San Francisco’s Catholic cathedral apologizes for spraying homeless with water

By Reuters Staff
March 20, 2015
(A pedestrian walks across the plaza at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco, California March 19, 2015. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has issued an apology to homeless people who endured frequent dousings from a sprinkler system while sheltering at night on the grounds of its principal church, a spokesman said on Thursday. St. Mary's Cathedral had placed the sprinklers in four exterior alcoves to deter people from sleeping there and to keep the area clean but had no idea some individuals were enduring the showers, said spokesman Larry Kamer. St. Mary's former rector decided to place the sprinklers in the alcoves two years ago after the doorways and a path that adjoins a neighboring school became littered with crack pipes, hypodermic needles, condoms and human waste, Kamer said. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

(A pedestrian walks across the plaza at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, California March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

Holocaust-denying bishop defies Vatican again with consecration

March 20, 2015
(British-born Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson (2nd L) is escorted by police on his arrival at Heathrow Airport in London February 25, 2009. A Roman Catholic bishop who caused an international uproar by denying the scale of the Holocaust arrived back in his native Britain on Wednesday after the Argentine government ordered him out. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

(British-born Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson (2nd L) is escorted by police on his arrival at Heathrow Airport in London February 25, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)

After nun rape, Indian cardinal says protect humans, not just cows

By Reuters Staff
March 18, 2015
(A Hindu woman and a girl seek blessings from a six-legged holy cow before heading for an annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of "Makar Sankranti", in Kolkata January 11, 2014. Hindu monks and pilgrims are making the annual trip to Sagar Island for a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganges river and the Bay of Bengal on January 14. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)

(A Hindu woman and a girl seek blessings from a six-legged holy cow before heading for an annual trip to Sagar Island for the one-day festival of “Makar Sankranti”, in Kolkata January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)

Controversial French comedian found guilty over anti-Charlie Hebdo joke

March 18, 2015
(The front page of the new issue of satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo entitled "C'est Reparti" ("Here we go again"), is displayed at a kiosk in Nice February 25, 2015. More than 2.5 million copies of this second issue since the January 7, 2015 attack by gunmen on the magazine's offices which killed twelve people, are slated to be published and on the news stands this Wednesday. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

(The front page of the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo entitled “C’est Reparti” (“Here we go again”), is displayed at a kiosk in Nice February 25, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

U.S. Catholics lead in concern about climate change: Yale study

By Reuters Staff
March 18, 2015
(Pope Francis, in a rain poncho, attends during a Mass near Tacloban airport January 17, 2015. Storms greeted Francis when he arrived in the central Philippines city of Tacloban on Saturday to pray for the dead and comfort survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the country's worst natural disaster that killed 6,300 people barely a year ago. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini)

(Pope Francis in a rain poncho during a Mass near Tacloban airport in the central Philippines city of Tacloban on January 17, 2015 .to pray for the dead and comfort survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the country’s worst natural disaster that killed 6,300 people barely a year ago. REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini)

Quest for a “French Islam” goes to the classroom

By Reuters Staff
March 18, 2015
(Students pursuing a diploma in "Multiculturalism, Secularism and Religion" listen to Professor Philippe Gaudin in classroom at the Catholic University of Paris (ICP) March 13, 2015. In the wake of extremist attacks, France announced it would increase academic training on secularism for imams who are spreading the word of Islam throughout the nominally Catholic country. The first such course was created in a Paris Catholic university in 2008. Picture taken March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

(Students pursuing a diploma in “Multiculturalism, Secularism and Religion” listen to Professor Philippe Gaudin in classroom at the Catholic University of Paris (ICP) March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

Altercation, death threats at Indian school before nun was raped

By Reuters Staff
March 18, 2015
(Police stand guard outside the Convent of Jesus and Mary school in Ranaghat in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal March 18, 2015. In the days before the rape of an elderly nun in an armed assault that has shaken India, death threats and extortion attempts had already shattered the peace at her Convent of Jesus and Mary school, police and school officials say. The attack also comes amid a trend of worsening security for India's Christian minority, less than one year since the government of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)

(Police stand guard outside the Convent of Jesus and Mary school in Ranaghat in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal March 18, 2015. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri)

Myanmar court jails New Zealand bar manager, colleagues for insulting religion

By Reuters Staff
March 18, 2015
(People enjoy their dinner at Buddha Bar Restaurant in Jakarta December 4, 2008. The chaotic capital of the world's most populous Muslim nation is rarely associated with glitzy nightlife, but new venues in Indonesia's Jakarta may soon see it challenging more cosmopolitan centres in the region. The city of about 10 million, or many more if thousands of unregistered poor flocking in from rural provinces are included, has just become the first city in Southeast Asia to host a Buddha Bar, the hip Paris-based franchise of restaurant/lounges. Picture taken December 4, 2008. To match Reuters Life! INDONESIA NIGHTLIFE/ REUTERS/Beawiharta)

(People enjoy their dinner at Buddha Bar Restaurant in Jakarta December 4, 2008. REUTERS/Beawiharta)

from The Great Debate:

Islamic militant threat in China is real, not just propaganda

By William Johnson
March 18, 2015

Police wearing sashes hold placards during a ceremony to award those who the authorities say participated in "the crackdown of violence and terrorists activities" in Hotan

Police wearing sashes hold placards during a ceremony to award those who the authorities say participated in "the crackdown of violence and terrorists activities" in Hotan, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region August 3, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

from India Insight:

Mahabharata retold, with a twist from writer Kiran Nagarkar

March 17, 2015

A ‘bedtime story’ is supposed to lull a baby to sleep. But Indian writer Kiran Nagarkar’s play of the same name is anything but sleep-inducing.