Media Watch

Middle Eastern Christians Leaving the Region

THE ECONOMIST, Nov. 3 — Christians have been leaving the Middle East in record numbers, even as Islamic fundamentalism plays a greater role in regional affairs.

Unlike Muslims in the West, Christians are native to the Middle East, the business weekly said, and their response to world events often parallels that of their Muslim neighbors. “Most Middle Eastern Christians share the belief that American policy in the region helped stoke the fire of fanaticism,” the magazine said.

But unlike many Middle Eastern Muslims, their opposition to the U.S.-led attack in Afghanistan was muted compared to their expression of outrage at the terrorism directed against the United States in September.

Pro-Abortion Group Meets at Australian Nuns’ Center

THE COURIER MAIL, Nov. 16 — A women's center owned by the Presentation Sisters in Queensland, Australia, came under fire for renting its space to a pro-abortion counseling service.

Sister Anne McLay, chairwoman of Womenspace, told the Brisbane daily that she had nothing to do with bookings at the center, but refused to say if she would bar pro-abortion groups in the future. Children by Choice coordinator Cait Calcutt said she booked the center because it was inexpensive and close to the group's offices.

Local pro-life groups, including a chapter of Human Life International, called on Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane to correct the situation. He has already launched an investigation into reports of distribution of literature for pagan rituals and witchcraft at the Church-run Womenspace center.

Priests Released in Central African Republic

AFRICA NEWS AGENCY, Nov. 16 — Two priests who were arrested in the Central African Republic in connection with a failed coup in May have been released, the news service reported.

Comboni Father Tolino Falagoista, 62, director of Radio Notre Dame in Bangui, the republic's capital, and correspondent for the Catholic news agency Misna, was arrested in October and accused of writing a story regarding mass executions of Yakoma tribe members. He denied the charges.

Father Falagoista was released on condition that he not leave the capital, and a further investigation is pending.

Father Julien Koyenguia of the Berberati Diocese was arrested in September, accused of preaching violence and tribal hatred and of sheltering some of those behind the attempted putsch. He was released by the committee set up to investigate the coup.

South Korean Support Grows for Abolishing Death Penalty

THE KOREA HERALD, Nov. 16 — Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan of Seoul is a prominent leader of a growing movement to abolish the death penalty in South Korea, the Korean English-language daily reported.

A survey published by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper Nov. 4 showed 36% of respondents opposed capital punishment, compared to 20% in a 1994 Gallup Korea survey. Still, 59% of Koreans support the death penalty.

A further sign that support for abolition is gaining was a vote in the 273-seat National Assembly to ban capital punishment, which in Korea takes the form of hanging. The vote exceeded by 18 the 137 votes needed to pass legislation and was a marked increase over a similar vote just two years ago, when 98 legislators voted to ban the punishment.

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Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, April 17, 2014.

Recalling the Unlikely Ginsburg-Scalia Friendship

Justice Antonin Scalia’s love of debate was one of the things that drew him to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman with whom he disagreed on many things, including many aspects of the law.

Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, April 17, 2014.

Recalling the Unlikely Ginsburg-Scalia Friendship

Justice Antonin Scalia’s love of debate was one of the things that drew him to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman with whom he disagreed on many things, including many aspects of the law.