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September 29, 1999




National Notes
___bluebull Muslim students not accommodated. Most U.S. public school districts have been slow to address Muslim religious concerns, according to a new survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Among the problems most often cited was the inability of Muslim students to pray during school hours or be excused from going to the cafeteria during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month during which dawn-to-dusk fasting is observed. Religious Muslims pray five times a day.
___bluebull Alabama judge cleared of charges. Judge Roy Moore has been cleared of ethics questions involving a legal defense fund for the Ten Commandments displayed in his courtroom. Moore, the Etowah County Circuit Court judge based in Gadsden, Ala., and a Southern Baptist, told a courtroom full of supporters God's righteousness had prevailed after St. Clair County District Attorney Van Davis said he had found no evidence to support a complaint alleging the judge may have violated state law by illegally profiting from a defense fund.
___bluebull NAE moving to California. The board of the National Association of Evangelicals voted Sept. 13 to move the organization's headquarters from Carol Stream, Ill., to Azusa, Calif. The move is intended in part to help the association address issues of multiculturalism and ethnicity.
___bluebull Panel backs bill to stop assisted suicide. Opponents of the Oregon law that allows physicians to help end the lives of terminally ill patients have hailed House committee passage of a bill to outlaw the use of controlled drugs for physician-assisted suicide. The House Judiciary Committee passed a measure Sept. 14 that calls for lifting the medical licenses of physicians who intentionally use controlled drugs to cause a patient's death. The bill passed on a 16-8 straight party-line vote, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed.
___bluebull Fetus bill is new abortion battleground. A proposed federal law to impose additional penalties on those who injure or kill a pregnant woman's fetus during the commission of another crime has become the latest battlefield between abortion-rights and anti-abortion activists in Washington. The measure, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, was approved Sept. 14 by the House Judiciary Committee on a 14-11 vote. Eleven states have passed measures similar to the proposed federal law.___
___bluebull Methodist bishops denounce gambling. United Methodist bishops in nine Southeastern states have issued a statement condemning what they call the "scourge of gambling spreading like a plague" across the region. "Casino gambling has grown in Mississippi like malignant tumors," the bishops said in the statement currently being sent to United Methodists throughout the region.
___bluebull Republicans propose aid to anti-abortion groups. Two Republican lawmakers believe the federal government should aid groups offering alternatives to abortion. Rep. Joseph Pitts and Sen. Rick Santorum, both of Pennsylvania, announced Sept. 21 their plans to introduce legislation that would give $85 million a year to help finance private groups that run adoption services, maternity homes and "crisis pregnancy" centers.
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