open - but disputed - approach to homosexuality. Although gay couples would still not be able to legally marry in a church, the proposed change would officially sanction clergy to let gay and lesbian couples mark and celebrate same-sex marriages and civil partnerships in a church service. Critics swiftly condemned the "blessing" proposal as contrary to the church's teaching on sexual conduct. The proposal was among 18 recommendations put forward by a working group set up two years ago amid growing tension over the church's approach to gay worshippers and clergy but could take up to two years of discussions before becoming policy. Acknowledging the issue was divisive, group chairman Joseph Pilling said the church needed to reflect rapid changes in society as senior clergy express fears of a looming crisis, with falling attendance rates and failure to attract young people. This year, parliament introduced new laws to allow gay marriages from 2014 after legalizing civil partnerships in 2005 and the church dropped its ban on gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops. "You can make a church a cold place for gay and lesbian people ... or you can make it a more warm and accepting place," Pilling told a news conference. "No member of the clergy, or parish, would be required to offer such services and it could not extend to solemnizing same sex marriages without major changes to the law." RELAXED ATTITUDE Pilling said the group also suggested that the Church of England, mother church of the world's 80 million Anglicans, should address the issue of same-sex relationships with the wider Anglican community and other churches. Critics said the proposed "blessing" ran counter to church teaching, which says couples can only have sex within marriage and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The one dissenting voice on the seven-strong committee, the Bishop of Birkenhead Keith Sinclair, said he did not believe the report offered a consistent or coherent response to questions of the church's response to sexuality. Andrea Williams, founder of Christian Concern, which backs traditional marriage, and also a member of the Church of England governing body, the General Synod, said the proposed "blessing" would sow division and acrimony within the Church of England. "The majority of Christians throughout the world and throughout history are committed to orthodox biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality," she said in a statement. The spiritual head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, earlier this year reiterated his opposition to gay marriage, but also acknowledged there had been a "revolution" in attitudes towards homosexuality and that the church's stand could be seen as out-of-step with public opinion. A national survey on sexual attitudes released this week showed that most Britons have a far more relaxed attitude towards same-sex relationships than in previous decades. In 1990, fewer than one in four men aged 16 to 44 were tolerant of same-sex relationships but that figure was now nearly half and in women, the number jumped to 66 percent from 28 percent in 1990-91. (Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Gareth Jones)
- The Independent
Biden news: President plays golf for first time in office as woman charged with threatening VP Harris
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- The Independent
‘It is the right thing to do’: Chelsea Clinton calls on Trump to release a vaccination photo to help win over MAGA anti-vaxxers
Referencing concerns that Republicans are warier of Covid vaccines, 41-year-old says ‘real difference’ could be made in vaccine effort with image of former president’s jab
- The Independent
Post Hill Press, a small conservative publishing house, is set to release a book by Sgt Jonathan Mattingly about the fatal incident
- The Independent
Barney Harris shot and killed despite wearing bulletproof vest to rob drugs and cash
- Associated Press
The Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays got wildly different yet equally effective pitching performances in splitting their day-night doubleheader on Saturday. In the opener, Steven Matz held the Royals without a hit into the sixth inning, and Jonathan Davis and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered to give the Blue Jays a 5-1 victory. In the nightcap, the Royals followed spot-starter Ervin Santana with four relief pitchers before Salvador Perez's two-out, walk-off homer in a 3-2 win over Toronto.
