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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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To move beyond abortion stalemate, reporters must ask tough questions (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) When Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was asked about abortion in the tough cases of rape and incest, he volleyed back a question to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Does she support the “killing” of a “seven-pound baby that is not...
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Can religion and politics mix – for good, not evil?

NEW YORK (RNS) Religion and politics are assumed to be a dangerous brew, volatile to the point of murderous. And at least judging by current events in the Middle East and elsewhere, that may well be true. But can this potion be used for advancing peace rather than instigating war?...
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Parents of murdered boy want life for Boston bomber

BOSTON – Parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013, called on the government Friday (March 17) to end their quest for the death penalty and give the bomber life in prison. In a statement published on the front page of Friday...
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Half of U.S. states consider right-to-die legislation

More than a dozen states, plus the District of Columbia, are considering controversial medically assisted death legislation this year. The laws would allow mentally fit, terminally ill patients age 18 and older, whose doctors say they have six months or less to live, to request le...
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Kenya’s Christians and Muslims divided over amnesty plan

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Religious tensions between Christians and Muslims have flared after the government extended amnesty to youth who denounce the Muslim terrorist group al-Shabab, a step Christian leaders condemned. On Tuesday (April 14), Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisse...
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Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s tale provides cover for US-led wars in the Muslim world (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Controversial American author Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been a regular fixture on major news networks lately, discussing her most recent book, “Heretic,” as well as her views on various issues that include violence in Islam and the treatment of Muslim women. An ex-Muslim, Hirsi Al...
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Report counts sharp spike in global anti-Semitism

The number of violent anti-Semitic attacks around the world surged nearly 40 percent last year, according to a report released Wednesday by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel. The report found there were 766 recorded incidents against Jewish people in 2014 — the worst ye...
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Why the Armenian genocide holds a lesson for Jews (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) This month is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. That’s right: genocide. That’s exactly what Pope Francis said recently — much to the chagrin of the Turkish government, which recalled its ambassador to the Vatican. Worse: Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu...
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Oklahoma Satanist church wants permission to distribute books in elementary school

OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) Less than two weeks after a third-grade teacher in Duncan, Okla., distributed Gideon Bibles to her students, the Church of Ahriman, a Satanist church in Oklahoma City, has asked permission to distribute Satanist literature at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. A...
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Army chaplains need training to help suicidal soldiers

Chaplains who are part of the Army’s first line of defense against suicide say they need more training in how to prevent soldiers from killing themselves, according to a Rand Corp. survey published online Tuesday (April 7). Nearly all the chaplains and chaplain assistants surveyed...
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