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Alabama sheriff charged with scamming food bank, church

Alabama Sheriff Charged With Scamming Food Bank, Church

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama sheriff was arrested Friday and agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of scamming a food bank and his own small-town church to pocket thousands under an old law that let state sheriffs profit from feeding prisoners. Pickens County Sheriff David Abston, who held office in the rural west Alabama county for more than three decades, agreed to plead guilty to fraud and filing a false tax return, court records show. Abston, who resigned, also agreed to forfeit about $51,000, according to a plea deal. Although a Depression-era law changed by lawmakers this year let sheriffs profit from jail kitchens, prosecutors said Abston's setup was a scam. "A sitting county sheriff is alleged to have defrauded a food bank and a church for his personal gain at the expense of the underprivileged that the food bank serves," U.S. Attorney Jay Town said in a statement. The statement said Abston got his own church, Highland Baptist of Gordo, involved in the West Alabama Food Bank in 2014. Abston then wrote checks totaling some $80,000 over four years to purchase cut-rate food that was meant for the poor and wrongly used it to feed prisoners. Abston faces more than 20 years in prison, but the plea agreement showed that prosecutors will recommend a lighter sentence. The final decision is up to a judge, and no hearing date was set immediately. Sheriffs get state reimbursements to feed jail prisoners, and an old Alabama law let them keep any leftover funds. During the four years the scheme operated, Abston got more than $400,000 in food allowance money from the state and other government agencies, prosecutors said. The system led to several scandals, including one a decade ago in which a federal judge briefly jailed a sheriff nicknamed "Sheriff Corndog"...



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La Sagrada Familia Basilica finally given planning permission from Barcelona local government

Unfinished La Sagrada Familia Finally Granted Planning Approval After 137 Years

After 137 years of construction, council has given the nod for the completion of architect Antoni Gaudi's iconic church.



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Catholic Church spent $10.6 million to lobby against legislation that would benefit victims of child sex abuse

Catholic Church Spent $10.6 Million To Lobby Against Legislation That Would Benefit Victims Of Child Sex Abuse

More than 30 states have either introduced or passed laws to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims - and a new report reveals the Catholic Church spent millions to fight it



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Bail set at $50 million for La Luz del Mundo church leader facing sex charges

Bail Set At $50 Million For La Luz Del Mundo Church Leader Facing Sex Charges

Bail was set at $50 million for Joaquin Garcia, the leader of the La Luz del Mundo church who is facing human trafficking and child-rape charges.



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Church leader charged with child rape in US

Church Leader Charged With Child Rape In US

Naason Joaquin Garcia, who is known as "the Apostle", heads La Luz del Mundo religious organisation.



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Boston church stamps Harriet Tubman on all its $20 bills

Boston Church Stamps Harriet Tubman On All Its $20 Bills - Religion News Service

BOSTON (RNS) -- Since May, the Jamaica Plain church has been stamping all $20 bills from its offering plates with abolitionist Harriet Tubman's face. It is, the church's pastor said, a 'worthy replacement.'



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Jesus army churches close after child sex abuse claims.

Jesus Army Churches Close After Child Sex Abuse Claims

An evangelical church shuts down after victims of historic abuse, including children, come forward.



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Judge denies request to dismiss lawsuits against the Air Force over Texas church attack

Judge Denies Request To Dismiss Lawsuits Against The Air Force Over Texas Church Attack

A federal judge has rejected a defense request to claims against the U.S. Air Force stemming from a 2017 massacre at a Texas church that left more than two dozen people dead.



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Church tells NJ charter school to cover up LGBT mural; school obliges

Church Tells NJ Charter School To Cover Up LGBT Mural; School Obliges

A Hackensack charter school student said she was “heartbroken” after a local church and landlord instructed her school to cover up a...



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Pope Francis makes it mandatory for sex abuse cases to be reported

Pope Orders Clergy To Report Sex Abuse

Pope Francis makes it mandatory for clergy to report cases of clerical sexual abuse to the Church.



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St Lucia quarantines US cruise ship over measles case

Cruise Ship Quarantined Over Measles Case

No-one has been allowed to leave the US ship, reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology.



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Scientology Cruise Ship Quarantined Due to Measles Outbreak

Cruise Ship In St. Lucia Quarantined Over Confirmed Measles Case

St. Lucia Coast Guard confirmed the vessel bears the same name as one owned and operated by the Church of Scientology.



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Ohio Wesleyan Takes ‘One-Year Pause’ With Methodist Church Over LGBTQ Issues

Ohio Wesleyan Takes 'One-Year Pause' With Methodist Church Over LGBTQ Issues

Ohio Wesleyan University's president says the school is taking a "one-year pause in its relationship" with the United Methodist Church in the wake of a



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Burkina Faso: Christians killed in attack on church

Gunmen Kill Six At Burkina Faso Church

Six people are killed in the first attack on a church since jihadist violence erupted in the country.



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This Church Paid Off $2.2 Million in Medical Debt for Local Families Instead of Spending to Promote Their Easter Services

This Church Paid Off $2.2 Million In Medical Debt For Local Families Instead Of Spending To Promote Their Easter Services

Usually, this time of year, Wichita's Pathway Church spends money on TV ads and direct mail to promote their Easter Sunday service. But, as lead pastor Todd Carter recently explained...



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New York Archdiocese Names 120 Catholic Priests Accused of Abuse

New York Archdiocese Names 120 Catholic Clergy Members Accused Of Abuse

The disclosure, one of the largest to be made by the church, comes after bishops across the country identified suspected abusers.



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Wichita church pays off $2.2 million in medical debt for Kansans

Wichita Church Pays Off $2.2 Million In Medical Debt For Kansans

A Wichita church took on a special task this Easter season -- to pay off the medical debt of thousands of Kansans.



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Croatian Mass in Munich Disrupted by Mentally Ill Person Shouting

Croatian Mass In Munich Disrupted By Mentally Ill Person Shouting "Allahu Akbar"

The person of African descent who disrupted Mass in St Peter's Church in the Croatian Catholic parish in Munich on Saturday evening by shouting "Allahu Akbar" and throwing stones, is mentally ill and not connected with terrorism.



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Woman carrying a gun and a baby tackled after threatening to blow up church

Woman Carrying A Gun And A Baby Tackled After Threatening To Blow Up Church

Church members tackled a gun-toting woman with a baby in her arms who threatened to blow up the church, San Diego Police said.



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Bomb attack at Sri Lanka church and hotel on Easter

Sri Lanka Blasts: At Least 140 Dead And More Than 560 Injured In Multiple Church And Hotel Explosions

An ongoing series of bomb blasts struck luxury hotels and churches across Sri Lanka on Sunday. At least 140 people were killed and 560 have been injured in the coordinated terror attacks, which have put the entire country on lock-down.



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