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KABUL — Two NATO service members died after gunmen wearing Afghan national security forces uniforms shot at their vehicle Wednesday, the coalition said in a statement.
Summer offers American college kids the chance to go on vacation or get a part-time job. But Iraqi students are using their downtime to learn how to fight ISIS.
Shahad Haider, 25, can usually be found working toward her master's degree in media studies. Now classes have finished for the summer at the University of Baghdad, she is learning how to dismantle and operate an AK-47 assault rifle.
President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to meet with his United States counterpart, Barack Obama, in the White House next Monday, the US government is expected to make another case asking the Nigerian government to repeal its law against same-sex unions.
Making this known Monday, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stated that the US would continue to pressure Nigeria until it legalises same-sex marriage.
According to the Nigerian Pilot, Thomas-Greenfield revealed America’s plans yesterday during a live-web chat with journalists in Washington DC.
US recently legalised gay marriage, a development, which sparked off mixed reactions across the globe.
Thomas-Greenfield, who said the US had adopted the protection of the rights of same-sex people as part of its foreign policies, vowed that Washington would continue to mount and sustain pressure on Nigeria and other countries to reverse their laws against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) community.
She said: “As a government, it is one of the highest priorities and strongest values that discrimination against anyone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity is wrong. We believe human rights should be available to everybody.
“As a policy, we will continue to press the government of Nigeria, as well as other governments which have provided legislation that discriminate against the LGBT community.”
Thomas-Greenfield, who did not agree that pressuring Nigeria to reverse the anti-gay law amounted to interference, said Nigeria and Uganda have the hardest legislation on the gay community.
She said: “This is very much a work in progress, but I think you will agree with me that the law in Nigeria really went far in discriminating against this community but also people who associate with them. So, we will continue to press the government, to press the legislature to change these laws and provide human rights for all Nigerian people regardless of their sexual orientation.”
Thomas-Greenfield was optimistic that the US would win the fight to protect the LGBT community.
She continued: “With what is happening in the US, you can determine how far we are willing to go. We strongly believe human rights for all people and we are particularly opposed to legislation that actually targets the gay community for discrimination.
“So we are prepared to push this as a policy, not just in Africa but across the world.”
Source: This day live
AS RELIGIOUS statements go, the one by Pope Francis on the environment is readable and in places, beautiful. With a clear eye on some global climate-change diplomacy which will come to a head in December, it affirms that carbon emitted by humans is the main reason why Earth is warming, and urges rapid action, especially by rich countries, to curb it.
The document was formally presented on June 18th but leaked in draft form three days earlier. It was the first time the world’s largest religious body had devoted a big, set-piece pronouncement to the welfare of the planet, and it was a new style of papal statement. Encyclicals used to be letters to bishops; then they became missives to all Catholics; this one seems to address humanity in general. Although it often cites the green ideas of the Orthodox church, it avoids theological talk about sin and draws on non-Christian as well as non-religious sources. Many of its 190 or so pages could have come from a secular NGO; but there are tender and lyrical passages which call for a “change of heart” among consumers and decision-makers.
The inspiration, as Pope Francis has explained, came from his experience in Latin America; and its influence depends a lot on the reaction in his native region, which is home to 425m Catholics (nearly 40% of the global total) and the locus of some sharp environmental dilemmas.
In left-wing Catholic circles, especially Hispanic ones, the document was hailed as vindication of a newish stream of thinking, which aims to speak for the poor and the global South without being Marxist; it first emerged clearly at a Latin American bishops’ meeting in the Brazilian town of Aparecida in 2007. The current pope, who was then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, was a key voice at that meeting and is now seen as a bearer of its message.
Saving the world
And the anti-colonial spirit of Aparecida is clearly present in his encyclical; it quotes the bishops’ warning that green proposals for “internationalising” the Amazon could be thinly veiled assaults on sovereignty. Still, it was only at Aparecida, the pontiff has said, that he realised that trees were worth saving. “When I heard the Brazilian bishops speak of the deforestation of Amazonia, I ended up understanding [that the trees of] Amazonia are the lungs of the world,” Francis told an air-borne news conference earlier this year.
It is true that many woes, including deforestation, can best be seen from high up. But at ground level in some ecologically stricken places, the image of papally inspired Catholics resisting Latin America’s polluters and tree-fellers gives way to a more complex reality. For one thing, the Catholic church’s ability to fight for any collective cause has been limited by the rise of Protestant sects offering an atomistic path to salvation and wealth; some Latin Catholics now mimic that style.
