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VATICAN – Trump meets Pope

VATICAN – Trump meets Pope

VATICAN CITY –– US President Donald Trump has said he is “more determined than ever” to pursue peace in the world after meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican. He was granted a short private audience with the head of the Catholic Church on the latest leg of his overseas trip. The two men have in […]

Greece battles locust plague

Greece battles locust plague

ATHENS – Villagers on a tiny Greek Aegean island, Agios Efstratios, are battling a plague of locusts and a state of emergency has been declared there. The island has about 200 residents who rely on agriculture and fishing. Locust infestation is a recurring problem. A member of the local administration, Stella Spanou, told the BBC […]

Dutch king was secretly piloting passenger flights

Dutch king was secretly piloting passenger flights

AMSTERDAMN –– They don’t call KLM “Royal Dutch Airlines” for nothing. King Willem-Alexander, reigning monarch of the Netherlands, revealed in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he’d regularly flown flights for a subsidiary of the Dutch flag carrier for over two decades. Calling the part-time role a “hobby,” the King says that he’d […]

RUSSIA – Putin speaks up

RUSSIA – Putin speaks up

SOCHI/MOSCOW –– Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump had not divulged any secrets during a meeting in Washington with Russian officials and offered to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript. But a leading US Republican politician said he would have little faith in any notes Putin might supply. Two US […]

Chechnya accused of ‘gay genocide’

Chechnya accused of ‘gay genocide’

GROZNY – Three French gay rights groups have accused the Russian republic of Chechnya of a policy of genocide towards gay people in a complaint filed at the International Criminal Court. They have blamed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and state officials for a “wave of persecution”. They cited the case of a teenaged male thrown […]

ITALY – Costa Concordia captain’s sentence upheld

ITALY – Costa Concordia captain’s sentence upheld

ROME –– Italy’s highest court has upheld the 16-year jail sentence given to the captain of the Costa Concordia, which capsized in 2012 killing 32 people. Francesco Schettino had handed himself in to the Rebibbia prison in Rome after the verdict, his lawyer said. Schettino was sentenced in 2015 after a court found him guilty […]

RUSSIA – Man convicted for playing Pokemon Go in church

RUSSIA – Man convicted for playing Pokemon Go in church

MOSCOW — A Russian blogger was convicted on Thursday of inciting religious hatred for playing Pokemon Go in a church, and given a suspended sentence. Ruslan Sokolovsky posted a video on his blog last year showing him playing the smartphone game in a church built on the supposed spot where the last Russian czar and […]

FRANCE – Macron names diverse list of candidates

FRANCE – Macron names diverse list of candidates

The party of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has selected a diverse list of 428 candidates for parliamentary elections next month. Only 24 of those chosen are outgoing MPs from the current parliament. Some 52 per cent come from civil society and exactly half are women, the secretary-general of La République En Marche (Republic on the […]

ITALY – Arson suspected in camper fire

ITALY – Arson suspected in camper fire

ROME – Three Gypsy sisters were burned alive Wednesday after their camper burst into flames as they slept, in what officials suggested was an arson attack involving the Roma community living on Rome’s peripheries. Italian politicians from the president on down demanded the stiffest of punishments for those responsible, while Pope Francis sent his chief […]

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