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John Kerry

State Department report: Religious persecution makes migrants out of millions

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And then there were nine. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday that Turkmenistan has joined the State Department's list of worst religious freedom offenders.

The State Department's "Countries of Particular Concern" list had remained static since 2006, when eight countries -- Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan -- were designated as CPCs.

Preview: Global summit helps break the silence on war and women

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It may be the most salient commentary on the status of women globally that it has taken the world until the 21st century to undertake serious efforts to end sexual violence in conflict.

Rape as a weapon and a spoil of war, which disproportionately affects women, has long been the hidden and undiscussed atrocity. The long silence, however, is being broken, most recently at a Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London and organized by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and American actress and activist Angelina Jolie.

Security comes through policing, not military force

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This Lent I’m writing about our U.S. military, and today I’m considering how we offer security training to foreign governments.

People everywhere have a right to security. Parents should be able to let their girls walk to school alone. Shopkeepers should be free from extortion. The judiciary should make their judgments without fear of intimidation or reprisal. That’s the kind of security most nations need, and it’s a matter of policing, not soldiering.

But when you have a half-trillion dollar army, every problem looks like a war.

Ugandan bishops reserve judgment on new anti-gay law

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Uganda's Catholic bishops reaffirmed their opposition to homosexuality, but reserved judgment on a recently ratified bill imposing harsh punishment for homosexual acts in the East African nation.

"Our reaction from the church is very clear, we don't support homosexuality," Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, secretary-general of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, told Catholic News Service by phone Feb. 26.

He said that when the anti-gay bill was first discussed, the country's bishops had been against the harsh penalties it involved for homosexual acts, including the death penalty.

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August 1-14, 2014

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