Not bread alone: While most media sources are reporting the famine in Niger, few of them mention the issue of population growth, says John F. Rohe. Niger has 12 million people, but its population is projected to grow to 53 million by 2050 despite widespread loss of life. Niger's fertility rate—8 children per woman—is the highest in the world. While food aid is urgently needed, it must be accompanied by funding for family planning (www.caglecartoons.com).
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Celeste Zappala, a United Methodist from Philadelphia, went to Texas last month to join friend Cindy Sheehan—also a mother who lost a son in Iraq. Their roadside antiwar protest near George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford drew international media attention as both sought to question the president about his rationale for the war.
The Vatican, in a sharp retort to Israeli criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, said it could not protest every act of Palestinian terrorism because Israel’s responses are “not always compatible with the norms of international law.”
Church and political leaders are urging Sudanese to stay on the peace path after the death in a helicopter crash of John Garang de Mabior, the guerrilla leader who steered the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement into a government of national unity with the dominant Arab-Islamic government of Sudan after 21 years of civil war.