- The Independent
The Seacor Power vessel capsized on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico during a severe storm with 19 people onboard. Nine men are still missing
- The Independent
Pfizer is 95 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 disease and Moderna is 94 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 disease
- The Independent
All the votes the Texas senator opposed in 2021 – including not one confirmation of a woman to the position of Cabinet secretary
- The New York Times
When federal officials paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six cases of a rare clotting disorder, one fatal, among the 6.9 million people who had received the vaccine, many critics noted that the chance of a serious ailment was so rare as to be negligible — less frequent than being struck by lightning. But that roughly one-in-a-million rate is far from certain. Doctors may ultimately find the vaccine is not responsible for the ailment. However, if the two are linked, it’s also possible that the chance of an adverse effect will be higher, even if it remains low. “Numbers seem quite solid, like, ‘Oh, it’s 10,’” said Caitlin Rivers, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, who studies infectious disease. She said epidemiologists deal with similar matters of uncertainty at the beginning of disease outbreaks. “But they’re estimates, and they will need to be refined, and they may need to be refined a lot, especially since they are small numbers.” Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times — How do we know how common this event is? If there is a connection between the vaccine and this rare syndrome, new cases are likely to emerge now that the word is out. Regulators announced the pause in part to alert doctors to the existence of this syndrome; as people begin looking, they may be more likely to find and report it. With numbers so low, the addition of even a few more cases could increase the rate. (In the last few days, Johnson & Johnson has reported two more possible cases, one in a woman, and one in a man.) If there’s a link between the vaccine and the syndrome, more people who already got shots might still develop the clotting problem, since it appears to show up within a few weeks of vaccination. About half of Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson shot got it this month, according to government estimates. One reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine safety committee wants to wait longer before updating any guidance on the shot is to see what happens with this group. Since the pause was first recommended, the government count of Americans who have received the shot has increased to 7.7 million. It may turn out that only some segments of the population are at high risk of this problem, in the same way that some populations are at higher risk of serious issues from certain diseases. Most of the cases so far have been in women between 18 and 50. If we look at six cases in that population, the syndrome looks somewhat more common, though still very rare. If more cases are reported, it’s also possible that this gendered pattern will disappear. Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, a vaccine safety expert at the CDC who presented numbers to the vaccine safety board this week, said all of the current calculations are still “crude.” — How can we tell that the clots wouldn’t have happened anyway? It’s hard to tell right now. Studies of such events typically compare people who are given a medication or vaccine with a control group of people who didn’t. With a rare disorder like this, that comparison couldn’t be easily made using clinical trials. Researchers are conducting a large study of the health records of 12 million patients called the Vaccine Safety Datalink, comparing medical records of people who are vaccinated earlier with those who get their shots later — a system that doesn’t rely on voluntary reporting. Those results will take a while. Researchers also look at what’s called a background rate of serious events: the odds someone could have a health problem even if he or she never got a vaccine. Comparing the rate of events among people who get a vaccine with the rate in the overall population can give a sense of whether a given patient’s outcome may be because of the vaccine, or is more likely to just be a coincidence. Women under 50 — the group that may be at risk of the particular type of blood clot that authorities have seen in the vaccinated patients — are more likely than the general population to have these blood clots just by being alive. — What is a rate we should care about? Many medications given to sick people can have serious side effects for some fraction of those who take them. Doctors and patients routinely weigh such risks against the benefits of medical treatment. Birth control pills with estrogen have been frequently discussed this week because they are a common medication carrying a risk of blood clots. Clots caused by birth control pills are different from the syndrome associated with the COVID vaccines, and some experts caution about comparing them directly. The kind of clots caused by oral contraceptives typically form in patients’ legs, not in their brains, but they can still be serious. The pills more than double a typical woman’s risk of such an event, meaning between 3 and 9 women out of 10,000 taking the pills for a year will develop a clot. (Pregnancy, the condition birth control pills are often prescribed to prevent, causes an even higher risk of blood clots.) “I’ll often say the risk of getting a blood clot with birth control pills is kind of similar to having a really serious reaction to penicillin,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, an obstetrician-gynecologist and CEO of Power to Decide, a group devoted to reducing unintended pregnancy. She frequently discusses blood clot risk with her patients, telling them the increase in risk and the overall magnitude of that risk. Most patients, she said, select their form of birth control based on other considerations. For vaccines, however, the threshold for safety is generally higher than for other kinds of medications. As many researchers have noted, COVID-19 puts people at risk of serious blood clots, too — much more so than any plausible estimate of the vaccine effect. But not everyone who fails to get vaccinated is going to get sick. “The disease you get by chance, and the vaccine you get by choice, and that’s what makes it harder,” said Dr. Steven Black, an emeritus professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who studies vaccine safety. For other vaccines, the risk of serious adverse events is much lower than for birth control pills or penicillin — they generally occur in fewer than 1 in 100,000 who receive a given vaccine. That rate is “clearly much, much less than would be tolerated for a drug,” said Dr. Nicola Klein, director of the Kaiser Permanente vaccine study center, who is involved in the Vaccine Safety Datalink study. Most other vaccines protect against diseases that tend to be rare. By contrast, COVID-19 remains widespread throughout the United States and many parts of the world. Given the seriousness of the illness and its ease of spread, the value of vaccination may be higher now than it is when such trade-offs are usually considered. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The State
Charlotte Hornets will be decimated by injury against the Brooklyn Nets.
- The Independent
‘America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions,’ an America First pamphlet says
- LA Times
What's on TV tonight, Saturday, April 17: The new Lifetime movie "Envy: A Seven Deadly Sins Story"; the new Hallmark movie "Right in Front of Me"; "Nick News: Kids and the Impact of Climate Change" and more
A refugee organisation says the White House's explanation of the order is "completely false".
- Associated Press
Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, including the winner in the third period, to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over Calgary on Friday night that snapped the Flames’ three-game winning streak. Toffoli was credited with the go-ahead goal at 15:45 of the third after he deflected in a pass from Joel Armia over the glove of Jacob Markstrom. Toffoli came in without a goal in six games.
