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Pope Urges Hearing Cries of Persecuted Children, Lizard Squad Hackers & More

AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

CITE DU VATICAN, Vatican City : Pope Francis (C) gives his traditional Christmas "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on December 26, 2013 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

James Asquith - published on 12/26/14 - updated on 06/07/17

James Asquith's News Tips

VATICAN CITY
"Jesus is the salvation for every person and every people" — Pope Francis 
RADIO VATICANA
Pope urges "tenderness" as millions celebrate Christmas — Pope Francis has called for "tenderness" and "warmth" after a violence-plagued year
GULF NEWS
Pope Francis urges people to hear cries of children at Christmas
CATHOLIC HERALD
NORTH AMERICA
Six arrested in New York for threatening officers after NYPD murders — Six people have been arrested in New York for threatening NYPD officers since officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed last weekend 
BREITBART
Muslim woman sues State of Ohio for allegedly being "forced" to attend chapel while incarcerated — Sakeena Majeed was incarcerated in the Cuyahoga County Jail for 60 days beginning April 11, 2014 for an assault that occurred in July 2013 
CHRISTIAN TODAY
After 70% of illegals fail to appear at hearings, Federal government to track more with GPS — The Department of Homeland Security will reportedly track more illegal immigrants with GPS devices because a whopping 70% of illegal immigrants who traveled to America as a family unit failed to show up to their immigration hearings 
BREITBART
US, Japan and South Korea to share intelligence on North Korea — The US, Japan and South Korea have agreed on a trilateral intelligence-sharing pact to deal with North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs 
VOA
Cyber Wars: Xbox and PlayStation online services have been suffering technical problems, amid claims a hacking group has disabled their services. Microsoft and Sony – the companies which make the games consoles – have told customers they are aware of issues affecting their online services. A hacking group called Lizard Squad is claiming to have caused the problems 
BBC
Police officers pull West Virginians over and surprise them by handing out $100 bills — Motorists in West Virginia were confused on Monday when State Troopers pulled them over for seemingly no reason. Their confusion turned into pleasant surprise, however, when the troopers handed them a $100 bill in a random act of kindness. The West Virginia State Police Princeton Detachment received a generous sum of $1,000 for the Secret Santa project from an anonymous donor 
CHRISTIAN TODAY
Catholic Charities team brightens holidays — This year, Catholic Charities teamed up with St. Joseph Knights of Columbus, Homeless Gear, Spoons Restaurant, Northern Colorado Caterers and various community donors and volunteers to make sure those less fortunate have a good holiday 
COLORADOAN
Jews keep Sacramento first responders fed at Christmas — A Jewish congregation in California has made it a holiday tradition to bring Christmas to first responders who are working to serve and protect their community, and who cannot celebrate the holiday with their loved ones 
BREITBART
Planned Parenthood features Christmas card with birth control snowflake (Tasteless, but unsurprising) 
BREITBART
Capacity crowds pack screenings of "The Interview"
BREITBART
Woman intends to be Kansas City’s first female Catholic priest — In a few days Georgia Walker, at age 67, intends to become a priest, at which point she will be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church 
KANSAS CITY STAR
LATIN AMERICA
Former Mexican President’s brother acquitted of raiding Mexico’s coffers
BREITBART
Priest kidnapped in Mexico
FOX
ISRAEL
Israeli child severely burned in Molotov cocktail attack — An 11-year-old Israeli girl is being treated for severe burns after a Molotov cocktail was hurled into the car she was riding in Thursday in a West Bank settlement community, national EMS provider Magen David Adom said 
CNN
Christmas greeting to Christians from Benjamin Netanyahu — 
RUSSIA
Vladimir Scrooge! Putin cancels Christmas holidays for ministers as Russia’s economic crisis continues — Russian President Vladimir Putin told a televised government session on Thursday that Cabinet ministers should not take this time off.
“For the government and for your agencies, we cannot afford this long holiday, at least this year — you know what I mean,” he said. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Cabinet ministers on Thursday he expects them to keep the situation in check even during the holiday 
AUSNEWS
Russia says Kiev’s move to join NATO dangerous for Europe —  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said
Ukraine’s pursuit of NATO membership posed a danger to European security and that the West was using Kiev’s bid to join the Atlantic alliance as a way to fuel confrontation between Russia and Ukraine 
REUTERS
Ukraine briefly cuts power to Crimea amid feud with Russia over NATO — The Ukraine briefly severed electricity to the Crimean Peninsula, nine months after it was annexed by Russia, in a pointed reminder of the territory’s reliance on Ukrainian energy sources 
NEW YORK TIMES
Ukraine crisis: Key peace talks in Minsk called off — A key round of peace talks between Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian rebels, due to take place in Minsk on Friday, has been called off, Belarusian officials say 
BBC
RECOMMENDED ON ALETEIA
Rachel Lu’s 
"Persecuted Christians"
 reminds us that 
"For persecuted Christians around the world, 2014 has been a trial by fire."
 Rachel goes on to say, "There are, perhaps, a few things we can do. There are organizations that make efforts to help persecuted Christians. In some cases, applying political pressure may also do some good. North Korea may not take calls from the US State Department, but India does. Staying informed really can help, insofar as it enables us to understand when Western pressure might make a difference." 
ALETEIA
BRITAIN & IRELAND
The Queen’s Speech
David Cameron praises Britain’s commitment to Christian values in Christmas message — "This Christmas I think we can be very proud as a country at how we honour these values through helping those in need at home and around the world" 
CHRISTIAN TODAY
EUROPE
