Views from the News

Church of England gives up fight against gay marriage

The Church of England has effectively accepted defeat over gay marriage, signalling that it will no longer fight against a change in the law. In a short statement, the established Church said that the scale of the majorities in both the Commons and Lords made clear that it is the will of Parliament that same sex couples ‘should’ be allowed to marry.

The Bishop of Leicester, who leads the bishops in the House of Lords, said they would now concentrate their efforts on ‘improving’ rather than halting an historic redefinition of marriage. It represents a dramatic change of tack in the year since the Church insisted that gay marriage posed one of the biggest threats of disestablishment of the Church of England since the reign of Henry VIII. And it comes despite a warning from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, that the redefinition of marriage would undermine the ‘cornerstone’ of society.

The climb-down comes as the newest diocesan bishop in the Church of England said that support for gay marriage was ‘understandable’ because of the way gay people had been treated in Britain in the past.

Pope Francis says atheists who do good are redeemed by Jesus

Pope Francis has said atheists who are good are redeemed by Jesus in a homily urging that people of differing beliefs work together.

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics made his comments at the morning Mass in his residence – a daily event where he speaks without prepared comments. He told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus. ‘Even them, everyone’, the Pope answered, according to Vatican Radio. ‘We all have the duty to do good’, he said. ‘Just do good and we’ll find a meeting point’, the Pope said in a hypothetical conversation in which someone told a priest: ‘But I don’t believe. I'm an atheist’. Francis’s reaching out to atheists, and people who belong to no religion, is a marked contrast to the attitude of former Pope Benedict.

Google: Motorola’s tattoos could replace passwords

The technology, which aims to remove the need to enter passwords and replace them simply with a phone being close to a user’s body, was one of the suggestions Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s chief executive, made to California’s D11 conference yesterday. The tattoos have been developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, and contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer’s skin using a rubber stamp.

Nokia has previously experimented with integrating tattoos into mobile phones, and Motorola’s senior vice president of advance research, Regina Dugan, a former head of the US Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, demonstrated the silicon-based technology that uses bendable electronic circuits. Initially designed for medical purposes, Motorola hopes the ‘Biostamps’ could now be used for consumer authentication purposes.

Motorola is also investigating the Proteus Digital Health pill, which has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and was given European regulatory approval in 2010. Its computer chip is powered by a battery using the acid in a user’s stomach. The pill creates a unique signal like an ECG trace that can be picked up by devices outside the body and which could be used to verify a user’s identity. It can be taken daily for up to a month, it has been claimed.


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