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Pope Benedict XVI and the secretary-general of the League of Arab States signed an agreement on April 23 at the Vatican, pledging to cooperate more closely in the promotion of dialogue, justice and peace. • Northern Ireland’s Catholic bishops have met with representatives of a loyalist group in an effort to build “peace, understanding and reconciliation,” Cardinal Seán Brady (right) of Armagh, Ireland, said on April 25. • The Israeli Civil Administration has ordered workers to stop constructing a platform inside the Aida refugee camp in the West Bank for use during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the camp. An Israeli spokesman said the construction is in an area under Israeli jurisdiction and is being carried out without a permit. • Citing concerns about plans to honor President Barack Obama, former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon has turned down the prestigious Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame, which was to be awarded to her on May 17.

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