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McCain: Trump Is "Turning Muslims" Against The U.S.
Arizona Sen. John McCain said that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's rhetoric about Muslims hurts the U.S. fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, or ISIL) because it "has an interesting effect of turning Muslims all over the world against the United States of America." McCain appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad alongside Republican. Sen. Lindsey Graham, another 2016 presidential candidate. He said that Islam is "99.44-percent people who practice an honorable religion." The two senators pushed for the U.S. to play a more robust role in the fight against ISIS, including sending about 10,000 U.S. combat troops to the region. CBS
VOA VIEW: Militant Muslims have been against the US long before Trump was born.

Planned Parenthood Blames ‘Hateful Speech’ For Clinic Shooting
Planned Parenthood officials charge that some conservative figures have created a climate in which extremists such as Mr. Dear feel that it’s acceptable to target pro-choice organizations. “We’ve experienced so much hateful language, hateful speech,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think politicians have been in that conversation, and, I mean, you know that the airwaves are full of anti-abortion language, of anti-Planned Parenthood accusations, much of which is false in nature. Washington Times

Clinton Pitches Major Investment In Infrastructure
On her first day back on the campaign trail since Thanksgiving, Hillary Clinton announced Sunday her plan to boost federal investment in infrastructure by $275 billion if she is elected president. "To build a strong economy for our future," Clinton said, standing on stage at Boston's storied Faneuil Hall, "we must start by building strong infrastructure today." Clinton, speaking alongside Boston Mayor and former labor leader Marty Walsh at an event marking the launch of "Hard Hats for Hillary," said her infrastructure proposal is just the beginning of her larger plan to put Americans back to work. CBS

Many Black Pastors Say Meeting With Trump Not An Endorsement
Many of the black evangelical leaders invited to a meet-and-greet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump were surprised that the gathering was being advertised as an endorsement. After they objected, the Trump campaign decided to keep the meeting private and quietly cancel a press conference meant to announce their support. "It's a miscommunication," said Darrell Scott, the senior pastor of New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, who helped to organize the meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon in New York — one of several Trump has convened in recent months with black religious leaders. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Announcing the endorsement possibility in advance was a dumb mistake.

University Of Chicago Cancels Monday Classes After Gun Violence Threat
The University of Chicago has canceled classes on Monday and asked students, faculty and non-essential staff to stay away from its main campus on the city's South Side after being informed by the FBI of a threat of gun violence. "The University was informed by FBI counterterrorism officials today (Sunday) that an unknown individual posted an online threat of gun violence against the University of Chicago, specifically mentioning 'the campus quad' on Monday morning at 10 a.m.," university president Robert Zimmer told the campus community in an e-mail Sunday. "Based on the FBI's assessment of this threat and recent tragic events at other campuses across the country, we have decided in consultation with federal and local law enforcement officials to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday." USA Today

Obama Meets With China’s President As Climate Summit Begins
President Obama kicked off his day at the Paris climate summit with a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, hailing the two nations for their work on climate change but urging greater Chinese cooperation on cyber-crime and “maritime” issues that include China’s military construction on disputed reefs in the South China Sea.
In remarks before the session, Obama stressed the importance of cooperation between the world’s two largest economies and greenhouse gas emitters, saying that “nowhere has that cooperation been more necessary and more fruitful” than on climate change. Putting China first on the schedule was an indication of China’s central role on global issues such as climate change. It was just a year ago that Obama and Xi vowed to set definite limits on the levels of greenhouse gas emissions, laying the foundation for other countries to follow suit. On Monday Obama said, “our leadership on this issue has been absolutely vital.” Washington Post

Things To Know About Sanders' Health Overhaul Proposal
The most ambitious "repeal and replace" health care plan from a presidential candidate comes from Sen. Bernie Sanders, not from a Republican. The Vermont independent who's seeking the Democratic nomination has been chastised by front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for espousing an all-inclusive, government-run system. It's called the "single-payer" plan, loosely modeled on how health care is financed in Canada and most of Western Europe. Basically it means putting almost all the $3.2 trillion-a-year U.S. health care system in the hands of the federal government, with states acting as administrative subcontractors. Currently, government at all levels pays about half of the nation's health care bill. Houston Chronicle


