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Jordanian King, Apostolic Administrator of Jerusalem highlight importance of enhancing inter-religious dialogue

Amman (IINA) � Jordanian King Abdullah met with Apostolic Administrator of Jerusalem Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa and Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali. Their meeting figured on efforts being exerted by Jordan to preserve the Islamic and Christian holy place in Jerusalem, as well Arab Christians' role and contribution in this regard.

The meeting which held here on Sunday highlighted the importance of enhancing dialogue amongst followers of various monotheistic religions, Petra reported. Jordan was highlighted as a role model for coexistence, tolerance, and solidarity.

On his part, Archbishop Pizzaballa praised King Abdullah's efforts to preserve holy places in Jerusalem as well as his endeavor to enhance security and stability in the Middle East.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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WHO to test world’s first malaria vaccine in 3 African countries

Geneva � The World Health Organization announced that three African countries have been chosen to test the world's first malaria vaccine in 2018.

Kenya, Ghana and Malawi will begin piloting the injectable vaccine next year with young children, who have been at highest risk of death, the UN health agency said in a statement on Monday.

The vaccine, which has partial effectiveness, has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives if used with existing measures, WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said.

The challenge is whether impoverished countries can deliver the required four doses of the vaccine for each child, she added. Malaria remains one of the world's most stubborn health challenges, infecting more than 200 million people every year and killing about half a million, most of them children in Africa. Bed netting and insecticides are the chief protection.

Sub-Saharan Africa is hardest hit by the disease, with about 90 percent of the world's cases in 2015. Malaria spreads when a mosquito bites someone already infected, sucks up blood and parasites, and then bites another person.

A global effort to counter malaria has led to a 62 percent cut in deaths between 2000 and 2015, WHO said.

The vaccine will be tested on children five to 17 months old to see whether its protective effects shown so far in clinical trials can hold up under real-life conditions. The vaccine has taken decades of work and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop.

Kenya, Ghana and Malawi were chosen for the vaccine pilot because all have strong prevention and vaccination programs but continue to have high numbers of malaria cases, the UN agency said, adding that the countries will deliver the vaccine through their existing vaccination programs.

WHO is hoping to wipe out malaria by 2040 despite increasing resistance problems to both drugs and insecticides used to kill mosquitoes.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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North Korea says it is ready to strike US aircraft carrier

Seoul � North Korea said on Sunday it was ready to sink a US aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might, in the latest sign of rising tension between the United States and the East Asian country, Reuters reported.

The United States ordered the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to sail to waters off the Korean peninsula in response to mounting concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, and its threats to attack the U.S. and its Asian allies.

"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.

The paper likened the US aircraft carrier to a "gross animal" and said a strike on it would be "an actual example to show our military's force".

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has announced metro bus project for Faisalabad.Addressing local bodies convention in the city on Saturday, he said an IT university will be set up in the city while work on Faisalabad safe city project will soon be ...

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