Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The ‘Francis effect’ is about more than politics by Allison Walter: “During my sleep-deprived adventure, I saw my church come alive, with millions gathered together in song in the city streets because they have renewed hope. I had strangers tell me that they’re giving the church a second chance. I saw young people who’ve lost faith in governments and institutions in tears because Francis gives them something to believe in.”

West ‘walking into abyss’ on Syria by Charles Lister: “The vast majority of refugees now entering Europe are fleeing Assad’s murder machine, not IS or al-Qaeda. Ever since Syrians took to the streets in March 2011, the Western response has been both feeble and noncommittal, but the world is now in need of real leadership. Unfortunately, it seems our leaders are walking into the abyss with their eyes closed.”

Time will tell if Pope Francis’ visit has truly changed America by John Allen: “Going forward, perhaps one good way to gauge the political impact of Francis’ trip is not whether left and right suddenly agree with one another, but whether American liberals and conservatives at least become less likely to demonize one another over the issues Francis has identified as part of a single continuum of concern for life and dignity.”

Women and girls in South Sudan are being held as sex slaves in ‘rape camps’ by AFP: “The abduction of women and girls for use as sex slaves — some of them held indefinitely, tied up with hundreds of others in secret rape camps — is a disturbing new aspect of South Sudan’s 21-month conflict, already characterized by well-documented war crimes and human rights abuses.”

Putin’s Power Plays by Anne Applebaum: “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been bad for his countrymen and bad for his country — for its economy, its image, its influence — and a tragedy for Ukraine. Expect the same kind of outcome from his incursion into Syria too.”

Malala Yousafzai’s Fight Continues by Nicholas Kristof: “Malala’s main message is that all children should get 12 years of free, safe, quality education, and that girls are too often left behind. Some 63 million girls between the age of 6 and 15 are not in school.”

Drug use now rivals drunk driving as cause of fatal car crashes, study says by Ashley Halsey III: “Drunk drivers have long been the scourge of the roadways, and they still are, but now drivers on drugs are becoming a menace that rivals them, according to a new federal report.”

The Kurds’ Democratic Experiment by Carne Ross: “Along this stark boundary, the Kurds are there not only to fight against the Islamic State, but also to defend a precious experiment in direct democracy. In Rojava, the Kurdish name for this region of eastern Syria, a new form of self-government is being built from the ground up.”

At Boston College, Turkson maps ‘Laudato Si’’ path to Paris climate agreement by Brian Roewe: “If Laudato Si’ offered a light on the path to a Paris climate agreement, the U.S. ought to be the one carrying the lantern, said the pope’s chief encyclical envoy Monday at Boston College.”

D or R? This pope didn’t fit party lines by Bud Kennedy: “Let’s say you found him a refreshing voice from the political middle, worried not only about human life of all ages and nations but also about the earth and a troubled world. Where do you go to follow him?”