US asks Vatican to help close Guantanamo Bay

President Barack Obama’s goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison complex in Cuba has met heavy resistance from lawmakers in Washington, and now the White House is turning to a higher authority for help: the Vatican.

During an hour-long meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry asked the Vatican to help the United States find “adequate humanitarian solutions” for inmates currently being held at Guantanamo. Pope Francis himself has stressed that all prisoners should be treated humanely and with dignity. Continue reading

Beijing assembles people’s army to crush China terrorists with an iron fist

Headline-grabbing “people’s war” on terrorism is a nationwide crackdown designed to show that president Xi Jinping’s Communist Party is taking charge

Thousands had packed the stands at the home of Yining FC but there was to be no football that morning.

Instead, as the sun rose high above the stadium and locals huddled under pink and purple umbrellas, a convoy of open-backed trucks rolled on to the Astroturf pitch and delivered an unusual cargo: 55 handcuffed prisoners flanked by rifle-toting guards.

From a platform high above, Communist Party leaders delivered the verdicts they hoped would send a clear message to the “rampant and unruly” criminals they had come to condemn.

All were declared guilty of charges related to separatism and terrorism. Three were sentenced to death for using knives and axes to slaughter the wife and two young daughters of a computer recycler rumoured to have discovered extremist material on a discarded hard drive. Continue reading