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Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) president Gerald Gerbrandt announced plans for an $11 million major capital project to enhance CMU’s infrastructure and serve as a resource to the wider community. A new library with small group study spaces; new computer, wireless, and peripheral technologies in a well-appointed setting with natural light, and bookstore and café will replace the current basement library and store. A pedestrian bridge across Grant Avenue will link the two sides of CMU’s campus, currently partitioned by the busy thoroughfare. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2013. —CMU release

Congolese Mennonite Brethren Church (CEFMC) leaders as well as leaders of the Mennonite Church of Congo and Evangelical Mennonite Church of Congo and their partners met in July in Kinshasa, DR Congo, to develop curriculum that integrates Anabaptist-Mennonite beliefs, values, and ethics into the classrooms of the more than 300 primary and secondary schools that the national Mennonite churches manage in cooperation with the DRC government. The group also hopes to identify existing institutions that will serve as model schools for the churches. —Christian Leader

See full story “Congolese educators, church leaders gather for ICOMB consultation”

June 15, suspected Islamic extremists bombed three churches in Kaduna State, Nigeria, leaving dozens dead and many children wounded. This was the third consecutive Sunday that worship services ended in lethal bloodshed. In Kenya, on June 2, attackers with guns and hand-grenades killed at least 17 people and wounded scores more during worship services at two churches. Both attacks occurred in Garisa, a provincial capital some 120 miles west of the border with Somalia. —Compass Direct News


The Ethiopian government criminalized the use of Skype and other VoIP services like Google Talk, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The new law also prohibits “audio and video data traffic via social media.” Reporters Without Borders reports that Ethio Telecom installed a system to block access to the Tor network, which allowed users to surf the Web anonymously. Ethiopia currently has the second lowest Internet penetration rate in sub-Saharan Africa; just around 700,000 of the country’s 84 million citizens had Internet access in 2010.—techcrunch.com


Mennonite World Conference (MWC) received this note of celebration on June 5: “Today is an historical day in Panama. For the first time, the Wounaan received an official certificate for their collective lands in two territories (Puerto Lara and Cana Blanca). All this is the result of years of hard work, sacrifice, patience, frustration, and even death.” In March, a conflict between loggers and Wounaan leaders resulted in two deaths. —MWC release

See full story “Peace put to test in Panama

Mennonite Central Committee is responding to widespread drought in Durango State, Mexico, with food and blankets for more than 1,000 families in the Nuevo Idea area. Parts of Mexico face what some are calling the worst drought in 70 years. —MCC release

Bill C-310, an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (human trafficking) was unanimously adopted by the Senate and became law June 28. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada appeared before a Senate committee in support of this bill, which extends the reach of the human trafficking provisions in Canada’s Criminal Code to Canadians outside our borders.—evangelicalfellowship.ca

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