George W. Bush says he avoids criticizing Obama out of respect for presidency

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Read Time:1 Minute, 9 Second

Former President George W. Bush explained Thursday that he has avoided publicly criticizing President Obama because he feels it would undermine the office of the presidency.

“I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president; I think it’s bad for the presidency for that matter,” Mr. Bush said Thursday evening on Fox News’ “Hannity,” Mediaite reported.

The former president said that, though he follows politics and is “very aware of what’s going on,” he has no interest in generating headlines for himself by bashing his successor.

“Secondly, I really have had all the fame I want,” he continued. “I really don’t long for publicity. And the truth of the matter is in order for me to generate publicity I’d have to either attack the Republican Party, which I don’t want to do, or attack the president, which I don’t want to do. And so I’m perfectly content to be out of the limelight.”

Mr. Bush is currently making the media rounds to promote his new book, “41: A Portrait of My Father,” which he calls a “love story” about his dad, Former President George H.W. Bush

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Two technicians seriously injured on James Bond set in Austria

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Read Time:51 Second

Two British technicians were seriously injured in a failed stunt on the set of the James Bond film “Spectre” in the Austrian Alps, police said on Wednesday.

Italian actress Monica Bellucci and British actor Daniel Craig pose during a photocall to promote the 24th James Bond film ‘Spectre’ on February 18, 2015 at Rome’s city hall. AFP PHOTO

A car crashed into a platform on the set on Tuesday, pinning one of the technicians against the platform, and throwing another one off it, local police chief Herbert Juen said.

The two were airlifted to a local hospital. A third victim, also British, was treated on set for minor injuries.

The crew has been filming in the Austrian Alps since early January.

The 24th film in the Bond film series, “Spectre” is slated for release later this year.

Actor Daniel Craig is once again cast in the role of the famous fictional British spy.

Austrian actor Cristoph Waltz plays his nemesis.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Egypt Launches Airstrikes on ISIS Targets in Libya After Beheadings

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Read Time:1 Minute, 13 Second

Egypt said Monday it has launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya after the extremist group released a grisly video showing the beheading of several Coptic Christians it had held hostage for weeks.

A spokesman for the Armed Forces General Command announced the strikes on state radio Monday, marking the first time Cairo has publicly acknowledged taking military action in neighboring Libya, where extremist groups seen as a threat to both countries have taken root in recent years. The statement said the warplanes targeted weapons caches and training camps before returning safely. It said the strikes were "to avenge the bloodshed and to seek retribution from the killers."

"Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them," it said. Libya's air force meanwhile announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an Islamic State affiliate last year.

The announcement, on the Facebook page of the Air Force Chief of Staff, did not provide further details. The video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages was released late Sunday by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group. The killings raise the possibility that the extremist group — which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate — has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the southern tip of Italy.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Netanyahu Must Give That Speech (19 days away)

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Read Time:4 Minute, 8 Second

The importance of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s March 3 address to Congress extends far beyond its effect on his own country. That is apparent from the testimony of two former secretaries of state–Henry Kissinger and George Shultz–before the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 29. Kissinger told the committee that shifting the goal from (a) preventing Iran’s capability to build a nuclear weapon, to (b) simply limiting Iran’s use of that capability, will create not only “huge inspection problems,” but a far more critical problem:

I’ll reserve my comment on [the inspection problems] until I see the agreement. But I would also emphasize the issue of proliferation. Assuming … the stockpile of nuclear material that already exists, the question then is, what do the other countries in the region do? And if the other countries in the region conclude that America has approved the development of an enrichment capability within one year of a nuclear weapon, and if they then insist on building the same capability, we will live in a proliferated world …

Because it’s a different problem from not having a capability at all to having a capability that is within one year of building a weapon. Especially if it then spreads to all the other countries in the region, and they – and they have to live with that fear of each other. That will produce a substantially different world from the one that we know …

I’m troubled by some of the implications of what is now publicly available … and the impact of all of this on an international system where everybody is within a very short period of getting a nuclear weapon. Nobody can really fully trust the inspection system or at least some may not. That is something I would hope gets carefully examined before a final solution is attained. (Emphasis added.)

