Thursday, August 1, 2013

Five Things to Remember August 1

1. World Youth Day in Rio reports the following stats. More than 3.5 million people participated in World Youth Day Rio 2013. July 23: 600,000 people attended; July 25: 1.2 million people attended; July 26: 2 million attended; July 27: 3.5 million people attended; and July 28: 3.7 million people attended. There were 427,000 pilgrims registered, from 175 countries. Countries with the highest number of entries: Brazil, Argentina, USA, Chile, Italy, Venezuela, France, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico. An estimated 55% of those registered were women, 45% men. About 60% of the public who registered are between 19 and 34 years. There were 6,500 accredited journalists from 57 countries. There were 644 bishops enrolled, of whom 28 were cardinals, as well as 7,814 priests registered. Ministry of Tourism reports that visitors spent 1.8 billion reais (Brazilian currency). On Urban Cleaning, sanitation workers collected 345 tons of organic waste and 45 tons of recyclable materials throughout the week of WYD. This number represents 10% less than it collected in New Year's Eve in 2012/2013.

2. The Pew Research Center reports a widening regional divide over abortion laws. Says Pew: While the balance of opinion toward abortion nationwide has remained largely steady over the past 20 years, there are widening disparities in public attitudes on the issue across different regions of the country. Opposition to legal abortion is highest in parts of the South – including Texas, which recently passed sweeping new abortion restrictions. The South Central region is the only one in which opposition to legal abortion has significantly increased since the mid-1990s. By contrast, support for legal abortion remains highest in New England – and the gap between New England and South Central states has widened considerably over the past two decades.

3. This August 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s memorable I Have a Dream speech. From the NAACP website: “The historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a collaborative effort by the major civil rights groups and icons of the day, including A. Phillip Randolph, the renowned labor leader who originally conceived of such a march, and Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP. Feeding off of a rapidly growing tide of grassroots support and outrage over the nation's racial inequities, the rally drew over 260,000 people from across the nation. King's celebrated speech, ‘I Have a Dream’, was carried live by television stations across the country. ‘I Have a Dream’ is remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, speech of the 20th century.”

4. Catholics are urged to work for immigration reform while legislators are in their districts during summer recess. Specific concerns: a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people; policies that preserve family unity; a guest worker  program to help unskilled workers enter the country legally and safely and restoration of due process protections for immigrants an policies that address causes of immigration.

5. God loves you.

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