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  • Katheryn Jean Lopez wrote an account of what happened to St. Ignatius Church in Houston, and how Father Norbert Maduzia and his congregation are handling the flooding.

  • Key petroleum product pipelines connecting Houston area refineries to the rest of the country are reopening today and tomorrow.

  • Josh Shepherd interviewed Stephen Mansfield, who argues that the U.S. should support independence for Iraqi Kurdistan. Mansfield says:

    Iraq is simply a failed nation. It was super-glued together after World War I, forcing the Kurds, who are from the Persian side of the Middle East ethnic tree, into a nation with Arabs. The Kurds were always seen as other and lesser, only kept in the larger body of Iraq through oppression and control. They were often maligned, assaulted, and treated as internal enemies as we saw during Saddam Hussein’s reign.

    The Kurds would have preferred to remain an independent people in a larger Iraqi Federation. But Iraq has not been able to pull that off; the government in Baghdad is stunningly corrupt. That’s why the Kurds don’t want to remain as an integral part of an Iraqi Federation anymore. The fact is that, as many experts are saying, Iraq is simply going away; it’s dissolving as we speak.

  • The former chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Sharan, was arrested as part of an investigation into “bribery, fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy to commit a crime.” The case stems from Israel’s purchase of submarines from Germany. Five other people were also arrested.

  • Pat Sajak visited southern Poland to trace his family’s roots:

    Happy, at least, to have seen the family village, I was ready to give up and head back, when we ran into an elderly man who seemed to remember some old houses in the hills outside of town. So up a small winding gravel road we went. After several wrong turns by the driver and shrugged shoulders by the locals, there it was. House #108. Still not positive, we knocked on the door of another small home just up the path. The owners knew all about the Sajdaks, and their oral history perfectly matched the genealogical records I had brought along. It was, indeed, the house we were looking for.

    I didn’t expect to be moved by the discovery, but I was, and deeply so. I thought about Jozef and his brothers and sisters living and working and playing on the land. I thought about how difficult life was in post-WWI Poland. And, for the first time, I realized how indebted I am to this man who left the land of his birth to come to America. His life in his adopted country was hard, too. But three generations later, my children—his great-grandchildren—are enjoying the blessings of America thanks to a man who was born and raised in House #108 in Laskowa, Poland.

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