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Pope Francis Should Re-Evaluate Catholic Church’s Contraception Policy

New York Times: The Pope and the Birth Control Ban Editorial Board “…Expanding birth control access worldwide would have huge benefits. … The Catholic Church has considered lifting its ban on contraception in the past. In 1964, Pope Paul VI convened a commission on the issue. A majority of members,…

New MERS Case Numbers Down In Saudi Arabia At Start Of Hajj, Health Official Says

Reuters: Saudi minister says MERS cases are reducing before hajj “A recent surge in cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a sometimes deadly virus, in Saudi Arabia has ebbed in the run-up to Islam’s annual hajj pilgrimage, the kingdom’s Health Minister Khaled al-Falih said on Thursday…” (al-Mughrabi, 9/17).

Wired Examines Risk Of Disease Outbreaks At Large Gatherings Such As Hajj

Wired: Toppling Cranes Aren’t the Only Things Threatening Mecca “…Friday’s crane collapse at the Grand Mosque [in Mecca, Saudi Arabia], which killed over 100 people and injured more than 200 others, is a stark demonstration that disease isn’t the only health risk when you’ve got millions of people gathered in…

Islamist Militants Threaten Polio Immunization Campaign In Syria

IRIN: Will Islamic State allow polio drive? “In Syria’s brutal civil war, the announcement in late January that the country had effectively beaten polio again was a rare bright spot. … But even this small achievement is now threatened as the Islamist militants have cracked down on aid groups, and…