In other words, even if the agreement purports to keep Iran a year away from a nuclear weapon, and even if there is an inspection regime that purports to enforce the agreement, the inevitable result will be nuclear proliferation throughout the region that will endanger every state in it, and affect those beyond as well. Iran will have turned “binding” UN resolutions against its nuclear program into an American agreement approving it, and the United States will be in no position to prevent other states from acquiring the same capability (or more), or to urge them to rely on American promises that will have been proved ineffective. Secretary Shultz joined Secretary Kissinger in portraying a stark picture of what it would mean to leave Iran with its enrichment process intact:

I see nuclear weapon proliferation. That is devastating … my physicist friends say the Hiroshima weapon was just a little play thing. Well, look at the damage it did. A thermonuclear weapon would incinerate the Washington area totally. … And we were making progress, but that’s been derailed and we’re going the wrong way right now. … It should be pointed out that a bomb made from enriched uranium is much easier to make than [the] Hiroshima bomb. [The] Hiroshima bomb was a uranium enrichment bomb. It wasn’t even tested … [Y]ou can make an unsophisticated bomb from enriched uranium fairly easily. That’s not a big trick. So the enrichment process is key. (Emphasis added.)

An agreement that leaves Iran’s enrichment process in place, guaranteeing a rapid proliferation throughout the region, is a strategic disaster, not only for the region but for the United States. Given the Kissinger and Shultz testimony, it is clear that the critical issue is not the prospects for legislation imposing contingent sanctions if Iran does not reach an agreement. The problem is the agreement the Obama administration is seeking, against the advice of two distinguished secretaries of state, both of whom served in World War II and remember what caused it.

Neither the congressional invitation to the Israeli prime minister nor his acceptance of it was a mistake. The speech will be his attempt to say what Churchill would have said if he had seen America heading down the road Kissinger and Shultz described to the Armed Services Committee. A head of state must come to Washington to say it, and to say it not simply in private discussions, nor simply before pro-Israel advocates at AIPAC, but directly to the representatives of the American people, and before it is too late.

It is not going to be David Cameron, Angela Merkel, or Francois Hollande, the leaders of a Europe that is no longer strategically serious. If it is going to be anyone, it will have to be Benjamin Netanyahu. For the reasons he set forth in his powerful statement on February 10, the issue goes far beyond politics and protocol.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Obama goofed around with a selfie stick on the same day Kayla Mueller confirmed dead

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Read Time:4 Minute, 3 Second

As Allahpundit accurately noted, we might soon come to regret enabling the world’s most powerful narcissist by handing him a selfie stick. Those who are concerned that Obama’s antics – mugging into a smudgy mirror, failing to successfully dunk a cookie into a glass of milk, and pantomiming free throw shots for no particular reason, all in the hopes of increasing the number of young Obamacare enrollees (with BuzzFeed’s complicity) – might diminish the office of the presidency have little to fear.

Allahpundit also observed that Obama sat down with comedian Zach Galifianakis at roughly the same time last year, also to increase the number of young and healthy Obamacare enrollees whose premiums will subsidize care for the unwell. He has an established track record of engaging in puerile escapades so as to appeal to young people, whom he presumably believes to be fools. If the presidency’s stature was reduced by Obama’s larking about as part of his “new media strategy,” then that diminution occurred long ago.

“The idea that you could diminish the dignity of a president who gave a one-on-one with someone whose claim to fame is bathing in a tub of Froot Loops is a rather paradoxical one,” the columnist Charles Krauthammer eloquently discerned.

But there is more to mourn here than simply the devaluation of the stature of the presidential office, a feature of the executive branch that many see as unduly inflated and the loss of which they will not grieve. According to reports, this video was shot mere hours after the United States government confirmed that another of its citizens, Kayla Mueller, died in ISIS custody. The day that this video was shot, February 10, was also the day in which American embassy staff and security personnel abandoned Yemen amid chaos and violence.

“It shows you how frivolous he is in executing his office,” Krauthammer averred. “And that, I think, is not a question of the dignity of the office [but] of the seriousness of the man.”

