- Cape man gets 8 years for robbery, his first offense (12/7/16)9
- 3 students in custody for violent threat; no details released (12/9/16)15
- Abuse suspect tries to take cop's gun; officer zaps him with Taser and punches his face (12/7/16)3
- Group seeks to create a neighborhood park on Cape Girardeau's south side (12/7/16)14
- Man sentenced to 103 years for murder of Cape woman (12/6/16)4
- Cape may allow residents to keep chickens; residents at meeting push for measure (12/6/16)34
- Poplar Bluff man accused of enticement, child porn in Scott County sting operation (12/4/16)
- Burglary suspect apprehended inside Jackson garage (12/4/16)
- Company to start recruiting businesses to Jackson, Cape (12/9/16)15
- 13 venues, 60 sponsors participating in Happy Slapowitz's Toy Bash on Thursday (12/7/16)2
Azerbaijan hopes for peace with pope's visit
BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Soldiers in dark-green camouflage snapped their bayonets at the Martyrs' Lane cemetery Tuesday, practicing drills for the arrival of Pope John Paul II.
Most of the hundreds of rows of black tombstones are for those killed in fighting during the civil war in Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.
A cease-fire ended the fighting in 1994, but a stalemate continues, and John Paul's two-day visit to this Muslim country is raising hopes that he could be a voice for peace in the conflict that has left 30,000 dead and more than a million people homeless.
"Of course all the young people still have hope for peace -- you see how many dead we have here," said Ilgar, a worker at the memorial who declined to give his last name.
Recent months have seen growing numbers of opposition protests in Azerbaijan, focused on President Geidar Aliev's rule and his handling of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict ended with 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory becoming a de facto part of Armenia.
Isa Gambar, the head of a leading opposition party, says the papal visit on Wednesday and Thursday will be a positive event for the entire country, but he doubts the pontiff will bring any movement in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"It doesn't pay to have overly large hopes the pope's visit will help normalize the conflict that will in the end be disappointed," he said.