Tag Archives: Bashar Assad

Pope Francis Beats Miley Cyrus to Be TIME’s Person of the Year

Cyrus did not even make it to the Top 5 list which was filled by the Pope, Edward Snowden, Edith Windsor, Ted Cruz and Bashar Assad. Pope Francis, TIME’s Person of the Year Pope Francis has been named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year on Wednesday, December 11, meaning Miley Cyrus failed to take the coveted title. The Catholic church leader has been selected by editors of the magazine with consideration of a poll from its readers. It was reported a while ago that Cyrus was leading the readers poll with 28 percent of the votes. She even scored a position on the Top 10 list which was revealed by the magazine’s managing editor Nancy Gibbs on Monday. The only entertainer on the list, the 21-year-old singer thrived this year for her “Wrecking Ball” video which became a cultural phenomenon. However, editors excluded Cyrus in the Top 5 list which included NSA defense contractor Edward Snowden, gay rights activist Edith Windsor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Syrian President Bashar Assad. Snowden came second. If based on readers poll only, the winner will be Egyptian General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who didn’t even make it to the Top 10. Editors’ choice landed on Pope Francis for changing the perception of the church in an extraordinary way in a short time. The first Latin pope has encouraged compassion over condemnation to deal with sensitive issues like abortion, gays and contraception. “He really stood out to us as someone who has changed the tone and the perception and the focus of one of the world’s largest institutions in an extraordinary way,” Gibbs said. In response to the title, Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said, “The Holy Father is not looking to become famous or to receive honors. But if the choice of Person of Year helps spread the message of the Gospel – a message of God’s love for everyone – he will certainly be happy about that.” It marks the third time a Catholic pope has been named TIME’s Person of the Year. In 1962, John XXIII was selected and followed by John Paul II in 1994. © AceShowbiz.com

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Horrific video shows Syrian Catholic priest being ‘beheaded by jihadist fighters in front of cheering crowd’

A Syrian Catholic priest has been beheaded by jihadist fighters in Syria, it has been claimed. Homes are seen destroyed by Syrian government airstrikes and shelling in Aleppo The death of Franciscan Father Francois Murad has been confirmed by the official Vatican news agency. The gruesome killing has raised further concerns about the West arming rebels in the fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Grainy footage purported to show the 49-year-old’s death has been posted on the internet. Father Francois, was killed on 23 June in Gassanieh, in northern Syria. He had been staying in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land. Catholic.orglinked to the video and reported: ‘Syrian terrorists have beheaded a Catholic priest who they accused of collaborating with the Assad regime. Those accusations have not yet been verified.’ Fides News Agency said: ‘According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.’ Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Front for the Protection of the Syrian People, is an Al Qaeda associated group, described as ‘the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force.’ In the video, filmed on a camera phone and posted on LiveLeak, three men – including a man reported to be Father Francois – are seen sitting on the dusty ground as a crowd around them cheers. The man, wearing a brown robe, is filmed sitting cross-legged with his hands apparently bound. He is pulled forward and laid face down on the grass as the crowd chant ‘Allahu akbar’ and take photos. He is then decapitated, using what looks like a rudimentary kitchen knife. Dozens of camera phones are shoved forward by the baying crowd as the scene turns more bloody. Fides News Agency says the ‘circumstances of the death are not fully understood’ but said his death has been confirmed by the Custos of the Holy Land – the convent where Father Francois had been staying. It has not been confirmed Father Francois was beheaded.  Assad’s forces pounded Sunni Muslim rebels in the city of Homs with artillery and from the air on Sunday, the second day of their offensive in central Syria, activists said. They said rebels defending the old centre of Homs and five adjacent Sunni districts had largely repelled a ground attack on Saturday by Assad’s forces, backed by guerrillas from the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, but reported clashes and deaths within the city on Sunday. Mohammad Mroueh, a member of the opposition ‘Homs Crisis Cell’ said at least 25 loyalist troops including four Hezbollah fighters had been killed in Homs in the previous 24 hours...

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