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March, 2018
Volume 44, Number 1
  
3 October 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




A Syrian Kurdish family walks through a border crossing on 29 September to return to their home in the Syrian city of Kobane, on the Turkish-Syrian border. A Syrian priest on a U.S. mission trip says amid ongoing death and destruction in the Middle East, the Catholic Church continues to provide spiritual and material support for those in need. (photo: CNS/Murad Sezer, Reuters)

Islamic State steps up attack on Syrian town of Kobane (BBC) Heavy fighting is being reported between Kurdish militiamen and Islamic State militants advancing on the northern Syrian town of Kobane. A BBC correspondent across the border in Turkey saw explosions and smoke rising from buildings hit by shells…

Hama maintains its calm amid Syrian storm (Al Monitor) Residents of the city of Hama, 30 miles north of Homs, call it “the city of the massacre,” but it is still far from the battles continuing in the surrounding countryside. Since the Syrian army stormed the city in early August 2011, relative calm has prevailed in the city that witnessed some of the largest peaceful protests against the Syrian regime…

Sweden to recognize state of Palestine (Reuters) Sweden’s new center-left government will recognize the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the step, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Friday…

Aid worker killed in Donetsk as fighting continues over besieged airport (Al Jazeera) Amid fierce fighting around the besieged Donetsk airport Thursday, a Swiss aid worker was killed as conflict between government forces and advancing pro-Russian rebels in the city intensified. The Red Cross employee died when a shell landed at the organization’s office in a separatist-held part of the eastern Ukrainian city. “We’re deeply distressed by this loss,” Ewan Watson, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, told Reuters…

Pope to Church of the East patriarch: We are close in faith, persecution (Vatican Radio) “No religious, political or economic motives can justify what is happening to hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children,” said Pope Francis said Thursday, describing what is happening to Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria as “daily persecution.” The remark was addressed to Mar Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Church of the East — one of the oldest Christian churches, tracing its roots back to the first century in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey…



Tags: Syria Ukraine Palestine Ecumenism Sweden

2 October 2014
Greg Kandra




In the video above, Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Borys Gudziak discusses the situation in Ukraine.
Read more about the bishop and his reflections on his homeland
in the Spring 2014 edition of ONE. (video: CNS)


Papal representatives in the Middle East gather in the Vatican (VIS) The papal representatives in the Middle East are meeting in the Vatican from 2 to 4 October, at the Holy Father’s behest, to discuss the presence of Christians in the region, due to the grave situation that has prevailed in recent months. The meeting began this morning at the Secretariat of State and was attended by the Superiors of the Secretariat of State and the Roman Curia directly linked with the issue, as well as the Holy See Permanent Observers at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and the apostolic nuncio to the European Union...

Pope to Assyrian Patriarch: we are close in faith, persecution (Vatican Radio) “No religious, political or economic motives can justify what is happening to hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children:” that’s what Pope Francis said Thursday, calling what is happening to Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria “daily persecution”...

Ukraine rebels seek to capture Donetsk airport (BBC) Rebel forces in eastern Ukraine are conducting an offensive to capture the government-held airport in Donetsk, officials say. Pro-Russian rebels have tried several times in recent weeks to take the airport, which lies to the north-west of the city, despite an official truce. The Ukrainian military said the rebels were moving on “a broad front.” However a spokesman denied claims they had taken a large part of the airport and insisted it was not surrounded...

Pope speaks to Eritreans, expresses support for migrants (CNS) People need to open their hearts to the many people who are forced to migrate as they face enormous difficulties and sometimes tragedy, Pope Francis said. “I pray for closed hearts that they may open. And everything I have available to me, is available to you,” he told a group of young Eritreans who survived a deadly shipwreck off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The pope met with 20 survivors and their family members at the Vatican on 1 October, just a few days shy of the anniversary of the 3 October 2013, disaster...

Gaza portraits: what I saved from the rubble (The Guardian) Tanks and airstrikes blasted holes in people’s homes, offering us a glimpse into their lives, and these evocative images of Gaza residents show them with cherished items salvaged from the devastation...

