NCR Today

Morning Briefing

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Illinois -- Gov. Quinn defends himself against Catholic criticism

Congress Considers Catholic and other Christian Demands in Health Care

'Vendetta' mask becomes symbol of Occupy protests, "V for Vendetta," the comic-based movie whose violent, anarchist antihero fashions himself a modern Guy Fawkes and rebels against a fascist government has become a touchstone for young protesters in mostly western countries.

Catholic Volunteer Network gets back 75 percent of AmeriCorps funding

What the 10 percent have

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Now here's an astonishing chart that I offer for your meditation. It's from the New York Times: "Where the 1 Percent Fits in the Hierarchy of Income."

The top 1 percent is made up of 3.5 million families. They have incomes starting at about $400,000. Average income is about $700,000, and they have about 11 percent of total income. The top 10 percent of families have about 25 percent of total income.

What do the rest of us have? The 90 percent have 53 percent of total income.

It is hard to get our heads around this inequality.

And while we are digesting it, an old Heritage Foundation study is being brought forward again. It concludes that the poor have it pretty good when you add up rent subsidies, food stamps and medical care. The medical costs, of course, distort the picture. If your child has leukemia and runs up a $400,000 bill, that's not money in your pocket, whether you have insurance or are eligible for Medicaid.

Soggy letters inspire

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The Buffalo News has a story about letters to God, written by schoolchildren more than 100 years ago, found in a cross:


Onto paper the students poured thoughts and prayers they hoped would ascend, like so many curling wisps of smoke, into the skies above turn-of-the-century Buffalo.

Their writings would remain hidden from view for more than a century.

Now -- long after the schoolchildren who wrote them grew old and went to their graves -- the letters written by students at Corpus Christi School on Clark Street have been rediscovered.

Find out how they were discovered and what parishioners did here.

Activists on boats to challenge Israeli blockade

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Two civilian boats carrying 27 people are currently in international waters making their way to the beleaguered Gaza Strip in an attempt to challenge Israel's ongoing blockade of the Palestinian territory.

Passengers aboard the Canadian Tahrir (Liberation), and the Irish Saoirse (Freedom) say the message they carry is one of unity, defiance and hope in spite of Israel's policies that have separated Palestinians from each other.

Organizers of the initiative, known as "Freedom Waves to Gaza," say they chose not to publicize the boats' departures in advance because of Israeli efforts to block and sabotage a flotilla that attempted to depart for Gaza from Athens, Greece, last July.

The two boats, which set sail from Fethiye, Turkey, on Wednesday, are expected to arrive in Gaza on Friday afternoon, sailing from international waters straight into Gaza's territorial waters. The vessels are carrying a symbolic amount of humanitarian aid -- $30,000 in medicines -- along with a diverse group of passengers, all committed to nonviolent defense of the flotilla and Palestinian human rights.

Life still coed at CUA

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I hate to say, "I told you so," ... and I won't, because it's too early and there is no conclusive or scientific evidence yet, but this journalistic report from The Catholic University of America by "Inside Higher Ed" shows that the new single-sex dorms at the school haven't had much effect on either binge drinking or "hooking up."

"If people want to have sex they are going to have sex,” said Melissa Reid, a freshman living in the all-female Ryan Hall. Reid, who goes to Mass nearly every other day, said she talked about the policy in one of her psychology classes recently. Nearly all the students, including Reid, agreed that this housing change will not stop students from having sex or drinking. "If you have to separate people to prevent that then what are you saying about those people?” she told "Inside Higher Ed."

Latin whiz, 16, finds new liturgy language lacking

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Erik Baker is a 16-year-old high school student who has been studying Latin since 6th grade. Now as a senior at Evanston Township High School near Chicago, he has completed all the Latin classes available at his school, including the Advanced Placement courses. He is pursuing his ongoing interest through Latin classes at nearby Northwestern University.

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March 24-April 6, 2017

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