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In today's Catholic Daily Roundup, top stories include the 2nd largest currency drop in China's history, the "Oath Keepers" presence in Ferguson, Missouri on the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death, and the theme for 2016 Word Peace Day.

"This is America..a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad peaceful sky." (George H.W. Bush)

Today's Gospel: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

In the News:

  • After weakening its currency, the renminbi, on Tuesday by nearly 2 percent, the largest drop in China's history, China weakened its currency again on Wednesday. Jolting markets across Asia and raising concerns about the path of the giant economy, the People’s Bank of China set the official rate for the renminbi’s exchange at 6.33 per dollar on Wednesday morning--1.6 percent lower than the previous day. It was the currency’s second-largest one day drop since 1994, when China’s modern foreign exchange system began.
  • For the first time, two female students advanced to the third and final phase of the famously exhausting 10-day exercise that is the last major field event in the Army’s famously difficult Ranger School. If they pass, they will become the first Ranger-qualified women in the history of the U.S. military. If they graduate, the Army must confront a separate, but related decision: Whether to allow women to try out for the elite 75th Ranger Regiment. The highly trained Special Operations unit carries out raids and other difficult missions but it remains completely closed to women.
  • Earlier this week, heavily-armed members of a controversial right-wing "patriot" group called the Oath Keepers added extra tension to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, which was under a state of emergency following demonstrations pegged to the anniversary of Michael Brown's death. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar described their presence as "both unnecessary and inflammatory." Protesters and police confirmed that a handful of Oath Keepers were seen early Tuesday on the streets of Ferguson with what appeared to be assault rifles, bulletproof vest and camouflage gear.

Pope Francis and church news:

  • Last week marked the one year anniversary of the large scale massacre against Iraqi Christians on the Plains of Ninevah; a traditionally Christian part a nation that embodies overwhelming spiritual diversity. Pope Francis called out to Catholics everywhere to face the hardships suffered, not only by Iraqi Christians, but by violently persecuted religious minorities all over the middle east. Bishops and prelates all over the world have called America's refusal to offer asylum to Syrian and Iraqi Christians deeply unjust. 
  • A few days ago, on the anniversary of the massacre of Japanese citizens through use of the Atomic bomb, Pope Francis addressed the destructive potential of technological progress. While the use of nuclear weapons precipitated the end of World War II, Japanese innocents continued to suffer from debilitating disability and disease long after the bombs were dropped. "This serves as a lasting warning to humanity so that it forever rejects war and bans weapons of mass destruction", he said in his Angelus address; continuing: "With war, one always loses"
  • Pope Francis has selected his theme for World Peace day, January 1, 2016: Overcoming indifference. A statement released by the Vatican stated that: "Peace is to be worked at: it is not something that one gains without efforts, without conversion of mind and heart, without a sense of creativity and positive engagement in discussion".

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