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Cholera comes to Haiti

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Yesterday, Denise Grady at The New York Times took a look at the cholera epidemic in Haiti:

The cholera epidemic in Haiti is likely to grow and persist, and will probably reach the Dominican Republic, health officials said on Monday, as they rushed to distribute medical supplies in hopes of keeping ahead of the disease’s spread.

“Now that cholera has established itself with a strong foothold in Haiti, it is clear to us that it will not go away for several years,” said Dr. John Andrus of the Pan American Health Organization at a news briefing Monday in Washington

And Deborah Sontag had a report on the 'fear and misery' associated with the horrible disease:

Scores of children and adults are doubled over or stretched out on every available surface, racked by convulsive stomach disorder or limp with dehydration. Buckets sit by their sides, intravenous solutions drip into their arms. Life hangs in the balance, yet there is a sober, almost eerie calm.

You've Got to Give Them Credit

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Here's a case study for Catholic Social Teaching.

Would taking money to entice students to get credit cards fall inside or outside the lines?

In 2009, the University of Notre Dame alumni association took $1.8 million from credit card peddlers (Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank doled out such sums)in exchange for promotional privileges, third highest of any university in the nation.

By law, the Federal Reserve must disclose such information annually. It was reported today in Inside Higher Education.

The overall picture suggests that universities have no problem encouraging a practice that acts as a sort of predator lending for the youngsters. As we're reminded regularly, the financial behemoth that got us into all this trouble is doing just fine, thank you. Nothing has changed there. And so the market for new customers must be brisk.

How does "Catholic character" square with all of this?

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day from Religion News Service"

"I need more help from you. If you are a tither, become a double-tither. If you are not a tither, become a tither. This ministry has earned your trust. This ministry has earned your help."

--Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller, in an emotional plea to worshippers on Sunday (Oct. 24) to help the Southern California megachurch overcome its current bankruptcy and multimillion-dollar debt. He was quoted by The Orange County Register.

Pelosi: the person beyond the attack ads

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the favorite political piñata of this weird election season, the figure everyone loves to hate, the attack ads' one-dimensional recipient of voter anger and frustration.

So it was refreshing to come across the delightfully against-the-grain and beautifully written profile of the speaker just this side of what many are predicting will be the end of her leadership days. The piece is by Melinda Henneberger, editor in chief of Politics Daily.

There's a reason this pinata won't break: she was born to the political fight, and she relishes every moment of it.

Here’s a taste:

Both the anger in Milwaukee and the apathy in San Francisco are Pelosi's enemies, but what I wonder is how she sees the public's disappointment in her party. Given that she's turned so much of what President Obama promised voters he would do if elected into the law of the land, why, in her view, are Americans who got exactly what they voted for so unhappy about it?

In Great Recession, everything must go

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My neighbor Ed is doing okay -- he runs his own business and he's hanging on through tough times. But, he tells me, things would be better were he only going out of business.

Doesn't sound right, I know, but my neighbor had a story to tell about the way life has changed for small businesses during a big recession.

I was over at his house about a week ago, and mentioned things look grim on Ventura Boulevard, the main shopping stretch in our part of Los Angeles. Every day, a new store tacked up a huge banner that read "going out of business" or "store liquidation."

Ed smiled and said the situation wasn't quite that bad.

Those sad signs? Just a new trick to bring in business. These days, people hold on to every dollar they've got -- and will only spend when they think the bargains are too bold to pass up. That's why stores like the Gap hand out coupons awarding you forty percent off, or hold 2-for-1 sales. Only deep discounts draw those wallets out into the light of day.

The new retirement for America's seniors: Bankruptcy

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The perfect financial storm has come crashing down on a vulnerable group: Retired seniors.

Privatizing Social Security would have been a boon to this group (not). Massive unfunded tax breaks for the wealthy do not apply to this group either. This is extraordinarily bad news for seniors and for all of us, as we continue to fund some $800 billion in two wars with no end in sight.

As Reuters reports:

For more and more seniors, retirement doesn’t mean a debt-free life of leisure. An increasing number of Americans aged 65 and older are declaring bankruptcy, according to a recent study by John Pottow, professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School.

Those aged 65 and older represented seven percent of bankruptcy filers in 2007, a mind-boggling jump from 1991. They are the “fastest-growing age demographic,” according to Pottow’s study.

Cardinal George named to Vatican finance council

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Pope names US cardinal to council studying Vatican's economic problems

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI named Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago to the international Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See.

The Vatican announced the appointment Oct. 23.

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In This Issue

July 17-30, 2015

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