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By United Press International  |  May 21, 2004 at 6:30 AM
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Bishops call for recant on gay ordination

WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- Eighteen Anglican archbishops representing more than 55 million people worldwide are urging the Episcopal Church to "repent" its pro-homosexual policies.

"This deliberate disobedience of the revealed will of God in the Holy Scriptures is a flagrant departure from the consensual and clearly communicated mind and will of the Anglican Communion," said the letter, which was dated April 16, but not released until this week, the Washington Times reported Thursday.

Should the denomination refuse to comply, the letter from predominantly African and Asian bishops said the Episcopal Church eventually could be suspended, then expelled from the 70-million-member Anglican Communion, the worldwide church body of which the Episcopal Church is part.

Specifically, the Episcopal Church was asked to revoke the Nov. 2 consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the world's first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop.

Asked if the Episcopal Church could be expelled from world Anglincanism, church spokesman Dan England said he didn't know "how that would happen."

U.S. Congress eyes a la carte TV fees

WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- A U.S. congressional committee is looking into the feasibility of cable TV subscribers paying only for channels they want, the Washington Post said.

A bi-partisan group of members of the House Commerce Committee formally asked the the Federal Communications Commission to study the issue and report back within six months.

Most satellite and cable companies require their customers to subscribe to packages of channels, arguing the system allows them to maintain robust lineups at affordable rates.

But so-called "a la carte pricing," has been gaining momentum among some lawmakers and consumer groups as costs have risen and concerns have grown over television's decency standards.

Cable operators were quick to respond.

"As the General Accounting Office has found, 'a la carte' pricing would likely lead to a choice of fewer cable channels at higher prices for consumers," the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said in a statement, referring to a December GAO study.

The NCTA is the trade group representing the largest cable companies, such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable. However, the American Cable Association, which represents smaller cable companies, endorses a la carte pricing, the newspaper said.

Champion blind golfer's vision questioned

LONDON, May 20 (UPI) -- A blind British golfer who won the world championship for the second time is being investigated over claims he may have some vision.

The Times of London reported the English Blind Golf Association began the inquiry into David Morris after he became the first player successfully to defend the title at the competition in Melbourne, Australia.

The inquiry began after a complaint to the association that the 61-year-old Morris may have had an advantage over his rivals in the category for totally blind golfers.

The criterion for blindness is that competitors are unable to recognize the shape of a hand at any distance.

Association spokesman Barrie Ritchie said Morris was tested before joining the association and had provided medical evidence to support his application.

Morris, who is currently traveling to Japan for the Blind Open Tournament starting Friday, has been told of the complaint but was unavailable for comment.

Saudi edict bans Muslims watch al-Jazeera

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 20 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority issued a "fatwa" or religious edict Thursday banning Muslims from watching Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV.

The edict issued by Sheik Saleh al-Fawzan, a member of the kingdom's committee of ulemas, described the Arab satellite channel as "Zionist television," which hosts "so-called reformists who have a podium for airing their poisonous ideas."

"There is no need to set up satellite dishes to watch the news on al-Jazeera ... Saudis can have access to all the news and information through Saudi newspapers, radio and television," the edict said.

It cautioned Muslims against "introducing evil to their homes and destroying them by watching al-Jazeera, which is a provocative and evil channel hosting people who interpret religion as they please.

"Watching al-Jazeera is an evil in itself," it added.

The popular satellite TV channel hosts Saudi opposition figures and activists calling for political and social reforms in the Muslim conservative kingdom.

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