In The News, November 1

Eighty-seven migrants have died after attempting to cross the Sahara with the ultimate goal of escapign to Europe.

Pope Francis is the 4th ‘most powerful’ person in the world according to Forbes, which ranks Pope Francis immediately after the Presidents of Russia, the USA and China. 

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The Holy See Press Office has confirmed a consistory to create new Cardinals will be held next February. Pope Francis had informed both the Council of Cardinals and the Council of the Synod of his intention earlier this month, according to statement issued by Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Press Office. The Consistory will be on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, February 22, 2014.

A firestorm of protest and dismay in El Salvador has greeted the abrupt closing of the Catholic church's legal aid office that has since the 1980s provided staff, administrative support, and documentation to victims of the most egregious human rights violations of El Salvador's civil war.

Syria has destroyed or rendered inoperable all of its equipment for producing, mixing, and filling chemical weapons ahead of the November 1 deadline, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Meanwhile, the United Nation's World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed 10 cases of polio in Syria, the country's first outbreak in 14 years, and the head of national security in Lebanon has said that the location of the two Syrian bishops, kidnapped in April, has been discovered. There has been some 'indirect contact' with their captors and negotiations to secure their release.

Two Vietnamese Catholics, whose arrest sparked mass protests and prayer vigils in My Yen parish, Nghe An Province last month, were sentenced to six and seven months’ imprisonment respectively on 23 October.

Five Catholics protesting U.S. drone warfare policies said they were stunned but relieved to be found not guilty of disorderly conduct for their roles in an Ash Wednesday demonstration at an upstate New York air base.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is slated for November 23-24, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The collection is taken up in parishes and dioceses nationwide. The theme of this year's collection is: "Defend Human Dignity. Take Poverty Off the Map."

Bishops of Southern Africa: Corruption is theft from the poor

The 2013 fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be broadcast via satellite, November 11-12, to Catholic television outlets and all broadcasters wishing to air it. The proceedings will also be live streamed at www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/.

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