New database documents Irish clergy linked to sex abuse

DUBLIN –  An international research group launched a database Monday of Irish clergy convicted or credibly accused of sexually abusing children in hopes of pressing Pope Francis to disclose the names of all the priests and brothers deemed guilty by the church. BishopAccountability.org says the online database unveiled Monday shows the degree to which information still remains hidden in Ireland. The list was released before the pontiff’s visit to Ireland on Saturday. BishopAccountability issued a similar report on the eve of Francis’ visit to Chile in January, identifying dozens of…

Read More

Sunken World War II British warships reportedly raided by pirates for scrap metal

The HMS Repulse, which was sunk in Dec. 1941 off Malaysia, has recently been targeted by pirates looking for scrap metal.  (The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images) World War II-era shipwrecks containing the remains of hundreds of British sailors and civilians are now being plundered by pirates scrounging for scrap metal in Southeast Asia, prompting calls for a multinational investigation. The wrecks of four ships that were sunk in the waters off Malaysia and Indonesia have recently been looted for scrap metal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported. Several other British shipwrecks in…

Read More

Pope Francis, addressing Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, begs for forgiveness, demands accountability

Pope Francis begged for forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and demanded accountability, saying the decades-long abuse and cover ups must be rooted out of the church. In a letter to Catholics around the world on Monday, Francis blasted the self-referential clerical culture that has been blamed for the crisis, with church leaders seemingly more concerned for their reputations than the safety of children. “With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we…

Read More

Russia: West is obstructing aid to Syria, return of refugees

MOSCOW –  Russia lashed out at Western countries on Monday, accusing them of blocking U.N. aid for Syria’s reconstruction and trying to prevent the return of refugees. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Lebanese counterpart, Gibran Bassil, that the U.S. refusal to provide assistance for rebuilding Syria after more than seven years of fighting would deter Syrians from returning to their homes. Russia has been the chief backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, helping his forces to regain control over most of the country. Now Moscow is…

Read More

Report: Experts knew Genoa bridge had weakened 20 percent

GENOA, Italy –  Engineering experts determined in February that corrosion of the metal cables supporting the Genoa highway bridge had reduced the bridge’s strength by 20 percent — a finding that came months before it collapsed last week, an Italian newsmagazine reported Monday. Despite the findings, Espresso wrote that “neither the ministry, nor the highway company, ever considered it necessary to limit traffic, divert heavy trucks, reduce the roadway from two to one lanes or reduce the speed” of vehicles on the key artery for the northern port city. A…

Read More

US military joins search for missing boys in Thailand cave as rescue shifts to hunt for other entrances

The attempted rescue of a dozen boys and their soccer coach after a heavy rainstorm flooded the entrance to a popular cave in Thailand has turned into a hunt for another entrance, as U.S. military and British cave expects joined the search on Thursday. Heavy rain has hampered the search and some of the rescue divers have been forced to turn back after floodwater seeped into a second chamber of the caves, five days after the group was reported missing. “There’s not much we can do right now,” Interior Minister…

Read More

AP Explains: Iran reopens uranium plant in its latest gamble

TEHRAN, Iran –  Iran says it has restarted production at a “major” uranium facility involved in its nuclear program, though it still pledges to follow the terms of the country’s landmark atomic deal now under threat after President Donald Trump pulled America out of the accord. Iranian comments about the Isfahan plant, which produces material needed to make enriched uranium, appear aimed at pressuring Europeans and others to come up with a way to circumvent new American sanctions. Already, many international organizations are pulling back from promised billion-dollar deals with…

Read More

EU leaders seek ways to halt migrants amid political turmoil

BRUSSELS –  European Union leaders were gathering Thursday to examine new ways to stop migrants entering Europe, desperate to ensure that their differences over managing the flows do not tear the 28-nation bloc apart. The number of people arriving in Europe seeking sanctuary or better lives has dropped significantly, but anti-migrant parties have consolidated their powers, winning votes as they exploit fear of foreigners. The political crisis caused by the EU’s inability to share responsibility for those entering is undermining German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership. It’s also helped bring an…

Read More

Activists: Airstrike on shelter kills 17 in southwest Syria

BEIRUT –  A barrage of airstrikes hit rebel-held areas in southwestern Syria on Thursday, killing at least 17 civilians hiding in an underground shelter as government forces pressed their offensive to reclaim a region that was until recently part of a negotiated truce. The strategic southwestern corner of Syria extends from the border with Jordan in the south to the western frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It also lies south of the capital, Damascus, and has been under a so-called de-escalation agreement reached between Russia, the main government ally,…

Read More

Fire sweeps through market in Kenya’s capital, killing 15

In this image from TV, a fire fighter damps down the charred debris after a fire swept through a marketplace in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday June 28, 2018. Authorities report that several people are known to have died and about 70 are receiving hospital treatment, with rescue teams still searching for more bodies and survivors in the burned marketplace. (AP Photo) NAIROBI, Kenya –  A fire swept one of Nairobi’s largest open-air markets early Thursday, killing 15 people and sending 70 injured to hospitals, an official said. Nairobi County Commissioner Kangethe…

Read More