News Bites

Star Woes.

Star Woes. Twenty Canadian church leaders, including several Orthodox bishops, sent a letter in March to Prime Minister Paul Martin urging Canada to abandon plans to join with the United States in its ballistic missile defense strategy.

Quiero Justicia? Notre Dame students went on a three-day fast to protest the university's contract with Taco Bell because of the fast-food company's mistreatment of farm workers. "We've been meeting with [the administration] about this since the fall," said student organizer Brigitte Gynther. "Every day that we continue to accept money from Taco Bell while tolerating their irresponsibility is another day that we allow farm workers to be exploited."

Dr. Rock. Alice Cooper - shock rocker, son of Baptist missionaries, and born-again Christian - was awarded an honorary doctorate from Grand Canyon University, a Christian liberal arts school in Phoenix. Cooper is co-founder of the Solid Rock Foundation, a Christian nonprofit that promotes violence prevention with at-risk kids.

Mujerista! Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made history recently by appointing a cabinet in which half of the ministers are women. Rwanda and Sweden are world leaders in gender parity in parliament, with 48.8 and 45.3 percent respectively. In the United States, women constitute 14.3 percent of the lawmakers, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Rio's Right. Representatives of the U.S.-based Metropolitan Community Churches met with Brazil's minister for human rights in May to thank him for sponsoring a U.N. resolution calling for "all states to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation."

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