1. Pope Francis disses Trump’s wall, compares populists to Hitler
Pope Francis used strong language to condemn populism Sunday, suggesting that it gains followers through fear as Hitler did in the 1930s.
“I see that many people of good will, not only Catholics, are a bit gripped by fear, which is the usual message of populism," the pope told reporters aboard the papal plane returning from Morocco to Rome.
“They sow fear and then make decisions. Fear is the beginning of dictatorships,” he said. “Let’s go back to the last century, to the fall of the Weimar Republic. I repeat this a lot. Germany needed a way out and, with promises and fears, Hitler came forward.”
“We know the result. Let’s learn from history, this is not new: To sow fear is to make a harvest of cruelty, closures, and even sterility,” he said.
Francis also took issue with President Trump’s border wall and other border fencing going up in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Asked specifically about these two walls, the pope warned that “builders of walls, whether they are of razor-wire or brick, will become prisoners of the walls they build. That’s history.”
2. Clapper: Obama ordered Russia probe
According to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former President Obama ordered an operation that led to the years-long Russia probe. One America's Kristian Rouz has more.
3. Taxman kept quiet while £8bn fraud helped fund bin Laden
For years a UK gang infiltrated government agencies and funnelled cash to al-Qaeda. HMRC knew but kept MI5 in the dark.
Gangsters have stolen billions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money and used tens of millions to fund terrorism, according to police and intelligence files.
A network of British Asians based in London, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, northwest England and Scotland mounted VAT and benefit frauds against the exchequer over two decades and made further gains from mortgage and credit card fraud targeting banks and individuals. The group netted an estimated £8bn in public money alone.
The gang, which has links to the 7/7 London bombings in which 52 people died, is alleged to have sent 1% of its gains, or £80m, to al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it funded madrasahs, training camps and other terrorist activities, according to the leaked files.
4. Quebec MNA defends bill: “Leave your religion at the door”
Quebec MNA Christopher Skeete discusses the province's controversial plan to ban public service employees from wearing religious symbols.
5. Pride group ponders legal move after Catholic hall refuses rental for fundraiser
The White Rock Pride Society is “exploring its legal options” after it was denied a chance to rent the hall at a Catholic church for a fundraiser because it’s a gay-rights group.
The conflict sets up a repeat of the clash of competing Charter rights of religion and sexual orientation when a lesbian couple in 2003 had their reservation for their marriage reception cancelled about a month before the event at a hall run by the Catholic group Knights of Columbus.
The couple filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, and it ruled that the couple was discriminated against under the code, but it also said that the code can’t compel someone to act in conflict of a core religious belief. The tribunal said the Knights of Columbus should have met with the couple to explain, apologize, offer to reimburse the couple for expenses and offer to assist them in finding a new venue, ruling those steps would have balanced the rights of both parties.
The Knights were ordered to pay the complainants about $550 in reprinting fees for invitations and $1,000 to each woman for hurt feelings and loss of self-respect and dignity.
In White Rock, when society president Ernie Klassen asked about renting the parish hall at Star of the Sea Church for a summer event, he was told the night was open. He then told the booker it was for a pride event because “I was actually wanting to be totally upfront with them, in case that was an issue.”
He said he was told by the booker, “That could be an issue, I’ll get back to you.” The request was verbally denied.
6. Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad in scathing criticism of the European Left
Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad slammed the European left for its political correctness, saying that while historically, the left has always defended the underdog, when it comes to Islam, it "morphs into the conservative right" and employs "racism of low expectations." In the March 25 episode of his weekly "Box of Islam" Internet show, Abdel-Samad said that while the leftists "embrace and defend anything that is anti-West," they view Muslims as barbaric savages and keep them marginalized. Even when a terrorist leaves a message citing the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran as the reason for his actions, "it's to no avail. The left has him pegged as a victim," he said. "That’s pure racism. It means that they do not see Muslims or Africans as people, responsible for their own lives."
7. British Islamic State fighters speak after defeat
The end of the Islamic State group's so-called caliphate was announced less than a week ago - and now, the first British fighters who stayed until the very end are resurfacing.
The BBC's Middle East Correspondent Quentin Sommerville spoke to British IS fighters Hamza Parvez and Zakaryia Elogbani.
They're two of a growing number of men who have emerged after joining IS - most have been stripped of their British citizenship.
8. MINNEAPOLIS: Jury selection in Justine Damond trial
Jury selection has begun in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home.
Mohamed Noor, 33, is charged in the July 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in a case that drew international attention, cost the police chief her job and forced major revisions to the Police Department's policy on body cameras.
Prosecutors charged Noor with second-degree intentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, saying there is no evidence Noor faced a threat that justified deadly force.
They must prove he acted unreasonably when he shot Ms Damond, a 40-year-old life coach with both US and Australian citizenship who was engaged to be married.
Minneapolis police officer charged with 2nd-degree murder in Australian's death
Click HERE to watch CBS News report from July 2017: Minneapolis officer stays quiet as partner reveals new info
9. US sends message to Turkey, halts F-35 equipment shipments
The United States has halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey, sources familiar with the situation said, marking the first concrete US step to block delivery of the jet to the NATO ally in light of Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
In recent days, US officials told their Turkish counterparts they will not receive further shipments of F-35 related equipment needed to prepare for the arrival of the stealthy jet, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. The aircraft is built by Lockheed Martin Corp.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the next shipment of training equipment, and all subsequent shipments of F-35 related material, have been cancelled.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to back down from Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system that the United States has said would compromise the security of F-35 aircraft. Turkey has said it will take delivery of the S-400s in July.
The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest of a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey including Turkish demands that the United States extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran.
10. Two IS-linked Philippine militants arrested far from south
Two Muslim militants have been arrested with guns, explosives and Islamic State group-style black flags in a northern Philippine province far from the traditional territory of Muslim militants in the volatile south, police said Monday.
But national police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the arrest on Thursday of the two militants in Baggao town in Cagayan province at the northern tip of Luzon island was not an indication that IS-linked militants have expanded their power far beyond their traditional southern bases.
The militants, Altero Bello and Greg Bello, belonged to an IS-aligned jihadist group named Syuful Khilafa Fi Luzon, which was established in 2016 but does not have any record of involvement in any attacks in the largely Roman Catholic northern region, a police report said.
“In our view, these groups only want to be known and so far they have not carried out any hostilities or atrocities in that region,” Albayalde said at a news conference in the capital. “When we monitor something like this, the police do preventive measures with the military.”