CNA Week #5

Pope Francis opens door to contraception for Zika virus

Pope Francis said that contraception in light of the Zika virus could be the “lesser of two evils,” and can be tolerated in specific instances. He cited the decision of Pope Paul VI to use contraception in a high-risk rape environment. Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI started the softening of contraceptive restrictions with his groundbreaking announcement that condoms could be used to avoid AIDS in 2010.

New ‘T cell’ therapy sends 93 percent of ‘incurable’ cancer into remission

Dr. Stanley Riddell primed human immune cells called T cells to recognize and fight cancer cells. After injecting these cells into a group of 29 patients battling incurable or relapsing acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 93 percent went into remission. The treatment developed in collaboration with Dr. Michael Jensen of Seattle Children’s Hospital enhances the body’s natural immune system to fight blood cancers and hopefully other forms of cancer as testing continues.

Syrian refugee mother survives on garlic business

Fahda Hammoud, mother of 11 adult children and more grandchildren, peels garlic for a local restaurant in order to support her family after her husband died. She and her one unmarried daughter work 6–7 hours a day in winter and summer, earning 500 Lebanese pounds ($0.30) per kilogram. Hammoud fled Homs in 2012 and now lives in Zahle, Lebanon.

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