Vatican Leaks Trial Delayed For A Week At Defense Request
A Vatican judge on Monday granted more time for the defense to prepare for a trial over the leak of confidential documents that has put a Spanish monsignor, a pair of Italian journalists and two others in the dock. The documents detailed alleged greed, wasteful spending and poor management inside the Vatican. The details of the leaked documents were published earlier this month in fast-selling books by the journalists who also exposed power struggles over Pope Francis' efforts to reform finances and bureaucracy and to eradicate careerism and intrigue at the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic church. Tampa Tribune

Eco-Activists Display Fake Adverts Across Paris
A UK-based network of artists has installed more than 600 artworks in advertising places across Paris as part of a protest campaign against the climate change talks.
Peter Marcuse, a member of the Brandalism network, told The Associated Press that it wants to "make the link between advertising and climate change." He said "advertising is the engine of consumerism, telling us to buy more and more things regardless of the environment impact." Without seeking permission, the eco-activists placed their artworks in advertising spaces owned by JC Decaux, "one of the world's largest outdoor advertising firms and an official sponsor to the COP21 climate talks." Marcuse said other big corporate sponsors of the negotiations including "Engie, Renault-Nissan, and some banks like BNP Paribas have caused big pollution problems and can't present themselves as being part of the solution." Houston Chronicle

Donald Trump To Headline Macon Event As SEC Primary Push Intensifies
Republican front-runner Donald Trump heads to Macon on Monday for a campaign rally that is expected to attract thousands of supporters – and a feisty protest outside featuring the city’s former mayor. It’s the bombastic billionaire’s second visit to Georgia – his first was a Norcross rally last month that drew 7,700 – and it comes as he builds an SEC Primary following in the past couple weeks with visits to Alabama, Tennessee and Texas ahead of the March 1 vote. Anti-Trump forces are rallying as well.  Jack Ellis told the Macon Telegraph he’ll be organizing a “loud and peaceful” protest in front of the coliseum as Trump supporters gather inside. Atlanta Journal

John Kasich Refuses To Say If He Would Support Donald Trump As Republican Nominee
Ohio Gov.John Kasich today would not commit to supporting frontrunner Donald Trump as the party’s nominee, saying that he did not expect the real estate mogul to win. “I think he’s very divisive and I do not believe he will last,” Kasich said when asked if he would support Trump if he wins the Republican primary. Kasich pointed to Trump’s recent back and forth with TheNew York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski as a reason he won’t win the nomination. Trump has drawn criticism this week for appearing to mimic Kovaelski's mannerisms, caused by a muscular disorder, which Kasich said Trump “absolutely mocked.” ABC
VOA VIEW: Kasich, as all the other Republican candidates, pledged to support the Republican nominee.

Ben Carson Urges Peaceful Dialogue On Planned Parenthood In Wake Of Colorado Springs Shooting
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson called on pro-choice and pro-life advocates to express their differences in a peaceful manner in the wake of a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that left three dead Friday. "What we really have to start asking ourselves is what can we do as a nation to rectify the situation,” Carson said today on ABC’s “This Week.” "I think we should talk about the actual facts. If we can get rid of the rhetoric from either side and actually talk about the facts, I think that’s when we begin to make progress.” Carson condemned the shooting at the clinic, calling it a hate crime. Police have arrested 57-year-old Robert Dear in connection with the shooting but haven't released a motive. ABC

Gates to Announce Multibillion Dollar Clean-Energy Fund
Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, and fellow philanthropists on Monday will unveil a multibillion-dollar fund for clean-energy technology that’s key to combating climate change, according to an environmental group briefed on the announcement. The effort, described as the biggest clean-energy research commitment in history, is intended to boost United Nations talks on climate change set to begin in Paris on Sunday, said Jake Schmidt, international program director at New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council. He was briefed on the partnership by U.S. and French government officials. It’s expected to involve Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., and other wealthy philanthropists committing their own money to support new research and development, he said. They will collaborate with research programs in the U.S., India and about 10 other countries. Bloomberg


Make Sure You Get A Tax Deduction For That Charitable Donation
As they say, good deeds are their own reward. Even so, there's nothing wrong with taking a tax deduction for a charitable donation. Not surprisingly, the end of the year — a time when people like to wrap up loose ends — is an especially popular time for giving. December takes the top spot for giving, with 18 percent of donations occurring in that month. And for many, a tax deduction sweetens the deal and makes their spirit even more generous. Experts do point out that if you're considering a request for a donation to a charity, do some research before you give. You want to find out as much as you can about the charity to make sure your donation is tax deductible. MSNBC

