Monday, October 3, 2016

US Suspends Talks with Russia over Syria

US Suspends Talks with Russia over Syria

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The United States is suspending bilateral contacts with Russia over Syria. "The United States is suspending its participation in bilateral channels with Russia that were established to sustain the cessation of hostilities," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. "This is not a decision that was taken lightly." Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry threatened to end talks with Russia because of its continued bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo. Kirby said the U.S. "spared no effort in negotiating and attempting to implement an arrangement with Russia aimed at reducing violence, providing unhindered humanitarian access and degrading terrorist organization operating in Syria."  But he said Russia did not live up to "its own commitments." VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching contributed to this report

Trump appears to suggest veterans with PTSD are not 'strong' - Politico

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Trump appears to suggest veterans with PTSD are not 'strong'
Donald Trump on Monday seemed to imply that military veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder are not strong because they “can't handle” the “horror stories” they've seen in combat. Trump delivered a brief address to veterans in Herndon ... 
Draft-Dodger Donald Trump Implies PTSD Sufferers Are WeakDaily Beast
Trump vows 'cyber review team' in new policy proposalThe Hill
Donald Trump vows to rebuild 'depleted' military and end 'political correctness'Washington Times

Slate Magazine (blog) -MSNBC-CBS News-Breitbart News
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Syrian Rebels Advance on Islamic State Held Town of Dabiq

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Syrian rebels backed by Turkey have launched an offensive against the Islamic State held town of Dabiq, which holds religious and symbolic meaning for the terror group.

Putin suspends nuclear deal with US 

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President Vladimir Putin has suspended a Russia-U.S. deal on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.

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Russia suspends plutonium deal with U.S. 

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Putin demands that Washington cancel sanctions and cut its military commitment to NATO.

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State Department: U.S. is suspending its efforts to work with Russia on the Syria cease-fire 

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The State Department says Russia “failed to live up to its own commitments.” This is a developing story. It will be updated.
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Pope Francis Praises Religious Tolerance in Azerbaijan

