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Today's Top Five

1. No progress in Korean hostage situation
The South Korean government, which last month banned travel to Afghanistan, has now ordered Korean organizations already in the country to pull out by the end of the month, the Associated Press reported. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that South Korean Christians are pulling back their short-term missions programs around the world this summer. However, there are few actual developments in the efforts to free the 21 Koreans from Saemmul Presbyterian Church being held by the Taliban.

The New York Times and others have quoted a letter from the hostages' families to presidents Bush and Karzai: "We do not want world order and principles to be undermined for the sake of the release and safe return of the Koreans. Saving these people, however, will also serve as an opportunity to reaffirm the precious values of humanity as a whole."

There has been deadly fighting between the Taliban and Afghan police in the district where the hostages are being held, but it appears unrelated.

2. Pentagon report criticizes seven military leaders' appearance in Christian video
Four generals and three other military officers appeared in uniform and "in official and often identifiable Pentagon locations" in a video for Christian Embassy, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. That's a violation of military rules, and "corrective action" should be taken, says a 47-page report from the Defense Department's inspector general.

"The overall circumstances of the interviews emphasized the speakers' military status and affiliation and implied they were acting within the scope of their official positions as DoD spokespersons," the report said.

3. Is Romney Mormon enough? Is Giuliani Catholic enough? While ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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