The Christian Institute has expressed concerns about the rights of parents in Wales being violated after the Welsh Government announced parents will no longer be able to opt their kids out of sex or religious education. Authorities announced on Wednesday Welsh children from the age of five will be taught religious education (RE) and relationships and sexuality education (RSE) regardless of their parents' wishes. "After careful consideration of the responses, I can confirm that there will not be a right to withdraw from RE and RSE as part of the new curriculum. This change will require careful and sensitive implementation," Education Minister Kirsty Williams said.

Giving powerful drugs to children who are confused about their gender puts them on a “torturous” path, a former transsexual has warned as she joined a major legal action against the NHS. Keira Bell was given hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones when she a teenager, but has now returned to living as a woman. She says: “I do not believe that children and young people can consent to the use of powerful and experimental hormone drugs like I did.” Susan Evans, a former psychiatric nurse, launched the challenge, accusing the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) of rushing decisions. Evans, a former employee, brought the case to the High Court alongside the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is waiting for hormones from the NHS’s approach to dealing with gender confusion.

The First Minister of Northern Ireland has said that the Stormont Assembly must have its views taken into account on abortion and same-sex marriage. Arlene Foster said it was important for there to be protections for those who believe in traditional marriage in the Province. Earlier this month, the law was officially changed with the first same-sex marriages set to take place in February. Mrs Foster said: “It should have very much been left to the Northern Ireland Assembly to deal with these issues. It was imposed upon us.” She said Assembly members need “to have our voice heard” on these issues “because it will be a very different voice to what has been imposed on us from Westminster”. Mrs Foster emphasised that people who “don’t want to engage” with abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland should have the same safeguards as in the rest of the UK.

Last week we took an extraordinary walk on the northern and eastern ramparts — wide walkways above the Old City walls. Somewhere between Damascus Gate and Herod’s (Flower) Gate — a portion of the ramparts that visitors don’t often traverse — we came face to face with the American Colony building from which Gordon had made his momentous discovery. And across Suleiman Street — once a moat dug over a thousand years ago — we saw what he had seen: the gaping blackness of the skull-like caves.