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 IGAD Special Envoys for the South Sudan Mediation Process expressed “serious concerns” over reports of ongoing clashes in various locations across Upper Nile, Jonglei, Warrap and Unity states in South Sudan. “The Envoys deplore the breach of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition) on 23rd January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” IGAD special envoys said in a statement,  “these developments will only serve to undermine the ongoing mediation process and the worsening of the suffering of the people of South Sudan.”

 USAID AGP-Livestock Market Development Project launches new Innovation Grants Fund

TheUnited States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Agricultural Growth Program-Livestock Market Development project (AGP-LMD)hosted a grant signing ceremony between USAID and eight grantees on Wednesday Feb. 19th.  According to a statement from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, the eight small grants valued at over $760,000 will encourage local Ethiopian investment and innovation in the livestock sector. “The overall purpose is to improve productivity and competitiveness of selected livestock value chains including live animals, meat, and dairy.”

Pope Francis’s candour regarding the shortcomings of market capitalism and his pronouncements on many divisive social issues has people paying attention, and many Conservatives don’t like it, says our US Correspondent Tomas Mega, from Nevada

New York City’s landmark St. Patrick’s Cathedral has become an unexpected venue for a circuitous battle over economic philosophy.   The Roman Catholic Cathedral, which opened its doors 135 years ago, is in need of restoration and a campaign to raise millions for the effort is underway.  Led by billionaire Ken Langone, one of the founders of America’s favourite home improvement retailer, The Home Depot, he is courting wealthy donors to make big contributions.  But Pope Francis’ recent critical remarks regarding the wealthy and the exclusionary nature of market capitalism apparently has some affluent donors thinking twice.  So concerned is Mr. Langone that he has reportedly met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, telling the Archbishop: “this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities.”