News Briefs

The Pax Christi International Peace Award for 2010 was given on Dec. 8 to Louis Sako, right, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq, a prominent defender of Iraq’s endangered minorities. • In November Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari told a visiting cardinal, Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, that he could not abolish his nation’s blasphemy laws, but would seek to revise them to better protect minority religious rights. • The discovery of an earth-bound microorganism that thrives on arsenic will expand scientists’ understanding of the definition of life, said the head of the Vatican Observatory, José Funes, S.J. • Pope Benedict XVI would welcome an electric popemobile as a sign of his commitment to environmental stewardship, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the commission governing Vatican City State, said on Dec. 1. • Three dozen top Israeli rabbis threw their support on Dec. 7 behind a religious ruling barring Jews from selling or renting homes to non-Jews. • Two Congolese soldiers have been arrested for the murder of a 42-year-old priest, Christian Bakulene, who was killed on Nov. 8 in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. • After a two-year investigation by Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., the church has approved for the first timea Marian apparition in the United States, experienced by Adele Brise in Champion, Wis., in 1859.

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