Saudi Arabia: 2 million Muslim pilgrims arriving at Mecca for hajj (AP) Saudi Arabia sought to assure the public that the kingdom was Ebola-free as an estimated 2 million Muslims streamed into a sprawling tent city near Mecca on Thursday for the start of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage...

Hindu temple reportedly purified after low-caste government minister visits (Reuters) The government in the Indian state of Bihar has ordered an investigation after reports that a Hindu temple was cleaned and its idols washed after a visit by the state’s chief minister (governor), who belongs to a lower caste community...



Tags: Syria Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Middle East Eritrea

1 October 2014
Greg Kandra




Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, addresses the 69th U.N. General Assembly in New York on 29 September. (photo: CNS/Mike Segar, Reuters)

Dilemma for Iraqi Christians: stay or go? (Wall Street Journal) As America again gears up for deeper military involvement in the Middle East, many Chaldeans are engaged in a fateful debate: Either get as many people out of Iraq as possible to safe havens, such as the United States, or stay and fight, possibly with U.S. help. Iraq’s minority groups, including Christians, are more vocally pressing the Iraqi central government to set up militias to protect from Islamic militants. The militias would be part of a U.S.-backed plan for a national guard, but has met with resistance from Iraq’s government which fears militias may further destabilize the fragile country...

Holy See: World needs a revitalized United Nations (Vatican Radio) The conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine demand a revitalized United Nations where member states put their responsibility to protect persecuted peoples above personal interests and thoroughly apply international law, according to the Vatican Secretary of State...

Israelis rethink life along Gaza border after war (Wall Street Journal) The mortar shell hit the roof of the Tragerman family home in the last days of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Their cars were already packed to flee, but it was too late for their 4-year-old son Daniel who lay on the floor dead. Thousands fled Israel’s kibbutz communities during the 50-day conflict that turned the Gaza Strip and the border region inside Israel into a war zone, according to Kibbutz Movement, the group that represents the collectives and organized evacuations for those on the Gaza border. Most of them have since returned. But after the death of Daniel, the Tragerman family said it won't go back to the border...

Over 400 corpses found in mass grave in Ukraine (International Business Times) Some 400 bodies, mostly of civilians, were taken to the morgues of Donetsk and other cities in eastern Ukraine now controlled by pro-Russian rebel militias after they were retrieved from mass graves, the insurgents said on Monday. “Currently there are about 400 bodies in morgues, 350 of which are of civilians, and many are in such a state that they cannot be identified,” said the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, Andrei Purgin...

Hostility toward refugees in Lebanon growing (Fides) “The effects of the uncontrolled influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon opens a disturbing scenario,” says the Rev. Paul Karam, president of Caritas Lebanon. “The concern has reached the warning level. Among the local population, hostility towards refugees continues to grow, after arms were found in refugee camps...”



Tags: Syria Iraq Ukraine Gaza Strip/West Bank Israel

30 September 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




In the aftermath of the Gaza-Israel conflict, repairman Raed Abu Halema explains why many Palestinians are choosing not to repair their broken windows. (video: Al Jazeera)

Gaza’s children face an uncertain future (+972) In Gaza, where the population is very young — over 60 percent of Gazans are under the age of 25 — children are the population most vulnerable in conflict. Stuck in Gaza, these children only know the occupation and many have already witnessed several Israeli military operations. The latest Israeli offensive, named Operation Protective Edge, lasted for seven weeks and killed more than 500 children. More than 3,000 were injured, and 1,500 lost at least one parent. Most are traumatized. According to the United Nations, 373,000 children in Gaza are in immediate need of psychological assistance…

Anti-ISIS coalition’s ‘war on revenues’ hitting all Syrians (Al Akhbar) The international coalition’s airstrikes on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al Nusra Front in Syria entered their second week today, with dozens of air raids and missile attacks targeting regions in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Hassake, Aleppo and Idlib. A Syrian source belonging to the so-called moderate opposition told Al Akhbar, “The recent strikes are going in the right direction to topple both ISIS and the regime.” However, civilians were the first to pay the price for these attacks, which caused oil prices to skyrocket…