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(BAKU, Azerbaijan) — Pope Francis praised Azerbaijan on Sunday as a model for a world divided by violent extremism, sidestepping criticism of the government for the sake of encouraging religious tolerance in an often-volatile region where Catholics are a minority.
Francis avoided direct mention of criticism in the West over allegations of human rights abuses in Azerbaijan and a recent government referendum that extends the president’s term and gives him new powers.
The pope addressed a gathering of Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox leaders in Azerbaijan’s main mosque before heading back to Rome after a weekend Caucasus visit that first took him to Georgia.
“From this highly symbolic place, a heartfelt cry rises up once again: No more violence in the name of God!” Francis said. “May his most holy name be adored, not profaned or bartered as a commodity through forms of hatred and human opposition.”
The pope spent his 10 hours in the Azeri capital of Baku celebrating one of the world’s smallest Catholic communities and the good relations it enjoys with Azerbaijan’s Shiite Muslim majority and its Jewish, Orthodox and other religious minorities. There are only about 300 Azeri Catholics in Azerbaijan, though the community also includes several thousand foreigners.
“These good relations assume great significance for peaceful coexistence and for peace in the world,” Francis told President Ilham Aliyev and government officials. “They demonstrate that among followers of different religious confessions, cordial relations, respect and cooperation for the common good are possible.”
As a case in point, Francis celebrated Mass in Baku’s new Catholic Church, which was built with the financial help of Muslims and Jews, according to the Salesian priests who preside there. The Azeri government donated a plot of land on the outskirts of the capital after St. John Paul II visited in 2002, but it took the help of non-Christians to get the structure built.
“Have courage! Go on, without fear! Go ahead!” Francis urged the 400 Catholic faithful in the church and another 450 seated outside in the courtyard.
At the end of the Mass, the half-dozen Salesian priests who minister to Azerbaijani Catholics gave Francis a hand-woven carpet depicting both the church and the Maiden’s Tower, a 12th-century bastion in Baku’s walled Old City that is probably Azerbaijan’s most recognizable structure. Azerbaijan is famed for its magnificent carpets.
“I cannot contain my boundless joy,” parishioner Eva Agalarova, 61, said of Francis’ visit.
Last week, Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission said more than 80 percent of voters in the former Soviet republic backed a constitutional amendment extending the presidential term from five to seven years. Other provisions granted the president the right to dissolve parliament, and created new vice presidential jobs and cancelled age limits.
Aliyev’s opponents, as well as human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Freedom House, said the moves would cement a dynastic rule in the oil-rich Caspian Sea nation. The Azerbaijani government has rejected the criticism, saying the constitutional amendments aim to cut red tape and speed up economic reforms.
Francis didn’t address the criticism directly, though he spoke of the “significant efforts” Azerbaijan has made over the 25 years since its independence to strengthen civic institutions. Such a general exhortation suggested Francis didn’t want to rock the boat for his small flock here given the good relations the Catholic Church enjoys with the government.
Aliyev, for his part, called Francis’ visit historic.
“You are sending a clear message to the world here from Baku that multiculturalism, interfaith dialogue and goodwill has to prevail,” he said to applause in the striking Zaha Hadid-designed Baku conference center, one of the many modern buildings that have sprung up in Baku in recent years.
Francis’ visit to Azerbaijan bookended his June visit to neighboring Armenia, where he appealed for peace between two former Soviet republics over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region is officially part of Azerbaijan, but since a separatist war ended in 1994, it has been under the control of forces that claim to be local ethnic Armenians but that Azerbaijan claims include the Armenian military.
In his speech, Francis expressed his solidarity with “those who have had to leave their land” and urged the countries involved to “courageously” find paths of peace. With the help of the international community, he urged both sides in the conflict to “grasp every opportunity” to end the conflict.
Zemfira Mamedova, 70, said the pope’s call for a peaceful resolution was the key expectation of his visit.
“The pope already was in Yerevan several months ago,” Mamedova said. “Now we are expecting his call for peace and for the return of our land in Karabakh. This is our most main expectation.”
Aliyev, in office since succeeding his father in 2003, has firmly allied the Shiite Muslim nation with the West, helping secure its energy and security interests and offset Russia’s influence in the strategic Caspian region.

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Deutsche Bank Races Against Time to Reach U.S. Settlement

