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Pope urges welcome of divorced, remarried Catholics

Pope FrancisDivorced and remarried Catholics are not automatically excommunicated from the church, Pope Francis reminded a Vatican audience Wednesday.

He told a general audience the Catholic church still regards a remarriage after divorce a violation of church teachings, but noted the church expects children of failed marriages to continue to be raised by parents who feel shunned by the church and are kept "far from the community life (of the church) as if they were excommunicated."



In Canada, officials keep close watch on environmental activists

Canada monitoring green activistsOn July 16, James McIntyre, 48, was shot and killed by police outside a public meeting about a proposed hydroelectric dam in Dawson Creek, a small town in northeastern British Columbia. The dam, called Site C, is controversial among environmentalists and First Nations people, and the night McIntyre was shot, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were responding to reports that a protester was disrupting the meeting.

Little is known about the circumstances surrounding his death, but in a video taken immediately after the shooting, his blood can be seen pooling on the sidewalk and dripping into the street. Eventually, two officers approach his slumped body and place restraints on it while a third policeman keeps his gun drawn.


Netflix to provide one year of paid parental leave

NetflixNetflix is giving new parents on its payroll up to a year of paid leave in a move that could pressure other technology employers to improve their baby benefits as they vie for talent.

The employee benefit announced Tuesday on Netflix's blog is generous even by the standards of Silicon Valley, where perquisites supplement lavish salaries in the competitive battle for computer programmers and other tech workers.


Fox News announces GOP debate field

GOP debateJohn Kasich and Chris Christie are in — Rick Perry is out.

Kasich and Christie clinched the last two spots for this week's 10-candidate debate, Fox News announced Tuesday, joining Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.  The debate will be 9 p.m. Thursday in Cleveland.

Perry finished 11th in the aggregate of polls Fox used to determine the field. That relegated the former Texas governor to a debate at 5 p.m. Thursday with other candidates outside the top 10: Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore.


Court Says No To Gagging Those Who Reveal Farm Animal Abuse

animal abuse  reports not gaggedA hard-to-watch video, filmed in 2012 by undercover investigators with Mercy for Animals, shows Idaho dairy farm workers viciously abusing cows.

The state's response: It charged the workers with misdemeanors and then caved to the meat and dairy industry with a 2014 law that makes whistleblowing on farms a crime punishable with a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.


Alex Baer: Creative Cursing -- This Taste Bud's For You

Creative cursingSometimes, when I remember, and when I am trying to be polite (despite being mightily peeved at something or other), I will exclaim "Bolshoi!" instead of shouting the name of the food that comes out of bulls, after the bulls are all done with it.

It's a few semi-tasteful steps removed from the more obvious "Oh, bullcrap!"  Plus, I'd like to think that this small effort on my part helps the people around me keep some calming distance between that particular nitrogen-fixer and their own finer sensibilities.


Raging California Wildfires Drive 13,000 From Their Homes

California wildfiresFirefighters were working aggressively to regain control after a raging Northern California fire jumped a highway that had served as a containment line for the massive blaze — one of 20 wildfires burning in California.

Cooler weather had helped crews build a buffer Monday between the wildfire and some of the thousands of homes it threatened as it tore through drought-withered brush in Lake County that hadn't burned in years.

But Monday afternoon erratic wind blew hot embers north of Highway 20 ignited several fires across the highway north of the city of Clearlake.


Senate blocks Planned Parenthood defunding measure

Planned Parenthood defunding blockedRepublican legislation to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood failed to gather enough support in the U.S. Senate on Monday, halting at least for now moves to punish the women's health group for its role in gathering fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.

Senate Democrats succeeded in stopping the bill on a procedural vote. Sixty votes were needed to advance it in the 100-person chamber. It received 53 votes, with 46 senators opposing it.


Alabama officer kept job after proposal to murder black man and hide evidence

Roy MiddlebrookA police officer in Alabama proposed murdering a black resident and creating bogus evidence to suggest the killing was in self-defence, the Guardian has learned.

Officer Troy Middlebrooks kept his job and continues to patrol Alexander City after authorities there paid the man $35,000 to avoid being publicly sued over the incident. Middlebrooks, a veteran of the US marines, said the man “needs a god damn bullet” and allegedly referred to him as “that nigger”, after becoming frustrated that the man was not punished more harshly over a prior run-in.


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