Morning Briefing

Death Penalty on decline in U.S   :"By all measures, use of and support for the death penalty continued its steady decline in the United States in 2015," reported the Death Penalty Information Center, noting that "the number of new death sentences imposed in the U.S. fell sharply from already historic lows" and "executions dropped to their lowest levels in 24 years."

231 German boys choir members abused, three times the diocese's reported number. Georg Ratzinger, brother of pope emeritus, was director of the choir from 1964 to 1994. Said he knew of physical abuse at school, but not sexual abuse.

A cardinal, a comedian and a former prisoner OR How the Vatican launches Francis's new book, The Name of God Is Mercy.

Retired Anchorage Archbishop Francis T. Hurley, a pioneer in ministry and founder of a mission parish in Russia,  dead at 88.

David Bowie's spectacular afterlife -- reflections on the performer's outlook.

Saint David Bowie? Not yet, but faith leaders pay respects to dead rocker.

CNN: Obama hopes to pave way for Clinton in fnal state of the union address.

Global Sisters Report: Federal raids to deport asylum seekers disrupt aid efforts.

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