Taliban leaders announced Sunday that the foreign aid workers arrested last week would be released after serving short jail sentences, but they have already changed their minds. Reports from Afghanistan are saying now that the eight Shelter Now workers from Australia, Germany, and the United States will face trial by Islamic Shari'ah law.
This comes as the Taliban has also announced they are broadening the investigation of aid groups in the country. According to the Associated Press, any aid organizations suspected of teaching Christianity will be scrutinized by three Taliban ministries—security, vice and virtue, and intelligence.
Meanwhile, diplomats from the three countries are still waiting to get into the country. Reuters reports that their visas have finally been approved this morning and they will leave for Kabul tomorrow. Taliban officials have told them that they will not be given access to prisoners but will only be allowed to meet with officials.
This weekend, the Taliban released 65 boys who were being taught by the Shelter Now workers. They were detained to have the Christianity taught out of them. When authorities released them, they arrested the boys' fathers instead for not supervising their sons properly.
Archbishop's wife plans to starve at the Vatican
Zambian archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who went to the Vatican last week to meet with the Pope is apparently now on a spiritual retreat somewhere in Italy. But his wife—whom he married in a Unification Church mass wedding—thinks the Vatican is keeping him from her and is prepared to die to get him back. She has pledged to fast to death in front of the Vatican unless Milingo is returned to her.
Anybody else want to accuse Frost?
Another accusation of plagiarism has been leveled at Trinity Law School Dean Winston L. Frost and his article, "The Developing Human Rights Discourse: A History of the Human Rights Movement." Frost was first accused of filching material from an encyclopedia, and then not using a work he cited. Now, Trinity officials have begun looking into Jerome J. Shestack's claim that Frost used a 1983 human-rights report written by Shestack "word for word in tons of places," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Frost's lawyer is still looking into the accusations but has said that sloppy editing by a student editor allegedly caused the errors in Frost's article.
Analysis and reaction to Bush's decision continue
As Congress gears up for the aftermath of President's Bush's stem-cell research proposal, analysis and reaction to the plan continues. The battle in Congress will begin in September but could last into 2002 or longer.
The Washington Post reports that the plan was designed to appease conservatives while scientists are wondering how it will impact their work. The New York Times focused yesterday on the split reaction by pro-life advocates.
"Darker Side" of believing has health side effects
The New York Times reports that studies over the last half decade have shown that people who are religiously active enjoy longer lives, but a new study proves it may also shorten some lives.
Researchers contend, in a study being released today, that religious anxiety may increase the risk of death among the ill. According to the article:
The researchers, who surveyed 596 elderly hospitalized patients in 1996, found that those who said they "wondered whether God had abandoned me," "questioned God's love for me" or "decided the devil made this happen" were more likely two years later to have died than patients who did not endorse such statements. The patients in the study were almost exclusively Christian, with the majority representing conservative or mainline Protestant denominations.
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