Swiss monastery opens doors to Eritrean asylum seekers — Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland’s oldest and most famous monastery, has opened its doors to asylum seekers. The abbey was founded in the 10th Century; for over 1,000 years it has been a place of pilgrimage. For the Benedictine monks who live there, the daily routine, bounded by prayer, has changed little during that time. "We did not want to put the asylum seekers into bunkers, in civil protection centres which are all underground with artificial light, artificial air conditioning and so on," says Fiona Elze, who is in charge of asylum in canton Schwyz, where Einsiedeln is situated. The abbey agreed to make space for about 30 asylum seekers from Eritrea. They arrived in October, and live in accommodations once used by pilgrims 
BBC
High school student arrested for ‘insulting’ Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan — A 16-year-old high school student has been arrested in central Turkey for "insulting" President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him and his ruling party of corruption (Just imagine .. saying something against Recep, what was the boy thinking? I jest of course. Watch for incresing repression in Turkey!)  
ABC
New Crucifix erected after WW2 Crucifix cut down by Muslim in Austria — A sixty-year-old crucifix in a small Austrian town has met an inglorious end after being cut down by a Muslim who declared it an “eyesore” and cut it to pieces with an angle-grinder 
BREITBART
AFRICA
Ten dead after Al-Shabaab attack African Union base — Somalia’s militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab raided the country’s largest military base for African Union troops on Thursday, detonating a car bomb at the entrance before engaging in a firefight with troops, a spokesman for the group said 
CNNXINHUANET
Nigerian parents offer their 13 year old daughter to Boko Haram as Islamic sacrifice
DAILY MAIL
Briton shot dead in Church in Ethiopia on Christmas Eve — A 47-year-old British tourist has been shot dead in an Ethiopian church on Christmas Eve after a man "accidentally" fired a gun 
DAILY MAIL
Libyan militia kill 18 soldiers and destroy oil storage facility — Libya Dawn militia have killed at least 18 soldiers and damaged an oil tank during an attack against an army battalion in the northern Libyan city of Sirte on Thursday, officials have said 
XINHUANET
Schoolgirl on escape from Boko Haram: "I said we better run" — In the days after the kidnapping some 50 of these girls managed to escape. Deborah spent a day in the Sambisa forest before running away. Now she is afraid to return to school in Nigeria. She and some other escapees have secured funding with the help of an organisation called Education After Escape, to go to America to finish school. As she prepared to leave she decided to speak out on behalf of their friends who are still in captivity 
BBC
MIDDLE EAST
Baghdad’s Christians gather defiantly for Christmas Eve mass — Baghdad’s embattled Christian community worshipped defiantly Wednesday night at Christmas Eve mass. The pews filled at Baghdad’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church, as people remembered the darkest year in memory 
REUTERS
Former Guantanamo detainee released by the US is now recruiting for ISIS and has sent 2,500 fighters – twice as many as allied airstrikes have killed 
DAILY MAIL
Prisoner swap could be possible for captured Jordan pilot — A prisoner exchange may be on the cards for a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State fighters after his plane crashed in Syria on Wednesday, according to a report in the Arab press 
ALBAWABA NEWS
ASIA & CHINA
Christmas in the red light district: Indian slums, a Bethlehem stable, and a Savior for the world 
CHRISTIAN POST
200 Mahadalits convert to Christianity on Christmas Day — About 200 Mahadalits from 40 families of Atiya village under Pararia panchayat of Bodh Gaya block converted to Christianity on Thursday at a Christmas function organised in a local school by a priest, Br. Rajkishor 
THE HINDU
Pakistani Christians to be designated as a "high risk group" — The Dutch government has announced that Pakistani Christians will be designated as a "high risk group," opening the door for them to receive special considerations as refugees in the country 
CHRISTIAN TODAY
America delivers Boxing Day death: US drone strikes kill seven militants in Pakistan — Two suspected US drones fired missiles at militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan on Friday killing at least seven fighters, Pakistani intelligence officials said 
REUTERS
Indonesian Islamists issue stern warning to Muslims not to participate in Christmas celebrations — While Indonesia’s Christian community prepared to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Islamic fundamentalists were forbidding Muslims not to wear Christmas symbols or even exchange Christmas greetings with friends or colleagues 
CHRISTIAN TODAY
Chinese university bans the celebration of Christmas and asks students to resist Western culture — A university in northwestern China has banned Christmas, calling it a ‘kitsch’ foreign celebration unbefitting of the country’s own traditions and making its students watch propaganda films instead 
DAILY MAIL
Entire Chinese city bans Christmas — A Chinese city has banned schools from holding Christmas events, state media reported on Thursday, highlighting official suspicions about the increasingly popular festival because of its foreign origins. China’s Christian population, currently estimated at around 60 million, is rapidly growing and Christmas is increasingly marked in the country which is ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party. But the government education bureau in Wenzhou, an eastern Chinese coastal city sometimes called "China’s Jerusalem" because of its large Christian population, has banned schools from holding "Christmas-related" events. The government education bureau "hopes schools can pay more attention to Chinese traditional festivals instead of Western traditions" 
BANGKOK POSTDAILY MAIL
China fires on Tibetans — Chinese police have fired on Tibetan protesters demonstrating after a series of deadly self-immolations by people from Tibet campaigning against Chinese rule of their Himalayan region, a rights group said on Friday 
REUTERS
ADDITIONAL
Today in Church History: The Arrest of Valiant Cardinal Mindszenty — Freedom to practice religion was a rare commodity in Hungary during the Nazi occupation and under the Communist tyranny that followed it. Any religious leader who resisted either of these totalitarian regimes was in danger of life and liberty. One who was caught in the jaws of both states was Jozsef Mindszenty. A bishop in the Roman Church during the Nazi occupation, he was imprisoned during 1944 and 1945 for protesting the arrest of Jews 
CHRISTIANITY
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God bless you and your loved one’s on this Holy Feast of St. Stephen
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