Thursday's News & Ideas

  • Papal visit watch
  • Good news for tax benefits
  • Healthcare planning app
  • Civil rights leader dies
  • African jobs for the future
  • The rise of margarine

5 reasons the Pope’s Middle East visit should be watched Washington Post: Here is a look at five fascinating facts that make this papal visit more interesting than the three previous trips by the Holy See to Israel and the West Bank.

Good news for churches worried about losing their pastor's best benefit to atheist lawsuits Christianity Today: A federal judge in Kentucky has thrown out an atheist challenge to tax benefits for churches and clergy -- a decision that stands in opposition to the high-profile overturning of the IRS's clergy housing allowance by a Wisconsin federal judge in November.

3 reasons clergy need a healthcare planning app Huffington Post: Clergy members asked to serve as a formal healthcare agent can get portable access to a parishioner’s directives through a new smartphone app from the American Bar Association.

Vincent Harding, civil rights author and associate of Dr. King, dies at 82 New York Times: Vincent Harding, a historian, author and activist who wrote one of the most polarizing speeches given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in which King opposed the Vietnam War, died Monday in Philadelphia.

10 (mostly still-to-be invented) jobs that can power Africa's future Christian Science Monitor: From founding free universities to advocating for small farmers to training rats to detect land mines, Africa's future entrepreneurs will boost the continent.

The Spark

Operation margarineAn essay in Harper’s magazine traces the wartime rise of ersatz butter. Born in a laboratory instead of a cow, margarine was at the vanguard of the artificial tinned, tubed, canned, bottled and dyed food blitzkrieg of the 20th century, which turned cuisine into chemistry.

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