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Spotty training, increased violence impact young aid workers

The risk of foreign aid work, especially for young people, has again been thrust into the national spotlight after the death of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller.

Mueller, a foreign aid worker, was confirmed dead Tuesday after being taken hostage by Islamic extremists in 2013 in Syria.

Even as aid organizations have improved security protocols over the past several years, workers can be placed in war-torn areas where safety cannot be guaranteed, said Abby Stoddard of Humanitarian Outcomes, a research and policy group for humanitarian agencies.

Community leader Edward Guinan elevated homelessness to a national issue

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Between the White House and the U.S. Capitol -- a two-mile terrain where inaugural parades along Pennsylvania Avenue are staged for new presidents -- lies the homeless belt of America. At various sites, the Father McKenna Center, Mount Carmel House, House of Ruth, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, Zacchaeus Community Kitchen, Rachel's Women's Center, N Street Village and the Capital Area Food Bank have been among the havens where beds, meals and other mercies are available to people who need and deserve them.

Kansas introduces bill to abolish death penalty

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The death penalty may be abolished in Kansas if the Kansas Legislature passes House Bill 2129.

According to the bill, “No person shall be sentenced to death for a crime committed on or after July 1, 2015.” Rep. Steven Becker of Buhler, Kan., a member of the House of Representatives judicial committee, introduced the bill in committee on Jan. 27.

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