Middle East

Yazidi human rights leader won’t be able to pick up her award

Vian Dakhil captured the world’s attention two years ago when she made an impassioned plea to save the Yazidi religious minority from annihilation by the Islamic State group in northern Iraq.

As the only female Yazidi in the Iraqi Parliament, Dakhil fought tirelessly for international assistance to stop the violence, including sexual slavery, targeting her beleaguered people.

Now she has been awarded the Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington, D.C. But she is unlikely to make the ceremony on Feb. 8, since President Donald Trump banned all travelers from Iraq.

Meeting in Jerusalem, European bishops call on nations to support migrants

Leaders of the European bishops' conferences expressed solidarity with people of the Middle East, especially those being forced from their homes, and called on European states to act generously, justly, and respectfully toward the influx of migrants and refugees now reaching their shores.

In a statement released Wednesday, the last day of their meeting in Jerusalem, the bishops said they met in the Holy Land to "renew their rootedness in Christ."

Francis meets a tardy Putin, as U.S. official calls for tougher talk

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, in a visit being scrutinized for meaning and significance as Russia continues taking unilateral military action in Ukraine.

The Vatican press office released an unusually lengthy description of the encounter, saying the discussions between the two leaders were “dedicated principally to the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.”

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In This Issue

June 16-29, 2017

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