GOP Senators Want Say On Climate Pact
If a group of senators gets its way, any commitments President Barack Obama makes at the Paris climate summit will be put to a congressional test. But first, the mainly Republican lawmakers must prove that the product of the Paris meeting is effectively a treaty – and that is a legal hurdle they may not be able to clear. World leaders are gathering in Paris starting on Monday to attempt to seal an international deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions and slow climate change. If given the opportunity, the Republican-led Senate would almost undoubtedly reject such a deal. Obama doesn’t plan to give it the chance. Whatever agreement emerges from Paris, he has no intention of submitting it to the Senate for ratification. The administration argues that any agreement does not bind the United States to a course of action. Carlotte Observer

How Can People SafelyTake Control From A Self-Driving Car?
New cars that can steer and brake themselves risk lulling people in the driver's seat into a false sense of security — and even to sleep. One way to keep people alert may be providing distractions that are now illegal. That was one surprising finding when researchers put Stanford University students in a simulated self-driving car to study how they reacted when their robo-chauffer needed help. The experiment was one in a growing number that assesses how cars can safely hand control back to a person when their self-driving software and sensors are overwhelmed or overmatched. With some models already able to stay in their lane or keep a safe distance from other traffic, and automakers pushing for more automation, the car-to-driver handoff is a big open question. San Diego Union

Carly Fiorina Blasts Donald Trump For Mocking Reporter’s Disability
GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina took direct aim at Donald Trump on Sunday, saying the real estate mogul “only feels big when he’s trying to make everyone else look small” and that Mr. Trump’s actions clearly demonstrate he’s not a serious contender for the White House. Ms. Fiorina’s remarks come days after Mr. Trump came under intense fire for apparently mocking the physical disability of a New York Times reporter. Mr. Trump has vehemently denied those accusations and has said he would never mock anyone’s disability. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Fiorina whould do better attacking Hillary.

Clicks Defeat Bricks During U.S. Retailers' Black Friday Weekend
Online shoppers outnumbered their brick-and-mortar counterparts during U.S. retailers’ pivotal Black Friday weekend, underscoring the challenges facing American malls this holiday season. More than 103 million people shopped online over the four-day weekend, which started Thursday on Thanksgiving, according to an annual survey commissioned by the National Retail Federation. That compares with fewer than 102 million who ventured into traditional stores, the trade group said. Bloomberg

Planned Parenthood: Long A Lightning Rod In US Culture Wars
As a leading defender of abortion rights and comprehensive sex education, Planned Parenthood deals daily with some of America's most contentious issues, and is well accustomed to receiving verbal threats. Some of the organization's supporters say Friday's deadly shooting at its clinic in Colorado Springs shows that the vitriolic rhetoric could be inspiring actual violence. "It is time to stop the demonizing and witch hunts against Planned Parenthood, its staff and patients," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat. But critics show no signs of backing away from a multi-pronged offensive against Planned Parenthood, keeping protests and a congressional investigation on their agenda for the coming year. Kansas City Star

Tens Of Billions Promised To Boost Clean Energy Tech
Government and business leaders are banking on clean energy technology to fight global warming, kicking off this week’s high-stakes climate change negotiations by pledging tens of billions of dollars for research and development. Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande will announce the new initiative on Monday, committing to spend tens of billions of dollars for a technological fix to the planet’s climate woes, three current and former officials have told The Associated Press. “It’s quite a big deal,” said Jennifer Morgan, global climate director for the World Resources Institute. “It brings a new kind of burst of energy into the conference right at the beginning on something very important.” Miami Herald

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Fiorina: Obama 'Delusional' About Magnitude Of Climate Change As Security Threat
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Sunday called President Obama “delusional” to think climate change is the country’s biggest terror threat and criticized liberals and others trying to make a political statement about the recent Planned Parenthood shootings. “That’s delusional for President Obama, Hillary Clinton or anyone else to say that climate change is the biggest security threat,” Fiorina told “Fox News Sunday.” Obama has made several speeches in which he has said climate change is “an urgent and growing threat,” including his 2015 State of the Union address in which he said: "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change." Fox News

Kevorkian Archive Opens As Physician-Assisted Deaths Rise
Just days before she died with Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assistance, Merian Frederick could not speak or hold up her head without help from her daughter, Carol Poenisch.
On a video recorded by Kevorkian in 1993, Poenisch steadies Frederick's Lou Gehrig's disease-ravaged body as she signs a form requesting help to die "in the most humane, rapid and painless manner" possible. Then, Poenisch reads words just penned by her mother that convey her final, fervent, wish: "My tears should not be taken as an indication that I am in doubt." The videotaped interview, clinically labeled "Medicide: File 8," is one of many in a new archive at Kevorkian's alma mater, The University of Michigan. It's been digitized and included in one of nine boxes stored in the stacks of the Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor — available for the first time as legislation supporting physician-assisted deaths makes gains in the U.S. SF Gate

