Poland’s top court says ban on kosher slaughter unconstitutional

By Reuters Staff
December 10, 2014
(A slaughterer works with beef carcasses at the Biernacki Meat Plant slaughterhouse in Golina near Jarocin, western Poland July 17, 2013. The abattoir in this small town in western Poland has a special dormitory to house the more than 30 Jewish men designated by Israel's chief rabbi to oversee the production of kosher beef there. Poland exports 90 percent of its beef, a third of which was kosher or halal worth some 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion). But this booming industry has ground to a halt because, after a campaign by animal rights activists who say the method of slaughter is cruel, Poland's constitutional court banned the practice and this month its parliament rejected an amendment that would have allowed the slaughter to resume. Picture taken July 17, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)

(A slaughterer works with beef carcasses at a  kosher slaughterhouse in Golina near Jarocin, western Poland that produced kosher beef until the ban, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel)

Indian opposition politicians criticize conversion of Muslims

December 10, 2014
(Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers in front of the historic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra October 6, 2014. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha by the sacrificial killing of sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command. REUTERS/Stringer)

(Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers in front of the historic Taj Mahal in the northern Indian city of Agra October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer)

Governments turn up the heat on atheists: report

December 10, 2014
(British author Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion, stands on a bus at the launch of an atheist advertising campaign, in London January 6, 2009. The UK's first atheist advertising campaign, the Atheist Bus Campaign, launched on Tuesday. REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

(British author Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion, stands on an “atheist bus” at the launch of an atheist advertising campaign, in London January 6, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

from Photographers' Blog:

The Disappeared

December 10, 2014

Crossmaglen, United Kingdom

By Cathal McNaughton

I've been aware of the story of the "Disappeared" most of my life. In fact, I grew up with it.

Afghan students find inspiration in Islamic State’s success

By Reuters Staff
December 8, 2014
(An Afghan man heads home walking through a dust cloud as the sun sets in Kabul December 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)

(An Afghan man heads home walking through a dust cloud as the sun sets in Kabul December 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail)

Leave or let live? Arabs quietly move into Jewish settlements

December 8, 2014
(Palestinian Abu Steve who resides in Pisgat Ze'ev, an urban settlement in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war, poses for a photo outside his store (on L) in the East Jerusalem settlement December 7, 2014. Little noticed amid the furore over one of Israel's most contentious policies, a small but growing number of Arabs are moving into Jewish settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem, drawn by cheaper rent and better services. REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

(Palestinian Abu Steve who resides in Pisgat Ze’ev, an urban settlement in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war, poses for a photo outside his store (on L) in the East Jerusalem settlement December 7, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Anti-Semitic incidents on rise in France, says interior minister

By Reuters Staff
December 8, 2014
(French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve attends a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Paris November 6, 2014. The presser followed a meeting of the G6 interior ministers of Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain, Poland, and the participation nations of the United States, Canada and Turkey. REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

(French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve attends a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Paris November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

Anglican leader says plight of hungry in Britain more shocking than in Africa

By Reuters Staff
December 8, 2014
(Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby stands in front of the Peace Wall at Cupar Way during a visit to West Belfast October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

(Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby stands in front of the Peace Wall at Cupar Way during a visit to West Belfast October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

from The Great Debate:

The pope’s door is always open to ISIS. Why America’s should be, too.

By Jonathan Powell
December 8, 2014

Hamas fighter speaks on the phone as he sits inside the personal meeting hall of President Abbas after they captured his headquarters in Gaza

Pope Francis strayed into controversy recently when he said that, while he supported military action against Islamic State, he also would not rule out speaking to the group if it would help bring peace to Syria and Iraq. “It is difficult, one could say almost impossible, but the door is always open,” he said.

Exclusive: Prosecutor freezes accounts of ex-Vatican bank heads

December 6, 2014
(An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. A preliminary inquiry by the Vatican bank after the arrest of a Vatican prelate on suspicion of trying to smuggle huge sums of money into Italy from Switzerland found "clear failings" at the institution, a source close to the bank said on July 4, 2013. The board of the bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), held a meeting on Thursday that also addressed the shock resignation of its two top managers on Monday. The meeting had not been made public. Picture taken in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer)

(An exterior view of the round tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. REUTERS/Stringer)