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Pope says he's 'not afraid of a split' in Catholic church as he accuses critics of stabbing him in the back

Pope says he's 'not afraid of a split' in Catholic church as he accuses critics of stabbing him in the backPope Francis said he does not fear a schism within the Roman Catholic Church, as criticism grows among conservatives of his liberal views on migrants, the protection of the environment and giving communion to divorcees. Speaking on board the papal plane on his return from a trip to Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique, the Pope said he had been unfairly labelled “a Communist” by his critics, with the most vocal being conservative Catholics in the United States. In his strongest remarks yet on the risk of a schism, he said there had been many doctrinal splits during the 2,000-year history of the Church, although he prayed there would not be another. “I am not afraid of schisms. I pray that there will be none, because what is at stake is people’s spiritual health,” he told journalists on board the plane. The Pope’s impassioned defence of migrants and refugees, his opposition to Donald Trump’s wall on the US-Mexico border, his sympathy towards homosexuals and his openness to remarried divorcees being allowed to take communion have earned him the ire of conservatives, particularly in the US. Pope Francis answered questions from journalists while travelling back from a trip to Africa Credit: ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/ AFP He said he was open to discussing differences of opinion with his critics, some of whom have accused him of heresy and have called for his resignation. “Let there be dialogue, let there be correction if there is an error, but the schismatic path is not Christian,” he said. His critics were putting ideology over Catholic doctrine and deserved sympathy, not hostility. “We need to be gentle with those who are tempted by these attacks, they are going through a tough time, we must accompany them gently,” he said. The Catholic Church last suffered a schism in 1988, when Marcel Lefebvre, an ultra-traditionalist French archbishop, ordained bishops without papal permission and started his own movement.  Francis insisted that many of his views were similar to those of Pope John Paul II, who is regarded as an icon by conservatives, in part for his role in standing up to the USSR and bringing about the fall of Communism. “The social things that I say are the same things that John Paul II said, the same things. I copy him. But they say: ‘the Pope is a communist.’” Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience, at the Vatican on Sept. 11 Credit: AP He said he was happy for critics to address him openly, but condemned those who launched attacks in an underhand way. "At least those who say something have the advantage of honesty in saying so. And I like that," he said. "I don't like criticism when it's under the table, when they smile at you and then then they try to stab you in the back.” Echoing remarks that he has made throughout his papacy, he condemned populism and xenophobia, likening populist politicians to Adolf Hitler. “Sometimes, in some places, I hear speeches being given that sound similar to those made by Hitler in 1934. It’s as if they want to return to the past in Europe.” Xenophobia is “a human disease, like measles,” he said. Pope Francis smiles as he arrives for his weekly general audience at St. Peter's square  Credit: AFP In an apparent reference to President Trump’s plans for a wall along the US border with Mexico, and European countries’ efforts to keep out refugees and migrants with razor wire fences, he said: “Xenophobia is a disease that enters a country, enters a continent, and we build walls. But walls leave only those who built them. Yes, they leave out many people, but those who remain inside the walls will be left alone. Xenophobia rides the waves of political populism.” Francis criticised Mr Trump’s proposals for a border wall three years ago, saying that anyone who wants to build walls rather than bridges is “not Christian”. The remark incensed the then Republican candidate, who said it was “disgraceful” that the pontiff should question his faith.  To the discomfort of some conservative Catholics, Francis has repeatedly warned that the excesses of capitalism are leaving millions of people behind, fueling social tensions and harming the planet.



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US 'not surprised' Iran starting new nuclear centrifuges: Esper

US 'not surprised' Iran starting new nuclear centrifuges: EsperUS Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday he was “not surprised” Iran had turned on advanced centrifuges to increase uranium stockpiles, a further breach of the 2015 nuclear deal which Washington pulled out of last year. “I’m not surprised that Iran has announced that it’s going to violate the JCPOA,” Esper said in Paris, using the official name of the accord signed in Vienna four years ago. “They had been violating it, they had violated the nuclear non-proliferation treaty for many years, so it’s no surprise that the Iranians are going to pursue what the Iranians have always intended to pursue,” he added, following talks with his French counterpart Florence Parly.



