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Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Two Drug Convicts Escape From Nusakambangan Prison Island, Indonesia

Patrolling the strait between Nusakambangan island and the mainland.
Patrolling the strait between Nusakambangan Prison Island and the mainland.
Jakarta. Two convicted drug offenders reportedly escaped from Batu Prison on Nusakambangan Island in Cilacap, Central Java, on Saturday afternoon (21/01).

Batu Prison warden Abdul Aris confirmed the incident and said a joint team is currently searching for the two, identified as 43-year-old M. Husein and 40-year-old Syarjani Abdullah.

"Beside the prison wardens, the search also involves the Cilacap Police, Cilacap Military District Command, local Navy base, Kopassus [Special Forces Command] and local residents," Abdul said.

The team is conducting the search on both land and sea.

The two are believed to have escaped at around 2.00 p.m. because they were last seen performing the noon prayer at the prison mosque.

Security personnel have scanned surveillance camera footage recorded between 1.20 p.m. and 4.00 p.m., but found no signs of the two men.

Officials have also distributed photos and other details of the escapees in the hope that members of the public may identify them.

"Hopefully, we can find them soon," Abdul said.

One of the men, M. Husein, hails from Punti Matangkuli village in Matangkuli district, Aceh. He was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for his involvement in the drug trade.

Fellow escapee Syarjani Abdullah used to reside in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, before he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a similar offense.

Source: Jakarta Globe, January 21, 2017

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