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Pope Urges Peres to Push for Mideast Peace
Agence France-Presse - Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pope Benedict urged Israel's president-elect Shimon Peres to diligently work for peace with Palestinian leaders. In an open letter, the pope said that inciting the courage in others to act will defeat deadly terror and violence.

"Many people around the world, as well as Israel's citizens, expect you to push the government and other relevant bodies to do everything to advance peace," the pope wrote in his message.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Mexican Migrants Carry H.I.V. Home
New York Times

Along with the significant legal and economic issues of illegal immigration, a new threat has emerged that is not being discussed in the immigration debate: Mexican migrants bringing the AIDS virus back to Mexico. The country does not have the infrastructure available to handle the impending crisis.

US to Expand Veterans Mental Health Services
Boston Globe

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is pledging $37.7 million of its nearly $3 billion mental health budget toward placing psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers within primary care clinics. This hopes to help fight the stigma against seeking help for anxiety and depression prevalent in the military, as well as increasing care for soldiers who have suffered brain trauma.

Senate Democrats Plan All-Night Session on Iraq
Chicago Tribune

Democrats, in an attempt to force a vote on their proposal to withdraw the troops, announced that they will hold Congress in session throughout the night until all senators have explained their positions on the war. Republicans professed to be unfazed by the tactic.

Bush Calls for Mideast Peace Talks
Associated Press

Hoping to restart stalled negotiations, President Bush called for renewed efforts for peace by both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Bush said that multi-party talks in the Middle East would begin soon, led by Secretary of State Rice.

All Christians Called to Love as 'Good Samaritans' Every Neighbor, Pope Benedict Says
Catholic Online

The pope, in a sermon on Sunday, reminded Catholics and Christians alike that they are called to see Jesus in every person, and follow the parable of the Good Samaritan. The pope also told young people to prayerfully prepare for World Youth Day, being held in Sydney, Australia.

Charities Fight the Tide of Do-Gooder Fatigue
Christian Science Monitor

While the rate of volunteering is still at historic levels, the actual number of volunteers has diminished since 2005. Experts cite "fatigue," from events such as Hurricane Katrina for reducing the number of volunteers nationally, after so many Americans pledged to help in the moment of need.

Opposition to Darfur Resolution
BBC News

The United Nations Secretary-General pushed for a resolution deploying peacekeeping units in Darfur, but it ran into major opposition from countries opposed to the threat of sanctions. South Africa, a member of the Security Council, opposes any sanctions against the Sudan.

Monday, July 16, 2007
Catholics United Launches Campaign to Mobilize Catholics Against Iraq War
Catholic News Service

In light of evidence that shows Catholics consider the Iraq War a top political issue, a social justice organization began a campaign to help Catholic voters voice their opposition to the war. Catholics United, a nonpartisan organization, launched Catholics for an End to the War in Iraq to encourage Catholics to advocate for diplomacy, redevelopment and a "responsible withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq. Pax Christi USA, a national Catholic peace movement, and Network, a national Catholic social justice lobby, also support the campaign initiative.

"Pope John Paul II spoke out against the invasion. Pope Benedict XVI has met with President Bush expressing his concern," Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, said. "The U.S. bishops have issued statements of concern. Now it's time for the Catholic people and all people of good will to demand a responsible end to this military occupation."

Reports, Polls, Court Ruling Point to Thorny Death Penalty Questions
Catholic News Service

Two high-profile executions scheduled for July and one capital sentence blocked by the Supreme Court in June provide examples of the range of issues surrounding the death penalty in the United States. Combined with data from recent studies that show increasing public doubts about capital punishment and pointing to persistent racial disparities in how the federal death penalty is applied, all of these pieces reflect a conflicted populace and a sometimes messy judicial system.

Iraq War Debate Intensifies in Congress
The New York Times

For the second-straight week, the Iraq war debate continues in the Senate, with the leading Democratic proposal aimed at influencing the administration's Iraq policy scheduled for a vote on Wednesday. Senators Carl Levin, MI, and Jack Reed, RI, are sponsoring a bill that would require President Bush to begin reducing American forces in Iraq within four months. Republican support for the bill is growing, but as Senator Richard Durbin, Il, said: "While we're waiting for the Republican senators to build up their political courage, the casualties are building up in Iraq."

