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WASHINGTON (AP) -- When the U.S. housing bubble peaked a decade ago, soon to burst with far-reaching consequences, the pain was particularly severe for black and Hispanic Americans....
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A wildfire that for days has threatened hundreds of homes and popular seaside campgrounds near Santa Barbara was half-surrounded and held in check, though firefighters were about to face the hottest day yet and the kind of dry, torrid conditions prevailing from the West Coast all the way to New Mexico....
CLEVELAND (AP) -- More tears. Only this time, tears of joy....
IMAGE: CNS photo/Nikos Arvantidis, pool via EPABy Carol GlatzVATICANCITY (CNS) -- Assist and accompany refugees while working to build peace in theworld, Pope Francis urged on the eve of World Refugee Day."Refugeesare people like everyone, but war took away their home, work, relatives andfriends," he said in the run-up to the United Nations-sponsored day June20.Seeingthe faces and hearing the stories of refugees should lead Christians "to renew ourobligation to build peace through justice," he said after praying theAngelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square June 19."Thisis why we want to stand with them -- to encounter them, welcome them, listen tothem -- in order to become together with them artisans of peace, according toGod's will," the pope said, referring to the day's theme, "We Stand#WithRefugees." Thepope's appeal followed a joint effort by the Vatican police, the Greekgovernment and Rome's Sant'Egidio Community to bring a group of Syrian refugeesto Italy.TheVatican ...
By Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Using the word "genocide" todescribe the persecution of Christians in the Middle East risks downplaying thecourage and witness of those who boldly profess faith in Jesus Christ even inthe face of death, Pope Francis said."I want to say clearly that I do not like it whenpeople speak of a 'genocide of Christians,' for example in the MiddleEast," the pope said, responding to questions June 18. Calling thepersecution "genocide," he said, is using a juridical andsociological category to speak of "something which is a mystery of thefaith: martyrdom."Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, saidPope Francis "was not speaking about the use of the term 'genocide' on apolitical level, but on a level of faith. When applied to the persecution ofChristians in the Middle East, the dimension of faith is essential,"particularly when victims are murdered for not renouncing faith in Christ.Pope Francis spent more than an hour responding to questionsdur...
The United Nations refugee agency on Monday called for access to a group of migrants believed to be from Sri Lanka, following a week-long standoff that saw their boat stranded off the coast of Indonesia.  The boat carrying the 44 migrants, including women and children, was reportedly en route to Australia and had drifted into Indonesian waters near northern Aceh province on June 11 after encountering engine trouble, Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. Local officials had initially stopped the migrants from disembarking and said it must sail on, but then allowed them ashore over the weekend amid criticism from refugee advocacy groups.  However, UNHCR in Indonesia said that since the incident, it had not been granted access to the group to determine their status. UNHCR's Indonesia representative Thomas Vargas said they been given no reason for the lack of access, but he declined to comment when asked if it signalled Indonesia might start pushing back asylum-...
While lamenting that the world continues to witness appalling levels of sexual violence in conflict, involving women, girls, boys and men, the United Nations chief is optimistic that there has also been clear progress and unprecedented political momentum to address these crimes.  “There have been landmark cases against political and military leaders, demonstrating that the era of impunity for sexual violence as a tool of war is over,” UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said in a message for the first International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, observed on Sunday.   While paying tribute to the many thousands of caregivers, medical practitioners, advocates, and others on the frontline of this battle, who are fighting for change, Ban condemned Daesh, Boko Haram and other extremist groups that are using sexual violence as a means of attracting and retaining fighters, and to generate revenue.  Particularly condemning the abduction...
With over 65 million people displaced worldwide by the end of last year, easily setting a new postwar ‎record, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) warned on Monday that European and other rich ‎nations can expect the tide to continue if root causes aren't addressed.  In a year when more than a ‎million people arrived on European shores, UNHCR said continued conflicts and persecution in places ‎like Syria and Afghanistan fueled a nearly 10-percent increase in the total number of refugees and ‎internally displaced people in 2015. The ‎figures contained in the Geneva-based agency's latest Global Trends Report were issued on Monday, to mark the June 20 World Refugee Day.  The report showed that for the first time since World War II, the 60 ‎million mark was crossed, even topping the equivalent of the total U.K. population of about 64.6 ‎million. ‎‎“I hope that the message carried by those forcibly displaced rea...
CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced six people, including two Al-Jazeera employees, to death for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi....
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