1. AP: UN says new polio outbreak in Sudan caused by oral vaccine
On Monday, WHO warned that the risk of further spread of the vaccine-derived polio across central Africa and the Horn of Africa was “high,” noting the large-scale population movements in the region.
More than a dozen African countries are currently battling outbreaks of polio caused by the virus, including Angola, Congo, Nigeria and Zambia.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many of the large-scale vaccination campaigns needed to stamp out polio have been disrupted across Africa and elsewhere, leaving millions of children vulnerable to infection.
The woman’s sign reads: “In accordance with the law [let me] jointly live with my son”.
The man’s sign: “Oppose torture; rescue my son”.
These are apparently #ChangWeiping‘s parents.
See: CHINA: LAWYER SHARES ALLEGATIONS OF TORTURE, DETAINEDhttps://t.co/npYWCohF6A @amnesty https://t.co/pWvBpG6GRl
— William Nee (@williamnee) December 14, 2020
3. Catholic News Agency: Remember Syrians this Christmas
4. AP: Austria court voids rule outlawing all assistance to suicide
The court said that the right to self-determination includes the right to a “dignified death,” and also the right of a person who has decided of their own free will to kill himself or herself to get help in doing so from another person.
But it remains unclear what exactly will be allowed in Austria starting in 2022.
The court said legislators will have to take measures to prevent abuse and ensure that “the person affected does not take the decision to kill themselves under the influence of third parties.”
5. Catholic News Agency: Austrian Catholic leader deplores court ruling on assisted suicide
In a Dec. 11 statement, Archbishop Franz Lackner said that the court’s judgment that the ban on assisted suicide was unconstitutional was a fundamental “cultural breach.”
“You do not want to be a burden to relatives or society or to incur financial costs. Unfortunately, experience from Switzerland and other countries, where assisted suicide is already permitted, shows shockingly that the number of suicides is increasing sharply, especially among older people.”
He continued: “In this context, suicide is presented as a self-determined decision. What is overlooked is that the decision to take your own life is not a successful case of freedom, but a tragic expression of hopelessness and despair. Suicide does not provide an answer — instead, it opens up many questions.”
6. Fox News: Over 25 Black ministers sign letter to Warnock on abortion
“Unborn Black, Brown and White lives are so much more than clumps of cells, burdensome inconveniences, or health problems,” they wrote to the Rev. Raphael Warnock. “They are sacred human persons endowed by God with inalienable dignity and worth. We implore you to uphold the Biblical defense of life and to fight against the systemic racism of abortion.”
They argued that “the pro-abortion movement has been characterized by racism and White supremacy since its inception,” noting that Black women are five times more likely than White women to undergo such a procedure.
7. Pope Francis Censured, Every Time He Speaks Out Against Abortion
…The pope wants to make it clear that what is important to him is to go to the substance of things and speak directly to the world, without interfering in the political struggle, least of all with Argentine politics.
In particular, Bergoglio takes pains to highlight his twofold distancing: from former Peronist president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, with whom he says he “has had no contact” since she left office, and from Juan Grabois, leading organizer of the “popular movements” otherwise so dear to the pope, whom he appointed as consultant to the Vatican dicastery for promoting integral human development.
And the reason – he writes – for this distancing is that both of them pretend to be much closer to and friendlier with the pope than they really are. With the result that the media end up attributing to me, Francis, not “what I say,” but what others “say that I say.”
Note how this article frames unmarried people as “sexual minorities” as a way of positioning surrogacy, sperm, and egg donation as rights to which they are entitled.https://t.co/HBozUiUntQ
— CBC Network (@CBCnetwork) December 14, 2020
9. Time: How the Conservative Legal Movement Stopped Trump’s Attempts to Overturn the Election
Why are conservative attorneys and jurists rejecting Trump even as so very many GOP politicians are embracing his extraordinary, dangerous, undemocratic and legally frivolous campaign to overturn the election? The short answer is that the culture, philosophy, and incentives of the conservative legal movement are all aligned against the president.
