NCR Today

NLRB rules university not Catholic enough

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According to the Chicago Tribune, a National Labor Relations Board official has ruled that Chicago's St. Xavier University is not Catholic enough to qualify for immunity from NLRB oversight.

The school's board has appealed the ruling, claiming the agency's attempt to define a Catholic university violates the separation of church and state.

"They're using a test that not even the bishops use to determine whether or not we are Catholic," said the St. Xavier president.

At the root of the controversy is a campaign by the school's adjunct faculty to form a union and push for higher wages and greater job stability.

Read the whole story here.

On this day: St. Ninian

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On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Ninian (c. 360-c. 432), considered "the earliest Christian missionary to spread the Gospel message on Scottish soil."

A year ago, on St. Ninian's Day, Pope Benedict XVI visited Scotland, "where he was first welcomed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, members of the Royal Family, and Scottish dignitaries. The Pontiff was then welcomed by the people of Scotland with a grand 'St. Ninian's Day Parade' through the streets of Edinburgh. The parade featured pipers and drummers from across Scotland and further abroad, and over 1000 pupils from some 14 schools in Scotland named after St. Ninian. But none could take the spotlight off of Benedict XVI, waving at the gathered crowd from his popemobile, wearing the St. Ninian tartan draped across his shoulders."

Click here to see the Pope wearing the St. Ninian tartan, newly created for the visit, commissioned by the bishops.

Morning Briefing

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Microfinance helps Jane, Caroline, Anthony and Cynthia

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The New York Times op-ed writer, Nicholas Kristof, writes today about Kenyan Jane Ngoiri, a 38-year-old single mom who grew up in a slum and dropped out of school after the eighth grade. Kristoff discovers that a microfinance program has helped Jane, a former-prostitute-turned-businesswoman, and her three children out of poverty, though their futures are subject to unexpected and serious setbacks.

With abuse scandal, priest shortage, a sour 10 days in Ireland

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DUBLIN, Ireland -- For the Vatican this has been a sour 10 days in Ireland. It began with Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin suggesting there may be a “cabal” in the Vatican protecting sex abusers. This at a time when Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny refused to back down on his charges of Vatican interference in the sovereign affairs of the Irish state -- despite Rome’s rebuttal that cut little ice in Ireland as it denied a cover-up.

Cliff Robertson and my brother

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The actor Cliff Robertson, who died this weekend at age 88, was a very important member of my family. We were not at all related and we never actually met.

But Robertson won his only Oscar for the title role in a movie called "Charly," It was released in 1968, when I was 11 years old, and featured Robertson as a mentally-challenged man who swept floors in a small bakery.

My father owned a small bakery in The Bronx at that time. More importantly to all of us, my older brother was also a mentally-challenged young man who sometimes dropped by the shop to sweep the floors.

In the film, Robertson's Charly becomes the subject of an experiment -- one that works and turns him into a genius by the middle of the story. When I heard about the movie, I couldn't wait to see it: there weren't a lot of stories around then about brain-injured adults, and I hoped "Charly" would touch on the things my family went through every day.

Morning Briefing

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Anti-nuke activist gets eight months

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Four months in, four months to go.

In the third of eleven sentencing hearings expected in coming days for a group of anti-nuclear activists opposing a $7.5 billion new nuclear weapons manufacturing facility, a veteran of the peace movement was sentenced to eight months in jail this afternoon.

Bonnie Urfer, the co-director of the watchdog group Nukewatch, was handed the sentence by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton. In jail since her May trial for a 2010 peace action, Urfer was credited with time served and given four more months in jail.

Urfer was part of a July 5, 2010, action at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. One of three nuclear weapons sites currently under consideration by the federal government, a major new nuclear weapons manufacturing facility at the Oak Ridge complex was officially announced July 25.

Part of a group of 13 who took part in the action, Urfer climbed over a barbed wire fence onto the property of the Y-12 complex and was arrested.

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December 2-15, 2016

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