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8-year-old student not feminine enough, school says

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) The family of a little girl in western Virginia has removed her from her school after administrators said she did not appear feminine enough.     Sunnie Kahle, 8, likes autographed baseballs and hunting knives alon...
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Rabbi accused of spying on women took students to his mikvah

WASHINGTON (RNS) New allegations against a prominent Washington rabbi involve him bringing students from his class at a Maryland university to his synagogue’s ritual bath, the same place where prosecutors say he spied on naked congregants. Prosecutors charged Rabbi Barry Freundel...
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Ohio municipal worker unlikely pawn in US-North Korea chess game

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) Jeffrey Fowle, released by North Korea on Tuesday (Oct. 21), is an unlikely figure to find himself at the center of diplomatic tensions...
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Now you can eat with Pope Francis ... or at least cook his favorite dishes

VATICAN CITY (RNS) They say you can feast like a king, and now you can eat like a pope after a young chef from the Vatican’s Swiss Guards published a cookbook featuring the favorite recipes of Pope Francis and his predecessors. David Geisser, 24, who joined the elite Vatican secur...
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In evangelical nonprofits, women leaders lag behind peers in general market

(RNS) At an organization where 45 percent of U.S. senior leaders are women, Romanita Hairston’s gender is mostly a nonissue as she oversees children’s welfare programs at World Vision, the giant evangelical relief agency. But in the larger evangelical universe, high-ranking women...
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Mark Driscoll speaks for first time after resigning Seattle megachurch

(RNS) Mark Driscoll is back. Sort of. Days after stepping down as head of Seattle’s Mars Hill megachurch, Driscoll spoke briefly Monday (Oct. 20) at the Gateway Conference in suburban Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Initially, he and conference organizers agreed that he would not give a...
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Italy’s ‘singing nun’ Sister Cristina covers Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’

ROME (RNS) Italy’s singing nun Sister Cristina Scuccia, who became a global sensation after winning a TV reality show, has chosen Madonna’s controversial classic “Like a Virgin” as the first single from her debut album. Sister Cristina, 26, says her version of the salacious pop so...
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5 ways churches can help stop the Ebola hysteria (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Once the first person in America died from Ebola, the usual bigots and ideologues blamed it on President Obama, whom they loathe. Some suggested Obama deliberately allowed the virus into the U.S. for nefarious purposes. “He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Afr...
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7 lessons from the Vatican’s wild and crazy Synod on the Family

(RNS) Pope Francis and senior Catholic leaders wrapped up their two-week Vatican summit on the challenges of modern family life on Sunday (Oct. 19) without reaching a consensus on a number of hot-button topics. So where does that leave Francis’ papacy? And the church? Here are sev...
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Mikvahs seek security after hidden camera scandal

WASHINGTON (RNS) In the days since a prominent Orthodox rabbi was charged with spying on naked women in his synagogue’s mikvah, Jews who oversee the ritual baths across the country are rushing to reassure that the same scandal could not happen under their watch. Sharon Weiss-Green...
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Idaho ministers sue to prevent gay weddings at for-profit wedding chapel

(RNS) The owners of an Idaho wedding chapel have filed suit against officials in Coeur d’Alene, claiming that the city is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages or face possible fines and jail time. The state’s 2004 ban...
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