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In today's Catholic Daily Roundup, top stories include a surge in attacks targeting refugees in Germany, a letter from 340 Rabbis across the country to members of Congress showing support for the Iran Nuclear Deal, and Catholic Bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo asking President Joseph Kabila to open a national dialogue “in accordance with the constitution” with regard to elections set for 2016.

"Help one another. That is what Jesus teaches us. That is what I do. And I do it with my heart." (Pope Francis)

Today's Gospel: "Jesus said to him, 'If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" (Matthew 19:21)

In the News:

  • Even with tuition shooting up, the payoff from a college degree remains strong, lifting lifelong earnings. But a new study has found that for black and Hispanic college graduates, that shield is severely cracked, failing to protect them from both short-term crises and longstanding challenges. “The long-term trend is shockingly clear,” said William R. Emmons, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and one of the authors of the report. “White and Asian college grads do much better than their counterparts without college, while college-grad Hispanics and blacks do much worse proportionately."
  • In Germany, there has been a score of attacks targeting refugee centers and even refugees themselves. All this is happening as Germany takes in more asylum-seekers than any other nation in Europe — a number set to reach an estimated 500,000 this year alone — while quickly running out of places to house them. Arson in Meissen, Germany where a refugee center was built to house refugees immediately exposed a fierce strain of opposition to the flux of incoming refugees. A new local anti-refugee group — the Homeland Defense Initiative — drew as many as 650 supporters to a rally last week, far more than pro-refugee groups have managed to muster.
  • It’s now becoming clear exactly how many tens of millions of dollars the TSA spent on body scanners that have missed airport security threats, outraged passengers and brought the agency under congressional scrutiny. The $160 million bill includes $120 million for the body scanners now in place in hundreds of airports nationwide, according to newly disclosed figures obtained by POLITICO. The rest of the money went to the agency’s “naked” X-ray scanners, which it pulled from airports two years ago amid worries about health risks and the devices’ detailed images of travelers’ bodies.

Pope Francis and church news:

  • The Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo recently asked President Joseph Kabila to open a national dialogue “in accordance with the constitution” with regard to elections set for 2016. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a pivotal and war-torn nation of 67 million people located in Central Africa where roughly half of the population is Catholic. The “invitation” from the bishops has struck many Congolese as a warning that the Church will push back if Kabila does indeed try to set aside constitutional term limits to extend his grip on power, as there have been many rumors that he is planning on doing so.
  • In a statement released early this morning, 340 Rabbis from various streams of Judaism announced that they sent a letter to all members of Congress urging them to support the Iran Nuclear Deal. In RNS, Rabbi Steven Bob, Rabbi Sam Gordon, Rabbi Rachel Mikva and Rabbi Burt Visotzky wrote, "In light of this agreement, we are deeply concerned with the mistaken impression that the current leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement. Despite what has been portrayed, these leaders do not represent the majority of Jewish Americans who support Congress’s approval of this deal."
  • When Pope Francis speaks next month at Independence Mall, the plight of desperate people on the move is expected to be a chief theme. Details of his talk are under wraps, but simply the plan for a speech on the topic has energized Catholic immigrants and others - across the region and country - hopeful that the pontiff will use the pulpit of his historic visit to even more forcefully advocate on a frontline issue in America and the wider world.

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