A new religious TV program, described as "the first nationally televised newscast devoted to covering events and issues affecting the world of religion," goes on the air tomorrow.
The half hour program, called "World Report," will be aired on the Satellite Program Network Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. It is produced by the National Catholic News Service, a division of the United States Catholic Conference.
Producer and coanchor Emil Gallina said World Report will be "all straight reporting; no preaching, no advocacy, no appeals for money." Producers for the program say it will provide news of all religions, and that "news value alone determines program content."
The programs will be available for commercial sponsorship. Paul Anthony, currently with WDVM-TV, will anchor the show.
Israeli researchers report that Jewish women in the late stages of pregnancy who fast on Yom Kippur may hasten delivery of their child.
Researchers at Shaare edek Medical Center in Jerusalem reported that the birth rate doubles at the hospital in the first 24 hours after a fast day. Jewish law requires that all able-bodied persons over the age of 18 fast from sundown to sundown to mark Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.
The physiological basis for what has been dubbed the "Yom Kippur Effect" is that during a fast, blood tends to thicken, so less blood flows to the fasting woman's uterus, which reacts by contracting. If the pregnancy is in its late stages, the effect can trigger labor.
The researchers have found that the phenomenon does not produce abnormally low birth weights associated with premature births. Thus, they conclude that only near-term or at-term babies are affected.
The World Council of Churches, which has been criticized for the refusal of its assembly last month to censure Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, has issued a sharp rebuke to the Soviets for shooting down a Korean passenger airliner earlier this month.
"We are appalled at the blatant violation and abuse of basic accepted international agreements guaranteeing safety of civilian air traffic," the WCC said in a message to Korean churches.
"This tragedy demonstrates the disastrous human consequences produced by national policies of confrontation and the urgent need to reduce tension in the north-east Asia region," the WCC said. The interchurch body joined in demands for "an independent investigation by competent bodies in order to bring to light all the facts and the consequences to be drawn from them by the international community."
The Society of St. Andrew, a Virginia-based group of United Methodists committed to combating hunger, reports that in its first three months of operation, 855,400 pounds of potatoes and yams have been harvested and delivered to 15 states and the District of Columbia.
The society has persuaded potato farmers in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Maine to donate a portion of their crop for the poor. The society, headquartered in Big Island, Va., is now trying to raise funds to transport additional stores of potatoes from the fields to hungry persons.
A Dallas-based religious newspaper chain is negotiating to take over Religious News Service, a 49-year-old nondenominational newsgathering agency specializing in religious news. RNS, founded by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, faced extinction next month because the financially strapped conference no longer could afford to subsidize it.
Indications now are that RNS will be taken over by the United Methodist Reporter, one of the largest religious publishers in the country.
The Reporter, which focuses on news of interest to United Methodists but is independent of the church, publishes editions for 40 of the denomination's 73 annual conferences and several hundred congregations. It has a circulation of more than 500,000. Gerald A. Renner, RNS directer, described it as "the only religious publication in America which is making money."
RNS, which services both secular and religious publications, has been hard hit because the combination of inflation and postal increases has forced many religious journals out of business in the last few years, Renner said. It has always relied on a subsidy from the parent National Conference of Christians and Jews, which is no longer able to assist. Religious Roundup:
* The Goldsboro, N.C., Christian School has decided to integrate. Earlier this year the Supreme Court said the school must lose its tax exemption because of racial segregation.
* The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is evaluating 36 people as potential candidates to succeed the Rt. Rev. Robert Hall as bishop. The election will be held in December.
* Episcopal Bishop Elliott L. Sorge of Easton has called a special convention for Nov. 13 to resolve the dispute over the purchase of a house for the bishop.
* A Los Angeles Superior Court has ordered Loyola Marymount University to reinstate a former Jesuit priest, Dr. Michael Callahan, who was fired when he married a fellow professor at the school. The university plans to appeal.
* The old Fairfax High School, which for the last nine years has provided office space for the George Mason University Foundation, has become Paul VI High School, the third diocesan high school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington. People in the news:
Rabbi Joel M. Tessler, formerly of Riverdale, N.Y., has been named rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah here. Tessler has a background in social service as well as in rabbinical studies.
The Rev. Steve King, formerly of Portland, Ore., is the new pastor of Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington.