An official of the New York State Catholic Conference has criticized as "grossly unethical, dangerous and exploitative" a plan that allows state funds to be paid to women who donate their eggs for research purposes. The move was approved June 11 by the Empire State Stem Cell Board, which oversees $600 million in New York taxpayer funds earmarked for stem-cell research. • The United Nations has appealed for massive financial support to serve refugees and internally displaced people, saying the ability of humanitarian agencies to help is waning. Worldwide, 42 million people were uprooted at the end of 2008, said Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. • Bishops from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Central America have called on their governments to convene a regional summit to assess the causes of migration and to work out a regional plan for cooperation on migration and development. "We are at a pivotal moment in the history of migration in this hemisphere," said the statement, dated June 4. • The board of directors of Public Broadcasting Service voted June 16 to stop its member stations from airing new religious programming, though existing programs on PBS affiliate stations will continue to be broadcast. "Interpretive" religious programming, such as concerts and journalistic programs, also will be permitted to air. The decision marks a compromise between PBS and some of its affiliate stations. • Nearly 20 years after the late Cardinal John O'Connor of New York suggested it, the U.S. bishops approved a Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life June 18 during their spring meeting in San Antonio.
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