News Briefs: National and International News



Cardinal Wuerl resigns

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, on Friday. Wuerl had led the archdiocese since 2006, when the former bishop of Pittsburgh succeeded former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of sexual misconduct throughout his priestly career. Since the summer, Wuerl had come under great scrutiny for his actions as bishop of Pittsburgh regarding sexual abuse by clergy and his alleged knowledge of the accusations against McCarrick. Wuerl, 77, had submitted his resignation to Francis in 2015, as required by canon law, but it was not accepted until Friday. After meeting with Francis in August, Wuerl asked him to accept the resignation so the archdiocese could begin to heal. In his acceptance of Wuerl’s resignation, the pope asked him to remain as apostolic administrator until a replacement is named, a move several criticized, including the New York Times, which said the move “misses the point.”

Affirmative action

A lawsuit against Harvard that could end affirmative action policies across the country went to trial on Monday. The lawsuit was brought forward on behalf of Asian-American students who were denied admission to Harvard allegedly because of affirmative action policies that traditionally benefit African American and Latino students. Leading the charge against Harvard is Edward Blum, a conservative activist who has devised a series of claims against racial policies, according to a report by CNN. The Asian-American students fear their applications are held to a higher standard than that of other students because of their race, the report said. In the lawsuit, Blum’s group, Students for Fair Admissions, said a study of more than 200,000 undergraduate admissions files spanning six years revealed that, while Asian-Americans were consistently rated higher in academic and extracurricular categories compared to other racial groups, they still received the lowest rating in “personal” categories, including “likability.” Harvard has denied that it engages in racial balancing or limits Asian-American admissions, CNN reported.

Sears declares bankruptcy

Once the largest retailer in the country, Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy on Monday, according to a report by CNBC. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert immediately stepped down from his position, but he remains the company’s chairman. According to the report, Sears plans to close 142 stores by the end of the year, with liquidation sales beginning shortly. Lampert, who merged Sears and Kmart more than a decade ago, had been using his own money to keep the company afloat, in addition to relying on real estate for additional funding. Despite being around for 125 years, Sears had struggled since the emergence of Walmart, Target and Amazon and was also hurt by the Great Recession. Its last profitable year was 2010, according to CNBC.


‘Rogue killer’ could be at fault in Saudi journalist’s death, says Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that “rogue killers” could be at fault in the case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, not Saudi’s government leaders, according to a New York Times report. Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, disappeared two weeks ago after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials have said he was killed and dismembered, but Trump said Saudi King Salman denied any knowledge during a phone call Monday. Trump said in a tweet that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would be travelling to Saudi Arabia to meet with the king. A CNN report Monday afternoon cited sources who said Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge that Khashoggi died as the result of an interrogation gone wrong. Whether the interrogation was carried out with the Saudi government’s consent was not clear.

North, South Korea will restore railway, roads severed 60 years ago

According to an ABC News report, North and South Korea have agreed to rebuild connections between railways and roads that were severed more than 60 years ago during the Korean War. The deal was struck by delegations of both Koreas and is the product of a broader agreement reached by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last month. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place between the end of November and the beginning of December, according to representatives from both sides. This comes amid several collaboration efforts between the two Koreas, including online reunions for families separated on either side of the North-South border, joint sport events and more, according to the report.

Paul VI, Archbp. Romero canonized along with five others

Pope Paul VI and Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero were canonized along with five others during a ceremony Sunday in St. Peter’s Square. The much-anticipated canonization saw thousands of pilgrims descend on the square to celebrate the Church’s proclamation of sainthood. Paul VI is known for his landmark 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which is known for its teaching on human life and married love. Romero was the archbishop of San Salvador amid the country’s great turmoil of the 1970s before his assassination while celebrating Mass in 1980. Francis honored the new saints in a special way by carrying Paul VI’s pastoral staff and wearing the blood-stained belt of Romero. Also canonized were Vincenzo Romano, an Italian priest; Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, a Spanish nun who ministered in Mexico and Bolivia; Catherine Kasper, the 19th-century German founder of a religious order; Francesco Spinelli, a 19th-century priest and founder of a religious order; and Nunzio Sulprizio, a layman who died in Naples in 1836 at the age of 19.

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