News Briefs

More than 210,000 people worldwide contract Hansen’s disease each year, even though it is preventable, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, reported on World Leprosy Day (Jan. 30). • South African Catholics prayed for the recovery of the 92-year-old anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela after he returned home following treatment for a respiratory infection. • Catholic missionaries are ready to set up faith communities in Bhutan after the predominantly Buddhist and Hindu country announced on Jan. 27 that it would accept the registration of Christians for the first time. • It is “unacceptable” to evangelize without addressing the urgent problems of poverty, injustice and oppression, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message released on Jan. 25 in preparation for World Mission Sunday next October • The Italian inventor Onorio Frati has devised an “electronic rosary,” a pocket-size egg-shaped gadget. • Catholic Relief Services’ international staff and their families in Cairo, Egypt, were evacuated to Jordan on Jan. 31 as pro-democracy demonstrations continued.

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The pope called on journalists to stop feeding the "vicious cycle of anxiety" and "spiral of fear."
When the questions became more detailed on abortion policies, the numbers shifted.
Muslims in an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, the Rohingya have long faced persecution in Myanmar, where most are denied citizenship.
Russia, Iran and Turkey set up a three-way mechanism to ensure compliance of all sides.