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Barack Obama

Prayer breakfast speeches focus on international outreach

President Barack Obama and the administrator of the principal overseas U.S. aid agency urged people at the National Prayer Breakfast to turn their prayers and good works beyond the U.S. borders.

Speaking to the annual gathering Thursday, Rajiv Shah, keynote speaker and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, challenged the audience of about 3,500 people from around the world to "an overarching purpose worthy of this room that has come together to follow the teachings of Jesus: Let us work together to end extreme poverty in our lifetime."

Cardinal says bill stops taxes from 'subsidizing violence' of abortion

Passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act "will help save lives and will reduce abortions," U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said Tuesday.

The measure, known as H.R. 7, was approved 227 to 188.

Sponsored by Smith and U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act applies the principles of the Hyde amendment to federal health programs, including the Affordable Care Act. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to fund federal subsidies to any part of a benefits package that includes elective abortions.

Obama speech touches on several topics important to faith leaders

In his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama stressed many themes that are on the advocacy agendas of faith-based organizations: income inequality, immigration reform and peaceful resolution of global conflicts.

Comments about the speech the next day highlighted some details that advocates for poor people and immigrants, in particular, would like to see addressed.

What Obama should say tonight

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The State of the Union speech is, admittedly, one of the worst speeches to have to deliver on the planet. Every White House speech-writer will tell you they begin with the idea that, this year, the speech will not turn into a laundry list, but each year, a laundry list it becomes. Additionally, since these speeches have been broadcast, the president has two audiences, the members of Congress in the room and the television audience outside, and it is often difficult to speak to both groups at the same time.

Prayers urged for victims affected by chemical spill in West Virginia

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Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston asked the state's Catholics to join him in praying for the 300,000 people affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill in the southern region of the state.

He asked for the prayers during the televised Mass he celebrated Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling, noting the many people who were still suffering in Charleston and the surrounding area who had not had access to clean water for days.

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September 26-October 9, 2014

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