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More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on Thursday marking the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science.  “UNESCO's message is clear – the new [2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development] will not meet its promise without investing in women's and girls' empowerment through and in science,” Irina Bokova said in a message for the occasion.  According to the most recent UNESCO Science Report, women account for only 28 per cent of researchers across the world, with the gap deepening at the higher echelons of decision-making. Women also have less access to funding, to networks, to senior positions, which puts them at a further disadvantage in high impact science publishing.“This calls for deep and sustained change, starting in the earliest years through improved participation of women and girls...
India's Supreme Court has directed all the country's states to formulate a uniform policy to provide compensation to victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault, saying such aid was crucial for a survivor's rehabilitation.  Conservative and patriarchal attitudes in India mean victims of sexual assault are often shunned by their families and communities and blamed for the violence perpetrated against them, say activists and lawyers.  Many are ostracised from their homes and cannot afford the legal fees to fight for justice in an under-resourced judicial system where verdicts can still take years to reach.India's 29 states and seven union territories vary in how they provide support to sexual assault victims, with some states such as Maharashtra in the west providing no formal financial aid, while others such as Goa providing up to one million rupees, said the court order.  "All the states and union territories shall make all endeavours to f...
WASHINGTON-The Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, February 1, on behalf of USCCB, the Texas Catholic Conference and several Christian partners in support of a Texas law mandating health and safety standards protecting women who undergo abortions. Other groups joining the brief include the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The case is Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court."There is ample evidence in this case that hospital admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements protect women's lives and health," said the brief. "When such requirements are not enforced, abuses detrimental to women's lives and health arise."The brief noted that some abortion clinics have decla...
 WASHINGTON-Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on everyone "concerned about the tragedy of abortion" to recommit to a "vision of life and love, a vision that excludes no one" on January 14. His statement marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."Most Americans oppose a policy allowing legal abortion for virtually any reason - though many still do not realize that this is what the Supreme Court gave us," wrote Cardinal Dolan. "Most want to protect unborn children at later stages of pregnancy, to regulate or limit the practice of abortion, and to stop the use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of unborn children. Yet many who support important goals of the pro-life movement do not identify as 'pro-life,' a fact which should lead us to examine how we present our pro-life vision to others.""Even as Americans rema...
(Vatican Radio) The President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Thursday morning to honour Saint “Padre” Pio of Pietrelcina and Saint Leopoldo Mandic.The two saints have been in the Basilica for a week as part of the celebrations for the Jubilee of Mercy.In his homily, Archbishop Fisichella said during the Holy Year “the Lord calls on us to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow Jesus – as did Saint Pio and Saint Leopoldo.”The two saints were last week initially brought to the Roman Basilica of St. Lawrence-Outside-the-Walls, before being taken to the Church of San Salvatore in Lauro. On Friday, they were processed down the pilgrim’s path which has been established for the Jubilee Year to Saint Peter’s Basilica.After the Mass on Thursday morning, the mortal remains of Padre Pio began the journey back to San Giovanni Rotondo, while Saint ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ Special Envoy, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, celebrated Mass on Thursday in the town of Nazareth in the Holy Land to mark the Church’s World Day of the Sick. The Mass took place in Nazareth’s Basilica of the Annunciation and was the centerpiece of events marking the 2016 World Day of the Sick that is celebrated each year on February 11th, the feast day of St. Bernadette of Lourdes.In his homily at the Mass, Archbishop Zimowski, who is President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, reminded his listeners that the central theme of Pope’s Francis’ message for this year’s World Day of the Sick is the need for us to entrust our lives to the Merciful Jesus like Mary did.  Archbishop Zimowski said all of us are called in our different ways to help the person who is suffering and stressed we must not be intimidated by the fact that we cannot help in a satisfactory way, in the way that Jesus did. “The...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis takes off for the Cuban capital, Havana on Friday for his historic encounter with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill. The largely private conversation between the two leaders will take place at Havana airport and is expected to last for a couple of hours, after which Pope Francis will continue onto Mexico City at the start of his pastoral visit to that Latin American nation.Dominican Fr Hyacinthe Destivelle, who is in charge of relations with the Slavic Orthodox Churches at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will be in Havana for this unprecedented encounter. He told Philippa Hitchen that despite recent tensions between Moscow and Rome, the Russian Orthodox Church has a rich history of seeking reconciliation among the divided Christian Churches..Listen:  Father Destivelle explains that the Russian Orthodox Church is fifth in the traditional order of authority among the 14 autocephalous Orthodox Churches. In...
WASHINGTON-The Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, February 1, on behalf of USCCB, the Texas Catholic Conference and several Christian partners in support of a Texas law mandating health and safety standards protecting women who undergo abortions. Other groups joining the brief include the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The case is Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court."There is ample evidence in this case that hospital admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements protect women's lives and health," said the brief. "When such requirements are not enforced, abuses detrimental to women's lives and health arise."The brief noted that some abortion clinics have decla...
 WASHINGTON-Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on everyone "concerned about the tragedy of abortion" to recommit to a "vision of life and love, a vision that excludes no one" on January 14. His statement marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."Most Americans oppose a policy allowing legal abortion for virtually any reason - though many still do not realize that this is what the Supreme Court gave us," wrote Cardinal Dolan. "Most want to protect unborn children at later stages of pregnancy, to regulate or limit the practice of abortion, and to stop the use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of unborn children. Yet many who support important goals of the pro-life movement do not identify as 'pro-life,' a fact which should lead us to examine how we present our pro-life vision to others.""Even as Americans rema...
BURNS, Ore. (AP) -- Surrounded by FBI agents in armored vehicles, the last four occupiers of a national nature preserve surrendered Thursday, and a leader in their movement who organized a 2014 standoff with authorities was criminally charged in federal court....
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