News Bites

  • Give a Hoot. Despite official U.S. opposition, nations that have signed the Kyoto Protocol were able to make progress on binding emission-reduction goals for industrialized countries at a Montreal meeting in December. Nearly 200 U.S. mayors attended in support of the Protocol, as well as many U.S. faith groups.
  • Luzon Blues. The World Council of Churches, the Christian Conference of Asia, and the United Methodist Church have sent several teams, including Protestant bishops, to the Philippines to investigate the 411 documented killings of religious and political leaders, human rights workers, journalists, lawyers, and judges between 2001 and 2005.
  • Sam’s Club? The Walton family’s Wal-Mart shares were valued at $100 billion in 2004, and the Waltons’ annual income was estimated to be $886.5 million. Wal-Mart cashiers earn an annual average of $11,948.
  • Just Trade. More than 120 Asian Christians from 12 countries met in Hong Kong to push the World Trade Organization on poverty reduction. “The WTO has [had] a major impact on women,” said Indian Christian leader Burnad Fathima Natesan. “One of the worst situations for Asian women is they do not have land rights even though they are agricultural workers.”
  • BlogOff. Arizona Army National Guardsman Leonard Clark, who is serving in Iraq, was told by the military to close down his Web site—on which he posted his anti-war perspective—because it was a threat to operational security. He also was demoted to private and fined $1,640.

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