News Briefs

Catholic aid organizations are responding in Pakistan after the most intense monsoon rains in the past 30 years caused landslides and floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir. More than 1,500 people have perished. • Round-the-clock protests continue at several Boston churches, despite a Vatican decision denying the appeals of nine parishes shuttered by the archdiocese in 2004. • In a vote on July 21, the board of trustees of St. Margaret Mary Parish on Staten Island, N.Y., backed the pastor’s decision to withdraw support for the sale of the parish convent to the Muslim American Society, which wanted to use it as a mosque. • Fearing an outbreak of violence in his diocese, Archbishop Hieronymus Herculanus Bumbun of Pontianak, Indonesia, has called on the U.S. government to prevent the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., from conducting an International Burn-a-Koran Day on Sept. 11 to commemorate victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. • The British scientist Neil Scolding received a grant of £25,000 from Catholic parishioners of the Clifton Diocese in England to continue his “ethical stem cell research” on the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

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