News Bites

  • Irony Alert. U.K.-based arms manufacturer BAE Systems is going "green." BAE stopped using depleted uranium in its bombs and is closing its DU munitions plant; it's now making lead-free bullets. "Lead used in ammunition can harm the environment and pose a risk to people," noted BAE's corporate responsibility statement.
  • Life Choices. The National Council of Churches USA released a new policy statement on human biotechnologies, titled "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made." It affirms the sanctity of all life and denounces human reproductive cloning, but acknowledges differences among members on stem cell research.
  • Nordic Track. Norway made a unilateral move in October to cancel $80 million in illegitimate debt owed to it by five developing countries. Claiming "co-responsibility" for the development failures that created the debt, Norway's minister of international development hoped the cancellation would "give rise to an international debate on lender responsibility."
  • Jesus-Free. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom wrote the U.S. Department of State in November with grave concerns about the status of Iraqi religious minorities forced to flee Iraq because of the war. Christians, who are 3 percent of Iraq's population, make up 40 percent of the refugees, according to the commission.
  • Women Priests. Using symbols of ashes and bread, Catholic women celebrated an "irregular" Mass outside the Baltimore Basilica to press the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose annual meeting was held nearby, to ordain women to the priesthood.
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