Jeb Bush: Prospect Of Donald Trump Presidency 'Scary'
Jeb Bush says the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency is "kind of scary." The former Florida governor blasted Trump, saying he doubts the real estate mogul's readiness for the White House, in an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt to see how the campaign unfolded," Bush said. "But if you listen to him talk, it's kind of scary to be honest with you, because he's not a serious candidate." "He doesn't talk about the issues at hand that are of national security importance for our country -- to keep us safe is the first priority of the president. And he's all over the map, misinformed at best and preying on people's fears at worst," he added. CNN
VOA VIEW: Bush may have eat his words and openly support Trump against Hillary.

Republican Christie, Seen As Alternative To Trump, Wins Coveted Endorsement
The publisher of an influential newspaper in the early voting state of New Hampshire said on Sunday the paper had endorsed Republican Chris Christie in the U.S. presidential contest because of his experience and potential to take on rival Donald Trump. The New Hampshire Union Leader officially endorsed Christie on Saturday, with publisher Joseph McQuaid calling Christie "the guy who can take the fight" to Trump, who since July has maintained a commanding lead over the crowded Republican field. "Americans seem to be fed up with Washington and they're looking for somebody who speaks with the 'bark off,' as we say in New Hampshire. And I think Christie does that, but as we said in the editorial, he does that knowing what he's talking about as opposed to some others who don't," McQuaid said on Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." Reuters

In Presidential Race, All Eyes Are Now On Security
A world on fire has reoriented the fight for the Republican presidential nomination, with candidates engaged in an elemental struggle to prove their strength as potential commanders in chief as national security moves to the top of many voters' list of concerns. The debate shifted quickly after Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris - the bloodiest since World War II - for which Islamic State claimed responsibility. Reminders that it's a dangerous world followed in quick succession: Brussels was locked down; jihadists attacked a hotel in Mali; and Turkey shot down a Russian military jet involved in operations in Syria, perhaps the sharpest conflict with NATO since the end of the Cold War. Philadelphia Inquirer


Leaders Of 53-Nation Commonwealth Call For Legally Binding Climate Deal In Paris
The 53-nation Commonwealth has said climate change poses an "existential threat" to some of its member states, and urged participants at the Paris climate talks to produce a legally binding agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The Commonwealth — a grouping of Britain and many of its former colonies that is home to more than 2 billion people — includes industrialized economies such as Canada and Australia, resource-hungry India and small island states vulnerable to rising sea levels. "Climate change actually unites us, puts us all in the same canoe," Baron Waqa, president of the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru, told a news conference Sunday at the end of the biennial Commonwealth summit in Malta. "When a big wave comes, that canoe is going to be washed away, and everyone in it." Fox News

Republicans’ Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Triggers Little Political Fallout
Some leading Republican presidential candidates seem to view Muslims as fair game for increasingly harsh words they might use with more caution against any other group for fear of the political cost. So far, that strategy is winning support from conservatives influential in picking the nominee. Many Republicans are heartened by strong rhetoric addressing what they view as a threat to national security by Islam itself, analysts say. Because Muslims are a small voting bloc, the candidates see limited fallout from what they are saying in the campaign. “I think this issue exists on its own island,” said Steve Schmidt, a Republican political consultant who ran Sen. John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign. “It’s highly unlikely to cause a political penalty, and there is no evidence that it has.” NY Post

Trump On Muslim Claim: 'I'm Not Going To Take It Back'
Donald Trump is insisting he was right that thousands of Muslim-Americans in New Jersey celebrated 9/11, despite being confronted with lack of evidence he's correct.
For the second weekend, the Republican presidential front-runner repeated his assertion, despite city leaders and law enforcement officials saying large-scale public celebrations never happened, in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd. "I have a very good memory, Chuck. I'll tell you, I have a very good memory. I saw it somewhere on television many years ago and I never forgot it -- and it was on television, too," Trump said. CNN
VOA VIEW: Trump standing fast is good.