In Brazil, a land where many forms of Christianity abound, some of the loudest political voices are of evangelicals with ties to agribusiness; and one of the most zealous Catholics in Brazilian public life is Blairo Maggi, a senator from Mato Grosso state who is known as the king of soya and is sceptical about tree conservation.
Meanwhile Edilberto Sena, a leftist Catholic priest in the city of Santarém, acknowledges that some poor people struggle to grasp his concern with illegal logging in the nearby forest; and he has to compete with preachers who promise help with more personal worries. He hails the fact that the pope is acting as “shepherd to the whole world, not just Catholics” but he doubts whether it will change his country’s masters. Other Brazilians are more upbeat. Valdir Raupp, a devoutly Catholic senator, hopes that thanks to the encyclical, education will replace repression as the best way to preserve forests.
In Ecuador the paradoxes are even greater. President Rafael Correa sees the encyclical as boosting his personal eco-Catholic credentials; he attended a Vatican conference in April that heralded the papal initiative. But Mr Correa faces a wave of protest over his own environmental act.
In 2013 he broke a vow not to drill for oil in the Yasuni national park, prompting more than 750,000 people to sign a call for a referendum on the issue which was turned down on a technicality. He dissolved an NGO, Pachamama, as a “threat to national security” after it made a small protest against oil tenders in the Amazon. His push to start open-pit mining in remote forested valleys has led to open conflict with local indigenous leaders. In recent weeks, a plan which might have altered the status of the Galápagos National Park, on the islands whose fauna inspired Charles Darwin, was a factor behind a wave of demonstrations in the cities of Ecuador and the archipelago.
And in Argentina, too, environmental problems can present ironies rather than straight fights between good and evil. One of the biggest green concerns in Buenos Aires is a paper mill in Uruguay which discharges into the river between the two countries; there was fury in 2013 when Uruguay announced a rise in its output. The main object of Argentine wrath was not some northern capitalist but Uruguay’s President José Mujica, who is usually seen as a liberal-leftist hero.
But these ideological puzzles will hardly daunt a pope who takes all earthly doctrines with a pinch of salt; he spent his early career parrying the fury of a right-wing junta, and when he visits America in the autumn, he will have to persuade some people he is not a communist.
Washington - President Barack Obama said Thursday the church shooting that left nine people dead shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence in America.
The president said that all too often, he has been called to the microphone to mourn the deaths of innocents killed by those "who had no trouble getting their hands on a gun."
Also read: Charleston shooting a ‘hate crime’
"At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries," Obama said. "It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it."
Obama said that he and Vice President Joe Biden both spoke with Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley to express condolences. And the president said he and first lady Michelle Obama knew several parishioners at Emanuel AME church, including the church's pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was among those killed.
Obama spoke from the White House before departing on a weekend fundraising trip to California. Biden joined Obama in the briefing room for the
Hillary Clinton on Saturday officially launched her 2016 presidential campaign, calling for a return to shared prosperity and asking American workers, students and others to trust her to fight for them.
Clinton made the announcement at an outdoor rally on New York City's Roosevelt Island, two months after announcing her campaign with an online video.
“You have to wonder: When do I get ahead? I say now,” Clinton told the crowd in a roughly 46-minute speech. “You brought the country back. Now it’s your time to enjoy the prosperity. That is why I’m running for president of the United States.”
The former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state is the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 White House race.
Also in the race are Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffe.
She lost her 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Obama.
Clinton, wearing her signature blue pantsuit, walked through the crowd en route to the stage for her speech.
She remarked that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a “testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad.”
Clinton also drew into focus what will likely be the key themes of her campaign including support for same-sex marriage, wage equality for women and all Americans, affordable college tuition and free child-care and pre-kindergarten.
“The top-25 hedge fund managers make more than all kindergarten teachers combined,” she said. “And they’re paying lower taxes.”
Clinton attempted to portray herself as a fierce advocate for those left behind in the post-recession economy, detailing a lifetime of work on behalf of struggling families. She said her mother's difficult childhood inspired what she considers a calling.
"I have been called many things by many people,” Clinton said.” Quitter is not one of them."
She said that attribute came from her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, in whom she would confide after hard days in the Senate and at the State Department.
"I wish my mother could have been with us longer," Clinton said. "I wish she could have seen the America we are going to build together ... where we don't leave any one out or any one behind."
Clinton was joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea.
She also was critical in her speech of Republicans, suggesting they have reserved economic prosperity for the wealthy, in large part by cutting taxes for the country’s highest wage-earners.
