RAP Sheet

John Templeton Jr., President of Multi-Billion Dollar Foundation Invested in Science and Religion, Has Died

posted on May 19, 2015

The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports the death of John M. Templeton Jr., president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, which “regularly funds projects that explore connections between science and religion.” Bailey writes, “Templeton was a pediatric surgeon and director of the trauma program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.” He was also an evangelical and Presbyterian, and The Philadelphia Inquirer described him as “a major donor to conservative causes and the Republican Party.”

Read at The Washington Post

Key Iraqi City Falls to ISIS as Last of Security Force Flees

posted on May 19, 2015

The New York Times’s Tim Arango reports on the fall of Ramadi, a city in the Anbar Province of Iraq, to the Islamic State on Sunday. “American officials said recently that the Islamic State was on the defensive in Iraq … Yet the fall of Ramadi shows that the group is still capable of carrying out effective offensive operations,” Arango writes. This victory follows the death of an Islamic State leader, who was killed in a U.S. Special Operations raid in eastern Syria.

Read at The New York Times

Pope Canonizes First Saints from Holy Land since Early Christianity

posted on May 18, 2015

For the Associated Press, Nicole Winfield reports that Pope Francis canonized two Palestinian nuns on Sunday. “Sisters Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas were among four nuns who were made saints Sunday at a Mass in a sun-soaked St. Peter’s Square,” Winfield writes. “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and an estimated 2,000 pilgrims from the region, some waving Palestinian flags, were on hand for the canonization of the first saints from the Holy Land since the early years of Christianity.”

Read at Associated Press

To Have and To Hold: Reproduction, Marriage, and the Constitution

posted on May 18, 2015

In The New Yorker, Jill Lepore examines the history of marriage and privacy at the Supreme Court since Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which overturned a ban on contraception. The 50th anniversary of Griswold happens to coincide with the Court’s expected ruling on the Obergefell v. Hodges case on banning same-sex marriage, highlighting the parallels between the cases. “That sex and marriage can be separated from reproduction is fundamental to both movements,” Lepore writes. “Still, there’s a difference between the arguments of political movements and appeals to the Constitution.”

Read at The New Yorker

The Last Day of Her Life

posted on May 18, 2015

In The New York Times Magazine, Robin Marantz Henig writes about the political and moral consequences of Sandy Bem’s decision to take her own life after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “The old Sandy, who valued her rationality and her agency, had been clear that she would be unwilling to keep living when she could no longer articulate coherent thoughts,” Marantz Henig writes, but as Sandy, once a professor of psychology, lost her memory, it became more difficult to decide when the right time for death might be. “Ultimately, who should make the decision to die, the old Sandy or the new one?”

Read at The New York Times

Morsi Verdict Alarms U.S., Experts See “War” on Brotherhood

posted on May 18, 2015

Jay Deshmukh of AFP reports, “The United States expressed alarm Sunday at death sentences for Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi and dozens of others, a verdict experts called a declaration of ‘total war’ on his Muslim Brotherhood.” Morsi was assigned the death penalty along with over 100 others for their jailbreak during Egypt’s uprising in 2011. The mass trial is part of a crackdown by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who unseated Morsi in 2013 and has been fighting against Islamist parties, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, since taking control.

Read at Yahoo News

Buried in Baltimore: The Mysterious Murder of a Nun Who Knew Too Much

posted on May 18, 2015

At The Huffington Post, Laura Bassett explores the cold case of Sister Cathy Cesnik of Baltimore’s all-girls Archbishop Keough High School, allegedly murdered in 1969 for her knowledge of the rampant sexual abuse committed by school officials. Over the past year, Keough alumnae have begun talking openly about their trauma and abuse, particularly at the hands of the chaplain, Father Joseph Maskell, Bassett reports. But investigating a Catholic priest for a crime in the 2000s seems to be just as difficult as it was 1969.

Read at The Huffington Post

Conservative Support Aids Bid in Nebraska to Ban Death Penalty

posted on May 18, 2015

In The New York Times, Julie Bosman reports that a coalition of Republican, Democratic, and Independent lawmakers in Nebraska have backed a bill abolishing the death penalty, signaling a shift in conservative ideology. “Some people see this as a pro-life issue. Other people see it as a good-government issue,” said conservative Senator Colby Coash. “But the support that this bill is getting from conservative members is evidence that you can get justice through eliminating the death penalty, and you can get efficient government through eliminating the death penalty.”

Read at The New York Times

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