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Pope Francis Must Address Women’s Reproductive Well-Being

The Guardian: Pope Francis has done little to improve women’s lives Tina Beattie, professor of Catholic studies at the University of Roehampton in London “Pope Francis has repeatedly said he wants a poor church of the poor. … He has also acknowledged the need to give women a greater say…

Access To Contraception Controversial In Philippines Amid Growing Population

PBS NewsHour: Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines “In the Philippines, amid a population explosion and staggering birth rate, caused partly by limited access to contraception or family planning advice, NewsHour Special Correspondent Mark Litke follows mothers and newborns from one of the busiest maternity wards in…

U.N. Officials Condemn Sexual Violence In Iraq

U.N. News Centre: ‘Barbaric’ sexual violence perpetrated by Islamic State militants in Iraq — U.N. “Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the ‘barbaric acts’ of sexual violence and ‘savage rapes’ the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control…”…

Muslim Clerics In Nigeria Mobilize Communities In Polio Vaccination Initiative

Washington Post: Muslim clerics in Nigeria advocate for polio vaccination and mobilize community “A few years ago, northern Nigeria was a global epicenter of polio transmission, but a program that mobilized local Muslim clerics, who were once opposed to immunization and are now advocates for vaccination, has helped radically reduce…

Ugandan Lawmakers, Religious Leaders Push To Revive Anti-Gay Law

News outlets report on the push from Ugandan lawmakers and religious leaders to re-introduce the anti-gay law that the Ugandan Constitutional court struck down last week. Associated Press/New York Times: Ugandan Lawmakers in Campaign to Revive Gay Law “Ugandan parliamentarians are launching a campaign to revive a recently invalidated anti-gay…

Saudi Arabia Reports Only 10 New Cases Of MERS During Ramadan

Reuters: Ramadan pilgrimage season in Saudi Arabia mostly free from MERS “Saudi Arabia reported 10 confirmed new cases of a deadly respiratory disease during Islam’s fasting month of Ramadan, and subsequent Eid al-Fitr holiday, after fears that an influx of pilgrims over the period might spread the infection more widely…”…

Food Insecurity Continues To Worsen In South Sudan As Funds Decline

News outlets report on the worsening food security situation in South Sudan. Agence France-Presse: Tutu plea to world leaders: Don’t forget South Sudan “South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Thursday urged world leaders focused on conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine not to forget the ‘ghastly suffering’…

Burma’s Rohingya Minority Continue To Face Hunger, Disease In Refugee Camps

Washington Post: Malnutrition, disease rising in camps of Burma’s Rohingya Muslims “…The United Nations says that 135,000 ethnic Rohingya Muslims are still stuck in refugee camps on the western coast of Burma, two years after the government rounded them up in the wake of religious violence that left villages scorched,…

Taliban Threatens To Stymie Polio Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

NPR: Taliban In Pakistan Derail World Polio Eradication “…Today the [Taliban] militant group continues to threaten to kill not only [polio] vaccinators but also parents who get their children immunized. That threat has had a chilling effect on anti-polio efforts nationwide. And it completely halted vaccination drives in some Taliban-controlled…

Myanmar’s Rohingya Struggle To Access Health Care

Reuters: Myanmar Muslims in remote Rakhine suffer worsening health crisis “…Since international aid groups were forced out of [Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine] in February and March, members of the minority Muslim Rohingya community who relied on them say basic health care services have all but disappeared…” (Mooney/Win, 7/24).