In the news, December 4

America's editorial this week deplores the inaction of public officials on gun control as the one year anniversary of the slaying of schoolchildren in Newtown, Ct., approaches. A judge has ordered that the 911 tapes of that event be released. While some news organizations grapple over the ethics of posting the audio or publishing 911 transcripts, USA Today looked at the history of mass slayings in the United States in recent years, identifying 29 such events since the slaughter of the innocents at Sandy Hook.

Yesterday, as a federal judge ruled that the Detroit bankruptcy—which may mean retired workers will receive a small fraction of their promised pensions—may proceed, Illinois legislators voted to restructure the state's underfunded pension system for public workers.

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The ACLU has sued the U.S. bishops' conference on behalf of a woman who charges that a Catholic hospital in Michigan was negligent in its treatment of her impending miscarriage.

Mining conflicts are a social issue [the church] can’t ignore."

Jihadists gain amid chaos in Syria.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina: Bishop demands end to discrimination against Catholics.

Was a 7-year-old Indian boy tortured and murdered because he was a Christian?

A Georgetown University program reviews the "Francis Effect" on attitudes about and the potential for changes within the global church.

In Rome, the Council of Cardinals are undertaking 'in-depth' reform.

The L.A. Times continues a series on Cardinal Roger Mahony's handling of sex abuse charges against L.A. priests.

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