U.S. Senators Call For 20,000 Troops In Syria And Iraq
Two senior U.S. senators called on Sunday for Washington to nearly triple military force levels in Iraq to 10,000 and send an equal number of troops to Syria as part of a multinational ground force to counter Islamic State in both countries. Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticized President Barack Obama's incremental Islamic State strategy, which relies on air strikes and modest support to local ground forces in Iraq and Syria, and said the need for greater U.S. involvement was underlined by this month's Paris attacks. "The only way you can destroy the caliphate is with a ground component," said Graham who is seeking his party's presidential nomination. "The aerial campaign is not turning the tide of battle." McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently proposed intervention in Syria by a European and Arab ground force backed by 10,000 U.S. military advisers and trainers. Reuters

Riot Breaks Out In Paris As Worldwide Climate Change Rallies Erupt
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in rallies around the world on Sunday, calling on leaders to halt climate change on the eve of a major conference in Paris. The nearly two-week conference comes more than two weeks after the Paris attacks. A state of emergency was imposed in France after the carnage, and marches have been banned. But violence quickly erupted between French riot police and a group of several hundred at a major square in Paris that was the site of a peaceful demonstration earlier. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters throwing projectiles. An organizer of the rallies, Avaaz, said that early estimates of marchers around the globe show 570,000 people marched in 175 countries. NY Post

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 Trump: 'I See A Lot Of Dislike For Planned Parenthood'
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called the shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic "terrible" and "more of the same" — while adding that "I see a lot of dislike for Planned Parenthood" at rallies. Trump said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, where he commented on Planned Parenthood's statement that "an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric ... breeds acts of violence." Asked whether he believed some of the type of anti-Planned Parenthood statements heard on the right could have lead to the shooting, Trump asserted, "No, I think he (the suspect, Robert Dear) is a sick person," and added he believes the gunman is a "maniac" and "extremist." MSNBC

Iraqi Envoy Says Paris Attack Marks New Global War
Iraq's foreign minister says the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris marked a new stage in a world war of international terrorism — one that no country can hope to escape. In an interview Sunday with The Associated Press, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said the attacks on innocent people enjoying a night out were merely the latest example of the Islamic State group's determination to sow fear by killing as many people as possible. A total of 130 people died and hundreds were injured that night in Paris. Al-Jaafari, who spoke on the sidelines of international climate negotiations, said the decision by so many world leaders to attend the global conference was a sign of solidarity and trust for France. Now, he said, countries must take initiative against the group. Las Vegas Sun

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North Korean Test Launch Of Missile From Submarine A Failure
North Korea attempted to fire a missile from a submarine Saturday morning, failing as the weapon did not make it past the surface of the ocean, according to South Korean officials. The test is believed to have happened based on debris from a KN-11 missile seen floating on the surface of the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. "The North appears to have failed in its launch," the official, who asked not to be identified, told Yonhap News. South Korean officials told Nikkei that in addition to no evidence the missile cleared the water, there was no indication it left the submarine either as fragments of a safety cover were spotted.  UPI

Pope Francis Visits First Conflict Zone: Central African Republic
Pope Francis made his first trip to a conflict zone Sunday when he arrived to the Central African Republic, a country torn apart by violence between Christians and Muslims. Francis said he hopes next month's parliamentary and first-round presidential elections will open a "new chapter" for the CAR. "It is my fervent wish that the various national consultations to be held in coming weeks will enable the country to embark serenely on a new chapter of its history," Francis said upon his arrival to Bangui, capital of the CAR, where he declared himself a "pilgrim of peace and an apostle of hope." UPI

Israeli Robotics Expert: West 10 Years Ahead Of ‘Enemy’ In Warfare Technology
The West is at least 10 years ahead of “the enemy” in terms of warfare technology including robotics, assesses Israeli robotics specialist Yosi Wolf. Wolf, the co-CEO and founder of the Tel Aviv-based company Roboteam, estimates that the scientific capabilities of Israel and other Western nations will consistently remain about a decade ahead of terrorist elements. “If, one day, ISIS will have robots - our robots will beat theirs,” he recently told The Jerusalem Post. According to Wolf, Israel exemplifies this technological dominance, which it maintains through its advantages in human and capital resources along with governmental and intelligence collaborations. “Robotics is a breakthrough, it’s a game-changer,” said Wolf, explaining that “for many years simple infantry didn’t have an evolution.” Jerusalem

