Pope Francis says cannot ‘silence’ deep concern, defends Jerusalem’s status quo
Pope Francis Wednesday defended the “status quo” of Jerusalem, hours ahead of an announcement by US President Donald Trump in which officials said he will recognise the disputed city as Israel’s capital.
“I cannot silence my deep concern over the situation that has emerged in recent days. At the same time, I appeal strongly for all to respect the city’s status quo, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions,” the pope said in his weekly address.
The Argentine pontiff’s call came a day after he spoke by phone with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, the Vatican said without elaborating.
“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred for Jews, Christians and Muslims,” he said, adding that it was home to sites deemed holy by followers of the three major monotheistic faiths.
Jerusalem, the pope said, holds a “special vocation for peace”.
“I pray to God that this identity is preserved and reinforced, for the sake of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail,” he said.
The pontiff added that maintaining the status quo was important “in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts”.
After a massive show of strength, which held Pakistani cities under siege until Thursday morning as Imran Khan's Azadi march reached the capital Islamabad in the early hours of Thursday, former prime minister Imran Khan warned that if election dates are not announced within six days, he will again come to Islamabad.
A student in Texas, United States, was caught with firearms outside a high school in Richardson city, the police department said, a day after mass shooting in the US state sent shockwaves across the world. In a statement, the Richardson Police Department said that it received a phone call at 10.55 am (local time) in the 1500 block of East Spring Valley Road, reporting a male holding what appeared to be a rifle.
Two Indian-origin Singaporean lawyers have been ordered to pay SGD20,000 ( ₹1,127,200) in costs to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) for a last-ditch attempt to halt the execution of an Indian descendant Malaysian drug trafficker Nagaenthran K Dharmalingam in April this year. Nagaenthran was hanged at Changi Prison Complex on April 27, 2022. His appeals against his conviction and sentence were dismissed in 2011.
The governor of the US state of Oklahoma on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bars nearly all abortions after fertilization, the country's strictest ban yet on the procedure. The bill, approved by Oklahoma legislators last week, follows a similar measure that went into effect in neighboring Texas in September, which gives members of the public the ability to sue doctors who perform abortions -- or anyone who helps facilitate them.
Onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when Ramos was killed by a Border Patrol team. “Let's just rush in because the cops aren't doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”