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.
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.
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.
A few steps from the entrance to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, one of San Sebastian’s most visible landmarks with its sky-piercing gothic spire, lies a simple, two-faced earthen slab. In this corner of Spain’s Basque Country, it seems out of place: carved on one side with an Apostolic cross and on the other with a mysterious-looking, non-Latin alphabet.
For five consecutive years, the rains in East Africa have failed. This has led to one of the most devastating droughts in living memory and there is little sign the crisis will end any time soon: experts predict that, at best, the rains due in April and May will be below normal levels.
“Each one of you, dear friends, has a life story that speaks to us of the tragedies of war, of conflicts that are all too often linked to international politics. Yet, above all, every one of you bears a wealth of humanity and a religious sense, treasures to welcome rather than to fear. Many of you are Muslim or members of another religion. You come from various countries, from different situations. We mustn’t be afraid of differences!
The Church should address the reality of modern slavery with a combination of two qualities of spirit that are rarely associated with each other: strength and humility. Strength of spirit is surely needed, for the realities of modern slavery can easily tempt one to despair over the continuing abuse human beings continue to inflict upon each other. In the face of possible discouragement, Christians will need an inner strength of heart if they are to take the vigorous action required to overcome the abuses that modern slavery and trafficking inflict on the human dignity of men, women and children today.
International Women's Day, also known as IWD for short, grew out of the labour movement to become a recognised annual event by the United Nations (UN). The seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman's Day. The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin, communist activist and advocate for women's rights.
A year into the war, the situation appears dramatically stalled, with more than 400,000 soldiers deployed and some 100,000 dead and wounded.Part of the front has moved to the right bank of the Dnipro River, where a decisive battle will probably be fought. Here the two armies daily attack each other, launching missiles, drones and all kinds of artillery to capture small towns – considered strategic – or advance a few kilometers.
The famines of ancient Egypt are well known, the one that occurred in Rome in 5 BCE, those that decimated Europe in the Middle Ages, one during the pre-revolutionary era in France in the 18th century, the one that devastated Ireland and Scotland in the 19th century. China and India have suffered this calamity several times in the last two centuries. The Soviet Union faced four famines in the 20th century. Recently, North Korea found itself unable to feed its population.
The original BBC – the British Broadcasting Company – began on October 18, 1922, as a programming service to create a demand for radio sets manufactured by a consortium of electronics companies. Much as in the United States, the company needed to create a demand for a product and so it developed the kind of programming content to motivate people to buy the sets or kits manufactured and sold by its partners. However, within just a few years the British company took on a new name – the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Like a traveler walking on foot – always falling forward, cushioned by one moving foot at a time – Europe moves from crisis to crisis. But what is a crisis? Whether it is psychosomatic, cultural or social, a crisis places the organism at a crossroads; it is the “critical” point , where the criterion that dominates at the moment determines the path followed. The European crisis is centered at the unstable place where the subcontinent’s leaders hesitate between two paths, the path of stability (which is not immobility, but a tendency toward equilibrium), or the path of deepening imbalance, which can lead to disintegration.
For nearly 30 years, governments around the world have been meeting annually to develop a common approach toward the looming climate emergency. This is an obligation since, according to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), all countries committed themselves through that treaty to avert dangerous climate change and to identify ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, globally, in an equitable manner.
Africa, like the whole world, woke up on February 24, 2022, to the news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter. Faced with the same reality, the international community reacted in different ways. While the U.S. and its Western allies activated a series of economic and diplomatic measures against Russia and set up a support system for Ukraine, the Global South has shown rather diverse and more circumspect attitudes.
2022: A Watershed Year For Kazakhstan? Unrest and a constitutional referendum. The tragic events of January 2022 once again revealed how the republics that emerged from the collapse of the USSR are still a long way from stability. Kazakhstan is not an exception, just one more example. There are, however, big differences in the way the ruling elites react to protests, ranging from attempts to consolidate power through repression to introducing some reforms, even if these can sometimes be a fig leaf masking a tight grip on power.