Holy See: World needs a revitalized United Nations capable of action (Vatican Radio) The conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine demand a revitalized United Nations where member states put their responsibility to protect persecuted peoples above personal interests and thoroughly apply international law, according to the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin…

Patriarch implores Muslims: Condemn extremism, rebuild Iraq with Christians (Vatican Radio) “I want to send my best wishes to our Muslim brothers,” asking God “to protect and preserve our country from every form of evil,” said Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, in a statement marking Eid al Adha. The patriarch urged all to condemn “violent, sectarian extremism, because it distorts religion…”

From an Iraqi churchyard (AINA) During his days in Baghdad, the Rev. Douglas Bazi survived a gunshot to the legs, a kidnapping that lasted nine days, and three explosions aimed at the Christian community. He watched his church shrink from 2,600 members to only 250, some of his flock perishing and many more fleeing. So when Father Bazi ministers to hundreds of refugees living in flimsy tents in his Ain Kawa churchyard in Kurdistan, he can relate to their suffering…



Tags: Syria Iraq Gaza Strip/West Bank War Christian-Muslim relations

29 September 2014
Greg Kandra




In this image from last month, boys look at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq.
A vicar at Iraq’s only Anglican church claims ISIS militants are closing in on Baghdad,
despite airstrikes. (photo: CNS/Wissm al-Okili, Reuters)


Report: ISIS closing in on Baghdad (International Business Times) The Islamic State group is allegedly closing in on Baghdad, according to a report from a vicar at Iraq's only Anglican church that claims the jihadists formerly known as ISIS are roughly one mile away from the Iraqi capital. Airstrikes against ISIS targets were supposed to stop the group from taking Baghdad...

Nuncio: Russian expansion endangers Catholics in Ukraine (CNA) The apostolic nuncio to Ukraine has urged efforts to support Catholics in the nation, warning that Russia’s expansion into the country has caused major instability and threatens a return to political persecution. “The danger of repression of the Greek-Catholic Church exists in whatever part of Ukraine Russia might establish its predominance or continue through acts of terrorism to push forward with its aggression,” Archbishop Thomas Gullickson said on 23 September...

Cardinal Koch expresses hope for closer Catholic-Orthodox relations (Vatican Radio) The head of the Vatican’s Council for Christian Unity says he regrets that Catholics and Orthodox leaders are unable to give a stronger sign of unity for Christians suffering persecution in the Middle East. Cardinal Kurt Koch has just returned from a meeting in Amman where he served as co-president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. A communique released on Wednesday reflects the difficulties the two sides encountered in the search for agreement on the theme ‘Synodality and Primacy’ which has been at the heart of the discussions since a 2007 plenary meeting in Ravenna, Italy...

India high court rules it is legitimate to not declare a religion (Fides) The Bombay High Court has ruled that the State cannot “compel any citizen to disclose his religion while submitting forms or declarations.” The decision reaffirms the secular character of Indian democracy and puts an end to a dispute that is recorded in other Asian countries...

Patriarch Kiril: modern art can harm humanity (The Moscow Times) Patriarch Kirill should take care not to wander too far from Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, lest he risks stumbling upon the city’s museum of modern art — a cultural genre he recently described as “filth.” Speaking at an Orthodox festival on Wednesday, the head of the Russian Church told journalists that some forms of contemporary culture “show some horrors, some nonsense, idiocy,” state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported...



