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How Palestine plans to overcome Israel and the US

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Negotiation sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Negotiations brought an end to civil war in Northern Ireland, achieved peace in Angola, attained a kind of peace between the government and guerrillas in Colombia, and pacified a decadeslong Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines. But negotiations have failed to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine. After nine months, the most recent round of negotiations, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, never got beyond "Go."

It looks like a Republican sweep on Election Day

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I was preparing my latest blog post, which was to be titled, "The Democrats still have a good shot at retaining the Senate." Let me share some of the reasons I felt this was so, even though pollsters and pundits were already giving Republicans more than a 60 percent chance of taking the Senate.

Republicans need to gain six seats to retake the Senate. It really all hinges on a number of very close races across the country.

Leon Panetta's family legacy

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Leon Panetta, the son of immigrant parents, has had an incredible career in public service. He's been a congressman, White House chief of staff, director of the CIA, and secretary of defense. He recently published a new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.

In the Oct. 14 Wall Street Journal, Panetta explains how a fruit stand on his family's California farm launched his career in politics.

When Listening Availeth Not

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Listening can work wonders, as we've all found out. It's the only cure for confusion and misunderstanding. In the cacophony that surrounds us, in which hair-trigger attention spans spark snap judgments and freeze sound bites into treacherous misunderstandings, we can never have enough ears who are willing to hear.

'Power of Sisterhood' illustrates sisters' journey through apostolic visitation

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On Dec. 22, 2008, the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life announced an apostolic visitation to investigate the lives of sisters in the United States. This announcement begins the book Power of Sisterhood: Women Religious Tell the Story of the Apostolic Visitation, a journey of sisters together across the United States.

Francis is asking us to take sides

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When asked "Which side are you on?" — as the song goes — most of us feel uneasy and generally try to sit on the intervening fence.

However, that is the question Pope Francis asked Catholics in his closing address to the bishops and cardinals — and by extension all Catholics — at the extraordinary synod on the Family Oct. 18. Noting the "moments of tensions and temptations" that occurred during the synod, Francis asks us to be honest with ourselves and declare which side we are inclining towards: the "traditionalist" or the "progressive” wing of the church.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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