CELEBRATING 7 BILLION
Researcher: Population milestone no cause for alarm
FRONT ROYAL, Va. (AP) - The UN estimates that the world's
population is climbing past seven billion for the first time today.
But instead of sounding the alarm, Steven Mosher,
president of the Population Research Institute says, "I think we
ought to light a candle on a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday
to baby seven billion."
Mosher notes that the Bible calls children "a blessing from the
Lord," and he's the father of nine.
While poverty creates challenges, Mosher says people on average
are living longer and healthier lives than ever.
Rather than seeing people as mere consumers of the Earth's
resources, he says "every stomach comes with two hands attached,
and every mouth is backed by a creative intelligence" that can
leave the world a better place.
FOOD MINISTRY CLOSES
Poor feeling pinch after food ministry closes
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - The closing of a charity that provided the
needy with discounted groceries for 17 years is leaving many who
counted on its services digging deeper into their pockets in order
Angel Food Ministries, which served people across the U.S.,
folded in September saying it couldn't keep up with rising food and
fuel costs. At first, the Georgia-based charity said it was
temporarily suspending services. But weeks later it announced it
was closing for good.
The Augusta Chronicle reports that Angel Food's closure is
putting a financial pinch on thousands of families who relied on
the charity, which offered services through 35 churches in the
Some churches have organized their own food pantries to try to
fill the void, while other charities are seeing increases in calls
Christian film still in top 10
LOS ANGELES (AP) - In its fifth weekend in theaters, the
Christian film "Courageous" is still making millions of dollars
at the box office.
The police drama stressing the importance of fatherhood was the
weekend's tenth most popular film, according to Hollywood
Since its release, "Courageous" has sold more than $27 million
worth of tickets, putting it on track to surpass Sherwood Pictures'
previous box office hit, "Fireproof," which earned $33 million.
The filmmakers based at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.,
spent an estimated $2 million to make "Courageous," and just
$500,000 to make "Fireproof."
Clinkscale family sues church over death in ring
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The family of a former University of Tulsa
football player who was killed in an unsanctioned boxing match is
accusing the Oklahoma church that put on the exhibition of
The Tulsa World reports that the family of George Clinkscale III
filed a damages lawsuit against Guts Church of Tulsa seeking
damages in excess of $75,000 plus punitive or exemplary damages.
The 24-year-old Clinkscale, who lived in the Dallas suburb of
Cedar Hill, died after a boxing match on Sept. 21 that was held in
the church's parking lot. He reportedly began cramping during his
match and died later at a hospital.
The suit lists as defendants Guts Church pastors William and
Sandra Scheer and holds them accountable for Clinkscale's death.
Guts Church didn't immediately respond to emails sent requesting
Israeli archaeologists: tiny Christian relic found
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli archaeologists say they have found a
tiny, 1,400-year-old token of Christian faith in the excavation of
an ancient road in Jerusalem.
The exquisitely made box of bone, less than one inch square,
with a cross carved on the lid, was likely carried by a Christian
believer around the end of the 6th century A.D.
When its lid is removed, the remains of two portraits are still
visible in gold and paint - a man and a woman, possibly Jesus and
Archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority say the box
is the first well preserved example of its kind and is important
because it shows that icon use was not limited to church ceremonies
in Byzantine times.
Similar icons are still carried today by some Christians from
eastern Orthodox churches.
The relic was found in the City of David excavation, a Jerusalem
dig named for the biblical king.
Bishop says London protesters likely to move on
LONDON (AP) - The Bishop of London says anti-capitalist
demonstrators camped outside the city's iconic St. Paul's Cathedral
have said they'll likely move on.
Both the church and city officials have launched legal action to
seek to clear the scores of tents from a pedestrian square and
footpath outside the cathedral.
London's Anglican Bishop Richard Chartres held talks Sunday with
demonstrators, who were inspired by New York's Occupy Wall Street
movement. He told Sky News television that the protesters said they
wouldn't be there "forever."
St. Paul's Cathedral reopened Friday after being closed for a
week on health and safety grounds, the first time the 300-year-old
church had closed since German planes bombed the city during World
Pope prays for flood victims
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI says he's praying for the
victims of recent flooding in Thailand and Italy.
Benedict began his greetings to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square
on Sunday by recalling the devastation caused by heavy rains in the
two countries. Thailand's worst flooding in half a century has
claimed 381 lives over the last three months. In Italy, floods and
mudslides last week devastated coastal areas and killed nine
The pope says he wants to express his closeness to people
suffering from the floods and assure them of his prayers.
Dalai Lama: China policy caused monk immolations
TOKYO (AP) - Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama,
blames what he calls China's "ruthless policy" for prompting the
recent deaths of Tibetan monks who set themselves on fire in
He called on Beijing to change its approach to ruling over the
Himalayan region. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke during a
weekend trip to Japan to visit victims of this year's devastating
At least nine Tibetans in their late teens and 20s have
self-immolated since March in protest of Chinese rule. Many
Tibetans consider the Dalai Lama as their rightful leader.
Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of encouraging the immolations.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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