This year marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the invasion and occupation of Iraq by a large international “Coalition of the Willing” led by the United States and the United Kingdom. The stated goal was to topple Saddam Hussein, in power since 1979, who was accused of hiding weapons of mass destruction and protecting and financing terrorist groups, particularly al Qaeda.
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The Report shows that over a period of 70 years some 3,000 priests and religious sexually abused minors or vulnerable persons. A total of 216,000 people in France today (with a margin of error of 50,000) have been abused by Catholic priests and religious. If we include assaults committed by lay people (especially in schools), this estimate rises to 330,000. However, this is only one piece of a larger picture.
The people of Odessa, the Black Sea port city in southern Ukraine, are still reeling from the intense Russian bombing last weekend that destroyed a number of cultural sites. Among them was the Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Since 1948, the two words “Jew” and “Arab” in the same sentence have widely been understood to refer to polar opposites, suggesting mutual distrust and enmity, war and violence, pointing to a supposedly unbridgeable gap between the two. It is timely to remember that this was not always the case. In reflecting on the history of the Jews in Arab lands, one can say there was an earlier time before Jews were hostile to Arabs, and Arabs hostile to Jews, a time when a Jew might even be an Arab. Jews in Arab lands not only spoke Arabic, but were part and parcel of Arab civilization and made their specific contribution to it.
The 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement have seen the steady decline of religious belief and practice in Northern Ireland – but the Churches continue to have a significant role to play in ending the blight of sectarian hatred.
Vietnam has chosen a new president after an anti-corruption drive and power struggle within its leadership. Vo Van Thuong takes over from Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who stepped down in January. With its long tradition of collective leadership, the party's senior figures since Ho Chi Minh have rarely had much of a profile outside the country.
The head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church has demanded an end to Russia’s overnight missile strikes, as the Vatican outlined plans to send a “peace mission” to the warring sides and the Word Council of Churches reported a willingness for dialogue by Ukrainian and Russian church leaders.
A comprehensive collection of all his recorded writings only adds to the paradoxes and ambivalences surrounding the life and personality of one of the most bitterly contested figures in British and Irish history. Catholics have no need to honour Cromwell; but neither should they demonise him.
Today, the trulli of Alberobello are a Unesco World Heritage site, although many people have never heard of these ingenious structures.Fifty-six kilometres south of the Puglian port city of Bari, on the heel of Italy's boot, I could see several small stone huts with conical rock-covered roofs scattered among the olive trees on both sides of the road. Reminiscent of teepees or tiny forts, these structures were unlike anything I'd ever encountered.
It was minutes before 8 p.m. on October 30, 2022, and counting had reached 98 percent of the ballots, when the Electoral Court confirmed the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as president of Brazil for the next four years. It was a razor-thin victory, with a margin of just over 2 percent over opponent Jair Messias Bolsonaro, incumbent president and candidate for reelection. But it was enough for Lula to become the first democratically elected president three times, as he had already been president from 2003 to 2010, for two consecutive terms.