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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.”

Jamie Coots, co-star of 'Snake Salvation,' dies of a snakebite

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The Rev. Jamie Coots, a serpent-handling pastor and co-star of the "Snake Salvation" reality television show, died Saturday after a snakebite during a church service. He was 42.

Coots, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Ky., was found dead at his house around 10 p.m.

Coots had been bitten at the church, Middlesboro Police Chief Jeff Sharpe told WBIR television in Knoxville. Sharpe said emergency workers went to the church and to Coots' home but he refused medical care.

New York bishops urge 'love, respect' for people with mental illness

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The Catholic bishops of New York urged compassion and acceptance for people suffering from mental illness in a new pastoral statement, and the state Catholic conference, their public policy arm, issued specific policy recommendations related to those with mental illness.

The bishops' statement, " 'For I Am Lonely and Afflicted': Toward a Just Response to the Needs of Mentally Ill Persons," cited the example of Jesus in the Gospels in demonstrating how society should respond to those with mental illness.

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July 4-17, 2014

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