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Pope Francis sounds racism alarm as EU nationalists win big

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Pope Francis warned on Monday (May 27) against a rise of intolerance and racism as far-right nationalists and eurosceptic parties made historic gains in European elections.

“The signs of meanness we see around us heighten our fear of ‘the other’, the unknown, the marginalised, the foreigner,” he said in a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

“It is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family.

“Migrants, especially those who are most vulnerable, help us to read the ‘signs of the times’,” he said.

Nationalist forces from Marine Le Pen in France to Matteo Salvini in Italy and Nigel Farage in Britain boasted significant gains in the EU Parliament elections which wound up on Sunday.

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Salvini’s far-right League party did particularly well in Italy in centres seen as migrant “hot spots”, including a town held up by the left as a model of tolerance and integration.

Pope Francis acknowledged the “fear” in many societies towards migrants and refugees arriving in search of protection or a better future.

“To some extent, the fear is legitimate, also because the preparation for this encounter is lacking,” he said, alluding to often piecemeal and inadequate approaches to refugee integration.

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“But the problem is not that we have doubts and fears. The problem is when they condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even – without realising it – racist,” he added.

“Today’s world is increasingly becoming more elitist and cruel towards the excluded,” the Argentinian said in his message titled “It is not just about migrants”.

“Wars only affect some regions of the world, yet weapons of war are produced and sold in other regions which are then unwilling to take in the refugees produced by these conflicts,” he added.

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The next World Day of Migrants and Refugees is not until Sept 29, but the Vatican sends out papal messages on such subjects well in advance to provide guidance to pastors around the world.


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Substitute teacher found guilty of accidentally shooting first-grader when his knife fired his gun

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A former substitute teacher was convicted on misdemeanor charges after a knife in his pocket accidentally fired a gun inside a first-grade classroom in Alabama.

Henry Rex Weaver was convicted Monday of possession of a firearm in a prohibited place, reckless endangerment, and third-degree assault, reported AL.com.

One student was struck by a fragment from the bullet in the March 22 incident at Blountsville Elementary School.

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Trump quickly running out of options on Iran: ‘It makes the United States look really feeble’

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US strategy on Iran is confused and Washington seems increasingly short of options to avoid escalation, with President Donald Trump saying that the choice between war and diplomacy "could go either way."

"The Trump administration is facing a fork in the road with respect to its own policy," said Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The US has "deployed an enormous amount of pressure on Iran" and is "well prepared to keep that in place for as long as they deem it necessary," as long as Washington "can avoid escalation and an eruption of a military conflict," Maloney told AFP.

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Fox & Friends is so excited about $2.13 an hour minimum wage jobs for tipped workers

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"Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning spent several minutes discussing minimum wage jobs for tipped workers. Co-host Brian Kilmeade boasted he had five to seven tipped minimum wage jobs when he was young, calling each "one of the best jobs you can have."

"I started as a bus boy, I used to  bus, clear the tables, and we used to rotate washing the dishes, and at the end of the day you pool your tips. It's one of the best jobs you can have when you're breaking in," Kilmeade insisted, because "you don't even expect that check. It's almost a surprise when you get a $60 or $70 check at the end of the week," in addition to tips.

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