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Ban Ki-Moon

Pope to Iraqi president: 'I appeal to you with my heart full of pain'

Pope Francis wrote to the president of Iraq, calling for an end to the "brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities" and urging political leaders to end the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Francis said in his letter to Iraqi President Fouad Massoum: "I appeal to you with my heart full of pain while I follow the brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities who are forced to leave their homes, as their places of worship are destroyed."

Pope to UN: Act to end the tragedy in Iraq

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Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.

In a letter signed Aug. 9 but released by the Vatican after it had been delivered, Pope Francis told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediate action was needed "to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities."

Differing sketches on energy ahead of World Environment Day

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The days leading up to United Nations World Environment Day have sketched energy contrasts across North America.

In the U.S., one state’s legislators successfully stalled clean energy initiatives; further south, a Caribbean island took a global spotlight as it moves toward generating a third of its energy from renewable, and primarily the sun.

Iraqis in Jordan go to the polls, hoping for stability at home

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A steady stream of Iraqi refugees, smiling and displaying purple index fingers, emerged from a polling station in the Hashemi Shamali district, where the majority of these urban refugees live in the Jordanian capital.

"Change is badly needed in Iraq. Hopefully the elections will yield a suitable leader. God is gracious," said Um Martin, a Chaldean Catholic woman from the biblical city of Ninevah in northern Iraq.

Air pollution 'kiss of death' for 7 million in 2012

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“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7)

Since the beginning of time, the air we breathe is given to us as a free and ever-present gift from God. Unlike food and water, which is often too scarce for the poorest of the poor, no one can horde, process, package or sell oxygen. Unfortunately, due to humanity’s carelessness, the breath of life is now the kiss of death for seven million people a year.

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August 15-28, 2014

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