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FRANKFURT, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank is throwing its energies into reaching a settlement before next month’s presidential election with U.S. authorities demanding a fine of up to $14 billion for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities.
The threat of such a large fine has pushed Deutsche shares to record lows, and a cut-price settlement is urgently needed to reverse the trend and help to restore confidence in Germany’s largest lender.
Its shares won’t trade in Germany on Monday because of a public holiday, but they will resume trading on the U.S. market later on Monday.
A media report late on Friday that Deutsche and the U.S. Department of Justice were close to agreeing on a settlement of $5.4 billion lifted the stock 6 percent higher, but that report has not been confirmed.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the bank‘s talks with the DOJ were continuing. Details are in flux, with no deal yet presented to senior decision makers for approval on either side, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.
“Clearly, so long as a fine of this order of magnitude ($14 billion) is an even remote possibility, markets worry,” UniCredit Chief Economist Erik F. Nielsen wrote in a note on Sunday.
Ratings agency Moody’s said it would be positive for bondholders if the lender could settle for around $3.1 billion, while a fine as high as $5.7 billion would dent 2016 profitability but not significantly impair the bank‘s capital position.
Deutsche is much smaller than Wall Street rivals such as JPMorgan and Citigroup.
But it has significant trading relationships with all of the world’s largest finance houses and the International Monetary Fund this year identified it as a bigger potential risk to the wider financial system than any other global bank.
Deutsche Chief Executive John Cryan will be in Washington this week for the annual meeting of the IMF, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that other executives would join him to try to negotiate a settlement with the U.S. authorities.
Like fellow large European banks also under investigation for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities — Credit Suisse and Barclays — Deutsche will want to get a deal done with the current administration still in power.
A new administration to be installed after the Nov. 8 election will bring unknown risks and likely delays.
Domestically, Deutsche Bank is fighting a rearguard action, seeking to shore up confidence among the public, politicians and regulators who say the bank brought many of its problems upon itself by overreaching itself and then reacting too slowly to the 2008 financial crisis.
It suffered a further blow to its image this weekend with a third IT outage in the space of a few months on Saturday, denying some customers access to their money for a short time.
German business leaders from companies including BASF , Daimler, E.ON, RWE and Siemens lined up to defend the bank in a front-page article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
“German industry needs a Deutsche Bank to accompany us out into the world,” BASF Chairman Juergen Hambrecht said.
A spokesman for a blue-chip company that did not feature in the article told Reuters he had been asked by Deutsche for an executive to provide a similar supportive comment.
Deutsche Bank and the government in Berlin have had to play a delicate balancing act, emphasising the substance and importance of the bank without implying any need for state aid or willingness to supply it.
The bank has a market capitalisation of only about 15.9 billion euros ($17.9 billion) and would almost certainly have to raise fresh cash to pay the full DOJ demand.
Both the bank and Berlin this week denied reports that the government was preparing a rescue plan.
The Bild am Sonntag newspaper wrote on Sunday that Deutsche‘s chairman had informed Berlin just before it disclosed the potential $14 billion fine but had not asked for help.
The same newspaper quoted the president of the Bavarian Finance Centre, Wolfgang Gerke, as saying that the German government should step in and buy a 20 percent stake in the bank before its value fell any further. The group represents financial services companies in the southern German state.
“Fundamentally, I’m against state interventions,” he told the newspaper, but added that in this case a government stake would be “a signal that could turn the whole market”.
(Additional reporting by Harro ten Wolde and Michael Shields; Editing by Keith Weir, Lisa Von Ahn and David Goodman)

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Threatens to End Defense Pact with the U.S. 

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Following his foul-mouthed attack on the E.U. and reference to the Holocaust to explain his bloody war on drugs, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Sunday that he might terminate a defense pact his country signed with Washington in 2014, in response to concerns voiced by U.S. lawmakers over his crackdown on narcotics.
The threat to end the Phillipines-U.S. Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) came during a speech in Bacolod City, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“Better think twice now because I would be asking you [the U.S.] to leave the Philippines altogether,” Duterte reportedly said.
First signed in 2014, the EDCA gives the U.S. military more access to the Philippines without re-establishing any permanent bases. It was widely seen as part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” strategy.
“If you Americans are angry with me, then I am also angry with you,” Duterte said in the same speech.
Duterte’s drug war, which amounts to large scale, state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings, has resulted in over 3,000 deaths since he took office in June.
The Inquirer reports that Duterte also reiterated his willingness to build closer relations with the leaders of Russia and China, even though the Philippines has been a historic U.S. ally.
“Tomorrow I will be friends with [Vladimir] Putin and Xi Jinping,” Duterte declared, in response to what he says were “insults” and “humiliation” from the U.S.

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Why Hillary Clinton matters to mothers and daughters – video

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Philadelphia families share their views on the prospect of electing the first female president and what it means for future generations of women. As mothers and daughters reflect on the hurdles Clinton faces and similar challenges in their own lives, they discuss the inspiration the candidate offers: ‘She is the best one in the room’
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Pope says walk with trans persons, but fight gender theory - Crux: Covering all things Catholic

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Crux: Covering all things Catholic

Pope says walk with trans persons, but fight gender theory
Crux: Covering all things Catholic
Pope Francis is flanked by Vatican Spokesman Greg Burke as he speaks with journalists on board the flight from Baku to Rome, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. Pope Francis praised Azerbaijan on Sunday as a model for a world divided by violent extremism, ...
Asia Pacific|Pope Francis Notes Azerbaijan's Religious Tolerance, Not Rights AbusesNew York Times 
Francis: Sexual morality determined case-by-case, even for transgenderNational Catholic Reporter
Gay, transgender people deserve pastoral care, pope says
 Catholic News Service
Business Insider
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Pope Francis: Love those who struggle, but don't push gender theory on kids - Patheos (blog)

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Patheos (blog)

Pope Francis: Love those who struggle, but don't push gender theory on kids
Patheos (blog)
Aboard the papal plane, Oct 2, 2016 / 03:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On his way back from Georgia and Azerbaijan Pope Francis criticized what he called the “wicked” push of gender theory in schools, but stressed that individuals who struggle with their ...

