The Palestinian Bible Society closed its bookshop in Gaza City after receiving a bomb threat in February, Compass Direct reported. Unknown masked gunmen distributed pamphlets on Palestine Square threatening to blow up the building housing the bookshop if it did not close down before February 28. Two small pipe bombs exploded at the entrance of the building housing the bookshop on February 3, causing damage but no injuries. The Bible Society's bookshop, opened in 1999, was the first place in Gaza where people could freely buy Bibles and Christian books.
The Internal Revenue Service found that 59 religious and charitable organizations engaged in improper political activity during the 2004 election cycle. The IRS investigated 82 reported violations of laws regulating tax-exempt congregations and charities. In most of the cases, the offending charity or religious group made a lone error. Three groups, identified only as not being churches, violated the rules seriously enough for the IRS to recommend revoking their tax-exempt status. The organizations can ask the IRS to reconsider. Violations crossed the political spectrum and included endorsing candidates and distributing voter guides intended to promote specific candidates.
Wal-Mart announced in March that all of its pharmacies would carry morning-after contraceptive pills. The retail giant reversed an earlier decision based on its assessment that demand for the product was not significant. Because Illinois and Massachusetts required Wal-Mart to carry the pill, its pharmacies previously carried "Plan B" only in those states. More than 60 bills deciding whether to open or limit access to the pill have been filed in state legislatures so far in 2006, according to The Washington Post. Many bills intend to give specially trained pharmacists the right to dispense the pill without a prescription. Plan B works by restricting ovulation. Opponents say the method also can prevent uterine implantation, thus aborting an embryo.
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Compass Direct's report on the Palestinian Bible Society bookshop is available from their website.
The IRS released the result of its investigations of churches' political activity and new guidelines for churches.
More news on Wal-Mart's decision to carry the morning-after pill includes:
Wal-Mart pharmacies to carry morning-after pill | Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Friday that all of its pharmacies would carry morning-after contraceptive pills, bowing to pressure from states seeking to force the world's biggest retailer to do so. (March 3, 2006, Reuters)
Wal-Mart to sell morning-after pill | The state pharmacy board ordered Wal-Mart yesterday to stock emergency-contraception pills at its stores in Massachusetts. (February 15, 2006, Associated Press)
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