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SOA protester assaulted in prison, held under protective custody

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A School of Americas Watch activist has been physically assaulted in prison and is now being held in solitary confinement with a cell mate under protective custody, says a letter to his family and friends.

The letter, dictated by imprisoned activist Michael David Omondi over the phone from Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga., describes an incident where Omondi and a fellow prisoner faced "the threat of microwave heated detergent being poured on our skin."

As Omondi describes the incident in the letter:

Yesterday afternoon I had a sense of an impending event, involving a new bunk mate as of Thursday, which I know came from the Lord. In short he crossed a line regarding respect for me and my belongings, which provoked a verbal reaction from my friend T. A few moments later T was being punched in the head repeatedly from behind, yet both he and I reacted nonviolently, but quickly, and the worst was over pretty fast.

Nuke nations urged to take weapons off high alert status

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This from Pax Christi:

Washington, D.C.--Abolition 2000, the global umbrella group representing over 2000 peace and nuclear disarmament groups worldwide, has written to the heads of states that have nuclear weapons capabilities, urging them to move to as low an operational status for those nuclear weapon systems as possible as a first step to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and the implementation of a global nuclear weapons convention that would provide a legal framework permanently outlawing nuclear weapons.

New tax agreement will add $900 billion to deficit

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There is a lot of talk today about the Obama and Republican leadership tax agreement with many observers saying this indicates how the president plans to govern in the next two years. We shall see. But this much we know already.

Take note of this paragraph from today's New York Times


The package would cost about $900 billion over the next two years, to be financed entirely by adding to the national debt, at a time when both parties are professing a desire to begin addressing long-term fiscal imbalances
.

Is the church out of touch and out of time?

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Fewer working class people are living their lives according to "family values" -- and the search is on to figure out why.

The issue is addressed in a column by Ross Douthat in The New York Times. He notes that for years the "culture wars" were fought along a neat dichotomy: better educated, better paid people strove for freedom from religion and restrictions, while less-educated blue collar workers formed a "Moral Majority" that pushed for "values" in areas such as sexuality and marriage.

Morning Briefing

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After 18 years, free dental clinic on LA's skid row no more

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As those associated with Catholic Workers know, their ministries are in a constant state of flux.

The nightly meal may have to be canceled for lack of donations. The morning coffee may have to be changed to tea because the beans didn't show up. Distribution of bus passes or prescription vouchers may have to stop when there's just no more money.

NCR welcomes a new Web columnist

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Jamie Manson has been writing a Web column for NCR since November 2008 when she premiered as one of our "Young Voices" columnists.

She was honored in June this year by the Catholic Press Association for the columns she wrote in 2009. She earned a first prize for Best Column/Regular Commentary.

Last month, NCR invited and Manson agreed to become a weekly columnist under her own title. "Grace on the Margins" is the result. It will appear here every Monday.

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