Weekly roundup: Pope on a plane, low-wage fights, and Snowden in Russia

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I hope it's been a good week for all of you in the world. My hope for you is that you spent it sunning yourself on a beach somewhere, or mountain biking through stunning terrain. Regardless of where you have spent you last week, though, this is your weekly roundup.

So let's get this part out of the way: Anthony Weiner: still a creep. Staying in New York City Mayoral race despite the heat he's been getting from, well, everyone, to hang up his phone and his hat. And, in case Anthony Weiner was not creepy enough, Bob Filner in San Diego continues to stun everyone, with NINE women now coming forward and accusing him of sexual assault. But of course, he won't resign. Because that's what quitters do.

Now for a palate cleanser, Pope Francis! After running around Rio De Janeiro last week, Pope Francis granted an unprecedented 80-minute interview with reporters on the plane ride home. His statements have caused some waves both inside and outside of the Catholic community. Getting the most attention is his now rather famous statement that "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?” While the Pope's attitude seems to signal a possible shift in tone, it does not actually change any official teaching of the church. Bryan Cones even wonders what all the fuss is about.

Low-wage workers across the United States have decided that it is time to take control of their own fate. Thousands of workers in dozens of cities have walked out of their low-wage jobs at peak hours to draw attention to their demand for a $15/hour minimum wage. Read what I have to say about the strikes here.

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, may be able to trade his meals of airport pizza for some fresh borscht. Much to the chagrin of the Obama administration in the United States, President Vladimir Putin has granted Snowden asylum in Russia for one year.

Attorney General Eric Holder is doing what he can to defend the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court gutted the law at the end of June. Holder announced that he would be using Section 3 of the VRA to ask a federal court to re-require Texas to apply for pre-clearance. The announcement came after Texas began implementing changes that a federal court had already rejected as discriminatory both in effect and intent.

Sister Simone Campbell, of Nuns on a Bus fame, testified this week before the House Budget Committee, of Paul Ryan fame. The hearing was focused on poverty, with Senator Ryan stating that “We are losing this war on poverty and we need to know why.” Read Scott Alessi's comments on the conversation here. 

On Friday, Pope Francis personally wrote a message to Muslims as they celebrate the end of the  month of Ramadan. In his remarks, the pontiff noted the importance of bringing up Christian and Muslim children so that they would respect each others religions.

Well, that's it in these parts for now. What happened in your corner?