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According to a new report from the U.S. State Department, an estimated 12.3 million people worldwide are currently trapped in some form of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. • Nearly 1,200 South Korean priests have signed a petition urging President Lee Myung-bak to step down, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News. “We can no longer bear the current situation that is destroying democracy,” said the statement from the Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice. • In a new study from Northwestern University School of Law, researchers argued that data show the death penalty does not deter homicide more than long-term imprisonment. • Palliative care that focuses on the psychological, social and spiritual needs of suffering and dying patients must be part of the nation’s health care reform, said Colleen Scanlon (right), the new chairwoman of the Catholic Health Association’s board of trustees. • President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI will meet in Rome on July 10, the Vatican and White House have announced.

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