- Miami Herald
“We were the better team 5-on-5,” new defenseman Brandon Montour said after the Florida Panthers’ overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Associated Press
The U.N. Security Council has authorized international monitors to watch over a nearly six-month-old cease-fire agreement in Libya as the country heads toward December elections after a decade of fighting and upheaval. In a vote announced Friday, the council unanimously approved Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ recent proposal for up to 60 monitors to join an existing political mission in Libya. The measure also urges all foreign forces and mercenaries to get out of the country, as was supposed to happen months ago.
- Kansas City Star
Keith Urban will co-host the ACM Awards with Mickey Guyton, the first Black woman to host the award show.
- The Daily Beast
via YouTube/CBS New YorkThe father of the Ohio teen arrested Friday with an AK-47-style assault rifle in the Times Square subway station was killed in a shootout with cops last month after fleeing in his car the wrong way down a busy interstate, police sources told the New York Post and NBC News.Details about the father of Saadiq Teague have come out as questions swirl about what the 18-year-old was doing in New York City and why he was carrying a weapon. Police have so far released scant details about the young man’s plans or his possible motivation, pending further investigation.At the beginning of March, Columbus police tried to arrest Andrew Teague, Saadiq’s father, on a warrant for felonious assault. According to court documents cited at the time by local NBC affiliate WCMH, Teague was wanted over a Feb. 2 incident in which he allegedly fired more than a dozen shots at his brother.Around 3 p.m. on March 5, Columbus police officers tried to pull Teague over in his car, but he attempted to outrun them. After supervisors instructed the officers to call off the pursuit, a Columbus PD helicopter tracked Teague for more than an hour. When a sheriff’s deputy pulled up behind Teague, who was stopped, he made a U-turn and pulled onto I-287, driving against the flow of traffic at speeds up to 85 mph. A few minutes later, Teague smashed head-on into a car, careening into two other vehicles before finally coming to a stop.“My adrenaline was rushing so badly,” one of the drivers, Jeffrey Scales, told WSYX. “My first instinct was to get out of the car before it exploded...I actually couldn't get out of the front door. It peeled the side of my car back, so I had to climb out the back seat.”Scales and the people in the other two vehicles did not suffer life-threatening injuries.At that point, Teague bailed out of his own car, leading officers on a foot chase down the shoulder of the interstate. Cops said they opened fire when Teague crouched down as if he was about to start shooting at them. He was pronounced dead a short time later.A weapon was recovered at the scene that is believed to have been in Teague’s possession, Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference at the time.Teague was on parole at the time, a cousin told the Post, saying his parole officer had driven him “ to the edge.” “He kind of went out the only way he could,” the cousin said.Less than six weeks after Teague’s death, his teenage son would make headlines for his own run-in with the law.Saadiq Teague was arrested April 16 around 12:30 p.m. by NYPD transit officers on patrol in the Times Square subway station after spotting him with an AK-47. Cops said Teague was sitting quietly, charging his cell phone, with the rifle beside him.Although the rifle was unloaded, authorities said Teague had a fully loaded magazine in his backpack along with a gas mask they later conceded may have been part of a bong found in the teen’s hotel room. Teague reportedly told police he thought it was legal to carry an unloaded weapon in New York City if the ammunition was stored separately. Teague was visiting the city with a friend, according to police. Video posted on the young man’s Instagram page showed him strolling around the city with the AK sticking out of his backpack. Other clips appeared to show Teague and another person harassing sleeping subway riders, slapping one and throwing water on another.“This story could’ve had a tragically different ending, but thanks to these diligent cops it ends with the suspect in handcuffs,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted after Saadiq Teague’s arrest.Saadiq’s story certainly had a happier ending than his father’s, who was known to family and friends as Drew.“As we reflect on Andrew and his life, you realize that every relation was one of uniqueness,” read an obituary posted on a funeral page for Andrew Teague. “He apparently had this hidden gift of making people feel that they alone filled his heart, not realizing that there were many special areas in his heart just for each one of us...Andrew was full of life and spoke excitedly about erecting family owned businesses. He spoke of mentoring and reentry programs as well as graphic art and printing. All in the name of family. Unfortunately this misfortune has taken him out the plan physically, but not out the plan itself.”An online fundraiser launched by Teague’s family to help pay for funeral expenses fell short of its $5,000 goal, collecting just $475.“We are all devastated by the loss of Drew and were not prepared for the high cost of a funeral service,” the GoFundMe campaign explained. “We want to give Drew the memorial he deserves, to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- USA TODAY
The Gravity weighted blanket is the best weighted blanket on the market—and you can get it at 30% off for the site's fourth birthday sale.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A teacher who authorities alleged had years-long sexual contact with a student in Parker County was arrested on Friday.