The Common Good
March-April 2002

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, Jodi Hochstedler | March-April 2002

Where's Mel? Lethal Weapon movie star and death penalty abolitionist Danny Glover, below, addressed students at Princeton University last fall.

Where's Mel? Lethal Weapon movie star and death penalty abolitionist Danny Glover, below, addressed students at Princeton University last fall. When asked if American forces should spare terrorists' lives, he replied, "When I say the death penalty is inhumane, I mean it's inhumane."

Re-Frocked. Franciscans in Assisi have engaged a Milan fashion designer to create a new habit for them. It's simpler, lighter weight, and comes with a breast pocket in which brothers can keep their cell phones. The new look prompted a spate of articles in fashion magazines throughout Italy.

Screen Scene. An Iranian film on Jesus, Son of Maryam, is making a big splash at the European film festivals. It tells the story of a Muslim boy who becomes attracted to an icon of Mary in the local Christian church and develops a deep friendship with the priest. Watch for it.

Leafing Up. The U.S.-based Armenia Tree Project planted 300,000 trees across Armenia last year in a multifaceted microeconomics program. At the invitation of the patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the group also planted 17,000 saplings on the grounds of churches and monasteries to mark 1,700 years of Christianity in the region.

Greed Sucks. According to the new edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia, $16 billion is embezzled annually from the Christian church worldwide, while $15 billion is given to foreign missions.

Wear Cleats. The newest weapon in the U.S. military arsenal can best be described as really slippery slime. The highly viscous polymer gel—thin as gravy and slick as ice—causes people and vehicles to go slipping and sliding. "We are finding ourselves in more situations where we need a stand-off distance between crowds and friendly forces," said a senior project officer of the Marine Corps' Mobility Denial System.

Trumpets Please. After naming a drug czar and a homelessness czar, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has named former Catholic seminarian John Battle the first "faith czar." Battle is to act as Blair's personal envoy among the Christian denominations and faith groups in Britain.

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