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Rick Perry, the former 14-year governor of Texas, on June 4 announced his presidential candidacy in Addison, Texas. “This will be a show-me-don’t-tell-me election where voters look past the rhetoric to the real record,” he said, touting his experience dealing with border security and leading the nation’s top job-creating state. Perry’s 2012 presidential bid was unsaddled by gaffes, including during one debate in which he forgot the name of a government agency he hoped to eliminate, but he says he’s better prepared in this campaign.
After what he said were “countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil” author and Eastern University professor Tony Campolo released a statement on June 8 endorsing same-sex marriage and saying the church should accept unrepentant “gay Christian couples who have made a lifetime commitment to one another.” He compared opposition to same-sex marriage in the church to Christians in the past who supported slavery. David Neff, former editor of Christianity Today, posted a Facebook message supporting Campolo’s new position.
Eight people reportedly convicted in April for the 2012 shooting of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai weren’t convicted after all. Pakistani officials changed course on June 5, revealing only two suspects in fact received 25-year sentences, while the others were acquitted due to lack of evidence. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack on the then-15-year-old schoolgirl. The trial, held in secret, raised suspicion. Public prosecutor Sayed Naeem claims he was misquoted in April. The eight acquitted men’s whereabouts are unknown.
Hartford, Conn., pastor Augustus Sealy is recovering from three gunshot wounds received outside First Church of the Nazarene on May 24. The bullets shattered his femur as he arranged flags for a Memorial Day Sunday tradition. No suspect is in custody, but the family has prayed for the person, wife Sharon said. The drive-by shooting added to a wave of violence Hartford has experienced in recent weeks, mirroring other troubled cities. Holiday weekend shootings wounded or killed at least 108 people in Chicago, Baltimore, and New York.
Unmarried lesbian partners Jaclyn Pfeiffer and Kelly Bardier will receive $28,476 from a Florida church over a dispute as employees of the church’s day care. The couple threatened to sue Aloma United Methodist Church under a county ordinance, claiming they were fired, while the church maintains they quit. The United Methodist Church accepts churches on both sides of the question of whether homosexuality is sinful, and Aloma said the couple was simply in a sexual relationship while unmarried, which remains discouraged in the UMC. But LGBT-affirming Florida bishop Ken Carter chastised Aloma and prompted the church to settle on May 18. The church will meet with gay rights groups.
After a four-month wait, the Pennsylvania Senate confirmed Pedro Cortés June 2 as Gov. Tom Wolf’s secretary of state. Cortés held the same post from 2003-2010, when his department overlooked the crimes of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. In hearings, Cortés offered to take a lie detector test to prove he had no knowledge of Gosnell, which included malpractice complaints and a woman’s death from a perforated womb. The Gosnell grand jury accused the department, including during Cortés’ tenure, of willfully ignoring accusations.
Beau Biden, Vice President Joe Biden’s 46-year-old son, died of brain cancer May 30. The father could not hide his grief as hundreds came to mourn around his son’s flag-draped casket. Beau Biden served in the Delaware National Guard and did a tour of duty in Iraq. He was also Delaware’s attorney general and planned to run for governor, even as his cancer recurred this spring. Biden’s first wife and infant daughter died in an automobile accident in 1972.
Rick Estridge, vice president for overseas finance at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), resigned June 3 over criticism of his same-sex relationship. He worked for CRS for 16 years. But in April, activists published his 2013 same-sex marriage license, including his address, along with Facebook advocacy of LGBT issues. CRS condemned the manner in which much criticism came, saying it hurt the church’s mission to the suffering. Estridge wasn’t in a ministerial role, CRS said, defending his employment and thanking him for “faithful service to CRS’ mission.”
The price of a child in Nepal is $500 to human traffickers. So says Sam Ellis, a Southern California youth pastor helping rebuild homes in the earthquake-ravaged nation. As many as 15,000 women and children are targeted every year in the Himalayan nation, but the risk has increased this year with many displaced. Families who lost livelihoods now face traffickers promising jobs, authorities say. Many end up in South Asian brothels and garment sweatshops. Indian officials and NGOs have rescued dozens of children in India so far.
By the numbers
68.4 | The number of minutes Americans spend traveling each day, per capita, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number is down from 74.4 minutes in 2003.
$15.6 billion | The amount of money Quebec Justice Brian Riordan ruled three tobacco companies must pay to more than 1 million smokers in Quebec who have become ill from tobacco use or say they can’t quit smoking. The companies said they would appeal the ruling.
4.36 | The average rainfall, in inches, for the contiguous United States in May, the country’s wettest month since record keeping began in 1895.
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