Daily Archives: October 21, 2007

Pope Benedict gives response to Muslim Scholars

BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope decries ‘religious’ violence

Pope Benedict XVI has urged world religious leaders not to allow God’s name to be used to justify violence.

He said: “religions must never become vehicles for hatred”. He also said that the Catholic Church would continue to seek dialogue to bridge the gap between the cultures:


“In a world wounded by conflicts, where violence is
justified in God’s name, it’s important to repeat that religion can
never become a vehicle of hatred, it can never be used in God’s name to
justify violence,” the Pope told the gathering.


“On the contrary, religions can and must offer precious
resources to build a peaceful humanity, because they speak about peace
in the heart of man.


“With respect for the differences between different
religions, we are all called to work for peace and an effective effort
to promote reconciliation between peoples.”

Pope Benedict XVI at mass in Naples

The Pope highlighted criminal violence in Naples


The Pope also made it clear that he will never budge on traditional Catholic teaching, that Catholicism alone is the one true faith.

Prior to the meeting of religious leaders the Pope celebrated an open air Mass in Naples, but there was a poor turnout for the Mass. Pope Benedict called for a profound renewal in the city of Naples, a city plagued by unemployment and a high crime rate. He singled out the activities of the local mafia of Naples, the organization that controls much of the city’s economy.


“How important it is to intensify efforts for a serious
strategy of prevention focusing on schools and the workplace and on
helping young people spend their free time,” the Pope said.


“Everyone must intervene against violence.”

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Pollution as a cause of cancer in children

If there is one thing I hate, it is hearing about yet another child who has cancer, and yes I do know one child personally. She is only 3 years old, and has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

However, this story concerning a young boy with leukemia has struck a chord because of the possibility that the pollutants that were pumped out into the air by the petro-chemical plants might have had an impact upon the health of this child.

No one can say for certain that Valentin’s illness was caused by the
air he breathed, but earlier this year, the University of Texas
released a study showing that children who live within two miles of the
ship channel have a 56 percent greater chance of getting leukemia than kids living elsewhere.


It’s the first study showing an association between the channel’s air
quality and childhood leukemia. The health risks from the shipping
canal are not limited to cancer. The chemicals in the air can cause other serious health problems, such as respiratory diseases and birth defects.


Tom McGarity, a professor of environmental law at the University of
Texas, believes such conditions are allowed to persist because 90
percent of the people who call the ship channel home are Hispanic and
many of them are poor.


“If these plants were omitting these
kinds of levels in River Oaks, it wouldn’t be happening, I promise,” he
said. River Oaks is one of the more affluent communities in Houston.


The connection between poverty and poor environmental conditions is not
limited to Texas. In many of the countries visited for CNN’s “Planet in
Peril” documentary, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Madagascar, Chad, China
and Brazil, it is the poor and disenfranchised who bear the brunt of
environmental burdens.

A similar dynamic plays out in the United
States, where class and very often race can determine where one lives.
In 2005, for example, The Associated Press reported blacks were 79
percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where
industrial pollution was suspected of posing the greatest health danger.


“It’s really mind-boggling that we could kind of write off, you know, a
whole section of our society,” said Majora Carter, founder of the
Sustainable South Bronx, which fights what Carter calls “environmental
racism” in New York and around the country.

“No one should have
to bear the brunt of environmental burdens and not enjoy any
environmental benefits, and right now race and class … really
determine the good things like parks and trees or the bad stuff like
waste facilities and power plants,” she said.

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DOCS fails again

Govt received call for help for dead boy – Yahoo!7 News

This is yet another very sad case. The body of a two year old toddler was found in a pond in Sydney, by two boys last week. After discovering the identity of the child, the mother was taken in for questioning and has been charged with his murder. How very sad, that the mother could harm her child in this way.

Now it appears that DOCS had received a call for help regarding this child, but as usual for DOCS nothing was done to follow up the call. How many children in NSW will die before DOCS is forced to clean up their act.

This is not the first child who has been endangered, where DOCS has been notified that there is a problem, and nothing was done to protect the child.

I do not want to preempt anything relating to the case that is being brought against the mother of the little boy. She will go before the court and she will receive a fair hearing. She needed help but there was nothing offered to her. The way in which DOCS operates is not in the interests of the parents or the children, if a mother ends up murdering her child because she cannot get help.

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Cars burnt after Amsterdam death

The BBC News has a follow up report on the riots in Amsterdam. It is interesting to note that they specify that it is a very small group of Moroccan youths who are behind the trouble. The 22 year old who was killed after stabbing two police officers at a police station had been treated for psychiatric problems. The BBC also reports that this particular man had been questioned over his links to extremist Islamists who were linked to the murder of Theo Van Gogh.

It really does beg the question as to whether the riots themselves were planned in advance, and it should be made clear that those involved in this particular case are very much a minority in Holland. Nevertheless, they are behaving in the same way as the extremists in both Brussells and Paris in previous years, and the fact that the riot has taken place after the close of Ramadan remains significant.

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