Tags: Iraq India Ukraine Russia Orthodox

26 September 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




In this 30 June photo, a child walks through a dust storm at the Khazair camp near the city of Mosul. Many Iraqis have been temporarily housed at various camps for the internally displaced as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region. (photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Chaldean Catholics in Iraq want refugee status (89.3 KPCC) There are more than half a million Christians in Iraq today, and two-thirds of them are Chaldean. The group is under attack by the militant Islamic State, bombing Chaldean churches, attacking monasteries, and chasing Chaldeans from their ancestral land. Southern California is home to an estimated 50,000 Chaldeans, mostly in San Diego County. Community leaders and a Chaldean bishop have been lobbying Congress, the State Department, even the United Nations to open the door to more Chaldean refugees…

Chaldean patriarch: Let us go back to full unity (AINA) Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I sent a letter of congratulations to the patriarch of Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV, on the occasion of his 78th birthday on 15 September. In the congratulatory message, Patriarch Louis Raphael included an official invitation to start a path of dialogue together to restore full ecclesial communion between the Chaldean community — together with the bishop of Rome — and the community of the Church of the East…

Syrian army captures town near Damascus (Al Jazeera) Syrian government forces have overrun rebels in a town northeast of Damascus, strengthening President Bashar al Assad’s grip on territory around the capital. President Assad’s forces have been gradually extending control over a corridor of territory from Damascus to the Mediterranean coast this year, seizing towns and villages along the main north-south highway and in the mountainous Qalamoun area along the Lebanese border…

Israel criticized over blocking UNHRC mission (Al Jazeera) On 20 September, Makarim Wibisono was expected to begin his first mission as the newly appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. However, Wibisono has yet to begin this mission, since Israel has not yet granted him access to the occupied Palestinian territory…



Tags: Syria Iraq Palestine Israel Ecumenism

25 September 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




As the conflict continues, 150,000 Syrians seek relief and shelter as they flee into Turkey. (video: Al Jazeera)

The Syrian front: Waiting to die in Aleppo (Der Spiegel) Eastern Aleppo has been virtually abandoned, as have most residential districts located away from the front. Those left in the city prefer to crowd into housing right up against the battle lines, which have remained virtually static in the last two years. Paradoxically, people feel safest living within range of enemy tank and sniper fire…

Armenian archbishop of Aleppo: Syrian people do not view air raids as liberation (Fides) The air raids against jihadi bases in Syria, carried out by the United States with the support of some Arab countries, do not elicit positive expectations among the population of Aleppo in Syria, who fear “this type of external involvement could worsen the situation,” said Armenian Catholic Archbishop Boutros Marayati of Aleppo…

Catholic-Orthodox commission prays for persecuted brethren (Vatican Radio) The Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church has released a Communiqué following the commission’s 13th plenary session, which was held in Amman, Jordan, from 15-23 Spetember 2014. In the statement, the commission expresses deep concern for and solidarity with the Christians and members of other religious traditions of the entire Middle East region who are at present suffering brutally violent persecution, and promise continued prayers for all the persecuted…

King of Jordan: Christians are a ‘constitutive’ part of the Middle East (Fides) “Let me say it once again: Arab Christians are an integral part of my region’s past, present and future,” said King Abdullah II in his speech at the 69th United Nations General Assembly…

Ukrainian president: Most fighting is over (RT) The most dangerous part of the war is on the wane, said Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, rolling out his reform program. While setting corruption as his main target, he said the number of regular troops needs to be boosted. Poroshenko’s roadmap includes 60 reforms that should be fully implemented by 2020…



Tags: Syria Ukraine Middle East Christians Christian Unity Aleppo

24 September 2014
Greg Kandra




A man holds Argentina’s flag as Pope Francis arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 24 September. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

New air strikes hit Iraq, Syria (USA Today) U.S. and coalition aircraft hit five targets in Iraq and Syria early Wednesday as part of the continued round of airstrikes on targets connected to the militant Islamic State terrorist organization, the U.S. Central Command reported. Meanwhile, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice told NBC News Wednesday the White House had seen social media reports that the allied airstrikes had killed the leader of Khorasan Group terrorist organization, Muhsin al-Fadhli, although U.S. officials had not confirmed those reports...

Syrian archbishop expresses concern over U.S. air strikes (Fides) The air raids against jihadi bases in Syria, carried out by the United States with the support of some Arab countries, do not elicit positive expectations among the population of Aleppo in Syria, This was reported to Fides Agency by the Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Boutros Marayati, who added he is afraid “that this type of external involvement could worsen the situation...”