She also accused them of trying to “wipe out tough rules on Wall Street,” take away health insurance from more than 16 million Americans without offering any “credible alternative” and turning their backs on “gay people who love each other.”
The Republican National Committee said in response that Clinton's campaign was full of hypocritical attacks, partisan rhetoric and ideas from the past.
"Next year, Americans will reject the failed policies of the past and elect a Republican president,” RNC Press Secretary Allison Moore said.
Republicans also argued Clinton devoted only about five minutes of her speech to foreign policy.
Clinton now heads to four early-primary states, starting Saturday night in Iowa where she will talk with volunteers and others about grassroots-campaign efforts for the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
The organizational meeting will be simulcast to Clinton camps across the country and serve as a blueprint for them all 435 congressional districts.
She then travels to New Hampshire on June 15, South Carolina on June 17 and in Nevada on June 18.
Clinton vowed Saturday to roll out specific policy proposals in the coming weeks, including ones on rewriting the tax code and sustainable energy.
In what was her first major speech of her campaign, she also cited President Obama, Roosevelt and her husband, saying they embraced the idea that "real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all."
Holding the event on an island between Queens and Manhattan raised some criticism about its accessibility by vehicle and public transportation.
The campaign estimated the event crowd, whose members needed a ticket, at 5,500. However, the number appeared smaller, and the overflow section was empty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
President Barack Obama of the United states of America and the former Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan have both congratulated Muhammudu Buhari on his inauguration as President of Nigeria.
While Obama says he will continue to strngthen the economic and diplomatic styles between his country and Nigeria, Annan says he hopes “that Nigeria’s recent elections were not a lucky exception but instead signal a new democratic departure from which other countries in Africa and beyond can draw inspiration.”
Vice-president Joe Biden said on Saturday that his son Beau had died of brain cancer, at the age of 46.
“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. “We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us, especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.”
The family was at Beau Biden’s side when he died, the vice-president said, adding: “It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life.”
On Sunday, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the Biden family at the US Naval Observatory, the official residence of the vice-president, to pay their condolences. A scheduled reception at the White House was cancelled.
Beau Biden, 46, a former Delaware attorney general, was found to have brain cancer in August 2013. He underwent surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, to remove a lesion. That was followed by radiation treatment and chemotherapy, and his doctor gave him a clean bill of health in November, officials said.
He suffered a recurrence of illness this spring and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in May, officials said.
Biden announced last year that he would not seek a third term as Delaware attorney general, planning instead to run for governor in 2016. He suffered a recurrence of his illness this spring and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in May, officials said.
After eight years as attorney general, Beau Biden joined the investment law firm Grant & Eisenhofer in 2015. He also served a year-long tour in Iraq as a captain in the Delaware national guard. He had a mild stroke in 2010.
On Sunday, figures from across the US political spectrum expressed their condolences, often via social media. Secretary of State John Kerry – who on Sunday was in hospital in Geneva after breaking his leg in a cycling accident – called Beau Biden “a son any father might hope to raise” and recalled how he chose to continue serving in the military in Iraq rather than be appointed to the Senate seat his father was leaving to become vice-president in 2009.
Among 2016 presidential candidates, Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton used Twitter to say: “My heart is broken for the family of Beau Biden – a wonderful man who served his country with devotion and lived his life with courage.”
Presumed Republican frontrunner Jeb Bush said: “Saddened by the news of Beau Biden’s passing. My prayers are with the Vice President, Dr Biden and the whole family.”
The Obamas issued a lengthy statement on Saturday night, in which they said: “Michelle and I are grieving. Beau Biden was a friend of ours. His beloved family … are friends of ours. And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get.
“Beau took after Joe. He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school. He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s attorney general. Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched – and he lives on in their hearts.
The statement added: “Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known. He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family. It’s one of the things we love about him. And it is a testament to Joe and Jill – to who they are – that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.”
Squander Of $67 Billion: Nigerian Christian Leaders Are Engaging In Sinful Silence –Pastor Tunde Bakare
Marcy Borders, a survivor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks who was photographed covered in dust after fleeing the World Trade Center, has died of stomach cancer. Borders' family announced her death Tuesday on Facebook. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year at the age o...
The Minister of Trade and Investment in Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Aganga, has given the nation’s economy a clean bill of health, saying that despite the challenges of poor infrastructural development, epileptic power supply, insecurity in some states in the north-east, Nigeria’s economy still accounts for 75 per cent of new investments in Africa.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said the Federal Government, the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies are working very hard to ensure that the ability of Boko Haram to capture and hold any Nigerian territory is ended very soon. ...