News Briefs

Egyptian authorities on May 19 arrested Mina Thabet, a well-known advocate for the rights of Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the latest move in the government’s crackdown on rights activists and dissidents. • Francesco Patton, an Italian Franciscan priest named on May 20 Custos of the Holy Land, says he is committed to building bridges, dialogue and peace. • Veronika Terezia Rackova, a Holy Spirit Missionary from Slovakia, director of St. Bakhita Medical Center in Yei, South Sudan, died on May 20, three days after being shot by government soldiers. • Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon, considered a voice of moderation, announced his resignation on May 20, saying the governing party had been taken over by “extremist and dangerous elements.” • The Catholic archdiocese of the central city of Hue reported on May 20 that Vietnamese officials had released the imprisoned dissident priest Nguyen Van Ly in what was perceived as a goodwill gesture before President Obama’s visit to Vietnam.

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