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World news in brief

01 May 2015


Making a stand: opponents of the death penalty stand outside the federal court in Boston, during the penalty-phase of the trial, on Monday 

Making a stand: opponents of the death penalty stand outside the federal court in Boston, during the penalty-phase of the trial, on Monday&nbs...

US bishops make plea for Boston bomber

BISHOPS of the Episcopal Church in the US, in Massachusetts, have joined their Roman Catholic counterparts in opposing the death penalty in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found guilty of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 (News, 19 April 2013). A statement issued on Thursday of last week by the bishops said that they were praying for the victims' families, and described the attack as "repugnant and morally inexcusable", but said that capital punishment was never justified. A similar statement was made by RC bishops in the state in April. A sentencing hearing is expected to last several weeks.

Burundians protest after President's announcement

A WAVE of violent protests has taken place in Burundi, after the President, Pierre Nkurunziza, announced that he would seek a third term. At least three people were killed as police and soldiers dispersed crowds on Sunday, and the government has now shut down radio stations and cut off social-media services in an attempt to quash the demonstrations. The constitution limits presidents to two terms, but Mr Nkurunziza's supporters argue that this does not apply to him, as he was appointed by parliament rather than elected for his first term.

Kenyan radio station encourages reconciliation

THE Christian broadcaster Trans World Radio (TWR) has been using its radio stations in northern Kenya to foster reconciliation since the terror attack last month on Garissa University (News, 20 November 2011). Almost 150 students were killed by insurgents from the Somali group al-Shabab, which has led the Kenyan authorities to demand that Somali refugees in a 20-year-old camp near by leave within three months. TWR said that its programmes had focused on development and community issues, and encouraged survivors of the attack to seek emotional as well as physical healing.

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