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Thousands Of People Pack Stadium For First Papal Mass On Arabian Peninsula

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Tens of thousands pack stadium for first papal mass on Arabian Peninsula

The first pontiff in history to visit the Arabian Peninsula, Pope Francis has drawn the world’s attention as more than 120,000 worshippers packed Zayed Sports City stadium and its surroundings in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to attend an unprecedented public celebration of Mass on Tuesday.

The Pope, who is in the Gulf country to promote inter-faith dialogue is in UAE which hosts about half of the two million expatriate Catholics living on the peninsula, home to the birthplace of Islam in neighboring Saudi Arabia. The community includes large numbers of people from the Philippines and India.

The Pope said, “It is most certainly not easy for you to live far from home, missing the affection of your loved ones, and perhaps also feeling uncertainty about the future,”  telling those gathered to draw inspiration from Saint Anthony the Abbot, the founder of monasticism in the desert. “The Lord specializes in doing new things; he can even open paths in the desert,” he said at the end of a trip where he met with the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar mosque and UAE leaders.

Francis made an entrance to the stadium in a white open top jeep to roars from the crowd. People wearing white baseball caps emblazoned with the visit logo packed the stadium stands and snapped pictures on their smartphones.

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World News

Attorney General Barr Preparing For Mueller Report

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Attorney General Prepares For Mueller Report

The U.S. Special Counsel’s investigation into the Trump administration could wrap up as soon as next week with the delivery of a confidential report to the Justice Department.

Reports say Attorney General William Barr is preparing to receive a report from special counsel Robert Mueller, who took over an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign in May 2017.

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Barr, who was confirmed by the senate last week, will determine soon after receiving Mueller’s report what information will be provided to Congress.

The exact end date for the Mueller probe has been a longstanding source of speculation in Washington, D.C. In December.

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American Television Network, NBC, had reported that Mueller planned to deliver his report by mid-February, but a delay in Barr’s confirmation may have contributed to a delay in submitting the report.

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Hundreds Of Women, Children Evacuated From Last IS Holdout In Syria

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Hundreds Of Women, Children Evacuated From Last IS Holdout In Syria

Hundreds of persons, including women and children, have been evacuated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group’s last holdout in Syria, bringing U.S.-backed forces closer to retaking the last sliver of the so-called “caliphate.”

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An official from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday the civilian evacuation is expected to be completed on the same day.

News correspondents say they saw at least 17 trucks on Wednesday carrying men, women and children out of the last patch of ISIL territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz.

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SDF spokesman Adnan Afrin says most of the hundreds who had left were civilians, but also included ISIL fighters.

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Putin Warns US Against Deploying New Missiles In Europe

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Putin Warns US Against Deploying New Missiles In Europe

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned the United States against deploying new missiles in Europe, threatening to retaliate in kind by targeting western capitals with Russia’s new weaponry.

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Delivering a State of the Nation Address, Putin said the US has abandoned a key arms control pact – the 1987 intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty – to free its hands to build new missiles and tried to shift the blame for the move on Russia.

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The INF deal was signed in 1987 by then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and resolved a crisis over soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting western capitals.

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