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Issue of October 12, 2007

October 12, 2007 -- NCR front cover


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   This Week’s Edition: October 12, 2007 

Vol. 43 No. 41   
Cover story -- Food aid
Food aid reformers urge shift to cash

By Tom Fox
Count slowly to five. Do it again, and again. Every time you recite the numbers, a child somewhere in the world has died of hunger. Despite billions spent on food aid, one child is lost every five seconds from hunger and hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations World Food Program -- some 18,000 children every day. Further, one in seven people in the world is hungry and one in three children underweight. These sobering statistics derive from war, droughts, crop failures, poor governmental decisions, poverty and inefficient transportation.

Full story
The facts on hunger

Full story
Big agribusiness and shipping companies profit from food aid

By Rich Heffern
Large U.S. agribusiness companies get the bulk of the benefits from food aid policies, according to food aid expert Sophia Murphy. “Because of the ways the laws are written, there are only a handful of agricultural companies that can source these foods. And because of these requirements and specific requests -- like this food must be able to leave from this port on this day -- the government usually pays a bit more than the market price to buy them.”

Full story
Soaring food prices imperil aid

By Rich Heffern
Further complicating the world hunger problem, soaring food prices, driven in part by demand for ethanol made from corn, have helped slash the amount of food aid the U.S. government buys to its lowest level in a decade, possibly resulting in more hungry people around the word. According to an Oct. 2 New York Times article, the United States has purchased less than half the amount of food aid this year than it did in 2000, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Full story
Nigerian diplomat intervenes on behalf of fearful Burmese

By Inter Press Service
Nights are no more the same for the 45-year-old Buddhist monk who lives in a monastery in the Myay Ni Gone area, close to the heart of this dilapidated city. Nor is sleep.

Full story
Dutch priests endorse right of laity to choose presiders

By Patricia Lefevere
Dutch Dominican priests are proposing a bold solution to the priest shortage in the Netherlands: Have the laity select leaders from their own faith communities and designate them as the official presiders at Mass.

Full story
Derision and dialogue

By Tom Roberts
During his contentious U.N. visit, Christian peace denomination invite Iranian president to meet and talk.

Full story
Black men asked to patrol Philadelphia's deadly streets

By Larry Miller
After nearly 300 murders in Philadelphia this year, a coalition of media, civic and community leaders, and law enforcement officials is asking for volunteers to help patrol the neighborhoods with the worst violence. They are calling for an end to the bloodshed and trying to reach out to those more inclined to squeeze a trigger than talk to solve a dispute.

Full story
Corporate soldiers threaten global order, author says

By Patrick O'Neill
On the fourth floor of the North Carolina State University student center, Jeremy Scahill steps up to the podium and, for the next 45 minutes, there’s barely a pause in his rapid-fire remarks.

Full story
NCR Editorial
Peace churches in the breach

The Mennonite Central Committee and the American Friends Service Committee, agencies of two small, traditional peace churches, are to be commended for injecting an intelligent Christian approach to the growing tensions between the United States and Iran. The two agencies organized a religious dialogue with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a chapel across the street from the United Nations.

Full editorial
Quotable & Notable

“We can’t flog him. We can’t incarcerate him. That’s up to the Justice Department.”

-- Erik Prince of the Blackwater security firm telling a congressional committee that as a private company Blackwater was limited in how it could deal with an employee who killed a bodyguard for the Iraqi vice president. “We fired him and fined him,” Prince said.

More quotes

Richard P. McBrien

Faith and politics

Full story
Colman McCarthy

Energetic champion for the disabled

Full story
Proving the power of the Israel lobby

By Michael Lerner
In the few weeks since it was published, the best-selling book The Israel Lobby by Harvard Professor Stephen M. Walt and Chicago University Professor John J. Mearsheimer has caused a furor as columnists and reviewers rush to prove their pro-Israel credentials. Ironically, one of the major contentions that has been most frequently attacked is that the Israel lobby has a disproportionate amount of influence in the media and in American political circles.

Full story
Churches urged to skip Sunday service, worship through action

By Religion News Service
Jim Yelvington decided he would do something different with the launch of his new church in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. -- cancel Sunday worship services.

Full story
'In God We Trust' remains on coins

By NCR Staff
Did you get the e-mail from concerned Christians urging a boycott of the new $1 U.S. president coins? The e-mails have been circulating widely since early this year when the coins became available. The e-mail campaigners say they want to force the coins out of circulation because they aren’t inscribed with “In God We Trust.”

Full story
Georgetown law school reverses funding rule

By NCR Staff
Reversing a policy set in place less than six months ago, Georgetown University’s law school will allow a student-run organization, the Equal Justice Foundation, to fund internships for students at organizations that promote abortion rights.

Full story
Inside NCR

Tom Roberts


The essential Catholic 'stuff'
One of the attractions Catholicism holds for those teetering on leaving or maybe investigating joining the community, I’m convinced, is what I like to call Catholic “stuff.”

Full story

Autumn has its seeds

By Christopher de Vinck
I woke up this morning with a vague notion of regret, recognizing that I am limited in my choices, annoyed that the carpenter bees are still embedded in the eaves of my house, and remembering what it was like to be 23 years old.

Full story
Not a good war but a necessary one

By Raymond A. Schroth
One thousand veterans of World War II die every day. When I grew up in Trenton, N. J., there were still veterans of the Civil War who marched in the Armistice Day parade.

Full story

Love and war, then and now

By Joseph Cunneen and Kevin Doherty
'Across the Universe' celebrates the 1960s; 'In the Valley of Elah' is an anti-Iraq war drama.

Full story

A therapist's view of the Sacred Heart
By David Richo
Paulist Press, 136 pages, $15.95

Reviewed by Clarence Thomson

Full review


Poetry October 12, 2007

 Letters to the Editor

Letters for October 12, 2007

Classifieds for October 12, 2007

News Briefs for October 12, 2007

People for October 12, 2007

Last Words
'I want to unfurl like a new rose and exude the perfume of my soul and attract women, and ride horses in Texa.'

-- Christopher de Vinck

A memorable quote from this week's issue.

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