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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Michael Mason
Pope Francis kicked off the first World Youth Day festival of his papacy, addressing hundreds of thousands of rain-soaked young pilgrims from around the world who flocked to Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana Beach to hear his message.
President Obama on Thursday said he intends to seek a two-year extension of the 10-year term of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, which expires on Sept. 4, saying the director has "set the gold standard for leading the bureau" and that in the face of ongoing threats, "continuity and stability at the FBI is critical at this time."
Mason noted that most of the attendees interviewed about the Syndey World Youth Day spoke positively of their experiences, in terms that suggest that the primary effects of the gathering have been to increase devotion and to build community pride in an increasingly secular world.
He said that "44 percent of the Australian Catholics under age 36 who attended [the 2008 Sydney World Youth Day] considered it 'one of the best experiences in my life,'" and almost one in four described it as a "life-changing event."