National Catholic Reporter

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Peace & Justice

Survey: Most Americans say fighting global poverty is futile

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Despite progress in defeating extreme global poverty, most Americans see no end in sight, according to a survey sponsored by Compassion International.

Christians who attend church at least monthly and consider religion very important in their life overwhelmingly (96 percent) expressed concern about the world's poorest people. But they were skeptical that global poverty could be ended in the next 25 years. Only 41 percent of the group said it was possible.

The call for clemency applications

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A couple of years ago, a woman I'll call Ann saw me give a television interview about prison sentencing reform. She phoned me right away to tell me about her son, who, she said, received a 10-year sentence in federal prison for his second marijuana possession. A lawyer was filing an appeal, but she didn't know if he would be successful.

Alas, I didn't have any hope to hold out to her. Congress seems even less likely than the Missouri legislature to shorten drug possession sentences, and such reform benefits are almost never retroactive, though there's no reason they couldn't be.

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