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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.

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July 4-17, 2014

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