Latest Religion and politics News

States sue over rule allowing clinicians to refuse abortions

May. 21, 2019 2:25 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly two dozen states and municipalities are suing the federal government to stop a new rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court asks a...

Official count shows Widodo reelected as Indonesian leader

May. 21, 2019 3:52 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been elected for a second term, official results showed, in a victory over a would-be strongman who aligned himself with Islamic hard-liners and vowed Tuesday to challenge the result in the country's highest court. Official counting was...

In Alabama, Sanders makes appeal to Deep South black voters

May. 20, 2019 7:38 PM EDT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made an appeal Monday to black voters in the Deep South, stopping at a historically African American church and calling health care a "human right" that he equated to the civil rights movement. Speaking before a racially diverse crowd...

Italy's Catholic establishment faults Salvini for rosary

May. 20, 2019 12:08 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday defended his invocation of God at a political rally, after Italy's Catholic establishment criticized it as a cynical exploitation of faith ahead of European Parliament elections this weekend. Salvini brandished a rosary and entrusted Italy to...

Trump tells anti-abortion activists to stay united for 2020

May. 19, 2019 10:53 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump distanced himself from Alabama's restrictive new abortion law by laying out differing personal views even as he urged anti-abortion activists to stay united heading into the 2020 election. In a series of tweets about abortion, Trump did not state whether he was for...

India's marathon election ends, vote count begins Thursday

May. 19, 2019 10:31 PM EDT

KOLKATA, India (AP) — Voting in India's mammoth national election ended Sunday with the seventh and final phase of a grueling poll that lasted more than five weeks, as exit polls predicted a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party and its allies. Vote counting begins on Thursday,...

Austrian leader calls an early election amid video scandal

May. 18, 2019 4:25 PM EDT

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called Saturday for an early election after his vice chancellor resigned over a covertly shot video that showed him apparently promising government contracts to a prospective Russian investor. Kurz said he would ask President Alexander Van der Bellen to set...

Louisiana governor breaks with Democratic Party on abortion

May. 17, 2019 10:31 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Nearly three decades ago, when Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' wife was 20 weeks pregnant with their first child, a doctor discovered their daughter had spina bifida and encouraged an abortion. The Edwardses refused. Now, daughter Samantha is married and working as a...

Gay couples plan mass weddings after Taiwan legalizes unions

May. 17, 2019 8:49 PM EDT

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Gay couples in Taiwan plan a mass wedding registration after lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage, a first in Asia and a boost for LGBT rights activists who had championed the cause for two decades. Legislators pressured by LGBT groups as well as by church organizations...

Poland leader slams church pathology, backs sex abuse probe

May. 17, 2019 6:28 PM EDT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's ruling conservative party leader said Friday it does not tolerate "pathology" in the Catholic church and will back a commission to investigate sex abuse of minors in church but also in other circles. It was the first reaction by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a practicing Catholic, to a...