Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 21st 2015 Contents ROME---Pope Francis has said that good
Catholics do not have to breed "like rabbits,"
defending the Church's stance on artificial
contraception and appealing to the world's
1.2 billion Roman Catholics to practise re-
Speaking to journalists on his flight back
from the Philippines, the pope said that he
once asked a mother of seven children who
was pregnant with her eighth if she wanted
to "leave behind seven young orphans."
"She said, 'I trust in God.' But God gave us
the means to be responsible," the pope said.
"Some think, and excuse the term, that to
be good Catholics, they must be like rab-
Francis said creating new life was "part of
the sacrament of marriage" and in Manila
strongly defended his predecessor Paul VI's
outlawing of artificial contraception for
Catholics in 1968.
Following the church's teachings did not
mean "Christians should have children one
after the other," he said.
His comments came at the end of a trip
to the Philippines, the Catholic Church's
Asian stronghold, which last year passed a
family planning law after a 15-year battle by
the Church to block state-sanctioned
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Pope says Catholics do not need to breed 'like rabbits'
CAIRO---The Islamic State group
threatened to kill two Japanese hostages
unless they receive $200 million in 72
hours, directly demanding the ransom
yesterday from Japan s premier during
his visit to the Middle East. Prime Min-
ister Shinzo Abe vowed to save the
men, saying: "Their lives are the top
Abe and other Japanese officials
declined to discuss whether they d pay
the ransom for captives Kenji Goto and
Haruna Yukawa, though their armed
forces generally only operate in a self-
defence capacity at home. Their kid-
napping also immediately recalled the
2004 beheading of a Japanese back-
packer in Iraq, carried out by the Islamic
State group s predecessor over Japan s
involvement in the US-led war there.
Yesterday s video, identified as being
made by the Islamic State group s al-
Furqan media arm and posted on mil-
itant Web sites associated with the
extremist group, mirrored other hostage
threats it has made.
Abe said he would send Yasuhide
Nakayama, a deputy foreign minister,
to Jordan to seek the country s support
and to resolve the hostage crisis.
Speaking in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yoshihide Suga also declined
to say whether Japan would pay the
Islamic State group
threatens to kill 2
A video made by the Islamic
State group's al-Furqan media
arm shows captives Kenji Goto
and Haruna Yukawa.
Victims of floods
cook food on an
outside fire at a
UNICEF relief camp
than 170 people
have been killed and
by torrential rain
and flooding in the
country. Large areas
in the south are
homes, crops and
livestock have been
Shiite rebels take
over Yemen palace
INDONESIA---An AirAsia plane that
crashed last month with 162 people on
board was climbing at an abnormally
high rate, then plunged and suddenly
disappeared from radar, Indonesia s
transport minister said yesterday.
Ignasius Jonan told Parliament that
radar data showed the Airbus A320 was
climbing at about 6,000 feet a minute
before it disappeared on December 8.
"It is not normal to climb like that, it s
very rare for commercial planes, which
normally climb just 1,000 to 2,000 feet
per minute," he said. "It can only be done
by a fighter jet."
He said the plane then plunged and
disappeared from radar.
Jonan did not say what caused the plane
to climb so rapidly.
In their last contact with air-traffic
controllers, the pilots of AirAsia Flight
8501 asked to climb from 32,000 feet to
38,000 feet to avoid threatening clouds,
but were denied permission because of
heavy air traffic. Four minutes later, the
plane disappeared. No distress signal was
An excessively rapid ascent is likely to
cause an airplane to go into an aerody-
Only 53 bodies have been recovered so
far. Rough sea conditions have repeatedly
prevented divers from reaching the
AirAsia plane climbed too
fast, then disappeared
SANAA---Yemen s powerful Shi-
ite Houthi rebels shelled the res-
idence of the country s embattled
president yesterday and simulta-
neously swept into the presiden-
tial palace in the capital, Sanaa,
as a top military commander
warned that a full-fledged "coup"
was under way.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour
Hadi was inside the residence as
it came under "heavy shelling" for
half an hour but he was unharmed
and protected by guards, officials
The dramatic development put
the US-backed Hadi into a pre-
carious position and represented
the starkest challenge to his author-
ity since the Houthis swept into
Sanaa from their northern strong-
hold and seized the capital in Sep-
Information Minister Nadia al-
Sakkaf posted on her Twitter
account that the shelling started
at 3 pm local time "by armed forces
positioned over rooftops facing"
the president s house.
At the same time, Houthi rebels
also raided the president s offices,
sweeping into the presidential
palace and looting the grounds
arms depots, according to Col Saleh
al-Jamalani, the commander of the
Presidential Protection Force that
guards the palace.
"This is a coup. There is no other
word to describe what is happening
but a coup," al-Jamalani said,
adding that the rebels were likely
aided by insiders.
The escalation shattered a tense
ceasefire that had held overnight
and throughout the morning, fol-
lowing Monday s heavy clashes
that engulfed the city, leaving ordi-
nary Yemenis stunned and fearing
for their country.
The latest spasm of violence fol-
lowed apparently unsuccessful
negotiations earlier in the day
between Hadi and a representative
of the Houthis at his residence.
The show of force came after
they seized control of state media
in Sanaa and clashed with Yemeni
soldiers near the presidential palace
on Monday. Heavy machine gun
fire and artillery shells struck
around the presidential palace and
sent civilians fleeing as columns
of black smoke rose and sirens
wailed throughout the city.
Houthis power grab has been
long anticipated and analysts say
they are only "finishing the job"
they began in September.
"What is happening now is just
one more step toward (the
Houthis ) consolidation of power,"
said Abdel-Bari Taher, a veteran
Yemeni journalist and writer. (AP)
Houthi Shiite Yemeni gather
while guarding a street
leading to the presidential
palace in Sanaa, Yemen,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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