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California wildfire destroys parish church

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A fast-moving wildfire destroyed Holy Family Catholic Church in the far northern California city of Weed on Monday. A Presbyterian church, the library, a community center, and 110 homes were also destroyed. Another 90 homes were damaged, as was an elementary school and the town's plywood mill.

"This is a tragedy, very sad," Fr. Joshy Mathew, a Carmelite of Mary Immaculate, told KCRA television news. "But we are here together," the pastor said of his parish of 200 families.

Census Bureau: American poverty rate is down, but it's not all good news

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New stats from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the American poverty rate declined for the first time since 2006 -- 14.5 percent of the total population, down from 15 percent in 2012 -- and that the number of American children living in poverty fell by 1.4 million.

Good news, right?

Well, not necessarily. The Census Bureau data also shows that the overall number of American poor didn't budge, and that income inequality hasn't improved.

Preview: Live blog: Nuns on the Bus tour kicks off in Iowa

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Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, the well-known executive director of NETWORK, will kick off will the third Nuns on the Bus tour Wednesday with a 10 a.m. CDT rally at the Iowa State Capitol with her team and guest speaker Vice President Joe Biden. Titled "We the People, We the Voters," this year's bus tour will focus on civic engagement and voter registration in 36 U.S. cities in 10 key states from Iowa to Colorado.

USCCB: Government report 'confirms' suspicions about Affordable Care Act abortion coverage

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement Tuesday saying a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office "confirms" the bishops' suspicions about abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

"Despite repeated claims by President Obama and other supporters that the ACA would not promote abortion," the statement reads, "the report identified over a thousand health plans eligible for federal premium subsidies that cover elective abortions."

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