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World News
 Russia is deep in the summer doldrums. But it's only a month until children return to school, and in some cases, to a new subject: "The Foundations of Orthodox Culture." "I want to know about God," says Lyuda, a 6-year-old girl living in Kirov Oblast. "It's interesting for me." (Full Story)
By Kathleen Ridolfo

Leaders of Iraq's Christian community estimate that over two-thirds of the country's Christian population has fled the country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. While exact numbers are unknown, reports suggest that whole neighborhoods of Christians have cleared out in the cities of Baghdad and Al-Basrah, and that both Sunni and Shi'ite insurgent groups and militias have threatened Christians. (Full Story)

By Golnaz Esfandiari 

Growing up in Iran was not easy for Arsham Parsi. Early in his childhood, he recognized that he was "different." When he realized during his teenage years that he was attracted to other men, his life became even more complicated. (Full Story)

By Raanan Eliaz

In an interview Nicolas Sarkozy gave in 2004, he expressed an extraordinary understanding of the plight of the Jewish people for a home: “Should I remind you the visceral attachment of every Jew to Israel, as a second mother homeland? There is nothing outrageous about it. Every Jew carries within him a fear passed down through generations, and he knows that if one day he will not feel safe in his country, there will always be a place that would welcome him. And this is Israel.” (From the book “La République, les religions, l’espérance”, interviews with Thibaud Collin and Philippe Verdin.) (Full Story)

By Stephen Kaufman 

Following discussions with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have agreed to meet on a regular biweekly basis to discuss immediate concerns and a long-term political horizon that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. (Full Story)

Until 1992, Zlata Filipovic lived a carefree life in her native Sarajevo. She attended school, enjoyed her holidays, and, like many other 11-year-olds, kept a diary. When war suddenly entered her life, her diary was transformed into the testament of a child exposed to the possibility of violent death. Zlata's Diary was published in 1993 and became an international best-seller. It has been translated into 36 languages. (Full Story)
By Andrei Vavra

Russian President Vladimir Putin's online news conference consists of about one million questions asked by mail, telephone, SMS and via the Internet. Most of the questions are serious and allow the president to speak on the key issues of life in Russia, yet there are quite a few questions that are not directly connected to politics. (Full Story)

By Charles Recknagel

The spread of nuclear weapons continues to be a major concern for the world community, and events in 2006 did little to dampen fears. The main crises are over the purported nuclear-arms ambitions of Iran and the known nuclear-weapons program of North Korea. (Full Story)

By Claire Bigg

For the first time, Russia chaired the Group of Eight (G-8) most industrialized nations --a presidency that significantly raised Moscow's international standing. Economically, 2006 also brought important breakthroughs, including mounting energy profits and the signing of a landmark deal with the United States paving the way for World Trade Organization membership. (Full Story)

By Kofi Annan, president of the Kofi Annan Foundation
 © United Nations 
Ever since national frontiers were invented, people have been crossing them -- not just to visit foreign countries, but to live and work there. In doing so, they have almost always taken risks, driven by a determination to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Those aspirations have always been the motors of human progress. Historically, migration has improved the well-being, not only of individual migrants, but of humanity as a whole. (Full Story)
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