A judge in the United States has triggered anger by rejecting a case against mercenary soldiers employed in Iraq by the company Blackwater. The news follows international criticism of the behaviour of mercenaries in the country.
Human rights, religious and anti-death penalty groups are calling on the US state of Texas to stop the execution of a man who may be brain-damaged. Since 1976 the USA has executed 1,188 people. There are 3,300 still on death row.
As the United States debates health care reform, peace campaigners have pointed out that the cost of sending one US soldier to Afghanistan is equivalent to the cost of health insurance for 690 children for a year.
According to a new report based on a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, blending elements of diverse traditions.
The election of the Anglican Communion's first openly lesbian bishop has been questioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who continues to face criticism for not speaking out publicly against the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
A former soldier who fled the US army following homophobic persecution is appealing for asylum in Canada. Bethany Smith says she received death threats and was repeatedly assaulted after other soldiers discovered her sexuality.
US activists working for the inclusion of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the military have been urged to avoid an uncritical approach to the armed forces. They are being encouraged to oppose militarism as well as homophobia.
The US President Barack Obama has won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation”. Campaigners welcomed the news but urged Obama to live up to the Prize.