Audit finds Rights Abuses of Undocumented Immigrants in U.S.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The number of immigrants detained by the United States has grown to 283,000 from 90,000 over the past five years, and many were improperly barred from making even a single phone call to an attorney, congressional investigators reported earlier this month. As a result, federal authorities have agreed to 38 nonbinding detention guidelines with the American Bar Association, including telephone access to legal counsel, as a form of due process.

The UN Warns It Cannot Afford to Feed the World
The Financial Times

Rising prices for food have led the United Nations program fighting famine in Africa and other regions to warn that it can no longer afford to feed the 90 million people it has helped for each of the past five years on its budget. The World Food Program only reaches a fraction of the 850 million people it estimates suffers from hunger, and is worried that warning could re-ignite the debate on food versus fuel amid concerns biofuel production will sustain food inflation and hit the world's poorest people.

Congress, Bush Clash Over Children's Health Insurance
The Washington Post

If anything looked like a sure thing in the new Congress, it was that lawmakers would renew, and probably expand, the popular, decade-old State Children's Health Insurance Program before it expires this year. But the future of the $5 billion-a-year program, which serves 6.6 million children and has long enjoyed bipartisan support, has become mired in an ideological fight over the proper role of government in health care.

Convenience v. Global Warming: A Battle Between the Bottle and the Faucet
The New York Times

New York City officials - like the mayors of Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and San Francisco - are campaigning to get people to reverse course away from bottled waters and open their faucets instead of their wallets. Eight glasses of tap water cost $0.00135 - about 49 cents a year, whereas bottled water could cost you 2,900 times as much, roughly $1,400 yearly, and you get the added responsibility for piling on to the nation's waste heap and encouraging more of the industrial emissions that are heating up the planet.

Does Americans' Height Show Child Welfare is Falling Short?
The Houston Chronicle

America used to be the tallest country in the world. But, as it has in other arenas, America's predominance in height has faded. But does it really matter? Many economists would argue it does, because height is correlated with measures of a population's well-being. Being tall doesn't make you smarter, richer or healthier. But the factors that make you tall - a nutritious diet, good prenatal care and a healthy childhood - benefit you in other ways. With one simple statistic, economists essentially can measure how well a society prepares its children for life.

No Child is Worth Congress Amending, Keeping
Dallas Morning News - Jul 17, 2007
Coverage for Kids: Who Could Oppose It?
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jul 17, 2007
No Good Time, but U.S. Must Exit Iraq
Seattle Times - Jul 17, 2007
Green Renaissance
America - Jul 17, 2007
Big Ideas for Little Kids
Boston Globe - Jul 17, 2007
Terrorism and the Law: In Washington, a Need to Right Wrongs
The New York Times - Jul 16, 2007
Uzodinma Iweala: Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa
The Washington Post - Jul 16, 2007
Bill Moyers: The War Debate - Jul 16, 2007
Catholic Charities USA to Discuss Poverty with Presidential Hopefuls on CNN
Catholic Charities USA - Jun 4, 2007
Religious Leaders to Address Findings of New Report on Lack of Media Representation
Faith in Public Life - May 29, 2007
Bishop Expresses Reservations On Proposed Immigration Compromise But Calls For Legislative Process To Move Forward
USCCB - May 18, 2007
USCIRF Names 11 Countries of Particular Concern, Puts Iraq on Watch List
USCIRF - May 3, 2007
Women, Children Fleeing Mogadishu Clashes Face High Risk of Disease, Trauma, Rape
World Vision - Apr 25, 2007
Bishops 'Deeply Concerned' About President's Immigration Reform Proposals; Bipartisan Strive Act A Better Model
USCCB - Apr 24, 2007
Catholics To Visit Capitol Hill With Clear Message For Lawmakers: Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform
USCCB - Apr 17, 2007

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