22 International News

posted Nov 20, 2018, 6:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 20, 2018, 6:49 AM ]

VATICAN
Pope prays for those stricken by California wildfires

Pope Francis has prayed for the victims of California's wildfires and freezing weather on the U.S. East Coast.

Addressing tens of thousands of faithful in St Peter's Square on Nov. 18, including pilgrims from New York and New Jersey, Pope Francis prayed that "the Lord welcome the deceased into his peace, comfort family members, and sustain all those involved in rescue efforts."

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Pope meets Kailash Satyarthi

Pope Francis received in private audience Indian children's rights activist, Kailash Sathyarthi, who shared the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan.

Founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement), and other initiatives against child labour and the abuse and exploitation of children, the 64-year-old former electrical engineer and teacher has been honoured with numerous recognitions, both in India and abroad.

Sathyarthi shares common ground with Pope Francis, who is an ardent crusader of children's rights, and has taken strong measures against child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Sathyarthi discussed some of his specific proposals with the Pope - for a legally binding UN Convention to stop online child sexual abuse and pornography. He said the Pope not only supported his initiative, but also promised to work for it.

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Pope's surprise visit to First Aid station

Pope Francis visited St Peter's Square on Friday, November 16, where, upon his request, a First Aid Station has been installed. This initiative, supported by the Pontifical Council for promoting New Evangelisation, aims to offer medical attention to those most in need. The walk-in-clinic is open 14 hours a day, from 8 am to 10 pm, and offers free medical examinations and care to the poor.

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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Massacre of civilians and religious

More than 40 people were killed on Nov. 15, when Islamic militants attacked a displaced persons camp in Alindao, in the Central African Republic. The refugee centre, operated by the Diocese of Alindao, has a capacity of 25,000, and welcomes displaced persons, regardless of religion. It was established precisely in order to foster the civil harmony vigorously promoted by the Church, especially following Pope Francis' Apostolic Visit in 2015.

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CAMBODIA
Former Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide

Nearly two million men, women and children, died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime during its brief but barbaric rule of Cambodia at the end of the 1970s.

The Khmer Rouge was a radical Maoist-led movement that targeted mostly Cham Muslims and ethnic Vietnamese for mass execution. The horrors of the regime were graphically depicted in the 1984 award-winning movie, 'The Killing Fields'.

This verdict is the first official ruling by an international tribunal that recognises these crimes as "genocide". According to international law, genocide includes the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group."

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IRAQ
Homeless Christians in Nineveh

There are at least 350 homes belonging to Christians which, in recent years, have been illegally taken away from their legitimate owners, taking advantage of their absence and through the creation of false legal documents, which make their recovery very difficult. This was reported by an investigation by Iraqi television network al Sumaria, relaunched by the ankawa.com website.

According to government sources cited in the report, Iraqi authorities are aware of the property scams at the expense of Christians, and gave all the competent regional departments instructions not to authorise transactions of real estate belonging to Christians, without having first verified, beyond any doubt, that the sale of houses and land is really wanted and authorised by the legitimate owners. The increase in controls has thwarted at least 50 attempts at false buying and selling of real estate belonging to Christians in recent months.

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