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ROME, ITALY - DECEMBER 08:  Pope Francis prays in front of the statue of the Immaculate Conceptionon at Spanish Steps December 8, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Following a tradition laid out by his predecessors, Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception by travelling to Spanish Steps where he venerated the statue named for the Marian Feast. The statue of the Immaculate Conception was consecrated on December 8, 1857 several years after the dogma which states that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin was adopted by the Church.  (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Francis Extends Catholic Priests’ Right To Forgive Abortion:

Pope Francis has extended the powers of Catholic priests to forgive abortions, making the announcement in an apostolic letter released Monday.

It continues a special dispensation granted last year for the duration of the Year of Mercy, which finished Sunday.
“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father,” the letter states.
“May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation,” the letter continues.
Just hours after Donald Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle his outstanding Trump University lawsuits, Mike Pence got booed and called out at a Friday showing of “Hamilton.”Trump would not. let it. go. all weekend, but Pence said he was “not offended” by the cast’s statement. Meanwhile, Trump’s weekend meeting with Mitt Romney has set secretary of state rumors swirling.

2. Police ambushes

Two police shootings rocked two cities on Sunday: First, an officer in San Antonio was shotduring a traffic stop in what is being described as a “targeted killing.” Later, a St. Louis officer was shot while in his car. The gunman was killed after a police pursuit, and the wounded officer is expected to survive.

3. Syria

Around 300 people have been killed in the last week in Syria in what has been described as the most intense bombings there in five years. Things were relatively quiet in the three weeks preceding this violence, but now Syrian regime forces are pounding the city yet again.

4. Dakota Access Pipeline

Crowds protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota on Sunday got a little unruly, setting two trucks and parts of a bridge on fire. Police bombarded about 400 protesters with tear gas and water, and officials describe the scene as an “ongoing riot.” Critics say the DAPL, an oil pipeline that would run across four states, will endanger the environment and Native American lands, and possibly contaminate water supplies.

5. Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (the guy who called President Obama a “son of a b****”) has made some interesting moves as of late. He met with Vladimir Putin over the weekend and praised the Russian president’s leadership. Could this be evidence of Duterte’s intent to align with Russia and China? Here’s more on this outspoken, unrepentant leader.

Breakfast Browse

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Orchestra reunites Syrians who fled to Europe to escape war
NYC is getting a special hate crimes unit
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it has to do with the spike in hate crimes following the election.
The Dead Sea is drying out, and it’s our fault
Kanye goes on weird political rant at show, cancels next night
source: CNN.com

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