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This behavior is of a piece with last August’s callous display. Then, Obama took to a podium in Martha’s Vineyard to address the brutal beheading of American journalist James Wright Foley by ISIS militants only to dash off to a previously scheduled golf outing within minutes of his mock somber speech.

At the time, the president blamed the media for rushing to the inescapable conclusion that this spectacle suggested that Obama was indifferent toward the phenomenon of terrorists claiming American lives. “The possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news, is always — there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere,” Obama said in an attempt to excuse his behavior. As though the beheading of an American by a militant Islamic group as part of an ultimatum directed toward the president was a contrivance or an everyday occurrence.

But just 11 days after the president’s address, it was revealed yesterday, Obama found himself at a wedding celebration alongside his friends and convicted terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. If Obama were running for political office again, he might have displayed more compassion for the American soldiers these two unrepentant fanatics attempted to kill. But the president no longer has to feign respect for parochial concerns like the public’s general distaste for the criminal proclivities of violent, revolutionary leftists.

Terrorism as a generator of public anxiety is, after all, largely a construct of the news media. That’s what the president told his ideological compatriots at Vox.com, at least.

“You show crime stories and you show fires, because that’s what folks watch, and it’s all about ratings,” Obama replied after agreeing that terroristic violence is “absolutely” given too much attention by the national press. “And, you know, the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos, along with plane crashes and a few other things, that’s the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs.”

It should be painfully clear by now that the president views terrorism as a minor bother. If he had his preference, he would devote his focus exclusively to political agitation and the reformation of the nation’s domestic institutions. No matter how much lip service the president gives to the solemn honor of the duty bestowed upon him, Obama views role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and guarantor of American national security as an inconvenience. While he occasionally has to mimic the pained expressions and tone of someone genuinely grieving the losses inflicted by terroristic violence overseas, we now know that it is only theater.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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What if the universe doesn’t have a beginning?

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Read Time:43 Second

Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts that the universe originated from an infinitely dense single point and then exploded outward in the “big bang.

” But this earliest stateknown as a singularityhas caused all kind of problems for physicists since it was postulated. Now scientists have created a new model of the universe that incorporates principles from quantum mechanics and doesn’t necessitate the existence of a singularity.

This doesn’t mean there wasn’t a big bangthe data that support the theory are still as robust as ever; the new model has simply found a way around the singularity issue. EarthSky reports that, it instead theorizes that the universe has always existed as a kind of “quantum potential” that eventually collapsed into the hot explosion of the big bang.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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White House omits Jews as ISIS targets in war proposal

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Read Time:2 Minute, 34 Second

Washington (CNN)Bipartisan criticism of President Barack Obama's proposed authorization of force against ISIS mostly has to do with the use of U.S. troops and limits on the commander-in-chief. But one Republican lawmaker noticed something else that he calls quite troubling – omission of the word "Jews."

Freshman Lee Zeldin is the only Republican Jewish member of Congress, and says it immediately leapt off the page that the President's proposed resolution specifically singles out several ethnic groups threatened by ISIS: Iraqi Christians, Yezidis and Turkmens, but says nothing about Jews.

"I see an understanding, a recognition in the resolution with regards to ISIS attacks on Muslims, on Christians and others, and I didn't see a reference to Jews," Zeldin told CNN in an interview. "And one of the efforts I've been involved in is trying to raise awareness for the rising tide of anti-semitism."

The New York Republican questioned whether the White House deliberately left out Jews as an ethnic group that ISIS has threatened.

"I think that when the White House is drafting a resolution for the authorization of force, that every single word, every phrase in there is done deliberately — it has to be," said Zeldin.

"Jews should have been included by the White House," he said.

Read the proposed authorization (PDF)

The omission comes on the heels of a recent comment from Obama called the attack on a Kosher deli in Paris "random." The White House was later forced to clarify the President didn't mean to imply the incident wasn't "motivated by anti-Semitism," according to press secretary Josh Earnest.

But the White House argues that its war request draft language borrows from the resolution passed in the then-Democratic led Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year.

In fact, it does mirror that text drafted by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., word-for-word, saying "Whereas ISIL has threatened genocide and committed vicious acts of violence against religious and ethnic minority groups, including Iraqi Christians, Yezidi, and Turkmen populations."

