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Issue Date:  November 2, 2007


Among the featured highlights of the 25th San Francisco Jazz Festival were the Oct. 19 tributes to two remarkable women: bassist-composer Marcus Shelby led his jazz orchestra playing his dramatic oratorio “Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land,” and pianist Jon Jang led a septet featuring Chinese pipa (lute) player Min Xiao-Fen, in “ Unbound Voices: A Musical Tribute to Alice Fong Yu,” Jang’s salute to the pioneering San Francisco educator.

St. Bartholomew Catholic Church on the Rincon Indian Reservation was one of the casualties of the wildfires that have hit Southern California. The loss of the church was a spiritual blow, according to Bo Mazzetti, a councilman for the Luiseno tribe. “That’s something we’ve all attended, that church. It’s devastating to see that,” Mazzetti said.

Marianist-run University of Dayton now offers a bachelor’s degree in human rights studies, possibly the first such offering in the nation. The school has offered an international studies degree with a concentration in human rights and a human rights minor since 1998. As part of the degree, students must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language, complete an internship and take a course in research methodology. Other required classes include philosophy and human rights, politics of human rights, international law and organization, faith and justice, and rhetoric of social movements.

Turkey’s high court of appeals has upheld the prison sentence of 16-year-old Oguzhan Akdin, the Muslim teenager who shot and killed an Italian priest in Turkey in 2006. Akdin is serving 18 years and 10 months in prison for the murder of Fr. Andrea Santoro.

Though incumbent Pervez Musharraf won an overwhelming victory in Pakistan’s presidential election Oct. 6, he can’t claim the prize until the Supreme Court rules on his constitutional eligibility. He is not the only candidate in that pickle. Joseph Francis of Lahore wants to be president but he can’t because he’s Catholic. The constitution says the president must be Muslim. He petitioned the Supreme Court in August to overturn this discriminatory law and allow him to run. He has yet to hear from the court.

National Catholic Reporter, November 2, 2007

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