News Briefs

Noting that more than a third of registered Irish births occurred outside marriage in the first three months of 2010, Patricia Casey, a professor of psychiatry at University College Dublin, called for a national debate on the benefits of raising children in a married setting. • Though supporters of the initiative could not cite a single case of Shariah law being used in Oklahoma, voters there approved a ballot measure on Nov. 2 that blocks judges from considering Islamic or international law when making a ruling. • Thomas P. Gaunt, S.J., executive secretary for the Jesuit Conference in Washington since 2001, was named executive director of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University on Oct. 27. • A group of survivors of sexual abuse were prevented from observing a moment of silence in St. Peter’s Square by Italian police on Oct. 31, but their representatives were allowed to leave letters for Pope Benedict XVI. • Israeli legislation proposing that community boards be allowed to reject new residents who do not suit “cultural and social perspectives” provoked a walkout of the Knesset’s Arab members on Oct. 27.

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A dry fountains is seen in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 24. The Vatican says it is shutting off all its fountains, including those in St. Peter's Square, because of Italy's drought. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)
Meteorologists say spring 2017 was Italy's third-driest in some 60 years. The drought has put Rome at risk for drastic water rationing, a measure being considered later this week by authorities.
APJuly 24, 2017
The parents of Charlie Gard dropped their legal bid Monday to send him to the United States for an experimental treatment after new medical tests showed that the window of opportunity to help him had closed.
Art by Andrew Zbihlyj
Having so often petitioned a gracious God for the blessing of mercy, how could I deny it to others?
Mark SingelJuly 24, 2017
“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017