Groups petition FDA to revoke approval of abortion pill
After reports of deaths, severe hemorrhaging, serious bacterial infections, heart attacks, and other major medical trauma associated with abortion drug RU-486, three organizations have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to revoke its approval.

"From the outset, the process used by the FDA to bring RU-486 to the U.S. market was fraught with violations of the FDA's established norms for ensuring drug safety and effectiveness," says the petition (executive summary | full text | statistics), signed by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Christian Medical Association, and Concerned Women for America. "Regardless of one's position on abortion, FDA's violations of its standards and rules have put women's health and lives at risk."

More on life ethics:

Couple who had sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral face charges
Meet Brian Florence and Loretta Lynn Harper. Last week, the Virginia couple traveled to New York City. Like a lot of tourists, they visited Fifth Avenue's famous St. Patrick's Cathedral. But they didn't go to pray. The two started having sex in one of the vestibules as worshipers just feet away celebrated the Feast of the Assumption. Soon enough, police burst in and arrested them. How did they find out? The sex was part of a radio show stunt in which couples won points for having sex in public places. The show even sent out a producer to describe the scene in detail via cell phone (he also was arrested). The radio station has suspended—but not fired—the two radio hosts.

"What late-pubescent and culturally suicidal dementia has afflicted the West that grown people insist on defiling and slandering the very faith to which we owe our civilization?" asks UPI's Uwe Siemon-Netto, who notes that this isn't the first time Americans have desecrated their houses of worship, but it's certainly one of the worst.

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FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says he'll "consider the strongest enforcement action possible against this station, up to and including revocation." But as William F. Buckley Jr. points out on National Review Online, it's not just about WNEW-FM. "It is an arm of Viacom. This is a giant corporation which owns not only New York radio stations that sponsor pornography in church, but also huge divisions of entertainment at large, including MTV and Blockbuster Video. … We have had many reports in recent years of desecrations of synagogues. None comes to mind that was sponsored by a radio station owned by a corporate colossus."

Yesterday, Florence and Harper appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. Their lawyer says they were just simulating sex, but Harper, at least, was naked from the waist down when police arrived.

The New York Daily News gives the final word today to construction worker Michael Prinzo, who provided sermon fodder for pastors across the country when he shouted outside the courtroom yesterday, "Hey, it's sex. Everybody does it. What's the big deal?"

Abu Sayyaf is back
The Philippine guerrilla group that had American missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham captive for more than a year has now taken other missionaries hostages: Jehovah's Witnesses. Two of the six captives were beheaded yesterday.

"This is what will happen to those who do not believe in Allah," said a note found one of the preacher's head. "This is part of our jihad."

Jolo army commander Brigadier Romeo Tolentino told reporters, "This is a barbaric act by a barbaric group trying to propagate their religion." He should be careful—someone might interpret his comments as suggesting Islam isn't a religion of peace.

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Politics and law:

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Church and state:


Anglican rift:

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  • Small minds can't grasp gays' role as Big Brothers | The Focus on the Family folks aren't really scared that I'll molest my Little Brother. They fear is we'll show that gay people are normal, caring, contributing members of the community who live in stable relationships and fulfill their civic and personal duties (Steve Friess, The Baltimore Sun)

  • Gays write death notice for marriage | The last bastion of bourgeois morality has entered into an irresistible decline (Miranda Devine, The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Anti-gay Web site shut down | Canadian Human Rights Tribunal says equating homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality violates country's hate laws (The Globe & Mail, Toronto, thanks to for the link)

  • Also: Read the decision.

  • Also: Visit the website.

Crime and violence:

  • Wyo. candidate has forgiven shooter | Stephen Watt says releasing his assailant would be among his first acts if elected as governor (Associated Press)

  • Nigeria's stoning sentence confirmed | Amina Lawal will be stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock (BBC)

  • Also: Nigeria's stoning appeal fails | Human rights groups have 30 days to lodge an appeal (BBC)

  • Indonesian troops sent to quell violence | About 3,000 military and police personnel are set to join the 11,000 forces in the region centered on the town of Poso after an outbreak of violence between Christians and Muslims (The Washington Times)

  • Italy arrests men over 'church plot' | Police in Italy have arrested five people on suspicion of plotting to attack a church in the northern city of Bologna (BBC)

  • Also: Postcards prompted Italian alert | Security forces have been warned about the possibility of attacks on religious ceremonies in Italy after anti-terror investigators came across postcards with pictures of Italian churches (Associated Press)

  • The war on women | Stoning someone for out of wedlock sex is barbaric, in any culture. (Lashawn R. Jefferson, The Wall Street Journal)

Abuse charges against the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney:

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