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Russia's Putin orders plutonium cleanup program with US to be suspended - Reuters

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Russia's Putin orders plutonium cleanup program with US to be suspended
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Ivan Sekretarev. MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday to suspend an agreement with the ...
What Syria reveals about the new world orderBBC News
Welcome to the Putinkin VillageWall Street Journal
Russia Suspends US Plutonium Disposal AgreementInternational Business Times
Voice of America -The Fiscal Times -Middle East Online -The Guardian
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Trump Foundation ordered to stop fundraising by NY attorney general's office - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Trump Foundation ordered to stop fundraising by NY attorney general's office
Washington Post
The New York attorney general has notified Donald Trump that his charitable foundation is violating state law — by soliciting donations without proper certification — and ordered Trump's charity to stop its fundraising immediately, the attorney ...
Trump Foundation Ordered by New York AG to Stop
State Attorney General Orders Trump Foundation to Cease Raising Money in New YorkNew York Times
New York attorney general alleges Trump Foundation is in violation of state requirement on charity registrationReuters
TPM -Mediaite -Albany Times Union (blog) -NBC New York
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Hollande would not even get run at re-election: poll

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PARIS (Reuters) - Francois Hollande's distant prospects of winning a second term as French president were further dented on Monday when a poll suggested he would not even win the endorsement of his own Socialist Party's supporters.

Chechens go on trial for killing Kremlin critic, lawyers cry foul

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Five Chechen men went on trial in Moscow on Monday for the murder of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, but lawyers for the dead man's daughter said the investigation had failed to uncover who ordered the shooting.

U.S. targeted 'prominent Al Qaeda' member in Syria: U.S. official

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States targeted a prominent al Qaeda member in Syria with an air strike on Monday and was still assessing the results of the strike, a U.S. Defense Department official told Reuters.

Prominent Egyptian al Qaeda figure killed in Syria: jihadist sources

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AMMAN (Reuters) - A leading Egyptian figure in al Qaeda who became a prominent member of its Syrian Nusra Front offshoot was killed in a drone attack in the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib, two jihadist sources said on Monday.
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Putin Suspends U.S.-Russia Plutonium Deal, Blaming NATO, Sanctions, Magnitsky Act

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has suspended a 16-year-old deal that called for reducing some of Russia's and the United States' stockpiles of weapons-grade plutonium, citing "Washington's unfriendly actions toward Russia."

Russia detains Ukraine journalist for 'spying'

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Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko is being held in a Moscow prison for "collecting state secrets", Russia's FSB security service says.

Crisis of Globalization Lies Behind Deutsche Bank's Troubles - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

Crisis of Globalization Lies Behind Deutsche Bank's Troubles
Wall Street Journal
It's tempting to see the current turmoil surrounding Deutsche Bank DB 14.02 % as the latest installment of Europe's interminable banking crisis. Tempting—but wrong. The steep slide in the German banking giant's share price in recent weeks has little ...
Deutsche Bank Said Poised to Advance on 1000 Planned Job CutsBloomberg
German minister accuses Deutsche Bank of making speculation its businessReuters
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Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump on Obamacare -

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Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump on Obamacare
In a little more than five weeks, American voters will head to the polls to determine who will lead the United States for the next four years. Regardless of whether the American public chooses Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, the result will be ...

