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Declaring nuclear states to be outlaw states

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The United Nations reviews the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) every five years. In 2010, the monthlong conference developed some action steps for reducing the number of weapons in the world, but not much was done, and expectations were low for this year's conference, which ended May 22. So for the past two years, the nongovernmental organizations that work to abolish nuclear weapons have been developing a strategy.

What are Pope Francis' intentions in the Middle East?

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America magazine explores in some detail the controversial remarks made by Pope Francis to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in a recent audience. Did Francis say that Abbas was an angel of peace, or did he say "may you be an angel of peace"?

Gerard O'Connell makes the case that he actually said, "You are a bit of an angel of peace."

The Samson Option upheld

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According to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the Samson Option is the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal. The title recalls the biblical superhero Samson, who himself was killed when by pulling on the support pillars he brought down the Philistine Temple in Gaza, killing its ruling class.

Beginning with the writing of the militarist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the image of Samson has been central to construction in popular culture of the modern Zionist identity of "the fighting Jew" who has left exile and subjugation behind forever.

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