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Charities fight changes on tax deductions

WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans who file income tax returns won't be affected by proposed changes in how charitable contributions are deducted, but that hasn't stopped charitable groups from lobbying Congress to fight any change in deductions as part of the "fiscal cliff'' negotiations. By Jackie Kucinich / USA Today.
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Therapists who say gays can be cured are committing consumer fraud, NJ judge says

TRENTON, N.J. (RNS) People who provide gay-to-straight conversion therapy are committing fraud if they describe homosexuality as a mental disorder that can be cured, said a state judge in a ruling civil rights group predicted would deal a serious blow to the treatment’s future acros...
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Beyond Myanmar’s embattled Muslims, Christians say they face their own persecution

YANGON, Myanmar (RNS) Despite democratic reforms and international pressure that have pushed Myanmar to improve its human rights record in recent years, religious freedom remains heavily constrained across the country. The persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in this majori...
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America’s unjust efforts to preserve white privilege (COMMENTARY)

TUBA CITY, Ariz. (RNS) As I pass through the Navajo Nation on my 4,000-mile drive across America, I catch a disturbing glimpse of a white-power insurgency happening in all regions. White settlement of the Southwest meant dislodging the native population at gunpoint. U.S. Army troo...
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Copenhagen reels after deadly shootings surrounding free speech event

COPENHAGEN (RNS) Denmark continued to reel over its first double terrorist attack, trying to make sense of killings in a country that rarely sees deadly violence and where the queen and officials walk around with light security. “We are a nation that is completely unused to such d...
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Drones make war too easy, too remote, faith leaders say

WASHINGTON (RNS) For the Obama administration and the Bush administration before it, drone strikes kill terrorists before terrorists can kill innocents, and the strikes keep American soldiers out of harm’s way. But for a group of faith leaders, drones are a crude tool of death tha...
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Parking spat as motive for triple murder? N.C. Muslims don’t buy it

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) Preliminary police reports describe a long-simmering dispute over parking as the motive for the killings of three Muslim students at a Chapel Hill condominium Tuesday (Feb. 10). But many Muslims in the Raleigh-Durham community and beyond are not so sure. The tri...
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Executions are down and abolition may not be far behind (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) It looks like the death penalty may be on life support. January was set to be the deadliest month for U.S. executions in 2015, but nine of the 15 executions were stopped. In an unprecedented wave, three of the deadliest states stopped executions planned for last month — Texa...
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England mulls legalization of in vitro technique giving baby DNA of three parents

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Members of Parliament voted Tuesday (Feb. 3) to allow the creation of human embryos from the DNA of three people to try to eradicate a type of genetic disease that has caused the deaths of thousands of babies. If the measure also passes Britain’s upper ch...
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Some see Junipero Serra, Pope Francis’ next American saint, as less than holy

(RNS) When Pope Francis unexpectedly announced last month that he would canonize the Rev. Junipero Serra during his visit to the U.S. in September, he thrilled the many fans of the legendary 18th-century Spanish Franciscan who spread the Catholic faith across what is now California....
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Ugandan bishop willing to defend notorious Lord’s Resistance Army commander in war crimes court

(RNS) In its heyday, the Ugandan rebel force known as the Lord’s Resistance Army was accused of killing more than 100,000 people, abducting 60,000 to 100,000 children and displacing more than 2.5 million civilians. But now a retired Anglican bishop in northern Uganda says he is re...
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