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Bernie Sanders' opening argument: I am electable. Really.

Bernie Sanders' opening argument: I am electable. Really.WASHINGTON (AP) — Bernie Sanders spent much of 2016 talking of revolution. In 2019, he's turned to a subject that's a bit more pragmatic: electability.



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Pope Francis announces opening of Secret Archives on 'Hitler's Pope'

Pope Francis announces opening of Secret Archives on 'Hitler's Pope'Pope Francis has announced that he will open up the Vatican’s secret archives on the papacy of Pope Pius XII, who has been accused of failing to speak up about the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews. Historians have for decades been calling on the Holy See to let scholars study the archives, in order to determine whether Pius XII failed to use his moral authority to oppose the Holocaust. The argument that Pius should have been far more vocal in condemning the Nazis’ annihilation of six million Jews was put forward most forcefully in the 1999 book Hitler’s Pope, by John Cornwell, a British writer and academic. Pope Francis announced his decision during a meeting with staff from the Secret Archives, part of the Vatican’s vast repository of documents and records, declaring that “the Church is not afraid of history”. He said the archive would be opened on March 2 next year to mark the 81st anniversary of the election of Pius XII in 1939. Francis acknowledged that there had been “moments of grave difficulty and tormented decisions” for the wartime pontiff, saying he had been treated by posterity with “some prejudice and exaggeration”. Without referring directly to Pius’s actions towards the Jews of Europe, Francis said his predecessor had engaged in “hidden but active diplomacy” in order to pursue “humanitarian initiatives”. He thanked archive historians for having worked, since 2006, to catalogue and organise the huge body of documentation relating to Pius’s papacy, from 1939 to his death in 1958. Mr Cornwell, the author of Hitler’s Pope, said he could not wait for the archives to be revealed. Pope Francis announced that the archives will be open a year from now Credit: Alessandra Benedetti/Getty “It should be really interesting. It might show that he did fantastic things to help the Jews. Or it might shed light on whether he had anything to do with the Nazi rat-run, when some Catholics helped Nazis escape to South America at the end of the war,” he told The Telegraph. He said he called his book Hitler’s Pope largely because of what the future Pope Pius did before the war, when as Vatican secretary of state he drew up an accord in 1933, the Reichskonkordat, that protected the Catholic Church’s rights in Germany but in exchange helped give moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime. He said Pius was, like many Catholics at the time, anti-Semitic, but conceded that he had little scope for limiting the scale of the Holocaust. “He didn’t have much room for manoeuvre. He was very much a prisoner inside the Vatican, which was dependent for its light, gas and water on Mussolini’s Italy and then on the German regime. Although I still think he didn’t do enough when the Jews were being rounded up in Rome.” Hitler even plotted at one time to kidnap the Pope, Mr Cornwell said. Pope Pius has been accused by some Jewish groups and historians of failing to speak out against the Holocaust during the war Credit: AP The Vatican insists that by using discreet means, Pius instructed Catholic clergy to give help to the Jews, quietly saving tens of thousands of lives. “The archives will hopefully shed light on the actual possibilities that were open to Pope Pius in condemning the genocide and to what extent he could have made a difference, and at what cost,” said Austen Ivereigh, a British expert on the Vatican and the author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a radical pope. While some historians have accused Pius of complicity in the persecution of the Jews because of his decision not to speak out, others insist he did all that he could in the circumstances. They argue that to have criticised Hitler and the Nazi regime more strongly would have imperiled Catholics across occupied Europe. “Had he spoken out, it could have been an excuse for Hitler to turn on the Catholic Church. These were very, very difficult moral choices,” said Mr Ivereigh. The planned opening of the archives was welcomed by Jewish groups around the world. “We greatly appreciate Pope Francis’s decision,” said Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. It would enable historians “to reconstruct with greater clarity the Church’s position regarding the Shoah.” “It’s shame that we’ll have to wait until 2020, but better late than never,” said Ruth Dureghello, the head of the Jewish community in Rome. More than 1,000 Italian Jews were rounded up in Rome and deported to concentration camps in October 1943. The Pope’s decision was also welcomed by Israel. "We are pleased by the decision and hope it will enable free access to all relevant archives," foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon wrote on Twitter. It normally takes the Vatican 70 years from the end of a pontificate to open up its archives relating to the period, but there has been intense pressure to make an exception for those of Pius XII. “Part of the problem is that simply cataloguing the stuff takes a lot of time, especially given that there aren’t many staff in the Secret Archives,” said Mr Ivereigh. “It’s a huge archive because it was a very long papacy.”



