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The Sanctuary Shall be cleansed                                             El Santuario Será Purificado INC

Kofi Annan: US Invasion of Iraq Created Islamic State

Kofi Annan said the breakup of the country left it ripe for the growth of violent extremism.

ormer U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Sunday that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq helped create the Islamic State group.

Annan issued the remarks during a speech at the Munich Security Conference in southern Germany.

“I was against this invasion and my fears have been founded. The breakup of the Iraqi forces poured hundreds if not thousands of disgruntled soldiers and police officers onto the streets,” said Annan.

The former U.N. chief noted that some of these former members of the security forces later joined the Islamic State group.

His comments followed the release of President Barack Obama’s new U.S. National Security Strategy on Friday, which advocates for increased military spending and an end to congressionally mandated budget caps to ensure the "necessary investment in our military forces."

"Although our military will be smaller, it must remain dominant in every domain," the security document stated. Currently, there are around 4,500 US troops in Iraq with talks on further troops being sent.

Pope Francis Likely to Address Congress in September

Pope Francis' visit to Washington, D.C., this fall is expected to include an address to a joint session of Congress, which one of the archbishops organizing the pontiff's United States tour said would be a "highlight" of his visit to the capital.

“And we might say really the highlight of the Washington visit might be his speech to the joint-meeting of Congress, so the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza told the Catholic News Agency (CNA). 

According to the plans under discussion, Pope Francis would arrive in Washington on the evening of Sept. 22, a Tuesday, for a visit that will also include stops in New York City and Philadelphia.


Thailand Could Legalize Gay Marriage Despite Conservative Mindset

BANGKOK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - On a sweltering Saturday night in Bangkok's Patpong entertainment district, a group of men spill out of a neon-lit bar blasting dance music. Among them is Aashif Hassan and his long-term partner, both visitors from Malaysia.

"We're celebrating tonight. Where we're from, it's illegal to be gay. Here we feel liberated," said Hassan.

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