INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch discuss Christian unity, Australian baby refused hospital discharge for fear of deportation, Strains between West and Russia reminiscent of ‘Cold War Era’


Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch discuss Christian unity in historic meeting

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met Friday in Cuba to discuss Christian unity. It was the first meeting between a Pope and a Russian Church patriarch since the 11th century split of the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity. According to the BBC, the talks between the leaders lasted two hours with a joint goal of establishing unity to defend the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. Their joint declaration said, “We hope our meeting contributes to the re-establishment of this unity wished for by God.”

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Australian doctors refuse to discharge baby at risk of deportation

The infant daughter of parents seeking refuge in Australia suffered serious burns at an immigration camp on Nauru island, according to the BBC. The infant is being treated in Brisbane at the Lady Cilento Hospital, which says the girl will not be released “until a suitable home environment is identified.” The controversial offshore detention camp prevents asylum seekers on “unseaworthy boats” from reaching Australia, said the BBC. More than 500 people are currently held at the camp that reports have found to be “not adequate, appropriate or safe.”

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Strains between the West and Russia emulate ‘new Cold War’

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said strains between Russia and the West have pushed the world “into a new cold war,” according to the BBC. Medvedev said, “On an almost daily basis, we are being described the worst threat – be it to NATO as a whole, or to Europe, America or other countries.” The Cold War was a time of political tension after WWII during which there was no physical war, but major regional wars supported by the West and East (Russia). The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, in an interview with the BBC said, “We are not in a cold-war situation, but also not in the partnership that we established at the end of the Cold War.”

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