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World news in brief

08 July 2016


Screened: public defender Ashley Pennington (foreground) represents his client, Dylann Roof, as he appears at a bond hearing at a court in north Charleston via video link from the county jail, last month

Screened: public defender Ashley Pennington (foreground) represents his client, Dylann Roof, as he appears at a bond hearing at a court in north...

FBI sued after Charleston church massacre

SURVIVORS of the deadly attack on a Bible-study class at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on 17 June last year, are suing FBI investigators for allowing the attacker to buy a gun, the Associated Press reported this week. Dylan Roof, 22, has been charged with nine counts of murder. The FBI are being accused of negligence while carrying out background checks on Roof before he bought the 45-calibre handgun in April last year.


Japanese Church apologises for leprosy policy

THE Anglican Church in Japan has issued an apology through its synod for its part in a decades-long campaign of isolation and suppression of people who have leprosy. The Japanese government forcibly detained sufferers in closed institutions, sterilised women, and forced those who became pregnant to have abortions, in the mistaken belief that the disease was highly contagious. Despite the discovery of a cure in the 1940s, the repressive anti-leprosy laws were not repealed until 1996. The synod has issued a formal apology for not supporting a campaign before 1996 by some leprosy-sufferers for their release, and for collaborating with the authorities during the decades of isolation.


WCC welcomes former pro-apartheid Church

THE Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (DRC) has been welcomed back as a full member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) thirty years after voting to reject racism in the wake of apartheid and open its doors to all Christians. Its membership of the WCC was suspended in 1962 because of its support for apartheid. The DRC is one of three new full members and two interim members of the WCC. Its status was confirmed at a meeting of the Central Committee last week.


Camp Liberty hit by militia rockets before ‘Free Iran’ rally

MORE than 40 residents of Camp Liberty, a former military base in Baghdad, have been injured in a missile attack by terrorist forces on Monday, the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported. It came after an eight-day blockade of food and medical supplies to the Camp, which is now home to members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran. The Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, is due to attend an NCRI rally for a “Free Iran” in Paris tomorrow.


Appeal against Peshawar college appointment

A LEGAL challenge over the appointment of Dr Nayer Fardows in December 2014 as Principal of Edwardes College, a Christian higher-education institution in Peshawar, in Pakistan, has reached the country’s Supreme Court. A former professor of English at the Islamia College, Peshawar, Malak Naz, is appealing against the appointment on the grounds that it was “pre-planned in bad faith”, and carried out under the political pressure of the Bishop of Peshawar, the Rt Revd Humphrey Peters, who is accused of corruption.

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