Pope: Albania proves that diverse religions can live in peace (CNS) People of different religious beliefs can and must live together in peace, Pope Francis said. The Muslim majority and Christian minorities in Albania cooperate beautifully for the common good and prove to the world that it can be done, he said. I could see, with great satisfaction, that the peaceful and fruitful coexistence between people and communities belonging to different religions is not only beneficial, but is concretely possible and practical. They put it into practice” in Albania, he said during his general audience on 24 September...

Gaza talks to resume in late October (Reuters) Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Tuesday to resume talks late next month on cementing a Gaza ceasefire, allowing time for Palestinian factions to resolve internal differences which could threaten the Egyptian-mediated negotiations...

Pope Francis to visit Armenia in March (Public Radio of Armenia) Pope Francis will visit Armenia in March 2015, Chancellor of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Grace Bishop Arshak Khachatrian told reporters today. He said it’s going to be both a state and religious visit. A prayer in memory of the Armenian genocide victims will be held within the framework of the visit...

NATO: Russia has withdrawn many troops from Ukraine (Wall Street Journal) A top European Union official blasted Russia for reviving threats of retaliation against Ukraine over a trade deal with the bloc, stoking political tensions even as signs mount of a military de-escalation in the conflict zone. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said that Russia had withdrawn a sizable number of troops from eastern Ukraine—though some remained. Meanwhile Russia-backed rebels in the region said they had begun pulling back their heavy artillery, after Ukrainian troops did the same...

Patriarch: Lebanon’s Muslims and Christians share same fate (Fides) “For the good of the nation, as spiritual leaders, our duty is to protect the moral and spiritual values and the fundamental and national constitutional principles.” This is what the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Rai said after his meeting on Tuesday 23 September with the new Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Abdel Latif Derian. In statements reported by the local press, the Primate of the Maronite Church said “At a social level, muslims and Christians in Lebanon are a family with a common destiny and a common culture...”



Tags: Syria Iraq Gaza Strip/West Bank Armenia Muslim

23 September 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




Lt. General William C. Mayville Jr. speaks about the bombing campaign in Syria, on 23 September in Washington, DC. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. airstrikes expand to Syrian city of Aleppo (Los Angeles Times) Even as it launched sweeping new airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, the U.S. military said Tuesday that it had expanded the campaign to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, targeting an offshoot of Al Qaeda said to be plotting “imminent” attacks against American and Western targets. A total of eight U.S. air attacks carried out in Syria’s largest city were aimed at the Khorasan Group, described in a U.S. Central Command statement as an organization of Al Qaeda veterans. The Aleppo campaign marked an expansion of the bombing effort launched initially against strongholds of the Islamic State in eastern Syria, conducted by U.S. planes, drones and ships with the help of five Arab nations. The strikes indicate that the U.S. air campaign in Syria has broader objectives than going after the Islamic State, the target of the attacks in eastern Syria…

Do Syrians support U.S. airstrikes in Syria? (Al Monitor) As a wary United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing the president to arm Syrian rebels against the Islamic State (IS), and as U.S. military planners consider airstrikes against IS in Syria, Al Monitor’s Syria Pulse covered how Syrians, suffering from more than three years of war, might react. Khaled Attalah reports from Damascus that Syrians there prefer a political solution to the war rather than U.S. airstrikes. Attalah writes, “After mobilizing its allies from around the world, the White House hopes that by using force and launching airstrikes, the IS threat will disappear. However, the Syrian people are not only hoping to be rid of this terrorist group, but also the bloody bottleneck they have been living through for more than three years.” Reporting from the Al Bab region, an IS stronghold east of Aleppo, Al Monitor columnist Edward Dark writes that the prospect of U.S. airstrikes is being greeted with more anxiety than enthusiasm, and could redound to the advantage of IS…

Iraq’s minorities demand weapons, training (Al Monitor) Following the huge regression in the situation of Iraq’s minorities after IS took control of many of the regions where they reside, these groups — including Christian and Yazidi populations — were left with no choice but to call for being armed and trained to protect themselves from the attacks they have witnessed from extremists. This call has not been limited to arming a specific minority, but rather became a mass call advocated by leaders, political parties, activists and individuals in various ways…

