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SAUDI ARABIA OFFICIALLY ENDS BAN ON WOMAN DRIVERS

22 JUNE 2018   (SOURCE: AFP) – Saudi Arabia will allow women to drive from Sunday, ending the world’s only ban on female motorists, a historic reform marred by what rights groups call an expanding crackdown on activists. Overturning the decades-long ban, a glaring symbol of repression against women, is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s much-trumpeted reform drive to modernise the conservative petrostate.

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY ACIL TABBARA 
Saudi activist Manal Al Sharif, who now lives in Dubai, flashes the sign for victory as she drives her car in the Gulf Emirate city on October 22, 2013, in solidarity with Saudi women preparing to take to the wheel on October 26, defying the Saudi authorities, to campaign women's right to drive in Saudi Arabia. Under the slogan " driving is a choice ", activists have called on social networks for women to gather in vehicles on October 26, the culmination of the campaign launched in September, in the only country in the world where women do not have the right drive. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI        (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

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SOUTH SUDAN PEACE TALKS A “LAST-DITCH ATTEMPT”

21 JUNE 2018 (SOURCE: REUTERS) – South Sudan’s president and rebel leader met on Wednesday for the first time since 2016, when a peace deal collapsed and fighting re-erupted between their forces, the Ethiopian prime minister’s chief of staff said. “The PM Abiy Ahmed hosted a private dinner to President Salva Kiir & Dr Rieck Machar together,” Fitsum Arega said on his Twitter account. “Faced with the continued suffering in South Sudan, Ethiopia simply can’t stand by. With more work, a peaceful future is possible.” The meeting had been billed by Ethiopia’s government a step towards ending a five-year-old civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than three million to flee their homes in the world’s youngest country. The oil-producing nation gained independence in 2011 from north Sudan but fighting broke out two years later.

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CHURCHES BURNED AND CHRISTIANS TARGETED IN INDIA?

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS CIRCULATING ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

“Brothers and sisters, urgent prayer request. Pray for the Church in India. Buddhist extremists in India burned down 20 churches last night. Tonight want to destroy more than 200 churches in Olisabang province. They want to kill 200 missionaries within the next 24 hours. All Christians are hiding in villages… Pray for them and send this message to all Christians you know. 

PERSPECTIVES

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FIFA WORLD CUP: 5 LESSONS FROM THE GREATEST SPORTING EVENT ON THE PLANET

15 JUNE 2018 – With the daily news saturated with reports of wars, acts of violence and scenes of hatred, the FIFA World Cup™ offers a brief opportunity for people to shift their attention to the soccer fields of Russia for a ‘war’ of a different kind.  Like everything in life, there are some valuable lessons, both good and bad, to learn from events like these, especially when it comes to those ‘battling on the pavilions’ – the spectators.

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PROJECT HERO

Helping to ensure the future of the Church in Syria

Project X-mile

PROJECT X-MILE

Individuals supporting mission projects through sport

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PROJECT EAGLES WINGS

Supporting Chinese missionaries in reaching the world

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PROJECT LIVING BREAD

Providing solar-powered audio Bibles to illiterate (oral) communities in the Arab world

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PROJECT DOTA

Training leaders in South-central Asia

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PROJECT CEDAR TREE

Relief work among refugees in Lebanon and Jordan

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