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Vatican official slams Brittany Maynard: She committed an undignified ‘absurdity’

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A Vatican bioethics official on Tuesday condemned the death by assisted suicide of American Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill 29-year-old who ended her life over the weekend, as an undignified “absurdity”.

“This woman (took her own life) thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error,” Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told the Italian news agency Ansa.

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“Suicide is not a good thing. It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and towards those around us,” the head of the Vatican think tank on life issues said in a report on the Ansa website.

He described assisted suicide as “an absurdity”.

Maynard, who was diagnosed in January with a brain tumor and had announced plans to take medication to die when her pain became unbearable, had become the face of the right-to-die movement ahead of her death this weekend.

The group Compassion & Choices, an Oregon-based nonprofit that assisted the young woman through her end of life, said on Sunday that she had passed away surrounded by friends and family.

The Roman Catholic Church opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, teaching that life starts at the moment of conception and should end at the moment of natural death.

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(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Angus MacSwan)


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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