Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World for Sat. 160416

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World for Sat. 160416

Article excerpt

Pope's visit to Greece will highlight refugee crisis

Pope Francis will arrive in Greece Saturday for a visit that rights groups hope will highlight the plight of refugees who fled war-torn homelands only to be denied entry to Europe. The Vatican insists Francis' five-hour visit is purely humanitarian and religious in nature and isn't a direct criticism of the European Union's new deportation plan. But the image of Francis meeting with refugees slated for deportation will bring the controversy back to the world's attention. Francis will meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians; and the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Athens Archbishop Ieronymos II.

U.N. climate pact draws record number of nations * A record 155 countries, including the U.S., will sign the landmark agreement to tackle climate change at a ceremony at U.N. headquarters on Friday, the United Nations said. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, French President Francois Hollande and French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, who is in charge of global climate negotiations, have invited leaders from all 193 U.N. member states to the event. The U.N. says more than 60 heads of state and government plan to attend.

Drought parches India * Decades of groundwater abuse, flawed water policies and poor monsoons have turned large parts of central India into an arid dust bowl. Hundreds of millions of people in at least 13 states are reeling from severe drought, a situation that is expected to worsen in the coming months. Parched fields, burnt crops and wasted cattle have helped drive up the number of suicides by distressed farmers. Tens of thousands have left their farms, with many joining the ranks of the unemployed in the cities.

Pakistani hard-liners push for executions * A Pakistani religious group demanded on Friday the immediate execution of a Christian woman on death row and all others convicted under the country's harsh blasphemy law. …

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