News Briefs

Minneapolis on Jan. 16 became the 12th U.S. Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy protection because of the unmanageable costs of settlements and future claims resulting from sexual abuse by clergy. • The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa—where at least 8,668 have died—has fallen to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Jan. 23, warning that dwindling funds and the coming rainy season threaten efforts to control the disease. • The Philippine government came under fire on Jan. 23 after admitting that hundreds of homeless people were taken off Manila’s streets and put temporarily into luxury accommodation during Pope Francis’ recent visit. • The Supreme Court agreed on Jan. 23 to consider whether a drug protocol used in recent lethal injections violates the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. • The feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, Feb. 8, has been designated as the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. • Pope Francis plans to visit the Central African Republic late this year in an effort to end two years of intercommunal violence, Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia of Bossangoa said on Jan. 22.

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