Sunday July 22, 2018

Pope Francis Condemns Militant Islamist Violence as ‘Homicidal Madness’, forcefully restates a call to ban Nuclear Weapons

Francis called for an end to the arms trade, adding that easy access to weapons, "even those of small caliber," aggravates conflicts and fosters insecurity and fear

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Pope Francis makes his speech during an audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings at the Vatican, Jan. 9, 2017. -VOA
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Pope Francis condemned militant Islamist violence as “homicidal madness” on Monday. He said leaders should improve social conditions that serve as fertile ground for fundamentalism and radicalization.

Before diplomats from more than 180 countries, he also forcefully restated a call to ban nuclear weapons, saying experiments by North Korea to build long-range missiles risked setting off a new nuclear arms race.

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Francis, delivering the annual papal “state of the world” address, also spoke of the need to defend European unification and for greater unity in facing climate change.

The Argentine-born pontiff, 80, reserved his toughest words of condemnation for the wave of “fundamentalist-inspired terrorism” in 2016, listing attacks by Islamist militants in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States.

“Sadly, we are conscious that even today, religious experience, rather than fostering openness to others, can be used at times as a pretext for rejection, marginalization and violence,” he said in the Vatican’s Sala Regia.

“We are dealing with a homicidal madness which misuses God’s name in order to disseminate death, in a play for domination and power. Hence I appeal to all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God’s name,” he said.

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Francis said religiously inspired violence “is the fruit of a profound spiritual poverty, and often is linked to significant social poverty. It can only be fully defeated with the joint contribution of religious and political leaders.”

He urged government leaders to enact “suitable social policies aimed at combating poverty” and invest in education and culture.

Francis restated his call for a total nuclear weapons ban, saying North Korea’s threats to test an intercontinental ballistic missile were “particularly disturbing”.

He said they “could destabilize the entire region and raise troubling questions for the entire international community about the risk of a new nuclear arms race.”

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Francis called for an end to the arms trade, adding that easy access to weapons, “even those of small caliber,” aggravates conflicts and fosters insecurity and fear.

Building peace also meant respecting the environment, he said, backing the landmark 2015 global deal struck in Paris, and hoping that tackling climate change “will meet with increased cooperation on the part of all”.

His stand on climate change has put him in direct conflict with U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, who said during the campaign that it was a hoax perpetrated by China and threatened to rip up the deal signed by President Barack Obama.

Since winning the election, Trump has said he will keep an “open mind” about the deal.-(VOA)

 

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)