CIA releases report on missionary plane shooting

A recently declassified report from 2008 shows numerous incidents of misconduct by a CIA program responsible for accidentally shooting down a missionary plane in 2001. The report by then-CIA inspector general John Helgerson reveals that after telling the Peruvian military to shoot what they thought was a drug-smuggling plane, CIA officers inaccurately portrayed the incident as an "aberration." In fact, procedural violations led to the downing of several other planes prior to the incident that killed American missionary Roni Bowers and her infant daughter. The report also showed that the CIA kept evidence on the case from investigators.

Woman sentenced to death for blasphemy

A Punjabi court sentenced Asia Bibi to death in November, making her the first Christian woman to receive the death penalty under Pakistan's blasphemy law. The case against the 45-year-old field worker, and mother of five, concerned derogatory remarks she allegedly made against the prophet Muhammad in June 2009. Human rights groups and Christian organizations widely condemned the sentence, which revived calls for the law's repeal. Pakistan's minister for minority affairs said the blasphemy law will remain due to security concerns, but expects Bibi's appeal for clemency to be granted.

Polarizing Episcopal bishop to resign

Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire and the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, announced in October that he will resign in January 2013. Robinson's election deepened the conflict within the Episcopal Church and the wider Communion. Robinson, who at 65 will be much younger than most departing bishops when he steps down, said the seven years of continual controversy were an ...

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