Top news stories for today – September 4, 2016
Mother Teresa declared saint
Mother Teresa, revered for her work with the poor in India, has been proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican. Tens of thousands of pilgrims had flocked to St Peter’s Square for the Mass and canonization. Two miraculous cures of the sick after Mother Teresa’s death in 1997 have been attributed to her intercession.
In India, a special Mass was celebrated at the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded in Kolkata. Hundreds of Missionaries of Charity sisters attended the event, along with 13 heads of state or government. Some 1,500 homeless people across Italy were also brought to Rome in buses to be given seats of honor at the celebration – and then a pizza lunch served by 250 nuns and priests of the Sisters of Charity order.
Mother Teresa founded a sisterhood that runs 19 homes, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. But she was not without her critics, as some people noted a lack of hygiene in the hospitals run by her sisterhood, and said she accepted money from dictators for her charity work. She died in 1997 – aged 87 – and was beatified in 2003, the first step to sainthood. In 2002, the Vatican ruled that an Indian woman’s stomach tumor had been miraculously cured after prayers to Mother Teresa, despite the doubts of her husband. Pope Francis cleared the way for sainthood last year when he recognized a second miracle attributed to her. BBC
Earthquake shakes Okahome
The United States Geological Survey said a 5.6 magnitude earthquake happened at 7:02 a.m. Saturday in north-central Oklahoma, on the fringe of an area where regulators had stepped in to limit wastewater disposal. That temblor matches a November 2011 quake in the same region.
An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which since 2013 has asked wastewater-well owners to reduce disposal volumes in parts of the state, is requiring 37 wells in a 514 square-mile area around the epicenter of the earthquake to shut down within seven to 10 days because of previous connections between the injection of wastewater and earthquakes.
The epicenter was in north-central Oklahoma, near a town called Pawnee, and it was among the largest in recorded Oklahoma history. No major damage has been reported, though aftershocks could still be on the way. Associated Press
Obama, China ratify Paris climate change deal
President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping together signed documents committing their nations to the Paris climate change pact on Saturday while meeting in Hangzhou, China. This marks a major step toward the deal’s required approval from 55 countries and 55 percent of the world’s carbon emitters (China and the United States together are responsible for 38 percent of carbon emissions).
Because the agreement is not considered a treaty, it does not require the approval of the U.S. Senate; and it will require the U.S. to cut emissions levels by 26 percent over the next nine years. “I believe that history will judge today’s efforts as pivotal,” Obama said at the signing ceremony. The Hill, CNN, The Week
G20 leaders told ‘avoid empty talk’ by Xi
China’s President Xi Jinping has urged leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies to avoid “empty talk” as they look to quicken economic growth. World leaders are at the annual economic summit, which is being hosted in China for the first time.
President Xi said the global economy was recovering but faced multiple challenges in finance and trade. Also up for discussion are the global steel crisis, the UK’s Brexit talks and tax of multinationals like Apple.
President Xi said: “Against risks and challenges facing the world economy, the international community has high expectations of the G20 in the Hangzhou summit.”
IS fighters fleeing Iraq leave carnage behind
As Islamic State fighters are being routed from cities and towns across Syria and Iraq, they increasingly leave behind carnage, causing major damage to local economies and devastating people they already have traumatized.
A VOA reporter this week visited a town that was held by IS until last week, when Iraqi forces pushed the fighters out. The oil-rich town of Qayyarah, 60 kilometers south of Mosul, was under IS rule for more than two years. IS militants made certain that Qayyarah’s infrastructure was damaged before they were defeated. Houses were partially or fully destroyed. Oil wells were set ablaze, causing major damage to the economy and the environment. At least 10 oil fields were burned down, local sources said. VOA
US Presidential election
Trump in Detroit: ‘I’m here today to learn’: Republican Donald Trump visited Detroit, Michigan, a majority-black city, on Saturday as part of his ongoing minority outreach efforts. “I’m here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form,” he said while speaking at an African-American church, “and so that we can also remedy economics so that the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income and so many other different ways.” Trump’s visit was met with angry protesters who chanted, “What do you have to lose? … Everything,” referencing Trump’s recent comment that black voters should take a chance on him because they have nothing to lose. Trump’s support among black voters nationally is in the single digits. Click on Detroit, Detroit Free Press, The Week
Donald Trump leaps ahead of Hillary Clinton in new poll: Donald Trump has taken a one-point lead over Hillary Clinton in a Reuters-Ipsos poll. It found Republican Trump winning the support of 40 percent of voters, with Democrat Clinton at 39 percent. It’s an eight-point swing in Trump’s direction in the past week. When the poll, with a margin of error of 3 percentage points, included third-party candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson got 7 percent. New York Post
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