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Trump International Hotel spray-painted with 'Black Lives Matter' message (Video) - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Trump International Hotel spray-painted with 'Black Lives Matter' message (Video)
Washington Post
D.C. Police are searching for the man who spray-painted the walls in front of a side entrance to the new Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington with political messages late Saturday afternoon. The messages – “Black Lives Matter” and “No ... 
Man spray-paints 'Black Lives Matter' on new Trump hotel in DCKOMO News
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In 1990, more than 60% of people in East Asia were in extreme poverty. Now only 3.5% are. - Vox

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In 1990, more than 60% of people in East Asia were in extreme poverty. Now only 3.5% are.
Here's an amazing fact: The number of people in extreme poverty fell by 114 million from 2012 to 2013. That is a simply massive one-year decline, and it's not even the biggest drop in recent years. From 2010 to 2011, global poverty fell by 132 million ... 
Tackling Inequality Vital to Ending Extreme Poverty by 2030World Bank Group

Over a billion people have been lifted out of poverty since 1990, but the next billion will be harderQuartz 
World Bank renews drive against inequalityThe Guardian
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NTSB: 1st black box recovered from train crash not working - Fox News

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Fox News

NTSB: 1st black box recovered from train crash not working
Fox News
HOBOKEN, N.J. – One event recorder recovered so far from the new Jersey Transit commuter train that crashed in Hoboken killing one and injuring more than 100 more was not functioning on the day of the accident, officials said Sunday. The locomotive's ...
NJ Train Crash: One Data Recorder Wasn't Working, Other Remains
What train, bus riders need to know for the Monday morning
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russia and global order cartoons - Google Search

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Story image for russia and global order cartoons from Newsweek

Vladimir Putin's Chechen Ally Ramzan Kadyrov Offers to Train ...

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The head of Russia's Chechen Republic has invited the forces of ... Sign up Sign up to our daily newsletter for up to date global news and features. ... rally to protest against satirical cartoons of prophet Mohammad, in Grozny, ...

Civil society must guarantee religious freedom, Pope says in Azerbaijan :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

