Cairo

Gunmen kill 26 in attack on Christians in Egypt

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Gunmen attacked buses and a truck taking a group of Coptic Christians to a monastery in southern Egypt on Friday, killing 26 people and wounding 25 others, witnesses and the Health Ministry said.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said the unidentified gunmen had arrived in three four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Eyewitnesses said masked men stopped the two buses and a truck and opened fire on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority.

Africans seek climate accord that respects their concerns

Africa is among the world's regions most in need of a "just and clear" global accord to combat climate change, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told the U.N. climate conference in Paris.

"All African nations are contributing less to the total harmful emissions and are the most affected by climate change," he told other global leaders at gathering.

The summit aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on measures to stem climate change and protect the environment.

Ugandan bishops reserve judgment on new anti-gay law

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Uganda's Catholic bishops reaffirmed their opposition to homosexuality, but reserved judgment on a recently ratified bill imposing harsh punishment for homosexual acts in the East African nation.

"Our reaction from the church is very clear, we don't support homosexuality," Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, secretary-general of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, told Catholic News Service by phone Feb. 26.

He said that when the anti-gay bill was first discussed, the country's bishops had been against the harsh penalties it involved for homosexual acts, including the death penalty.

Al-Azhar officials hoping to restart stalled talks with Vatican

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Officials at Egypt's Al-Azhar University said they are eagerly awaiting a message from the Vatican that could jump-start their stalled talks.

Their dialogue faltered and was eventually suspended altogether by Al-Azhar in 2011 after a series of remarks made by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Mahmoud Azab, adviser on dialogue to Al-Azhar's grand imam, Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, told Catholic News Service that Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for Egypt's Catholic church, informed them a Vatican envoy would visit Dec. 3.

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June 16-29, 2017

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