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Today's Top Five

1. Turkey time
It's no surprise that Turkey is in the news this week. But the big story has nothing to do with Thanksgiving: Pope Benedict XVI making his first trip to a Muslim nation, which warrants a cover story from Time. Richard John Neuhaus and Tariq Ramadan face off in op-ed sidebars.

2. Bush goes to church in Vietnam
"Though no sermon was delivered Sunday in the church where President Bush took a 'moment to converse with God,' he offered his own precept outside," the Associated Press reported. "'A whole society is a society which welcomes basic freedoms,' Bush said, adding that there's none more basic than 'the freedom to worship as you see fit.'"

A separate Associated Press dispatch notes that "harassment has eased enough that the United States decided this week to remove Vietnam from a list of the world's worst violators of religious freedom. … [But] if things have opened up for ordinary Catholics, the Vietnamese government continues to place restrictions on the church hierarchy, limiting the number of priests it can train, churches it can build or seminaries it can open."

3. Nicaragua bans all abortions
Even those to save the life of the mother. Some Nicaraguans opposed the bill, saying the six-year prison term wasn't long enough.

4. Canada's approval of gay marriage has galvanized the country's evangelicals
So reports The New York Times.

5. Norway's Lutherans vote to spin off from state control
But the Church of Norway "would likely still rely heavily on state funding," says Aftenposten. "Political rhetoric was already running high over the weekend about what this might mean, and whether a separation is a good idea."

Quote of the day "You don't want to take the trucks out. You want to keep shining ...

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November 2006

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