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Neighbor describes opening the door to find missing teen Jayme Closs after parents were found dead 3 months ago

Neighbor describes opening the door to find missing teen Jayme Closs after parents were found dead 3 months agoMan who helped the missing Wisconsin teenager Peter Kasinkas says she did not know her kidnapper.



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Iran hosts Taliban peace talks, eyeing opening after US drawdown

Iran hosts Taliban peace talks, eyeing opening after US drawdownThe Taliban discussed Afghanistan's "post-occupation situation" with Iran in their latest meeting, the group said Tuesday, as Tehran makes a more concerted and open push for peace ahead of a possible US drawdown. The remarks come after Iran confirmed Monday that the Taliban had visited Tehran for a second round of talks in just a few days that are aimed at ending the 17-year conflict. The Taliban delegation discussed with Iran "the post-occupation situation, restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region", the militants said in a statement posted on social media and emailed to journalists. It signals a growing confidence among the Taliban for US troops to pull out of Afghanistan, after US officials last month told various media outlets that President Donald Trump had decided to slash the number of boots on the ground. There have been reports in the past of talks between Iran and the Taliban, but they have typically been denied by Tehran. Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint ahead of parliamentary elections, in Kabul, Afghanistan Credit: AP Tehran's peace push will be viewed with concern by hawks in Washington, who fear that Trump's planned withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan will cede regional influence to Iran. The Taliban also met with the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the United Arab Emirates earlier in December as part of a flurry of diplomatic efforts to end the war. But the Taliban refused to meet a delegation from Afghanistan. The group said Saturday its representatives would not meet "with those of the Kabul administration" at the next meeting expected to be held in Saudi Arabia later this month. Iran's deputy foreign ministry Abbas Araghchi will travel to Afghanistan in the next two weeks, the foreign ministry said, without giving further details. Iran and Afghanistan share a nearly 600-mile border, and have had a complex relationship in recent years. Tehran has long supported its co-religionists in Afghanistan, the Shia Hazara minority, who were violently persecuted by the Taliban during its rule in the 1990s. Iran worked alongside the United States and Western powers to help drive out the Taliban after the US-led invasion in 2001. But there have been allegations, from Western and Afghan sources, that Iran's Revolutionary Guards have in recent years established ties with the Taliban aimed at driving out US forces from Afghanistan.



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Young girl shot dead by man opening fire on vehicle in Walmart car park

Young girl shot dead by man opening fire on vehicle in Walmart car parkJazmine Barnes was shot as her family drove out of a Walmart car park in Texas. Jazmine and her mother, LaPorsha Washington, were hit by bullets. Ms Washington was taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries, but Jazmine was pronounced dead at the scene.



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AD and LIFEWTR Celebrate the Opening of The Haas Brothers: Ferngully at The Bass Museum of Art in Miami

AD and LIFEWTR Celebrate the Opening of The Haas Brothers: Ferngully at The Bass Museum of Art in Miami



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Macron in Morocco for opening of high-speed railway

Macron in Morocco for opening of high-speed railwayFrench President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Morocco on Thursday to take part in the inauguration of a high-speed railway line that boasts the fastest journey times in Africa or the Arab world. The French leader, who was invited by King Mohammed VI, will attend a grand ceremony at Tangiers’ newly renovated train station, with heavy security measures put in place. Macron will travel with the monarch on the high-speed train from Tangiers, a major port linking Africa and Europe, to the capital Rabat.



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Erdogan Trumpets Turkey's Clout at Gigantic New Airport Opening

Erdogan Trumpets Turkey's Clout at Gigantic New Airport OpeningThe new airport, located some 20 miles outside Istanbul on the coast of the Black Sea, will cover 76.5 million square meters (29.5 miles) upon completion — a footprint larger than Manhattan. Erdogan ended years of speculation about the name of the new airport, saying that it’ll be named “Istanbul Airport.” The current main international airport, Ataturk, will continue limited operations under that name, he said. Istanbul has another airport on its Asian coast, called Sabiha Gokcen, one of 40 new airports built during Erdogan’s time in office.



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Ford delivers opening statement at Kavanaugh hearing

Ford delivers opening statement at Kavanaugh hearingChristine Blasey Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.



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Kavanaugh hearing starts with a bang as protesters, Dems interrupt opening statements

Kavanaugh hearing starts with a bang as protesters, Dems interrupt opening statementsThe confirmation hearing for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee got off to a chaotic start on Capitol Hill.



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