Vermont governor’s threat to veto gay marriage bill

John Curran/AP |

In the first two days after he pledged to veto a same-sex marriage bill, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas’ mailbag and e-mail inbox runneth over, with about 1,500 letters and messages pouring in.

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German family seeks asylum to homeschool kids in Tennessee

Rose French/AP |

Romeike, his wife, Hannelore, and their children live in a modest duplex about 40 miles northeast of Knoxville while they seek political asylum here. They say they were persecuted for their evangelical Christian beliefs and homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory.

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A new day for U.S. atheists?

Michael Conlon/Reuters |

CHICAGO (Reuters Life!) – For some atheists in the United States it’s a bright new day with the election of President Barack Obama and a move away from religion-shaped government policies of past years.

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Kaine signs off on ‘Choose Life’ license plates

Matthew Cella/Washington Times |

Gov. Tim Kaine on Monday signed a bill that will allow Virginia motorists to obtain license plates with the message “Choose Life,” joining 23 other states that issue plates with the pro-life slogan.

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COMMENTARY: Something’s cooking in the kitchen

Tom Ehrich |

NEW YORK — Three years ago, when moving to Manhattan was still a dream, our oldest son led us to 84th and Amsterdam. “Best burgers in New York,” he promised. We found a tiny eatery called Harriet’s Kitchen: two tables, the owner at the counter, and a small kitchen tended by a solitary cook, plus […]

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Ethical debate swirls over teens’ lurid photos

Jennifer Golson and Joy Ryan |

(UNDATED) In Pennsylvania, authorities are threatening to prosecute three teenage girls after finding risque images of them on a cell phone. In Indiana, a middle-school boy faces obscenity charges for transmitting naked photos of himself to female classmates. And in New Jersey, authorities recently accused a 14-year-old girl of distributing child pornography, saying she posted […]

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Catholic bishops warned in ‘50s on abusive priests

Rachel Zoll/AP |

— The founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children concluded in the 1950s that offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry, according to his letters, which were obtained by plaintiffs’ lawyers.

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US names religious freedom violators

Matthew Lee/AP |

WASHINGTON — On its final working day in office, the Bush administration re-designated eight countries as severe violators of religious freedom but waived possible sanctions against Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, officials said Monday.

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Turkey seeks to contain Islamic radicals

Selcan Hacaoglu/AP |

ANKARA, Turkey — As the only Muslim member of NATO and a candidate to join the EU, Turkey has come to be seen as a bridge between East and West _ held up by Washington as a shining example of how Islam is compatible with modern democracy.

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China cracks down in Muslim west

Alexa Olesen/AP |

BEIJING — An overseas rights activist said Monday that authorities in China’s predominantly Muslim far west are closing unregistered Islamic schools and conducting house-to-house searches in a new security crackdown in the restive region.

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