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Page One: Headlines for 1/22/14 Posted: Jan 22 2014 1:15PM

A clergyman holds a religious picture during a rally by pro-European Union protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, on 21 January. Ukrainian Catholic Church leaders appealed for calm as violent protests escalated after a government crackdown. (photo: CNS/Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

Ukraine protests: Two protesters killed in Kiev clashes (BBC) Two protesters have been killed in clashes with police in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Prosecutors confirmed they had died from bullet wounds. They are the first fatalities since protests began in November at the government’s rejection of a planned treaty with the European Union. Wednesday’s clashes began after police moved in to dismantle a protest camp. President Viktor Yanukovych held a three-hour meeting with opposition leaders to discuss the crisis. No further details have been released about the talks, but correspondents say Mr. Yanukovych is unlikely to give in to the opposition’s call for snap elections…

The bishops express their appreciation for the new constitution (Fides) The new Egyptian constitution, which was approved with a majority of 98 percent of the vote in the referendum held on 14 and 15 January, was greeted with satisfaction by the Coptic Catholic bishops. According to Kyrillos William Samaan, Coptic Catholic bishop of Assiut; Antonios Aziz Mina, bishop of Giza; and Joannes Zakaria, bishop of Luxor, church leaders appreciate the fact that the new Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of all Egyptians, regardless of race, religion, gender or age…

Hope in Montreux? A starting point for peace in Syria (Der Spiegel) Violence in Syria has been appalling in the run up to this week’s peace talks in Switzerland. To resolve the stalemate, representatives of the government and the rebels will begin seeking a political solution in talks set to begin on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. There have also been talks behind the scenes, both between the two sides and between the United States and Russia. Still, civilians are now even worse off than before…

Pope Francis’ message to World Economic Forum in Davos (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to participants at the World Economic Forum which opens in the Swiss resort city of Davos on Tuesday evening. Catholic Church leaders are among those taking part in the four-day meeting. In the message, Pope Francis says it’s important to praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas of health care, education and communications and to recognize the fundamental role that modern business activity plays in bringing about these changes. Nonetheless, he says, the successes which have been achieved have often led to widespread social exclusion and too many men and women still experience the dramatic consequences of daily insecurity…

In the center of Jerusalem, anti-Christian graffiti (Patriarchate of Jerusalem) The website of Quds Net News Agency, on 10 January 2014, showed pictures of graffiti from a few days ago, written in Hebrew on the walls of the Notre Dame Center, near the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the site, this is not the first time that graffiti “calling for the expulsion of Christians” has been discovered on the wall of an institution belonging to the Catholic Church, not to speak of other Christian institutions…

Organization says Israel plans 261 settler homes deep in West Bank (Daily Star Lebanon) Israel on Wednesday moved forward with plans for 261 new homes in two settlements located deep in the occupied West Bank, the Peace Now settlement watchdog said. The plans include 256 housing units in Nofei Prat settlement, between east Jerusalem and Jericho, and another five in the sprawling Ariel settlement in the north, the group said. Construction would be allowed to start “without further political approval or public awareness,” it added. It was the fifth such move in just over two weeks and raised to 2,791 the number of new settler homes announced since the start of the year…