That was, however, before the Jewish Kosher deli attack.

Zeldin said the targeting of the Kosher deli last month is proof that ISIS is committed to vicious acts against Jews around the world.

"I strongly believe we were reminded in Paris that these radical Islamic extremists, they want to wipe Israel off the map," said Zeldin. "They target not only Jews but our freedom our exceptionalism as Americans — the whole western world."

"The pursuit of ISIS includes a threat not just to Muslims, not just to Jews, not just to Christians, but everyone and it all should be recognized in the resolution," he said.

Zeldin sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee which will be debating and voting on the use of force resolution. He says he intends to try to get Jews included any text that actually becomes the law of the land.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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300 migrants feared dead after boats sink in the Mediterranean Sea

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Read Time:2 Minute, 6 Second

 (CNN)About 300 migrants are feared dead after their boats sank in the Mediterranean Sea, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday.

The incident is just the latest in a long series of disasters involving migrants risking dangerous journeys to seek a better life.

The migrants left Libya on Saturday in rubber boats, the International Organization for Migration said.

Some may have died without entering the water. Initial reports suggest 29 people died Sunday on one boat, mainly from hypothermia, said Andrej Mahecic, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

More than 110 survivors arrived on the Italian Island of Lampedusa after being rescued by the Italian coast guard and a merchant vessel, he said.

"They confirmed to UNHCR that they had left on Saturday from Libya on rubber dinghies and had been at sea for days, without food and water," Mahecic said.

Only two out of 107 passengers survived on one boat, and seven out of 109 people survived on another dinghy, the U.N. agency said.

The Italian Coast Guard is continuing to search for a fourth dinghy, but rough sea conditions are hampering efforts.

"This is a tragedy on an enormous scale and a stark reminder that more lives could be lost if those seeking safety are left at the mercy of the sea," said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Europe bureau director.

An often deadly voyage

Worldwide, more than 40,000 migrants have died in their journeys since 2000, the International Organization for Migration said in September.

Over half of them were trying to get to Europe. About 6,000 deaths occurred along the U.S.-Mexico border.

And the situation is getting worse in Europe. Italy has recorded at least 50 migrant deaths this year, compared with 12 by this point last year, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told journalists in Geneva, Switzerland.

The migrants' primary country of origin? Syria, where millions have tried to flee the country's four-year civil war.

Syrians accounted for 22% of the migrants arriving in Italy in January, Edwards said.

Many of the maritime tragedies involve human traffickers transporting migrants in overcrowded, unseaworthy boats.

"Limited opportunities for safe and regular migration drive would-be migrants into the hands of smugglers, feeding an unscrupulous trade that threatens the lives of desperate people," IOM research chief Frank Laczko said last year.

"Undocumented migrants are not criminals. They are human beings in need of protection and assistance, and deserving respect."

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Official: Houthis take U.S. vehicles, weapons in Yemen

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Read Time:3 Minute, 29 Second

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN)Houthi rebels took all U.S. Embassy vehicles parked at the Yemeni capital's airport and wouldn't let departing U.S. Marines take their weapons with them, a top Sanaa airport official said about the latest evidence of unrest in an Arab nation long seen as key in America's fight against terrorists.

The actions come after the United States, along with Britain, suspended operations at their embassies and moved out staffers because of the instability in Yemen.

According to the official, the Houthis seized many U.S. Marines' weapons at the airport, and the American troops also handed over some to random airport officials.

However, a senior U.S. military official told CNN the Marines disabled their weapons and gave them to a Yemeni security detail, which had escorted them to the airport, because the Marines were flying commercial.

The U.S. Marine Corps sharply denied the allegations.

"All crew served weapons were destroyed at the embassy prior to movement. None of them were 'handed over' in any way to anyone. The destruction of weapons at the embassy and the airport was carried out in accordance with an approved destruction plan," the statement read.

The statement continued: "To be clear: No Marine handed a weapon to a Houthi, or had one taken from him."

The previous night, embassy officials burned tens of thousands of documents and destroyed weapons that were inside the Sanaa embassy's storage warehouses, Yemeni employees of the embassy said.

