News Briefs

• The John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel has announced that it donated more than $2 million last year to fight desertification and promote rural development in nine African countries. • Bishop Jesús González de Zarate Salas of Caracas, Venezuela, said on Feb. 15 that the removal of term limits for the country’s president, Hugo Chávez, is a blow to democracy in the country. • Supporters of the religious rights of immigrants detained by the federal government celebrated the passage of a law requiring Illinois State and Illinois County detention facilities to allow detained immigrants to meet with pastoral workers. • A new Gallup poll ranked the top religiousstates in the United States and found Southern states ranked highest, while several states in the Northeast ranked the lowest. Mississippi topped the list with 85 percent of those surveyed claiming that religion was important.

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February has been one of the most violent months in the seven years of conflict.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 25, 2018
Asia Bibi's husband and her daughter Eisham arrive in the Vatican prior to a private meeting with Pope Francis. (Credit: Vatican News)
The pope said Rebecca Bitrus and Asia Bibi are models for a society that today has ever more fear of suffering.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 24, 2018
(Nick Ansell/PA via AP, archive)
Recent allegations about one of the United Kingdom’s biggest and best-known charities has driven increased demands from some quarters that overseas aid be reduced, if not abolished completely.
David StewartFebruary 23, 2018
Students who walked out of classes from Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland protest against gun violence in front of the White House on Feb. 21 in Washington. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)
The desire for stronger gun control may not translate into more caution with gun storage among owners of firearms.
Kevin ClarkeFebruary 23, 2018