- - Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Vatican cardinal has caused a stir at a meeting of the world’s bishops by screening an alarmist video about the inroads that Islam is making in Europe and the world.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the Ghanaian head of the Vatican’s office for justice and peace, aired the YouTube clip last weekend during the synod of bishops, a three-week gathering of top churchmen to map out strategies to halt the decline of Christianity.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, who briefed journalists on the closed-door session, said some bishops questioned the statistics and appropriateness of it being aired.

Vatican Radio called the clip a “4-year-old, fear-mongering presentation of statistics” that have been widely debunked.

News reports said Cardinal Turkson subsequently apologized, saying he didn’t mean to cause any harm.

CUBA

Communists lift exit-visa requirement

HAVANA — The government announced Tuesday that it will no longer require Cubans to apply for exit visas, eliminating a much-loathed bureaucratic procedure that has been a major impediment for many seeking to travel overseas.

A notice published in the Communist Party newspaper Granma said Cubans also will not have to present a letter of invitation to travel abroad when the rule change takes effect Jan. 13.

Cubans will have to show only their passports and visas from the countries they are visiting.

The measure also extends to 24 months the amount of time Cubans can remain abroad. They can request an extension when that runs out.

Currently, Cubans lose residency and other rights, including social security and free health care and education, after 11 months.

Doctors, scientists, members of the military and others considered valuable parts of society currently face restrictions on travel to combat brain drain.

GREAT BRITAIN

Brits block hacker’s extradition to U.S.

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