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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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Pope Francis fires Paraguay bishop accused of covering up abuse

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In the latest sign of an uncompromising stance on sex abuse, Pope Francis has removed a bishop in Paraguay after a Vatican investigation into whether he had protected an Argentine priest who was accused of sex abuse in the U.S. Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Pl...
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Hatred of immigrants has a long history (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Although immigration created our nation, prejudice and discrimination have always dogged those yearning to breathe free.     Christopher Columbus, the first European ``immigrant,'' represented a repressive Spanish monarchy that expelled its Jews in 1492 and its Muslims betwee...
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John Lennon’s killer: My life is all about Jesus now

(RNS) The man who murdered John Lennon wants only one thing now _ to tell others about Jesus.     Mark David Chapman, 59, told parole examiners he was no longer the man who sought notoriety through killing the Beatles rock star in 1980.     Now, he said, he's sorry, ``forgiven by...
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As churches take measures to prevent Ebola, traditional healers ply herbs

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) As the Ebola outbreak widens, churches in Africa have begun issuing new guidelines to prevent infection even as traditional healers continue to ply their herbs.     In Nigeria, Roman Catholics have begun giving Communion wafers in the palm of the hand rather th...
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Hunger in America: 1 in 7 rely on food banks

LORTON, Va. (RNS) When Mary Smallenburg, 35, of Fort Belvoir, Va., opened a package from her mother to find cereal and ramen noodles, she burst into tears. Without it, she wouldn't be able to feed her four children.     ``It got to the point where I opened my pantry and there was n...
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Someone tell the president: Iraqi Christians are dying (COMMENTARY)

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) It’s starting to seem as if the Obama White House operates on a time delay. In the case of Iraq’s religious minorities, the results hav...
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Ebola comments prompt Christian backlash against Coulter, Trump and Carson

(RNS) Prominent conservative voices are criticizing the decision to bring two medical missionaries who contracted Ebola back to the United States for treatment. Real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson were both critical of bringing the infected missi...
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Vatican: Abandoned Down syndrome baby is victim of ‘throwaway’ culture

VATICAN CITY (RNS)  The Vatican warned Wednesday (Aug. 6) that the alleged rejection of a baby born with Down syndrome to a surrogate mother in Thailand shows how babies have become consumer products for sale. Surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old street vendor, made...
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COMMENTARY: The death penalty is never humane, even when carried out swiftly

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 Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits punishments deemed to be cruel and unusual, a standard to which capital punishment d...
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COMMENTARY: Scapegoats along the border

(RNS) Emperor Nero didn’t exactly “fiddle while Rome burned” in 64 A.D. Some historians think he made prodigious efforts to alleviate the suffering of his people. Afterward, however, the emperor did what weak leaders often do: He named a scapegoat. He pointed to the irritating new...
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