Abbas to reveal plan at U.N. to end occupation (Al Jazeera) This week Palestinian officials are busy working on different diplomatic tracks to push forward a new proposal at the United Nations to end Israel’s occupation, work on internal divisions, and hold talks with Israel on cementing a truce in the besieged Gaza Strip. These efforts are taking place in Cairo starting Tuesday, and at the United Nations in New York City throughout the week, as the General Assembly gathers for its 69th session to discuss a wide range of issues; from Syria and Iraq to the Ebola crisis…

Ukraine rebels withdraw artillery (Vatican Radio) Ukraine’s government says its forces and pro-Russian separatists have begun withdrawing heavy artillery in the east of the country as part of efforts to implement a still shaky ceasefire. The withdrawal comes amid pressure on Ukraine’s president and concerns that the country will receive less support from a key ally…

Pope: Respond to ‘globalization of migration’ with ‘globalization of charity’ (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis calls for “more decisive and constructive action” to deal with the phenomenon of migration, saying this will lead to “greater effectiveness in the fight against the shameful and criminal trafficking of human beings, the violation of fundamental rights, and all forms of violence, oppression and enslavement…”

Islamists destroy Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir Ezzor (PanArmenian.net) The Islamic State has destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir Ezzor, Syria, news agencies in the Middle East reported, according to The Armenian Weekly. Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian issued a statement condemning the destruction of the church, calling it a “horrible barbarity…”



Tags: Syria Iraq Ukraine Syrian Civil War Palestine

22 September 2014
J.D. Conor Mauro




#455919754 / gettyimages.com
Syrian Kurds carry their belongings after crossing in to Turkey near the Syrian border on 21 September, near the southeastern town of Suruc. (photo: Getty Images)

Turkey clamps down on Syria border after Kurdish unrest (BBC) Turkey has begun to close some of its border crossings with Syria after about 130,000 Kurdish refugees entered the country over the weekend. On Sunday Turkish security forces clashed with Kurds protesting in solidarity with the refugees. Before the latest influx, there were already more than one million Syrian refugees in Turkey. On Friday Turkey opened a 19-mile section of the border to Syrians fleeing the town of Kobane, also known as Ayn al Arab. But on Monday only two out of nine border posts in the area remained open, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said…

Oil-rich Kirkuk in Iraq’s north fears attack by Islamic State (Los Angeles Times) In recent weeks, international attention has focused on Islamic State advances elsewhere in the Kurdish region, such as near the strategic Mosul dam and the city of Irbil, capital of semiautonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. U.S. airstrikes have helped push back the militants — and provided a tactical and psychological lift for peshmerga fighters, who fell back last month in a humiliating retreat. The Kurds have since regrouped and regained ground. For now, their heartland to the north seems secure. But commanders acknowledge that the peshmerga, despite their fearsome reputation, are stretched thin, ill-equipped and have little recent battle experience. Perhaps no place in the sprawling zone under Kurdish authority is as vulnerable as Kirkuk province, long the focus of competing regional and international interests. For decades, its immense petroleum reserves have been a blessing and a curse…

More than 3,000 Gazan children wounded in war (Al Monitor) According to statistics published by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the death toll of the Israeli war on Gaza includes 540 child deaths, which represents 25 percent of the entire death toll. Over 3,000 children were injured, some of whom have had their limbs amputated or are in critical condition…

Pope: Culture of “tolerance”, “fraternity” in Albania (Vatican Radio) Although the plane trip from Albania to Rome was only 90 minutes, it still left time for Pope Francis to give what has become a traditional post-trip in-flight interview with journalists. During the press encounter, Pope Francis stressed that he was impressed “from the beginning” by the youth of the country, and noted the cooperation among the three major religions: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Catholicism. He reiterated the importance of the culture of “living together,” “tolerance” and “fraternity” in the Balkan country…



Tags: Iraq Syrian Civil War Gaza Strip/West Bank Turkey Albania





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