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With Lima Accord reached, climate attention turns toward 2015

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Negotiators from nearly 200 countries struck a deal early Sunday morning in Lima, Peru, marking the first time that nations, large and small, developed and developing, agreed that each will make pledges aimed at cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement, known as the Lima Accord, concluded two days after the scheduled end of the two-week (Dec. 1-12) negotiations, held among delegates representing 196 countries at the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, formally known as the 20th Conference of the Parties.

Sierra Leone bans Christmas, New Year's celebrations to prevent spread of Ebola

The government of Sierra Leone banned public Christmas and New Year's celebrations because they may exacerbate efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus.

President Ernest Bai Koroma said that despite immense help from the international community, the number of people infected with the virus continues to rise.

Ebola infections in Sierra Leone recently surpassed those of Liberia and Guinea.

Nuclear summit stirs new religious expectations from Vatican, activists

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While Vatican officials are busy working with other religious groups in formulating a collective message on nuclear disarmament, no-nukes activists are looking for ways to influence the actions of their faith leaders.

Vatican officials traveled to Vienna for the third international conference to examine the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons Dec. 8-9 and delivered a message from Pope Francis calling for nations with nuclear arsenals to find a way to rid themselves, and the world, of these kinds of arms.

Latin American church leaders call for church with 'Amazonian face'

Latin American church leaders apologized for historical complicity with colonial atrocities in the Amazon and called for a church with an "Amazonian face" in a pastoral letter issued as negotiators from around the world met for a climate summit here.

"The exploitation of the Amazon through mining, the expansion of farming and ranching, road construction, hydroelectric dams and timber companies demand that the church take a more prophetic stance," they wrote.

Catholic bishops to Lima delegates: end fossil fuels, tend to vulnerable in climate deal

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Citing an order “to treat respectfully Creation,” a group of Catholic bishops have called for an end of the use of fossil fuels, and for negotiators at the United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru, to lay the foundation for an internationally binding agreement next year in Paris.

“Humankind on the Planet Earth is ordained to live in equity, justice and dignity, peace and harmony in the midst of the order of Creation. Humankind is ordered to treat respectfully Creation, which has a value in itself,” the bishops said.

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