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Bishops in southern Congo denounce increasing violence, child soldiers

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Bishops in southern Congo have denounced growing separatist violence in Katanga province and criticized the national government for ignoring it.

"Besides grave violations of human rights, socio-political insecurity is disrupting our province's economic fabric and amplifying our people's misery," said bishops from the eight dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Lubumbashi.

Vatican City consumes more wine per capita than any other country

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Tiny Vatican City consumes more wine per capita than any other country in the world, according to information from the California-based Wine Institute.

According to the Wine Institute's latest statistics, the Vatican consumed 74 liters of wine per person, around double the per-capita consumption of Italy as a whole. A standard bottle of wine is about .75 liters.

Urban creek settlers present model home to Aquino

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The Estero de San Miguel housing project in Manila’s Legarda area is the national government’s first attempt to build houses for homeless and landless people in the city, so families who have built shanties in dangerous areas can safely continue with their lives and their work.

According to 2013 government statistics, 716,165 families or 2.5 million persons in metro Manila live in urban poor communities commonly called "squatter areas."

Catholic leaders praise missioners who stay in Central African Republic

Catholic leaders in the Central African Republic praised the courage of missionary priests and nuns who remained in the country during the current conflict, despite offers of evacuation.

"That most have remained here is the greatest act of witness our church has given," said Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo Aziagbia of Bossangoa, Central African Republic.

Vietnam upholds Catholic lawyer’s conviction

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An appeals court in Hanoi today upheld the sentence given to a jailed Catholic lawyer, who is on hunger strike, while international human rights groups called on Vietnam to release him.

The People’s Supreme Court upheld the jail term of 30 months for lawyer and dissident Joseph Le Quoc Quan for charges of tax evasion. His firm was also fined 1.29 billion dong (approximately US $61,000), local sources said.

Attorney Ha Huy Son, who supported Quan in court, told the BBC’s Vietnamese section that he “is disappointed by the appeal court’s decision that has been approved.”

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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