When religion meets politics, U.S. Supreme Court justices sharpen their pencils

By Reuters Staff
May 7, 2014
(U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan (top R) poses with the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court while gathering for a group portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, October 8, 2010. From (L-R top) Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Kagan. From L-R seated are: Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. REUTERS/Larry Downing)

(U.S. Supreme Court justices in Washington, October 8, 2010. From (L-R top) Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., and Kagan. From L-R seated are: Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Amid boycott of Beverly Hills Hotel, city confronts Brunei over sharia law

By Reuters Staff
May 7, 2014
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(People protest outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, over Brunei’s strict sharia law penal code in Beverly Hills, California May 5, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn)

Vatican urges sex abuse critics not to stay “fossilized in the past”

May 7, 2014
(Marie Collins (L), member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, looks at Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley during their first briefing at the Holy See press office at the Vatican May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

(Marie Collins (L), member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, looks at Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley new at the Holy See press office at the Vatican May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Belgian police disperse crowd after ban on French comedian’s event

May 5, 2014
(French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, also known as just "Dieudonne", attends a news conference at the "Theatre de la Main d'or" in Paris January 11, 2014. A French court upheld a ban on a show scheduled in the central city of Tours on Friday by Dieudonne, accused of insulting the memory of Holocaust victims, the second performance in a nationwide tour to be banned. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

(French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Balaattends a news conference at the “Theatre de la Main d’or” in Paris January 11, 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

Papal commission on sex abuse wants accountability for priests, bishops

May 5, 2014
(Pope Francis talks with children during a special audience with members of the "Catholic Action" in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Pope Francis talks with children during a special audience with members of the “Catholic Action” in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

First openly gay Episcopal bishop announces divorce from husband

By Reuters Staff
May 5, 2014
(Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, delivers the invocation at the 'We Are One' Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, January 18, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed)

(Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson delivers the invocation at the ‘We Are One’ Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, January 18, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Georgia Catholic, Episcopal churches ban guns despite broad new law

By Reuters Staff
May 5, 2014
(A gun rights supporter carries his Ruger model SR9 pistol on his hip during a rally in support of the Michigan Open Carry gun law in Romulus, Michigan April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook )

(A gun rights supporter carries his Ruger model SR9 pistol on his hip during a rally in support of the Michigan Open Carry gun law in Romulus, Michigan April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook )

from John Lloyd:

Russia’s scorning of Europe

By John Lloyd
May 1, 2014

After a quarter of a century of claiming to be a part of Europe, Russia has ceased to regard it as a goal. As tension over Ukraine remains taut, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has confirmed a new line. He no longer wants Russia to be thought of as “European.” Europe and Russia, he now says, are in separate moral spheres.

Brunei adopts sharia law, others in Southeast Asia consider it

April 30, 2014
(Bruneian Muslims pray during mass prayers for the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 at Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan March 13, 2014. Malaysian authorities said on Thursday there was no evidence that a jetliner missing for almost six days flew for hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers and continued to transmit technical data. REUTERS/Ahim Rani )

(Bruneian Muslims pray during mass prayers at Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan March 13, 2014.REUTERS/Ahim Rani )

Secularist underdogs fight to be heard in Iraq’s national election

By Reuters Staff
April 30, 2014
(A fully-veiled woman walks after marking her ballot at a polling booth during a parliamentary election in Baghdad April 30, 2014. Iraqis headed to the polls on Wednesday in their first national election since U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term amid rising violence. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani )

(A fully-veiled woman walks after marking her ballot at a polling booth during a parliamentary election in Baghdad April 30, 2014.REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani )