Ukraine wants a national church that is not beholden to Moscow

THE row is over points of ecclesiastical history and procedure that most people, including ordinary folk who belong to the relevant churches, find utterly obscure. But the geopolitical stakes are enormous. That is one way to describe the escalating dispute over religious authority in Ukraine, a devout and divided country, where 70% of people identify as Orthodox Christians. At the root of the argument is a fact that would surprise many people. Although Ukraine is in a state of barely

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France bans smartphones, tablets in schools: report

Politicians in France on Monday reportedly voted in favor of a new law that would largely prohibit students from using smart phones on campus.  (iStock) Politicians in France reportedly voted Monday in favor of a new law that would largely prohibit students from using smart devices on campus. Students as old as 15 years old will not be allowed to use their smartphones, tablets and other similar items at school, unless they’re needed for lessons or after school activities AFP

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Iran can afford to play the long game with Trump

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani met with the new British Ambassador to Tehran Tuesday where he announced, not for the first time, the US withdrawal from the multilateral nuclear deal in May was “illegal,” adding that “the ball is in Europe’s court.” It seems that Iran — and Rouhani is the face of it right now — is playing the pragmatist. For Iran, it’s better to keep some enemies on its side rather than alienate them all at once. Rather than

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Aeromexico plane crashes in Mexico’s Durango state

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – An Aeromexico-operated (AEROMEX.MX) Embraer (EMBR3.SA) passenger jet crashed in Mexico’s northern state of Durango on Tuesday, the airline said, with the state’s civil protection agency saying there were so far no reports of deaths. TV images showed the tail of a plane bearing an Aeromexico logo emerging from scrubland and a column of smoke rising into the sky. A reporter for network Milenio said some passengers had survived and walked to a highway to seek help.

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Britain’s future king faces up to Jerusalem’s religious politics

THE tortured relationships between two royal families, Jerusalem, Israel and the Jews came to a head this week as Britain’s future king (and unless something changes, the future head of the Church of England) toured the city, which is held dear by three monotheistic religions. His itinerary included the Western Wall, where he stood in prayerful silence, wearing a Jewish head-covering, and the peak known as both the Temple Mount and Haram al-Sharif, which is revered by Jews and Muslims.

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Syrian envoy rails against Turkish presence in north

BEIRUT –  Syria’s envoy to the United Nations on Tuesday railed against Turkey’s growing influence in the north, calling it an “occupation” and vowing to “expel” its troops. Turkey, a main backer of Syria’s opposition, has sent troops into northern Syria to battle the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants. It has also deployed troops in the opposition stronghold of Idlib as part of a de-escalation agreement with Iran and Russia, both of which are close allies of the government.

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These modeling agencies don’t hire real people

Brenn’s first Instagram post shows her staring into the camera with light eyes that look just a bit too far apart. Her dark skin glows, her pursed lips glisten, and she wears her short, curly hair tousled just so. Thumb through her feed and you’ll see her modeling a strappy black bikini. She’s got a pensive black and white portrait, too. It’s all perfectly lit and expertly edited. A casual glance might leave you thinking Brenn is just another model

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Turkish court rejects U.S. pastor’s appeal for house arrest to be lifted: TRT Haber

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish court has rejected an appeal for U.S. Christian pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges, state broadcaster TRT Haber said on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO: U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson reacts as he arrives at his home after being released from the prison in Izmir, Turkey July 25, 2018. Demiroren News Agency, DHA via REUTERS Relations between Turkey and the United States have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over

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A cacophony of views on what to teach children about God

IT IS becoming a commonplace that in matters of belief and religion, Western societies are disintegrating into micro-communities that struggle to understand each other. A Babel-like array of introverted faith groups and a secular majority struggle to co-exist, without knowing or even wanting to know much about one another. Awareness of that danger underlies a report published this week by two influential figures in the field of religious education in England: Charles Clarke, a former education secretary, and Linda Woodhead,

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The Latest: Zimbabwe pastor who led protests concedes

HARARE, Zimbabwe –  The Latest on Zimbabwe’s election (all times local): 12 p.m. A Zimbabwean pastor who was prosecuted for leading large anti-government protests when Robert Mugabe was leader has conceded defeat in his bid to be elected as a ward councilor in the capital, Harare. Evan Mawarire, who had launched the #ThisFlag protest campaign on social media, congratulated Jacob Mafume, a candidate from an opposition coalition led by the Movement for Democratic Change party. Mawarire ran as an independent.

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