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Pope calls for two-state solution in Israel and Palestine

Pope Francis uses traditional Christmas Day message to address damage done by controversial Trump speech two weeks ago The pope has reinforced calls for a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in his traditional Christmas Day message delivered just over two weeks after the US president, Donald Trump, inflamed tensions in the region. Speaking before the faithful in St Peters Square in Rome, Francis said the children of the Middle East continued to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. This month, Trump…

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Two Palestinians shot dead and one critical in riots after Trump speech

Palestinian worshippers and Israeli troops clash as Muslims protest against Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital Two Palestinians have been shot dead in Gaza by the Israeli army, the first people killed in clashes that began after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israels capital. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank as worshippers throughout the Muslim world took to the streets after the weekly Friday midday prayers to vent their fury at Trumps decision. A third man was in a critical condition after being shot…

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Odds and Ends 

5 Major Tattoo Fails

Looks like these five people are permanently marked with fail! 1. Wow. This woman’s dolphin tattoo is totally defiling her sacred vessel. #FAIL 2. Oops! This guy forgot that tattoos prevent your body from going to Heaven with the Lord, Our Father. 3. “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.” —Leviticus 19:28. Epic. Fail. 4. The maw of Hell will bloom beneath the feet of all who have denigrated His works with their cheap and tawdry markings! Thou…

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Facebook to Show Users Which Russian Propaganda They Followed

request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election. The tool will appear by the end of the year in Facebook’s online support center, the company said in a blog post Wednesday. It will answer the user question, “How can I see if I’ve liked or followed a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?” That’s the Russian firm that created thousands of incendiary posts from fake accounts posing as U.S. citizens. People will see a list of the accounts they followed,…

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Getting Out Of Hand: The Children In This Sunday School Class Are Overwhelmingly Siding With Pontius Pilate

Well, here’s a situation that’s heading toward disaster. Trinity Christian Church in Chicago is normally a safe space for worship, but last weekend, things took a turn: When this third-grade Sunday school class learned about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the students overwhelmingly sided with Pontius Pilate. Yikes. These kids are missing the point in a big way, and they don’t seem like they’re going to change their minds anytime soon. Their Sunday school teacher, Ms. Cleary, had reportedly just explained that Jesus died on the cross for humanity’s sins,…

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Trump links UK crime rise to ‘spread of Islamic terror’

In latest Twitter outburst US president makes terrorism link even though annual figures cover all police-recorded offences Donald Trump has erroneously linked a rise in recorded crime in England and Wales to the spread of radical Islamic terror in his latest outburst on Twitter. Just out report: United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror. not good, we must keep America safe! wrote the US president. The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS), in its quarterly update on crime on Thursday, @realDonaldTrump October 20, 2017 Others…

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‘My love isn’t second-class’: the struggle for marriage equality in Northern Ireland

At a mock wedding in a Belfast cabaret club, a groom cries tears of anger. Same-sex marriage is legal everywhere else in Britain and Ireland, so why not here? The answer lies with Theresa Mays partners, the DUP Were going to fight tooth and nail with them. Im done putting on the kid gloves, Im done pretending this is OK. What are we meant to do, wait another 20 years? Shane Sweeney has just exchanged vows with his fiance of two years, Eoin McCabe. It could be the happiest day…

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How a Tokyo-Born Outsider Became the Face of Czech Nationalism

Tomio Okamura’s background is about as multicultural as you can get. The son of a Czech mother and a Japanese-Korean father, he suffered racist bullying in Japan and the Czech Republic that was so severe he developed a stutter and wet his bed until the age of 14. Which may or may not help explain why his Czech political party is adamantly opposed to immigration, wants the country to leave the European Union and compares Islam to “Hitler-style Nazism.” The message is resonating: Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy may become the fourth-strongest…

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Would you Adam and Eve it? Why creation story is at heart of a new spiritual divide

Major survey reveals that its atheists who perpetuate the conflict between religious belief and science The biblical account of creation and the fate of Adam and Eve, progenitors of the human race, continues to inspire artists and writers. But according to a groundbreaking new survey, it is also at the heart of a deep misunderstanding between religious and non-religious Britons. Professor Fern Elsdon-Baker, who led the research, the findings suggest a need to revise stereotypes when it comes to Christian belief in Britain. In a society that is increasingly non-religious,…

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Holy smoke! The church of cannabis

As congregations dwindle, a new religion is lighting up Denver, Colorado. Aaron Millar joins the elevationists of the International Church of Cannabis who worship the weed It started, naturally, with a group of friends smoking a joint. Steve Berke, a graduate of Yale University, was temporarily living in an old church in Denver, Colorado. His estate agent parents had bought the 113-year-old building with the plan to turn it into flats. He and Lee Molloy, as well as a few friends, had just moved from Miami to capitalise on Colorados…

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The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness review a tale of betrayal by the church

Graham Caveneys defiant, important memoir details how the Catholic establishment fails abuse victims Pope Francis has taken great strides in challenging all sorts of entrenched attitudes and prejudices in the Vatican that have given the Catholic church such a bad name of late. Progress has been disappointingly slow, however, on the commission he appointed in 2014 to tackle the appalling scandal of clerical sexual abuse. In March of this year bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of 1.99…

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Pope Francis creates fourth pathway to becoming a saint

Candidates for beatification, which was previously limited to those involved in miracles, can now include Christians who lay down their lives to save others Christians who lay down their life to save others, following in the footsteps and teaching of Jesus, will now be eligible for beatification, Pope Francis has said. Beatification is the first step on the path toward

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Gluten-free bread for Holy Communion is toast, says Vatican

Unleavened bread used for communion during Catholic masses can be genetically modified but not entirely gluten-free, church rules The unleavened bread used to celebrate the holy communion during Catholic masses can be made with genetically modified organisms, the Vatican said Saturday, but they cannot be entirely gluten-free. Low-gluten bread is allowed but there must be enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives. Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vaticans Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said the guidance was needed now that Eucharistic bread…

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Al-Jazeera, insurgent TV station that divides the Arab world, faces closure

The network has raised political awareness across the Middle East. No wonder Qatars conservative enemies want it shut down On Monday a bold and controversial experiment in Middle Eastern media and politics may be abruptly brought to an end. Al-Jazeera once heralded as the beacon of free Arab media that broke the hegemony of the western networks and reversed the flow of information from east to west for the first time since the middle ages faces closing its doors for good. On 23 June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates,…

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