Israel Suspends EU Contact Over Peace Process
Israel on Sunday stepped up its battle with the EU over its decision to label products from the settlements, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspending diplomatic contacts regarding the Middle East peace process pending completion of a “reassessment” by the Foreign Ministry of the EU's role in that process. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Israel will continue to have diplomatic contacts with individual EU countries – such as Germany, Britain and France – but not with EU institutions. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with French President François Hollande and new Polish Prime Minister Beata Szyd?o in Paris on Monday. Jerusalem Post

Turkey Presents Russian Pilot's Body To Diplomats
Turkey has presented to Russian diplomats the body of the pilot killed after his plane was shot down on the Syrian border by Turkish forces. Lt Col Oleg Peshkov's coffin was flown to the capital Ankara from southern Turkey, and was met by the Russian ambassador and military attache. It is not yet clear when the body will be repatriated to Russia. Turkish forces shot down the plane saying it had violated Turkish airspace, which Russia denies. The incident has sparked a furious row between the two countries, with Russia announcing sanctions against Turkey. BBC

Iran Seeks $30bn Of New Oil Contracts
The terms of the new oil contracts will be more favourable to foreign investors, who will be allowed a greater stake in long-term profits. Iran is gearing up for the lifting of sanctions following the nuclear deal with six world powers in July. The country has some of the biggest oil and gas reserves in the world.The new contracts were announced at a conference in Tehran attended by many of the world's major energy companies, including BP, Shell, Total, Statoil and Sinopec. There were, however, no US companies present. BBC

Pope Francis Promises To Be 'Apostle Of Hope' On Central African Republic Cisit
During a 24-hour visit to the capital, Bangui, Francis was accompanied by Vatican security personnel in flak jackets and armed UN peacekeepers. UN tanks patrolled the streets. CAR has been embroiled in civil war between a Muslim minority and a Christian majority since March 2013. Thousands of people have been killed, about 1 million people displaced and property looted and destroyed. Human rights violations have included extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and endemic rape and sexual violence. Guardian

Jeb Bush Says He Would Support Donald Trump Over Hillary Clinton
Jeb Bush would support Donald Trump if the real estate billionaire were to win the Republican presidential nomination, “because anybody is better than Hillary Clinton”. The former Florida governor thinks that outcome unlikely, however, because the more voters hear of Trump, particularly on foreign policy, “the less likely he’s going to get the Republican nomination”. Another candidate, John Kasich, was asked on Sunday whether he would commit to supporting Trump should he win the nomination. The Ohio governor, whose campaign this week released an ad that appeared to compare Trump to Hitler, would not say whether he would. Instead, like Bush, he said Trump would not win the nod. Guardian

Donald Trump Cancels Press Conference After Black Pastors Say They Were Tricked Into Meeting
Donald Trump has been forced into a humiliating climbdown, cancelling a major campaign event after black church leaders complained that a private meeting was being billed as a public endorsement of the leading Republican presidential candidate. Journalists had been invited to Trump Tower in New York on Monday to hear 100 African-American evangelical pastors endorse Mr Trump following the meeting. But the claim prompted a number of angry denials from those involved who said they had simply agreed to hear the candidate set out his position on key issues. Others said they had declined the invitation altogether. Telegraph

Israel Freezes The EU Out Of Peace Talks With The Palestinians
Israel has frozen the EU out of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in retaliation for Europe's decision to label products made in West Bank settlements. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, reacted furiously when the labelling decision was announced two weeks ago and on Sunday said he was suspending diplomatic contact with the EU on peace issues. There has been no real movement on the peace process since US-brokered talks collapsed last year so the move is essentially symbolic. Telegraph

COP21: On Eve Of UN Climate Conference, Ban Says 'Time For Action Is Now'
On the eve of the opening in Paris of the United Nations climate change conference, widely known as COP21, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging all countries and all sectors of society to act now to reach a new universal climate agreement. “I'm reasonably optimistic and convinced that world leaders will adopt a very ambitious universal climate change agreement at this COP21,” Mr. Ban told the UN News Centre in an interview on Sunday at the Parisian headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “We've been working very hard, very long – the time for action is now. I have seen growing political momentum among Member States. They know that they have to take action.” UN News

Nassau Police Confront Mock Terrorists In Garden City, Old Westbury Drills
Nassau police confronted mock terrorists Sunday in Garden City, where they responded to shooters and suicide bombers in drills coming in the wake of the Paris attacks that killed 130 people. "In the times that we live in, these types of exercises are an important part of our police force's training," County Executive Edward Mangano said at Nassau Community College in Garden City, where exercises... Newsday

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