Sheriff handling Oregon shooting decried gun control in letter to Biden

The sheriff whose department responded to Thursday’s massacre once sent an open letter to Vice President Joe Biden in which he insisted gun laws would not stop mass murders and vowed not to enforce federal gun-control legislation. “Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,” Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said in the Jan. 15, 2013, letter, a copy of … Continue reading Sheriff handling Oregon shooting decried gun control in letter to Biden

Community College Where 10 Shot Dead Was a Gun Free Zone

The scene at the Oregon’s Umpqua Community College where at least ten people were shot dead earlier today was a gun-free zone, ensuring that the victims were left defenseless against the killer. 10 people were killed and 20 injured after the gunman opened fire at the Roseburg college campus. According to authorities, the shooter is now in police custody. A post on the Umpqua Community College … Continue reading Community College Where 10 Shot Dead Was a Gun Free Zone

Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism

Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.  Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts.  While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.

“The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.”

The Strong Cities Network (SCN)  – which launches September 29th at the United Nations – will empower municipal bodies to fill this gap while working with civil society and safeguarding the rights of local citizens and communities.

The SCN will strengthen strategic planning and practices to address violent extremism in all its forms by fostering collaboration among cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities.

“To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance,” said Governing Mayor Stian Berger Røsland of Oslo while commenting on their participation in the SCN.  “To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders.  The Strong Cities Network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society.”

The SCN will connect cities, city-level practitioners and the communities they represent through a series of workshops, trainings and sustained city partnerships.  Network participants will also contribute to and benefit from an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules and will be eligible for grants supporting innovative, local initiatives and strategies that will contribute to building social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.

The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction.  The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work.  It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international “think-and-do” tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism:

“The SCN provides a unique new opportunity to apply our collective lessons in preventing violent extremism in support of local communities and authorities around the world”, said CEO Sasha Havlicek of ISD.  “We look forward to developing this international platform for joint innovation to impact this pressing challenge.”

“It is with great conviction that Montréal has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders,” said the Honorable Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal.  “This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montréal’s Mayors’ International Observatory on Living Together.  I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montréal will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.”

The Strong Cities Network will launch on Sept. 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, following the LeadersSummit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism.  Welcoming remarks will be offered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Lynch.  Following this event, the Strong Cities International Steering Committee, consisting of approximately 25 mayors and other leaders from cities and other sub-national entities from around the globe, will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.

For more information, please visit www.strongcitiesnetwork.org[external link] or contact Sabine Barton via email at:info@strongcitiesnetwork.org

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or telephone: +44 207 493 9333.

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In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam And Laid A Foundation For A One World Religion

Remarks made by Pope Francis at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan have sparked a firestorm of criticism from those that do not believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  Many have taken the Pope’s remarks as a major step in the direction of a one world religion, and the truth is that the Pope has made other such statements in the past.  In recent years, the theory that Christianity and Islam are just two distinct paths to God among many others has rapidly gained traction all over the planet.  Some religious leaders have even gone so far as to try to merge Islamic and Christian practices, and the term “Chrislam” is now often used to describe this ecumenical movement.  If all this sounds incredibly strange to you, just keep reading, because this is just the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam And Laid A Foundation For A One World Religion”

Pope Invoking Globalization

The US visit of the first Jesuit Pope in history concluded with a speech in Philadelphia’s Independance Mall for a crowd of an estimated 50,000 at the “World Meeting of Families.” He pushed for globalization and his usual immigration agenda, preaching for immigrants’ religious freedoms in the prescence of many celebrities which arrived from all over America. This after receiving an unusual blessing from Madonna … Continue reading Pope Invoking Globalization

Pope Francis in the USA – Greetings and Farewell Ceremony

Local Time (sunday 27 september) 18.50/19.45 – Greeting to the organizing committee, volunteers, benefactors, and farewell ceremony at the International Airport of Philadelphia. Pope Francis delivered his final remarks to the city of Philadelphia before departing on a plane on September 27, 2015. I also thank the families who shared their witness during the Meeting. It is not so easy to speak openly of one’s … Continue reading Pope Francis in the USA – Greetings and Farewell Ceremony

Pope makes impromptu stop at statue marking Jewish-Catholic unity

.- Pope Francis paid an unscheduled visit to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia this afternoon to bless a statue celebrating improved Vatican relations with the Jewish community.

The bronze statue, titled “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time,” depicts two figures – signifying Christianity and Judaism – sitting beside each other and displaying their sacred texts in postures of dialogue.

“This statue is exactly a demonstration of two sisters of the same dignity, the church and the synagogue,” said Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi. Continue reading “Pope makes impromptu stop at statue marking Jewish-Catholic unity”

Pope Francis in the USA – Holy Mass concluding the World Meeting of Families with Transcript

Local Time 15.20/18.15: Pope Francis presides at celebration of Holy Mass concluding the World Meeting of Families at B. Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia  Transcript: Today the word of God surprises us with powerful and thought-provoking images. Images which challenge us, but also stir our enthusiasm. In the first reading, Joshua tells Moses that two members of the people are prophesying, speaking God’s word, without a … Continue reading Pope Francis in the USA – Holy Mass concluding the World Meeting of Families with Transcript