October 24, 2009 in Nation/World

In brief: Priest found slain in parish rectory

From Wire Reports

Chatham, N.J. – A Roman Catholic priest was found slain Friday morning in his clerical robes in the rectory of his northern New Jersey parish, and authorities warned that a killer was on the loose.

Preliminary autopsy results confirmed that the Rev. Ed Hinds was a homicide victim, said Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi. Authorities said they would not discuss possible motives.

“The fact is that this was a community leader whose arms were wide open to the downtrodden,” Bianchi said. “Maybe one of those individuals was involved.”

Parents protest school budget cuts

Honolulu – Hundreds of angry parents protested Hawaii’s statewide public school shutdown Friday, saying their children are losing out on education due to government budget cuts.

Hawaii closed 256 public schools Friday, the first of 17 teacher furlough days planned for this school year, giving the island state the shortest school year in the nation at 163 days.

Sikh serving Army in turban, long hair

New York – The U.S. Army will make an exception to a decades-old rule and allow a Sikh doctor to serve without removing his turban and cutting his hair, an advocacy group said Friday.

Capt. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi is the first Sikh to be allowed to go on active duty with a turban, beard and unshorn hair in more than 20 years, according to the New York-based Sikh Coalition.

The decision does not overturn an Army policy that regulates the wearing of religious items, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Gina Farrisee wrote in a letter to Kalsi.

Instead, the decision follows a long-standing practice of deciding such requests on a case-by-case basis, the letter said.

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