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International military expenditure not affected by COVID-19

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect military spending by the world’s traditional Big Five with five sub-Saharan African countries also showing increases in their spend on military equipment and material. Worldwide, military spending last year was 2.6% more than in 2019 at a time when the …

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Herbs & Plants: Piliostigma thonningii, a multipurpose medicinal plant

Piliostigma thonningii, common name ‘camel’s foot’, is a leguminous, deciduous tree with a single stem, native to tropical Africa. It grows in open woodland, savannah regions, and wooded grassland in low to medium altitudes. It is a multipurpose tree of vast importance for health. This evergreen species is a good shade tree that fixes nitrogen …

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The Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021

According to the 15th Report of Aid to the Church in Need on religious freedom in the world (2018-2020) 67% of the world’s population (5.200 billion) live in countries where grave violations of religious freedom occur. The ongoing pandemic further impinged on religious freedom, with disproportionate restrictions on religious practice and worship, denial of humanitarian …

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Vatican: the Catholic Church in Numbers

The Annuario Pontificio 2021, and the ‘Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae 2019’, edited by the Central Statistics Office of the Catholic Church have been just published.  The Annuario Pontificio reveals several new aspects of the life of the Church in the world in 2020. During this time period two metropolitan Sees and four episcopal Sees (2 dioceses …

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Herbs & Plants: Warburgia salutaris, a healthful plant

The importance of medicinal plants in primary health care systems to treat and manage various disease conditions cannot be underestimated. Warburgia salutaris (G.Bertol.) Chiov (Family Canellaceae); whose common name is ‘pepperbark tree’, is one of the highly commercialized medicinal plant trees. It has been documented in many folkloric and ethnobotanical studies conducted in east, central …

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Brunei Catholic Church: ‘the periphery within the periphery’

A small Catholic population. The seven pastoral priorities. Living under Sharia Law. Cardinal Cornelius Sim, apostolic vicar of Brunei talks about his community.  Last November, Pope Francis made mons. Cornelius Sim apostolic vicar of Brunei, a cardinal. “For me, it was a bit of a shock and unexpected,” said mons. Sim. “I think this appointment’s …

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