Crucifixes allowed in public schools
ITALY State-funded Italian schools can display crucifixes in classrooms without violating pupils' religious rights, according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The decision concludes a three-year court battle over two public schools' refusal to remove crucifixes from classrooms. The court said the crucifixes are part of Italy's cultural heritage and removing them could "rob the Italians of part of their cultural personality." The European Center for Law and Justice supported the decision as upholding Christian tradition while the Italian Evangelical Alliance disagreed, calling crucifix displays a tool of Roman Catholic cultural supremacy.
Abortion clinics to be regulated as hospitals
Abortion clinics in Virginia will have 280 days to tighten safety guidelines following a bill to be enacted July 1. The bill, which passed the state senate with a tiebreaker vote by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), requires most of the state's abortion clinics to comply with hospital safety regulations, rather than as doctor's offices (as they are currently classified). The move makes Virginia one of the most restrictive states in the country for first-trimester abortions and could close 17 of the state's 21 clinics, according to abortion advocates. Delaware and Georgia are also considering bills to regulate abortion clinics.
Bible battle over 'Allah' resurfaces
MALAYSIA In an ongoing battle over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims, 35,000 Bibles shipped to Kuala Lumpur were held for several months before being released for distribution following Christian protests. The Malaysian Home Ministry asked the Bible Society of Malaysia and the local branch of The Gideons to stamp "The Good News Bible ...1