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'Not nice!': Trump denies rumors of bedbugs at resort he's promoting for G7

'Not nice!': Trump denies rumors of bedbugs at resort he's promoting for G7Rumors seem to stem from a 2016 lawsuit alleging an infestation at Trump National Doral brought by New Jersey insurance executive The Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida. Photograph: Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump has reacted angrily to what he called “false and nasty” rumors that his Miami golf club – the same club he is enthusiastically promoting as the location for the next G7 meeting of global leaders – has a problem with bloodsucking bedbugs.“No bedbugs at Doral. The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI was under consideration for the next G-7, spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!,” Trump tweeted.The rumors appear to stem from a 2016 lawsuit alleging bedbug infestation at the Trump National Doral brought by the New Jersey insurance executive Eric Linder, 63.Linder claimed in court papers that he woke at the resort’s $ 300-a-night Jack Nicklaus-themed villa to discover, the complaint said, “welts, lumps and marks over much of his face, neck, arms and torso”. Photographs appeared to back up Linder’s claim.Doral’s management hit back, claiming Linder “conducted himself so carelessly and negligently that his conduct was the sole proximate cause or contributing cause” for the insects’ attack.The club reportedly settled the lawsuit.Reports about the case resurfaced on social media Monday after Trump touted the resort’s charms at the G-7 summit in France. But by Monday night, the hashtag “TrumpBedBugs” was trending on Twitter.The bedbug controversy did not discourage Trump from promoting his property for the next G7 even in an apparent violation of rules against profiteering from the presidency. But the president claimed he won’t profit off the event. “In my opinion I’m not going to make any money,” Trump said. “I don’t want to make money. I don’t care about making money.”The president also claimed aides had toured the country in search of a more suitable location and come up empty. “They went to places all over the country and they came back and said, ‘This is where we’d like to be,’ ” Trump said.Trump’s resort is reported to be struggling, reports the Miami Herald, and members who resigned their membership after Trump won the presidency claim they are waiting to get their deposits back. But one piece of good news: the property, for which Trump reported income of $ 76m in 2018, up from $ 75m in 2017, has not been officially cited for bedbug violations.



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Greenland's government tells President Donald Trump the island is 'not for sale'

Greenland's government tells President Donald Trump the island is 'not for sale'After Trump reportedly floated the idea of buying the island, Greenland's Foreign Ministry tweeted "We are open for business, not for sale."



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'Not good!' Donald Trump blames Russia for mysterious 'Skyfall' explosion, radiation spike

'Not good!' Donald Trump blames Russia for mysterious 'Skyfall' explosion, radiation spikeDonald Trump tweaked Russia over a mysterious explosion he said was tied to a nuclear-powered missile Moscow officials have described as a new weapon.



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El Paso congresswoman says Trump 'not welcome' in the city after mass shooting

El Paso congresswoman says Trump 'not welcome' in the city after mass shooting"Words have consequences. The president has made my community and my people the enemy," said Rep. Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso



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Iran says US rejected offer as 'not seeking dialogue'

Iran says US rejected offer as 'not seeking dialogue'Iran said on Monday the US had rejected an offer from Tehran for more robust nuclear inspections in exchange for lifting sanctions because Washington is “not seeking dialogue”. Under the 2015 nuclear deal agreed to by Tehran, Iran must ratify a document, known as the additional protocol, prescribing more intrusive inspections of its nuclear programme eight years after the deal was adopted. “If the US is really seeking an agreement… Iran can make the additional protocol into law (in 2019) and (the US) at the same time bring a plan to the Congress and lift all illegal sanctions,” said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi.



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Mueller said Trump was 'not exculpated' for obstruction of justice. The dictionary responded

Mueller said Trump was 'not exculpated' for obstruction of justice. The dictionary respondedMerriam-Webster tweeted the definition of 'exculpate' in response to Mueller's remarks



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The Latest: Trump claims he was 'not happy' with chant

The Latest: Trump claims he was 'not happy' with chantPresident Donald Trump says he “was not happy” when his supporters at a rally Wednesday night in North Carolina chanted “send her back” in reference to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Trump said this weekend that Omar and other progressive Democratic lawmakers of color should leave the country and “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” over their criticism of his administration.



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'Not what your mom sent you:' Teen takes legendary senior photos in a bathrobe

'Not what your mom sent you:' Teen takes legendary senior photos in a bathrobeEvan Dennison wanted to do something funny for his senior photos. No one believed he would actually do it. Now he is a "legend."



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