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Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct 2, 2016 / 08:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his final speech in Azerbaijan, Pope Francis spoke at length praising the good interreligious relations in the country, but also cautioned that religion must always be respected in civil society, and can never be used as a tool to justify violence.
“Society must always overcome the temptation to take advantage of religious factors,” the Pope said Oct. 2. Religions, he said, “must never be instrumentalized, nor can they ever lend support to, or approve of, conflicts and disagreements.”
To illustrate his point, the Pope referred to the traditional artistic windows of Azerbaijan made solely out of wood and tinted glass, with no glue or nails used in the process.
With the traditional means of crafting, the wood and the glass are set together through “time-consuming and meticulous effort,” leading the wood to support the glass, which in turn lets the light in, he observed.
Using this method as a metaphor, he said it is “the task of every civil society to support religion, which allows a light to shine through, indispensable for living.”
In order for this to happen, “an effective and authentic freedom must be guaranteed,” and artificial forms of “glue” that “bind people to believe, imposing on them a determined belief system and depriving them of the freedom to choose,” cannot be used.
The Pope also condemned the use of “external nails” such as worldliness and the yearning for power and money. God, he said, “cannot be used for personal interests and selfish ends; he cannot be used to justify any form of fundamentalism, imperialism or colonialism.”
He then made a heartfelt appeal for “no more violence in the name of God! May his most holy Name be adored, not profaned or bartered as a commodity through forms of hatred and human opposition.”
Pope Francis traveled to Azerbaijan as the last stop of his three-day trip there and to Georgia, both of which have a small minority of Catholics. Azerbaijan marks the first time the Pope has ever traveled to a majority Shi’ite nation.
The last encounter of the day was an ecumenical meeting that brought together Allahshükür Hummat Pashazade, who as Sheikh and Grand Mufti of the Caucasus is one of the most influential Muslim voices in the world, as well as the local religious leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church and those of the Jewish communities.
In his speech, Francis highlighted the good relations Catholics enjoy with Muslims in the area, pointing to “the tangible help” that the Islamic leader has offered to the Catholic community on several occasions.
He also pointed to the positive relationship between Catholics and Orthodox in the area, as well as the friendship they enjoy with the Jews.
There is a desire within Azerbaijan to protect the religious heritage of each and to pursue greater openness, he said, adding that “it is not opposition but cooperation that helps to build better and more peaceful societies.”
The fraternity sought by the various religions in the area directly opposes those who wish to focus on division or reawaken tensions that come from opposition and differences, he said.
Opening oneself to others “does not lead to impoverishment but rather enrichment, because it enables us to be more human,” he said, adding that it helps all parties to act “with neither abstract idealism nor with interventionism, not by harmful interference or forceful actions, but rather out of respect for the dynamics of history, cultures and religious traditions.”
Religions, he said, have the key task of accompanying people through life, helping them to understand that “the center of each person is outside of himself, that we are oriented toward the Most High and toward the other who is our neighbor.”
Part of this task involves providing authentic answers to those who often find themselves lost among “the swirling contradictions of our time.”
Among these contradictions is a seemingly dominant attitude of nihilism on the part of those who don't believe in anything “except their own well-being, advantage and profit,” he said.
On the other hand, there is a growing presence of “rigid and fundamentalist” attitudes from “those who, through violent words and deeds, seek to impose extreme and radical attitudes which are furthest from the living God.”
Contrary to these attitudes, religions are called to build and foster “a culture of encounter and peace,” based on mutual understanding and humility. True peace, achieved through prayer and dialogue, is a duty for both Christians and other religious communities, he said.
To be open and hope for the good of others is not a type of “accommodating facile syncretism, nor a diplomatic openness which says yes to everything in order to avoid problems,” the Pope said.
Rather, it is “a path of dialogue with others and a path of prayer for all,” allowing love to rise “where there is hatred, and forgiveness where there is offence, of never growing weary of imploring and tracing the ways of peace.”
“The blood of far too many people cries out to God from the earth,” he said, stressing that in the current global context, “we are challenged to give a response that can no longer be put off: to build together a future of peace.”
“Now is not the time for violent or abrupt solutions, but rather an urgent moment to engage in patient processes of reconciliation,” he said, praying that amid the ongoing “night of conflict” overshadowing the global community, religions would be a sign of peace amid “the devastation of death.”
The Pope prayed that religions, particularly in the Caucasus region, would be “active agents” in overcoming the tragedies and tensions of the past and present.
“The treasures old and ever new of the wisdom, culture and religious sensibility of the people of the Caucasus, are a tremendous resource for the future of the region and especially for European culture,” he said, and prayed that they would always be known and valued.
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Pope Francis most likely to visit India, Bangladesh in 2017 - Zee News

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Pope Francis most likely to visit India, Bangladesh in 2017
Zee News
Aboard the papal plane: Pope Francis will visit Portugal next year and is "almost sure" he'll go to India and Bangladesh. Still to be determined is where in Africa he'll visit and whether Colombia's peace accord is "certain, certain, certain" enough to ...
Full text: Pope Francis' in-flight press conference from AzerbaijanCatholic News Agency
Pope celebrates Mass in BakuAZERTAC News

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WikiLeaks Cancels Major Clinton Revelation Amid 'Security Concerns' - Daily Caller

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Heat Street

WikiLeaks Cancels Major Clinton Revelation Amid 'Security Concerns'
Daily Caller
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London, Britain, in this August 18, 2014 file photo. Swedish prosecutors said on Thursday they had dropped investigations into allegations of sexual ...
That big WikiLeaks release is coming — if you believe this tweetWSOC Charlotte

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Taliban fighters enter northern Afghan city of Kunduz - Reuters

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Taliban fighters enter northern Afghan city of Kunduz
Afghan security forces prepare themselves during a battle with insurgents on the outskirts of Kunduz, Afghanistan August 21, 2016. REUTERS/Nasir Wakif. By Sardar Razmal | KUNDUZ, Afghanistan. KUNDUZ, Afghanistan Taliban fighters mounted a ...
Taliban launches attack on Afghanistan's
Afghanistan: IED blast in army vehicle kills 2 in Kabul; Taliban attacks Kunduz cityInternational Business Times, India Edition
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