The number of state-sponsored executions jumped 41 percent in 2009 even as the number of death penalty court sentences dropped, according to a report from the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center.
The 52 executions nationwide last year represented a 41 percent increase from the 37 executions in 2008, the DPIC said in its annual report on capital punishment trends.
Local bankers: Move Your Money is an online grassroots movement encouraging people to take their money out of banks that are “too big to fail.” It is appealing to people who are angry at big banks for predatory lending practices, for receiving government bailout money and for giving huge bonuses to their employees. Although some community banks have also failed, they typically are more conservative in the way they use their money and are often more connected to local businesses and needs (Move Your Money).
Despite public school controversies that generate sparks every December, church-state columnist Charles Haynes of the Freedom Forum recently wrote, “The First Amendment solution is stunningly simple: Schools should plan holiday programs that are educational in purpose and balanced in content [but] to pretend Christmas doesn’t exist . . . is just plain silly.”
Places of worship belonging to religious minorities in Malaysia are continuing to be targeted in a dispute over the use of “Allah” by non-Islamic faiths. The new general secretary of the World Council of Churches has expressed “deep concern” about the situation in the Muslim-majority country.
Nearly a week after the devastating earthquake, with the capital city suffering from a shortage of water, food, medical help, gasoline, housing and safety from looters, Haiti’s Episcopal bishop Jean Zache Duracin rejected an offer to evacuate him from Port-au-Prince. “No, I will stay with my people.