A federal appeals court on Monday agreed to keep on hold President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration — nearly a year after he announced it as a backstop measure to Congress’ failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
The divided, 124-page ruling deals a blow to the administration’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, known as DAPA, and there may be just enough time for a formal appeal to the Supreme Court to be resolved ahead of the 2016 election.
In ruling against the government, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit largely agreed with a lower court judge, who in February issued a “nationwide injunction” that effectively stopped DAPA from taking effect, and concurred that Texas and other states that sued the president over the program had legal “standing” to challenge its constitutionality in federal court. Continue reading Appeals Court Upholds Delay Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration→
The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.
According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.
The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.
Independent Catholic News
Pope Francis addressed 7000 members of the Union of Italian Christian Business Executives in the Paul VI hall this morning (Saturday), and told them that companies can become places of holiness. The Union brings together Catholic entrepreneurs who set themselves the goal of being the architects for the development of the common good. He told them their emphasis on Christian formation and training, mainly through the deepening of the social teaching of the Church, was a noble work. He also spoke about the importance of having the right balance between work and family life.
The Pope noted how a company and the executive office of companies can become places of holiness, by the commitment of everyone to build fraternal relations between entrepreneurs, managers and workers, encouraging co-responsibility and collaboration in the common interest.
QUITO, ECUADOR Pope Francis has strongly reaffirmed his recent environmental encyclical letter Laudato Si’, telling students and teachers in a moving visit to the Catholic university here that ecological care can no longer be just a recommendation but a requirement.
In words many have been waiting for during the pontiff’s three-day visit to a country bordering the Amazon rainforest, Francis told those at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador “one thing is clear.”
“We can no longer turn our backs on our reality, on our brothers and sisters, on mother earth,” the pope continued. “It is no longer licit for us to ignore what is happening to our surroundings as if certain situations did not exist or have nothing to do with our reality.”
“Again and again comes the strength of that question of God to Cain: ‘Where is your brother?'” he said. “I ask if our response continues to be: ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?'”
With such a strong reference to the Old Testament story of Cain’s slaying of his brother Abel, Francis appeared to be forcefully saying Tuesday that humanity is destroying the Earth but is not taking responsibility for the destruction.
The pontiff’s remarks may also carry special significance for many in Ecuador, where public debate has been sparked by President Rafael Correa’s plan to open resource mining in an internationally recognized nature reserve on the country’s eastern border with Peru.
In a meeting later Tuesday with members of Ecuadorian civil society, Francis touched upon the mining issued much more directly.
“Exploitation of natural resources, so abundant in Ecuador, must not seek immediate benefit,” he said at that meeting, held at Quito’s 16th-century Church of St. Francis.
“Being administrators of this richness we have received, we have an obligation towards society as a whole and towards future generations, to which we cannot hand down this heritage without a proper care of the environment,” he told those at that event.
The pope told the students and educators at the Catholic university that God gave humanity a mission by asking it to care for the environment.
“God does not only give us life: he gives us the Earth, creation,” Francis said. “He does not only give us a partner and endless possibilities: He also gives us an invitation; he gives us a mission.”
“He invites us to be part of his creative work and he says: ‘Cultivate! I am giving you seeds, soil, water and sun; I am giving you your hands and brothers and sisters,'” said the pontiff.
Creation, said Francis, “is a gift to be shared.”
“It is the space that God gives us to build up one another, to build an ‘us,'” said the pope. “The world, history, time — this is where we build the ‘us’ with God, the ‘us’ with others, the ‘us’ with the Earth.”
Francis, the first pope from the Americas, has been visiting Ecuador since Sunday as part of a weeklong sojourn that will also see him visit Bolivia and Paraguay.
Public reaction to the pontiff’s visit has been overwhelming, with two Masses celebrated by Francis Monday and Tuesday each attracting crowds of over a million people. Many have been camping out, or traveling extreme distances, to chance an in-person view of the pope.
Ecuadorian debate has focused on president Correa’s plan to allow mining operations in Yasuni National Park, a 2.5 million acre large nature preserve that has been called one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth and is also home to several uncontacted indigenous tribes.
Several local Catholic leaders said they had written letters to Francis, asking him to address the issue in his private meeting with Correa Monday afternoon.
Maribel León, an Ecuadorian who is the coordinator for missionary formation for the Quito archdiocese’s Pontifical Mission Societies, said the pope could point to his encyclical “to make our government understand that what [Correa] is doing to our environment is not positive.”
Correa, León said, is “taking our natural wealth, changing it for a financial wealth and eliminating the peoples’ living there.”
Francis told the civil society leaders Tuesday that the goods of the Earth “are meant for all and even though some might claim property, they are always under a social mortgage.”
“Thus the concept of economic justice, based on the principal of commerce, is superseded by the concept of social justice, which upholds the fundamental right of people to a dignified life,” he said.
With the educators and students Tuesday afternoon, Francis called on both groups to take specific actions to care for environment. He asked educators to teach students a critical sense to care for the world and students to use their studies to express solidarity with those less fortunate.
“It is urgent that we keep reflecting on and talking about our current situation,” the pope told all present. “We need to ask ourselves about the kind of culture we want not only for ourselves but for our children and our grandchildren.”
“We have received this earth as an inheritance, as a gift, in trust,” he continued “We would do well to ask ourselves: What do we want to leave behind? What meaning do we want to give to our lives? Why have we been put on this world? For what do we work and fight?”
“As a university, as educational institutions, as teachers and students, life challenges us to respond to the questions: ‘What does this world need us for?’ ‘Where is your brother?'” said Francis.
The pope also spoke with the members of civil society about how different types of people can work together.
“The respect for others which we learn in the family finds social expression in subsidiarity,” he told the leaders.
“Assuming that our choices are not necessarily the only legitimate ones is a healthy exercise in humility,” said Francis. “In acknowledging the goodness inherent in others, even with their limitations, we see the richness present in diversity and the value of complementarity.”
“Individuals and groups have the right to go their own way, even though they may sometimes make mistakes,” the pope said.
The pontiff is to meet on Wednesday morning with Ecuadorian clergy and religious before heading on to Bolivia.
In the last few weeks, the horrors of human trafficking in Malaysia became known to the world with the uncovering of unmarked graves near an abandoned migrant camp. This discovery confirms Malaysia’s designation by the State Department as a ” Tier 3 country,” indicating that it has serious human trafficking problems and is not making significant efforts to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery.
This grim reminder of the possible fate of migrant workers is a strong argument for the inclusion of the “No Fast Track for Human Traffickers” amendment in the Trade Promotion Authority bill passed by the U.S. Senate.