The new Pope is both an anti-Marxist who opposed leftist political movements and a humble friend of the poor who has criticized global capitalism. In fact, his positions are in line with those of his predecessors on economic matters — suspicious of any ideology that views humans as economic actors alone. But a lot of people who follow the church say that he will be better than Pope Benedict at getting the Church's message across on economic issues.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other top officials in Kabul on Monday. As Kerry arrived, the U.S. handed over control of the Bagram prison to the Afghan government, resolving a long-standing dispute between Washington and Kabul.
The Islamist group Gamaa al-Islamiya recently agreed to handle security during a strike by police in the city of Assiut; the police returned to work the next day. But the group says it will continue to provide services such as trash pickup, reflecting the larger problem of a deteriorating Egyptian government.
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