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84-year-old nun gets 35 months for breaking into nuclear facility

(RNS) An 84-year-old nun was sentenced to nearly three years in prison on Tuesday (Feb. 18) for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear facility in July 2012.     Sister Megan Rice and two other anti-nuclear activists were convicted last May of breaking into a federal complex that stores enriched uranium.     ``Please have no leniency on me. To remain in prison for...
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Obama: Pope Francis ‘makes us want to be better people’

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) Time magazine listed Pope Francis in its annual "100 most influential people" issue and asked a fellow world leader to write a tribute:...
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Suit makes Georgia the last in South to face gay-marriage ban challenge

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. ATLANTA (RNS) Seven people filed a federal class-action lawsuit Tuesday (April 22) challenging Georgia's ban on same-sex marriage.     The s...
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COMMENTARY: Can there be a rational compromise on the Pledge of Allegiance?

(RNS) Yet another Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit has been filed, this time with New Jersey humanists challenging the requirement that each school day begin with recitation of the pledge describing the United States as one nation, ``under God.''     This case joins a bevy of previous...
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Nigerian Christians begin three-day fast after schoolgirls kidnapped

(RNS) Christians began a three-day prayer and fasting period after Islamist Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and desperate parents joined the search in a remote forest.     The girls were abducted last week while at school in the Chibok area of Born...
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New Jersey lawsuit seeks to ban Pledge of Allegiance

(RNS) The American Humanist Association is suing a New Jersey school district for its recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public classrooms.     The lawsuit, brought on behalf of a local family in central New Jersey, asserts the mandatory recitation of the pledge is discrimin...
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COMMENTARY: Ukrainian order to register Jews may have a Westboro corollary

(RNS) Now it seems clear that last week's story about Ukrainian Jews being ordered to ``register'' was both real and a hoax. I can only hope that this incident is as beneficial to the Ukrainians as Westboro Baptist Church has been to the United States.     Seriously.     No doubt...
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COMMENTARY: Anti-Semitism card overplayed in Ukraine

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) While Ukrainian Jewish leaders recognized the flier as a political dirty trick, it caused widespread outrage here in the United States,...
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Gov. Bobby Jindal to keynote Liberty University’s commencement ceremony

(RNS) Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, widely considered a rising star in the Republican Party and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, will be the commencement speaker at Liberty University on May 10.     ``Many believe (Jindal) could hold the highest office in the land someday,''...
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Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine

(RNS) Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to ``register'' with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media.     Jews emerging from a s...
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Muslims welcome shuttering of NYPD spying unit

(RNS) Muslim and civil rights groups welcomed the news that the New York City Police Department's Demographics Unit will disband but said they still fear they may be targets of warrantless surveillance.     Muslim Advocates filed a lawsuit in 2012 to stop the program, and the group...
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