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News of the Day From Around the World, March 21
March 20, 2017
In an extraordinary statement after Francis’ meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the Vatican acknowledged that the church itself bore blame, as well as some Catholic priests and nuns who “succumbed to hatred and violence, betraying their own evangelical mission” by participating in the genocide. During the 100-day genocide, more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists. Many of the victims died at the hands of priests, clergymen and nuns, according to some accounts by survivors, and the Rwandan government says many died in the churches where they had sought refuge. World donors pledged more than $75 million Monday to protect cultural heritage sites threatened by war and the wave of ideological-driven destruction carried out by Islamic State militants. French President Francois Hollande, speaking at a donors’ conference in the Louvre Museum in Paris, said the goal for the heritage fund is $100 million and urged other countries around the world to contribute. Islamic State militants have stolen or destroyed a host of cultural artifacts, including the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, the Mosul museum in Iraq and the 13th century B.C. Assyrian capital of Nimrud, which is also in Iraq. North Korea’s highly controlled state media rarely report news that might be considered negative, and an admission of fault by the government is unusual.