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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....
At least 35 people have been killed by landslides and floods on Indonesia's Java island and many others are missing.Dozens of houses were buried in the landslides and thousands of homes were inundated by floods in 16 districts and towns in Central Java province over the weekend.Rescue workers including soldiers, police and volunteers are still searching for victims.The spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, said that 25 villagers were still missing in the worst-hit district of Purworejo, where 19 people died.Seasonal rains often cause flooding and landslides in Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or flood-prone plains close to rivers.  (Source: AP)
(Vatican Radio) Each day war, violence and persecution force thousands of families to flee their homes. To escape, they leave everything behind – everything except their hopes and dreams for a safer future. On June 20th the world commemorates the courage, the strength and the resilience of the some 60 million refugees in the world today.On this special day, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is asking all of us not only to provide refugees with a safe place to stay, but with opportunities to grow and contribute to society.The very things Pope Francis has called for again and again as he has reached out to refugees in countless occasions and made appeals to world leaders and policy-makers. The Director of JRS International, Tom Smolich SJ, explains to Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni why this year JRS is using the theme: “Open minds, unlock potential”.Listen:  “Open minds, unlock potential: this clearly ties into JRS’ focus on educ...
(Vatican Radio) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Sunday concelebrated at a Divine Liturgy in the Metropolitan Church of St Minas in Heraklion, Crete, for the opening of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.Speaking to the patriarch, bishops and leaders of the Orthodox Churches in countries around the world, Bartholomew  said every local Orthodox Church has its own treasure to offer and is a vital part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.At the same time, he said, the Church is “crying out” to the Holy Spirit “to come and abide in us and keep us in Its Truth and Its sanctification”  This appeal, he said on the day the Eastern Church mark the feast of Pentecost, remains “the primary request of all humanity in a divided world that is full of strife, and which thirsts for unity, on behalf of which the Son of God gave up Himself so that all of us may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly”.Speaking i...
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A Taliban suicide bomber killed 14 Nepalese security guards in an attack Monday on their minibus in the Afghan capital, Kabul, the Interior Ministry and an Afghan security official said....
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian intelligence officials have broken up one of the "biggest terrorist" plots ever planned to target Tehran and other provinces in the Islamic Republic, the country's state media reported on Monday....
(Vatican Radio)  Before judging others we should look first in the mirror to see how we, ourselves, appear. That’s what Pope Francis said at Monday morning’s Mass at the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican.  In his last Mass with a Homily there ahead of the summer break, the pontiff pointed out that what distinguishes God's judgment from ours is not “omnipotence” but “mercy.”Listen to the report by Tracey McClure: Judgment belongs to God alone, so if we do not want to be judged, we should not judge others says Pope Francis.  Focusing on the day’s Gospel, the Pope said “all of us want the Lord “to look upon us with kindness” on Judgment Day and that He “will forget the many bad things we have done in life."Jesus calls us hypocrites when we are judgmentalTherefore, if "you judge others constantly,” he warned, “with the same measure you shall be judged." The Lord, he said...
(Vatican Radio) More than 20 people were killed in separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, including at least 14 when a suicide bomber struck a minibus carrying Nepalese security contractors.Hours later, a bomb planted in a motorbike reportedly killed at least eight civilians and wounded another 18 in a crowded market in the northern province of Badakhshan.Officials say the casualty count could rise.The attacks are the latest in a recent surge of violence that highlights the challenges faced by the Afghan government in Kabul and its Western backers as Washington slowly draws down its remaining troops despite a persistent insurgency.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack in a statement from the Islamist group's main spokesman.Another explosion in Kabul later on Monday morning wounded a provincial council member and at least three of his bodyguards. A police spokesman said. It was thought a bomb had been attached to the lawmaker's car.The attacks und...
(Vatican Radio) Four people have been detained after a doomed boating expedition took the lives of more than a dozen children in northern Russia this weekend. Some 37 people are said to have survived the tragedy, which happened despite warning of a storm.Listen to the report by Stefan Bos: Distraught parents began searching for answers as to why despite repeated warnings of an advancing Atlantic cyclone, organizers took their children with them in boats. Russian officials said several boats overturned Saturday on a lake in bad weather in Russia's northwestern region of Syamozero, 120 kilometers east of the border with Finland. Russia's main state investigative agency said that of 47 children and four adult instructors in the boats, at least 14 children died. No life jackets were reportedly found among the dead.   Survivors who managed to reach the coast in freezing waters cried for help, but by than it was too late for many of their friends, explained A...
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