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Saudi Arabia sought to assure the public that the kingdom was safe and free of health scares as an estimated 2 million Muslims streamed into a sprawling tent city near Mecca on Thursday for the start of the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage.
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Episcopalians battle behind walls of NYC seminary

Verena Dobnik, Associated Press  |  posted Oct 2nd - 12:11am
The lid has been lifted on a fierce internal battle at the nation's oldest Episcopal seminary, which has lost most of its faculty over what they say is their dean's intimidating, disrespectful leadership.
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Venezuelans looking to 'Holy Thugs' for protection

Jorge Rueda, Associated Press  |  posted Oct 1st - 10:00pm
They gather in the cemetery, sometimes by the dozens, kneeling in prayer, drinking liquor and smoking cigarettes as offerings to the small statue of the long-dead robber Ismael.
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3 ways to join the social conversation about #LDSConf

Celeste Tholen Rosenlof  |  posted Oct 1st - 7:50pm
The LDS Church's general conference is a time for members to come together and learn about their faith. It is also seen as a time to connect with other members and share messages from the conference, often over social media.
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Armed bandits held, robbed Mormon mission president in Argentina

Tad Walch  |  posted Oct 1st - 7:11pm
A Mormon mission president in Buenos Aires was held briefly by robbers who attacked him in his truck at an intersection outside that Argentinian city last week, according to news reports. He was released after a few minutes and is safe.
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Pope urges Europe to open doors to refugees

Daniela Petroff, Associated Press  |  posted Oct 1st - 10:41am
Pope Francis urged Europe to open its doors to refugees Wednesday as he marked the anniversary of a deadly migrant shipwreck off Sicily by meeting with survivors and relatives of the victims.
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Pope convenes Mideast envoys amid Islamic threat

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  posted 41 minutes ago
Pope Francis convened his ambassadors from across the Middle East on Thursday for three days of meetings to find ways to better protect Christians targeted by Islamic militants and care for those who have been forced to flee their homes.
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Myanmar news website defaced by hackers

The Associated Press  |  posted 42 minutes ago
A website covering news about Myanmar has been defaced by hackers a few days after its director won a prestigious press freedom award.
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Court takes up hear religious bias case over hijab

Sam Hananel, Associated Press  |  posted Oct 2nd - 8:21am
The Supreme Court said Thursday it will consider whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against a Muslim woman who was denied a job because her headscarf conflicted with the company's dress code, which the clothing chain has since changed.
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South Africa government criticized over Dalai Lama

Christopher Torchia, Associated Press  |  posted Oct 2nd - 3:20am
Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu, a periodic critic of South Africa's ruling party, now says the government is a "lickspittle bunch" for its alleged deference to China, a close business partner.
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Australian Parliament restricts veiled visitors

Rod McGuirk, Associated Press  |  posted Oct 2nd - 2:40am
Visitors who wear face veils to Australia's Parliament House have been restricted to sound-proof enclosed galleries usually reserved for noisy school groups under a new counterterrorism security measure announced on Thursday.
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Saudi overhaul reshapes Islam's holiest city Mecca

The Associated Press  |  posted Oct 1st - 2:01pm
As Muslims from around the world stream into Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage this week, they come to a city undergoing the biggest transformation in its history.
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