German Catholic Church opens labour law more to divorced and gays

May 6, 2015
(CURA Catholic hospital in Bad Honnef, Germany, February 2014/Leit)

(CURA Catholic hospital in Bad Honnef, Germany, February 2014/Leit)

Germany’s Roman Catholic Church, an influential voice for reforms prompted by Pope Francis, has decided lay Catholic employees who divorce and remarry or form gay civil unions should no longer automatically lose their jobs.

Charlie Hebdo is honored in New York under increased security

May 6, 2015
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(A lone protester holds a placard outside the PEN Literary Awards at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, May 5, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Pope Francis tells the elderly and sick that he, too, is old and ailing

By Reuters Staff
May 5, 2015
(Pope Francis waves as he leaves after his pastoral visit to the Church of S. Maria Regina Pacis in Ostia, near Rome, May 3, 2015. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

(Pope Francis waves as he leaves after his pastoral visit to the Church of S. Maria Regina Pacis in Ostia, near Rome, May 3, 2015. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

Indonesian regency separates sexes in schools, next up motorbikes

By Reuters Staff
May 5, 2015
(Acehnese women sit straddling on their motorcycles in Banda Aceh in Banda Aceh, Indonesia's Aceh province January 3, 2013. The administration of Lhokseumawe town, Aceh province, which is governed by Islamic Sharia law, is planning to issue a bylaw banning women from straddling motorcycles, arguing that the practice is improper for women, local media reported on Tuesday. REUTERS/Junaidi Hanafiah)

(An Acehnese women rides side-saddle on a motorcycle as in Banda Aceh in Banda Aceh, Indonesia’s Aceh province January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Junaidi Hanafiah)

China protests against U.S. report citing “severe violations” of religious freedom

May 5, 2015
(Chinese police usher people onto a bus at the site of a planned outdoor service by the Shouwang Church at the Zhongguancun commercial district in Beijing in this still image from April 10, 2011 video. Hundreds of Chinese police scrambled to prevent a planned outdoor service by the "homeless" church on Sunday, shoving people into vans and buses in the latest show of the Communist Party's determination to smother dissent and protests. The Shouwang Church, a Protestant group with about 1,000 members, had urged members to gather for the outdoor service after they said official pressure forced the church out of a place of worship it had been renting. REUTERS/Reuters TV)

(Chinese police usher people onto a bus at the site of a planned outdoor service by the Shouwang Church at the Zhongguancun commercial district in Beijing in this still image from April 10, 2011 video. Hundreds of Chinese police scrambled to prevent a planned outdoor service by the “homeless” church. REUTERS/Reuters TV)

Ethiopian Jews’ protests draw attention to racism in Israel

May 5, 2015
(Israeli protesters, Jews of Ethiopian origin, participate in a protest on what they say was police violence against their community in Jerusalem April 30, 2015. The demonstration that began as a peaceful march near national police headquarters in East Jerusalem, grew violent as protesters advanced towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence and gathered on a main road close by. The demonstration was called to protest police violence against members of the Ethiopian community after a video clip emerged this week showing two police officers assaulting an Ethiopian army conscript and arresting him. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

(Israeli protesters, Jews of Ethiopian origin, participate in a protest on what they say was police violence against their community in Jerusalem April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

At Texas mosque, anger at both shooters and Mohammad exhibit

By Reuters Staff
May 5, 2015
(An aerial view shows the area around a car that was used the previous night by two gunmen, who were killed by police, as it is investigated by local police and the FBI in Garland, Texas May 4, 2015. Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that was organized by a group described as anti-Islamic and billed as a free-speech event. REUTERS/Rex Curry)

(An aerial view shows the area around a car that was used the previous night by two gunmen, who were killed by police, as it is investigated by local police and the FBI in Garland, Texas May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Rex Curry)

from India Insight:

Meet Mangla Charan Mishra, ‘Friend of the Dead’

April 30, 2015

20150410_164240
If you ever find yourself driving down the secluded, dusty National Highway 96 in the remote Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, you probably will notice a billboard flashing this message in Hindi: “If you find any unclaimed dead body, inform us. We will cremate it in accordance with full religious procedures.”

Drought, expanding deserts and ‘food for jihad’ drive Mali’s conflict

By Reuters Staff
April 28, 2015
(Fighters from the Tuareg separatist rebel group MNLA walk in the desert near Tabankort, February 15, 2015. Mali's government and Tuareg-led rebels resumed U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Algeria on Monday in pursuit of an accord to end uprisings by separatists seeking more self-rule for the northern region they call Azawad. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Souleymane Ag Anara)

(Fighters from the Tuareg separatist rebel group MNLA walk in the desert near Tabankort, February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Souleymane Ag Anara)

Iran bans magazine for encouraging cohabitation over wedlock

By Reuters Staff
April 28, 2015
(An Iranian couple rest at a park in central Tehran, April 10, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

(An Iranian couple rest at a park in central Tehran, April 10, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)