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Covering the Sabbath, Private Prisons and History Defaced 

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Covering the Sabbath
OK, given that it was Sunday and Utah, we suppose you have to expect stories about religion. But the front-page treatment of what would otherwise be an internal Mormon issue was stunning in its breadth. This was the story of an experiment by one LDS congregation to bring Mormon converts of disparate countries together in worship. This is not to say it's not admirable that a congregation would provide rides to African members in an attempt to unify them. But it's a little much to expect the general readership to be front-page, inside-spread interested. There were other Mormon stories, too, in The Salt Lake Tribune. "Navajo Nation seeks to intervene in abuse lawsuit against Mormon Church," buried in the local section and, of course, George Pyle's fine but quixotic attempt to convince Utah officials that "Religious freedom is alive and well." In Utah, it depends on whose religion you're talking about.

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Private Prisons
Finally. The Justice Department has ordered the Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out private prisons, "an industry that has had an insidious effect on the American justice system," The New York Times said. Since the 1980s, a handful of private contractors have made a boatload of bucks warehousing inmates. Tim DeChristopher knows that. He was in one—although only for a few short weeks of his two-year sentence. It was enough. In a talk he gave to a small group after his release, DeChristopher spoke about being told to sit only at the "white" table, and not to mix with different races. There are many reasons to rejoice over the shutdown of these prisons, but the violence, racism and profit motivation are among the most daunting. Utah is home to the third-largest management group in the U.S.—Centerville's Management and Training Corporation. Now it can focus on its Job Corps program.

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History Defaced
Bansky it's not. It's really stupid people who think carving their names or initials in anything is a good idea, like this is something for the history books. Well, it is, but not in a good way. In this ongoing travesty, "Ivan Dallas TX," "Henn/Hena" and "DALLAS TX" have defaced a rock panel featuring Native American images in Capital Reef Monument, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The National Park Service has seen a dramatic rise in the number of graffiti carvings, according to ABC Channel 4. And if caught, the "artists" could be fined $2,000 and land in prison for two years. One woman was banned from national monuments after defacing them. Carving trees isn't a good idea, either.

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