10. Filipino Dominican priest-scientist works on affordable yeast-based Covid-19 vaccine
Austriaco, who is associate professor of biology and theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, said his proposal is to create an oral Covid-19 vaccine using a probiotic yeast.
“It is a crazy idea but it has to be tested in the small chance that it would work. I decided to do this for the well-being of the Filipino people,” Austriaco told Sunstar Philippines in an interview.
He said his project, dubbed “Project Pag-asa (Hope),” is in its “early stages of development.”
11. US lifts Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism
12. Bloomberg: U.S. Puts Limited Sanctions on Turkey After Missile Defense Buy
“The United States made clear to Turkey at the highest levels and on numerous occasions that its purchase of the S-400 system would endanger the security of U.S. military technology and personnel and provide substantial funds to Russia’s defense sector, as well as Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defense industry,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement.
The penalties follow more than a year of calls by lawmakers for sanctions and recommendations from the departments of State and Treasury in the summer of 2019, after NATO ally Turkey went ahead with the purchase of the missile defense system, to impose sanctions immediately.
Our Christmas Tree & Nativity scene at Sacred Heart #Chaldean #Catholic Church in our historic #ChaldeanChristian Town of #TelKeppe, #Iraq. #Chaldeans were temporarily forced out of Tel Keppe by ISIS in 2014. Thank God we are able to celebrate Christmas in Tel Keppe once again. pic.twitter.com/BIXPIJdrPh
— Chaldean People (ܥܡܐ ܟܠܕܝ̈ܐ ܒܬܟ݂ܪܓ̰) (@Chaldean_People) December 14, 2020
14. New York Times: She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One
In three years, Mrs. Rodríguez captured nearly every living member of the crew that had abducted her daughter for ransom, a rogues’ gallery of criminals who tried to start new lives — as a born-again Christian, a taxi driver, a car salesman, a babysitter.
In all, she was instrumental in taking down 10 people, a mad campaign for justice that made her famous, but vulnerable. No one challenged organized crime, never mind put its members in prison.
On Mother’s Day, 2017, weeks after she had chased down one of her last targets, she was shot in front of her home and killed. Her husband, inside watching television, found her face down on the street, hand tucked inside her purse, next to her pistol.
Freaking out over Joseph Epstein’s “Dr. Biden” essay is the most bougie thing ever. The ratio of People On Twitter Outraged About It::Real World has to be like the distance between the summit of Mt. Everest and the basement of the Marianas Trench.
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) December 14, 2020
16. 5 Questions With Family Studies: Ryan and Mary Rose Verret on Marriage Mentoring
One faith-based program that is working to connect younger couples with wise married mentors is Witness to Love. The program was founded by Ryan and Mary Rose Verret, the parents of five beautiful children, who spent several years interviewing hundreds of couples in their church community, including divorced couples, to find out what was missing from faith-based marriage prep programs. Through this process, they realized that the marriage preparation process needed to be revamped to become more “relational” and include the entire church community and especially mentorship from other married couples the young couples already admire.
The oldest surviving animated Christmas movie.
This 1913 stop-motion film used toys and dead bugs, held in position with wires.
The filmmaker, Ladislas Starevich, fled Russia after the Revolution.
(Restoration and subtle colorization by Adam Maciaszek.)https://t.co/0xAgef8yq4
— Adam Keiper (@AdamKeiper) December 14, 2020
RIP Charlie Pride! He put out one of the best (and most underrated) Christmas albums of all time. It’s a mix of religious and secular classics/standards and originals. If you haven’t heard it, this is one of my favorites: https://t.co/llVK4JhBG7 pic.twitter.com/27u69s8NRw
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) December 12, 2020
19. Nancy Drew turns 90
20. Holy Family Arrested in Egypt for Violating Travel Restrictions
The officer explained to the recalcitrant parents that the safest way to protect their child from a murderous tyrant was to stay home, stay safe, and comply with the local laws of said murderous tyrant. Or be buddies with a politician. The three law-breakers were then placed into the back of a chariot and hauled off to jail to await a visit from Child Protective Services, then extradition.