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Pope Francis shares a word with Monsignor Luis Maria Rodrigo Ewart as he arrives in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican for his weekly general audience, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. A Vatican official who is a key member of Francis' COVID-19 response commission, the Rev. Augusto Zampini, acknowledged Tuesday that at age 83 and with part of his lung removed after an illness in his youth, Francis would be at high risk for complications if he were to become infected. Zampini said he hoped Francis would don a mask at least when he greeted people during the general audience.

Maskless pope blames 'this lady called COVID' for distance

Oct. 28, 2020 6:52 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has blamed “this lady called COVID” for forcing him to keep his distance again from the faithful during his general audience, which was far smaller than usual amid soaring coronavirus infections in Italy. Francis again eschewed a protective mask Wednesday even...

In this Aug. 23, 2020, photo provided by Steve NeSmith, Scott Sauls, senior pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church, preaches to his congregation in Nashville, Tenn. (Steve NeSmith/Christ Presbyterian Church via AP)

Fraught election puts faith leaders through a political test

Oct. 27, 2020 12:07 PM EDT

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden count endorsements from well-known faith leaders. But for clergy members who try to tackle thorny moral matters without overtly backing a candidate, the campaign has tested their ability to reconcile religious values and politics. That challenge comes...

Supporters of Islami Oikya Jote, an Islamist political party, hold up an effigy representing French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest against the publishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Muslims in the Middle East and beyond on Monday called for boycotts of French products and for protests over the caricatures, but Macron has vowed his country will not back down from its secular ideals and defense of free speech. Posters read

Hundreds of Muslims hold anti-France protest in Bangladesh

Oct. 28, 2020 8:34 AM EDT

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Hundreds of activists from an Islamist political party protested in Bangladesh’s capital on Wednesday against the French president's support of secular laws that deem caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as protected under freedom of speech. The protesters from the...

*File* In this Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 file photo, the Mosque of Algiers is under construction in Algiers. Algeria's prime minister is finally to inaugurate a landmark mosque Wednesday that was completed last year but shuttered because of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub)

Algeria's PM to inaugurate landmark mosque in Algiers

Oct. 28, 2020 1:55 PM EDT

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria’s prime minister was set to inaugurate a landmark mosque Wednesday that was completed last year but shuttered because of coronavirus. Abdelaziz Djerad was to open the Great Mosque of Algiers — that boasts the tallest minaret in the world — in the evening...

Whistleblower Kamil Jarzembowski meets journalists outside St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Two priests are going on trial in the Vatican’s criminal tribunal this week, one accused of sexually abusing an altar boy who served at papal Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica, and the other accused of covering it up. The proceedings starting Wednesday were forced on the Holy See after victims and Jarzembowski went public in 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Vatican broadens seminary abuse trial amid negligence claims

Oct. 27, 2020 1:43 PM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican criminal tribunal agreed Tuesday to broaden a sex abuse trial involving the Holy See's youth seminary beyond two priests already charged to include the religious organization responsible for running the residence. The lawyer for the alleged victim argued in court that there...

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French policemen and forensic officers stand in front of Notre Dame church after a knife attack, in Nice, France, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. French anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating a knife attack at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice that killed two people and injured several others. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

The Latest: Pakistani students denounce French secular laws

Oct. 29, 2020 10:18 AM EDT

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on a knife attack in Nice, France, (all times local): 2:55 p.m. Dozens of Pakistani students have rallied in the capital, Islamabad, to denounce the French president’s support of secular laws that protect caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad as freedom of expression. The...

Police officers stand guard near Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. An attacker armed with a knife killed at least three people at a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice, prompting the prime minister to announce that France was raising its security alert status to the highest level. It was the third attack in two months in France amid a growing furor in the Muslim world over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were re-published by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. (Eric Gaillard/Pool via AP)

France goes on maximum alert after attack at church kills 3

Oct. 29, 2020 9:58 AM EDT

PARIS (AP) — An attacker armed with a knife killed three people inside a church Thursday in the Mediterranean city of Nice, French authorities said, prompting the country to raise its security alert status to the highest level. It was the third attack in two months in France that authorities have...

Bishop Duane Royster sits on a bench in a park in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Royster is the interim executive director of POWER Interfaith, a group of religious leaders from more than 50 congregations in Pennsylvania that focuses on social justice issues, and has been active in the community following the police shooting death of Walter Wallace, Jr. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

Philly shooting brings policing, racism back into campaign

Oct. 29, 2020 9:19 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The fatal shooting of another Black man on America's streets by police — with subsequent unrest — has brought the fraught issues of policing and racism in the nation back to the fore of the presidential election in its closing days. Philadelphia police say Walter Wallace...

French prime minister raises attack alert to 'emergency' after church killings in Nice

Oct. 29, 2020 8:14 AM EDT
PARIS (AP) — French prime minister raises attack alert to 'emergency' after church killings in Nice.

Saudi man arrested after stabbing guard at French Consulate

Oct. 29, 2020 8:04 AM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Saudi man stabbed and slightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate in the city of Jiddah on Thursday, authorities said, as France urged its citizens in the kingdom to be “on maximum alert.” The Saudi Press Agency offered no immediate motive for the...

Police stand guard while protesters block the parliament in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday Oct. 28, 2020. People across Poland stayed off their jobs and huge crowds poured onto the streets for a seventh straight day of protests Wednesday, enraged over a top court ruling that bans abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Polish president takes step back on abortion amid protests

Oct. 29, 2020 7:29 AM EDT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish President Andrzej Duda partially broke ranks with the country's conservative leadership Thursday and said he thinks women should have the right to abortion when they are carrying fetuses with fatal birth defects. The view Duda expressed during a radio interview runs counter to...

French anti-terrorism prosecutor now investigating knife attack at Nice church that killed 2

Oct. 29, 2020 5:22 AM EDT
PARIS (AP) — French anti-terrorism prosecutor now investigating knife attack at Nice church that killed 2.
In this photo released by Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi pose for photographers during their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Pompeo renewed the Trump administration's rhetorical onslaught against China in Indonesia on Thursday as the American presidential election looms. (Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via AP)

Pompeo, in Indonesia, renews China attacks as US vote looms

Oct. 29, 2020 5:10 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed the Trump administration’s rhetorical onslaught against China in Indonesia on Thursday as the American presidential election looms. With China a central theme in President Donald Trump’s campaign to win a second term in...

FILE - In this May 1, 2014, file photo, an Uighur woman rests near a cage protecting heavily armed Chinese paramilitary policemen on duty in Urumqi in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang. The United Nations is not doing enough to investigate reported abuses in China’s Xinjiang region against members of Muslim minority groups, the U.S. envoy for women’s issues said Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. Citing reports of forced birth control, home visits and sexual violence in detention centers, Ambassador-at-Large on Women’s Issues Kelley Currie said such practices show a “pervasive pattern of targeting women.” (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

US official says UN has 'lack of curiosity' on Xinjiang

Oct. 29, 2020 2:05 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — The United Nations is not doing enough to investigate reported abuses in China’s Xinjiang region against members of Muslim minority groups, the U.S. envoy for women’s issues said Thursday. Citing reports of forced birth control, home visits and sexual violence in detention...

Gender gap among Latino voters seen in some families

Oct. 29, 2020 1:43 AM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) — Paul Gonzales promised his wife he wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016. But the 60-year-old salesman in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa voted for him anyway and said he plans to do it again next week. Gonzales said he’s drawn to what he sees as Trump’s alignment with...