Yemen has been an important country to the United States as the home of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the most feared, influential and operational terrorist organizations in the world. U.S. officials have had a long relationship with Yemeni leaders, working with them to target AQAP militants.

But now, Yemen's latest leader, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, is gone, having resigned after Houthi rebels seized control of key government facilities, dissolved parliament and placed him under house arrest.

All this movement has left the Houthis — Shiite Muslims who have long felt marginalized in the majority Sunni country — as the pre-eminent power in Yemen.

Their takeover hasn't been smooth and it's not clear whether it will ever be complete. There has already been resistance to their attempted takeover of national government institutions from different groups in Yemen, particularly in the south, where there's a long-running secessionist movement, and in the oil-rich province of Marib to the east of Sanaa.

Then there's the question of what it means for the United States and its anti-terrorism efforts.

As of last month, U.S. officials hadn't engaged in talks with the Houthis, though there were discussions about whether to talk to them.

Still, even amid the turmoil, the U.S. military remains active in Yemen.

Take, for instance, the killing of senior AQAP cleric Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari and three other people in a drone strike on their vehicle on January 31.

"They are still capable of conducting counterterrorism operations in Yemen, and frankly … there's some counterterrorism training that's still ongoing … with Yemeni security forces," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman.

"I'd be less than honest if I said that there hadn't been some adjustments already made because of the political uncertainty," he said. "We're just going to have to watch this closely going forward."

Yemen's government has been a key ally in the fight against AQAP, which has been tied to the failed attempt by "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab and Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan. More recently, the terror group has been linked to the slaughter at French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

"They are a very dangerous group," said Kirby. "They do want to threaten Western interests, including U.S. interests, and we do consider them a threat to the United States of America. We're watching them very closely."

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Tijuana and San Diego religious leaders break down borders in interfaith scriptures study for peace

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Read Time:2 Minute, 31 Second

BAJA CALIFORNIA—Religious representatives from the Islam, Christian and Catholic faiths gathered at the Benito Juarez Library near the Palacio Municipal in Tijuana to discuss the need for interfaith scriptural understanding for peace on February 7. The event was hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL).

The objective of the World Alliance of Religions Peace Office is to bring religious leaders together and become one by seeing what makes scriptures and religions believable. The dialogue marks the first program since the establishment of HWPL’s World Alliance of Religions Peace Office in Tijuana, Mexico. The event also coincided with regional office openings in HWPL El Salvador and Australia branches earlier this week.

“We wanted to give the religious leaders and youth the opportunity in Tijuana to compare and contrast the scriptures of various religions, so that we can become one on the foundational commonality on the true purpose of religion. When we can agree on these commonalities—that’s peace” said HWPLrepresentative and presider of the event, Ismael Garcia.

The movement for interfaith dialogue began as a continuation of the Alliance of Religions agreement signed by over 700 religious leaders at the World Alliance of Religions Peace Summit held in September of last year. Together they declared, “To do everything in [their] power to end all wars on this earth and to establish world peace according to the will of the Creator, God through the unity of religion.”

“Regardless of whether you're religious or not, let's join together. In the Office of the Alliance of Religions we really need to study each other's scriptures to see whose can really protect our lives and create a world of peace” said Chairman of HWPL, Mr. Man Hee Lee. Chairman Lee and the Chairwoman of the International Women’s Peace Group, Ms. Nam Hee Kim hosted the World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Summit in the Republic of Korea that drew over 700 religious leaders and 50 heads of states. Holding true to the Alliance of Religions agreement, the two representatives are now establishing and actively operating WARP Offices around the world, beginning with Mindanao, Philippines.

The World Alliance of Religions Peace Office meetings in Tijuana and El Salvador especially attracted a lot of attention as the religious leaders and participants in attendance had a special time to study the similarities and differences between each other’s faiths by holding up “X” and “O” cards in regards to questions of their religious scriptures.  

Adriana Padilla Mendoza, Directora Asuntos Religiosos of Tijuana also attended to speak on the important role of youth in leading the initiative of peace. “With the condition of the world right now, it’s good to know that there are organizations that are doing this type of work to gather people to make a difference” said Mendoza.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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