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Front Page: Pope Meets Victims, Brown in DC, Polygamy Hearing, Carter and Hamas

  • Pope Meets Victims: Pope Benedict XVI came face to face yesterday with a scandal that haunts the American Catholic Church by holding an unannounced meeting with several victims of sexual abuse by priests. The cardinal who organized and attended the meeting, gave the pope a list of about 1,000 boys and girls who had been abused in the Boston Archdiocese in the past several decades. The Pope requested the meeting, praying and speaking personally with each person in attendance. The cardinal said afterward, “it was a moving experience. It was very positive and very prayerful.”

  • Brown in DC: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was in Washington DC yesterday to celebrate what he called the “special relationship” between his country and the United States. As a reminder of President Bush's waning time left, before Brown visited the White House, he met with all three candidates vying to succeed President Bush. After the meetings Brown said, “What I was convinced of, after talking to each of them and talking about the issues that concern them and concern the world, is that the relationship between America and Britain will remain strong, remain steadfast.” Not to leave Bush unrecognized, Brown said, “the world owes President George Bush a huge debt of gratitude for leading the world in our determination to root out terrorism.”
  • Polygamy Hearing: The judge in the largest child welfare case in US history, that of the children removed from the polygamy compound in Texas, struggled to retain order in chaotic hearings that began yesterday. The 416 children and their lawyers were crammed into a courtroom and additional rooms. The judge said of the task ahead of her, "the court is not in the position and certainly does not intend to rule about someone's religious practices and their freedom of religion."
  • Carter and Hamas: Former President Jimmy Carter met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad moments ago. The meeting comes ahead of planned talks with exiled leaders of Hamas, the Islamist group which Carter argues should be included in efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace. According to a source, "Carter is very upbeat. The publicity put out by his detractors made him more determined to pursue a different way with Hamas."
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