Neb. pro-life bill introduced; Governor declares Roe v. Wade anniversary a day of prayer

Lincoln, Neb., Jan 9, 2020 / 06:30 pm (CNA).- On the first day of the Nebraska Unicameral’s legislative session, state Sen. Suzanne Geist introduced a bill that would ban a common procedure used for second-trimester abortions.

The bill, introduced Jan. 8, seeks to ban dilation and evacuation abortions, or “dismemberment abortions” as the bill calls them.

“Dismemberment abortion means an abortion in which, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, a person purposely dismembers the body of a living unborn child and extracts him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off,” the bill says.

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Venezuelan bishops denounce contested election of legislative speaker

Caracas, Venezuela, Jan 9, 2020 / 05:19 pm (CNA).- The presidency of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference warned Wednesday that the disputed election of Luis Parra as president of the National Assembly is “contrary to all constitutional legality.”

Parra was elected head of Venezuela’s de jure legislature Jan. 5 by pro-government lawmakers, while opposition legislators were blocked from entering the chamber. It is the latest in a crisis over the government of Venezuela.

Under the socialist administration of Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has been marred by violence and social upheaval, with severe shortages of food and medicine, high unemployment, blackouts, and hyperinflation. Some 4.5 million Venezuelans have emigrated since 2015.

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Cardinal Tagle Leads Prayers for Peace Amid Tension in Middle East

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila led thousands of devotees in prayers for peace as tensions mount between the United States and Iran following the assassination of a top Iranian general, reported CBCP News.

A few days after Iran warned of retaliation for the January 3 US airstrike that killed General Qassem Soleimani, the cardinal said that “a threat of danger and violence is felt in some parts of the world”.

Soleimani was instrumental in Iran’s foreign policy in the Middle East over the last decade and was the commander of the Quds Force, the elite overseas arm of the Islamic Republican Guard Corps.

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Bishop from Erbil Warns of Dangers for Iraq’s Christians

A bishop from Erbil – where Iran carried out missile attacks – has warned that any continuation of conflict in the region could cause Iraq’s fragile Christian community to lose confidence in the future.

In an interview today (Thursday, 9th January) with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Syriac Catholic Archbishop Nathaniel Nizar Semaan of Hadiab-Erbil issued an appeal for prayer, stating his hope that the conflict was just “temporary”.

His comments come as bishops from across the region highlighted the potential impact of the renewed tension on Iraq’s Christian community, amid reports that the faithful have dwindled to below 250,000 – a decline of 90 percent within a generation.

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