News Brief

The fate of the 1,700-year-old Christian community of Mosul in Iraq seems to have been sealed as the city’s remaining Christians, heeding a warning from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, fled the city on July 17. • The Knights of Columbus pledged $1.4 million on July 14 to help cover costs for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, scheduled for next summer in Los Angeles. • President Obama issued an executive order on July 21 banning discrimination in federal hiring on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity without a broad religious exemption that had been urged by Catholic and other religious and civic leaders. • A federal judge ruled on July 16 that California’s “dysfunctional administration” of the state’s death penalty results in “inordinate and unpredictable” delays, rendering the system cruel and unusual punishment, and as such unconstitutional. • After participants in a Marian procession in July bowed in front of the house of a presumed mafia boss, the bishops of Calabria in southern Italy on July 17, urged Catholics in mafia-infested areas to purify local celebrations of anything that suggests a tolerance for organized crime.

 

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