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VATICAN CITY (AP) — The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met Friday with Vatican officials who helped draft Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on ecology, evidence that the Obama administration is seeking to hitch its climate-change message onto that of the popular pope.

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She was the first person I spotted when I walked into the room. She sat behind a school desk, two thick black braids, denim overalls resting over a Gap T-shirt. Her skin, not entirely like mine, had a reddish undertone. She wasn't half-black like me, I was sure of that. But since we were at Shul, I determined she was Jewish like me. And I'd never met another Jewish person who wasn't white.

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TOKYO (AP) — The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive.

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Since the tragic attacks in Paris earlier this month, voices on the right and left have been vigorously debating the issue of Muslims’ assimilation in the West. But this focus on assimilation is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous. What has attracted young men to the global jihad is not necessarily their incomplete assimilation, but rather estrangement from the values and aspirations of mainstream society and ruling elites.

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