Equity & Justice

Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Culture, Income, and Justice

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has broken six years of relative silence with the release of an outspoken letter on the clergy sex abuse scandal. Benedict's analysis differs significantly from that of his successor, Pope Francis, and thus leaves the world's Catholics with contrasting papal perspectives on the greatest crisis facing Roman Catholicism today.

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Updated at 2:30 p.m.

Police have arrested the son of a Louisiana sheriff's deputy as a suspect in connection with three historically black churches that were torched in recent days.

Officials identified the suspect as Holden Matthews, a 21-year-old white male from St. Landry Parish, a small community about an hour west of Baton Rouge.

There was the preacher who told his followers he could teach them to defy gravity. And another who insisted the sun is actually at the center of the earth. Then there was the Quaker who became delirious, died, and then was said to have come back to life as the reincarnated Jesus Christ.

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Now we're going to step away from the news of the day for a little moment of music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARIAN ANDERSON: (Singing) My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee we sing.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will begin covering gender reassignment surgeries under Medicaid.

Most states  provide health care related to gender-transition.  Illinois was one of last 10 holdouts. 

In his State of the Union address this year, President Trump announced an initiative "to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years."

The man who pitched the president on this idea is Alex Azar, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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At a time when Americans are moving apart in their political and religious views, worshippers at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, N.C., have learned to avoid some subjects for the sake of maintaining congregational harmony.

"You wouldn't run up to a stove and touch a hot burner," says DeLana Anderson, a church deacon. "So, I'm certainly not going to do that here."

Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate and the mayor of a small, majority-white city, came to New York this week to appeal to black voters.

"I believe an agenda for black Americans needs to include five things that all of us care about: homeownership, entrepreneurship, education, health and justice," the mayor of South Bend, Ind., told the audience at the National Action Network's conference.

It wasn't the rash covering Meliza's feet and legs that worried Dr. José Manuel de la Rosa. What concerned him were the deep bruises beneath. They were a sign she could be experiencing something far more serious than an allergic reaction.

Meliza's mom, Magdalena, told the doctor it started with one little bump. Then two. In no time, the 5-year-old's legs were swollen and red from the knees down.

LDS Church Adjusts Policy On LGBT Couples

Apr 5, 2019

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Children of gay couples can now be blessed and baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Daysha Eaton of our member station KUER reports on that policy change.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on Thursday that it was reversing its controversial 2015 policy that classified people in same-sex marriages as "apostates." The church, widely known as the Mormon church, had also barred the children of such marriages from blessing or baptism until age 18.

Updated 3:00pm E.T.

A shadow of scandal hanging over the Washington, D.C. archdiocese has been lifted with the appointment of a new archbishop, Wilton Gregory, currently leading the archdiocese of Atlanta.

 Should minors have to tell their parents or a judge when they want to terminate a pregnancy?

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte harbors a no-holds-barred hostility toward the Catholic Church and he's been hurling barbs at it as he stumps for candidates in the upcoming midterm election.

"Almost 90 percent of the priests are homosexual," he has declared. He also insinuated that others have secret relationships with women.

He cast bishops as "greedy" and urged people to "rob" and even murder them.

American history, as it exists in the popular imagination, has often tended toward the self-congratulatory.

Events of the past are frequently filtered through a majority lens, focusing on the perceived heroics of, for example, white abolitionists and civil rights activists. To hear some tell it, the civil rights struggle of the 1960s ended when President Lyndon B. Johnson, having indulgently listened to Martin Luther King Jr., signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, after which racism was solved and everything was better forever.

Valerie Jarrett, longtime personal adviser to the Obamas, said in an interview with NPR's Audie Cornish airing Tuesday that former Vice President Joe Biden — who is considering a run for president — "got it right over the weekend when he said it's important that men listen" in response to a recent allegation against him of inappropriate contact.

Hospitals and nursing homes in California and Illinois are testing a surprisingly simple strategy to stop the dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs that kill thousands of people each year: washing patients with a special soap.

The efforts — funded with roughly $8 million from the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — are taking place at 50 facilities in those two states.

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A recent report finds mainly women are in poverty in Illinois and improving their financial status would boost the overall economy in the state.

The report from the research arm of the Heartland Alliance concluded that improving wages and other conditions for women would be particularly helpful to women of color.

Katie Buitrago of the Heartland Alliance said women are over half the population in Illinois and that the poverty rate for families headed by women is double that for families headed by single men.

For almost a year now, New York-based freelance writer Rhianna Jones has been signing a lot of her emails with, "insert Afro emoji here."

That's because there is no Afro hair emoji. Jones, 28, hopes to change that.

She has teamed up with designer Kerrilyn Gibson, 25, to create an Afro hair emoji prototype and started a petition on change.org to include the Afro hair emoji on the emoji keyboard.

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Pope Francis issued a new decree making it mandatory for Vatican City officials or its diplomats around the globe to immediately report allegations of sexual abuse to authorities or face possible jail time.

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