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  • Obama shortens sentence of Manning, who gave secrets to WikiLeaks

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday shortened the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. military intelligence analyst who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, the biggest such breach in U.S. history. A White House official said there was no connection between Manning's commutation and renewed U.S. government concern about WikiLeaks' actions during last year's presidential election, or a promise by founder Julian Assange to accept extradition if Manning was freed.

    Reuters
  • Nebraska targets ban on religious garb worn by teachers

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Sister Madeleine Miller applied for a high school teaching job in Nebraska thinking she would get judged on her credentials — not what she was wearing on her head.

    Associated Press
  • Istanbul nightclub attacker from Uzbekistan, admits guilt: governor

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The suspected gunman who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day was born in Uzbekistan and received training in Afghanistan, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said on Tuesday after police caught him in a city suburb. Sahin told reporters that the alleged attacker, whom he named as Abdulgadir Masharipov, born in 1983, had admitted his guilt and his fingerprints matched those at the scene. ...

    Reuters
  • Egypt adds retired soccer star to terror list

    Egypt has added retired soccer star Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the country's most renowned athletes, to a terror list for alleged ties to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, his lawyer told Reuters on Tuesday. Egypt has listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and jailed thousands of its supporters since the military removed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi from office in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. A committee established to seize and manage Brotherhood properties and funds had previously frozen the former player's assets.

    Reuters
  • Norwegians shun Breivik hearing; killer's only visitor is paid "friend"

    By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Anders Behring Breivik's massacre of 77 people still haunts Norwegians, yet ever fewer care about the neo-Nazi locked in a cell where his only "friend" is paid to visit. Most of the 10 seats in an Oslo court for the public to watch a case about his prison conditions have been empty as Breivik sits glumly in a black suit, the first flecks of grey in his beard, appearing by video-link from a high-security jail. The Norwegian state is appealing against a lower court ruling in 2015 that it breached a ban on "inhuman and degrading treatment" under the European Convention on Human Rights by keeping Breivik, 37, in near-isolation since the 2011 killings.

    Reuters
  • Tibet protesters detained in Swiss capital during Xi Jinping visit

    Swiss police detained 32 Tibetans and Swiss nationals protesting against a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, a spokesman said. Swiss authorities had limited the duration of the protest in the center of Bern to two hours before noon (1100 GMT) to avoid the kind of confrontation that marked the last visit by a Chinese president 18 years ago. Several people near a security zone set up for the state visit failed to comply with police instructions, Bern cantonal police said in a statement.

    Reuters
  • Twitter Reacts to the Premiere of "The Young Pope"

    "He’s young. He’s the pope. So far it’s as advertised."

    Cosmopolitan
  • U.S. imposes sanctions on Bosnian Serb nationalist leader Dodik

    The United States imposed sanctions on Bosnian Serb nationalist leader Milorad Dodik on Tuesday for actively obstructing efforts to implement the 1995 Dayton Accords that ended the more than three-year war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dodik is the president of Republika Srpska, the autonomous Bosnian Serb half of the country established by the agreements. Once praised as a democratic reformer, Dodik oversaw the holding of a referendum in September on celebrating “The Day of Republika Srpska” on January 9 in defiance of a Constitutional Court ruling banning the vote for discriminating against non-Serbs.

    Reuters
  • 'The Young Pope' Does Its Best to Shock the Audience

    HBO premiered The Young Pope Sunday night, starring Jude Law as Pope Pius XIII. The first few moments of the show had the Pontiff crawling out from under a pile of babies and it continued down a shocking path from there. The Pope addressed the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square and said, "We have forgotten the women and children, who will change this world with their love and their kindness…," then continued with, "And what else have we forgotten? We have forgotten to masturbate, to use contraceptives, to get abortions, to celebrate gay marriages…" The list continued on, although, it wasn't quite what it seemed. The first 10 minutes of the show was all just a dream, but after the Pontiff woke up, it was still a nightmare for everyone in the Vatican, because the young Pope's people skills were seriously lacking. Jude's character was brash and unapologetic, making a sweet old nun cry, and a respected Cardinal get him coffee before lighting up a cigarette. It will be interesting to see where the show goes from here, but if its only objective is to have a Pope say and do things that are shocking just to be shocking, then it may not go far.

    Superfan TV
  • Top German court rejects bid to outlaw far-right NPD party

    By Madeline Chambers and Ursula Knapp BERLIN/KARLSRUHE (Reuters) - Germany's Constitutional Court on Tuesday said the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) resembled Adolf Hitler's Nazi party, but ruled against banning it because it was too weak to endanger democracy. Germany's 16 federal states had pressed for the ban amid rising support for right-wing groups that has been stoked by popular resentment over the influx of large numbers of migrants. While the court said the NPD's aims, viewed by Germany's intelligence agency as racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist, violated the constitution, it said there was insufficient evidence that it could succeed and this made a ban impossible.

    Reuters
  • Spain arrests Moroccan accused of leading Islamist militant cell

    Spanish police have arrested a Moroccan man suspected of leading an Islamist militant cell which recruited volunteers to travel to Turkey for training by Islamic State, the Interior Ministry said on Monday. The man, who held Spanish residency, was detained in the northern city of San Sebastian and was said to be working on recruiting potential combatants in person and over the internet since 2010. New recruits would be sent to Turkey where they would receive training and instructions for potential attacks in Europe, it said.

    Reuters
  • Trapped by war, Mosul residents bury their dead wherever they can

    By Stephen Kalin MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - When four rockets crashed into his east Mosul home in November, Abu Abdel Malik's 60-year-old step-mother was killed instantly. Among the dead is an elderly resident who had a heart attack and could not reach the hospital because of the fighting.

    Reuters
  • After Vatican controversy, McDonald's helps feed homeless in Rome

    By Isla Binnie ROME (Reuters) - McDonald's received a lukewarm reception when it opened a new branch just steps from St. Peter's Square last month, but on Monday the fast food giant accepted a challenge to adopt one of Pope Francis's cherished principles - feeding the hungry. The new restaurant, whose opening in a Vatican-owned building on Dec. 30 upset some purists, donated dozens of meals on Monday to a charity which distributed them at a walk-in clinic in Rome. Pope Francis has made defense of the poor and needy a cornerstone of his papacy, setting up shower stalls for the homeless near the Vatican, offering meals and even a VIP-style visit to the Sistine Chapel.

    Reuters
  • Martin Luther King's daughter says 'God can triumph over Trump'

    By Rich McKay and Alex Besant ATLANTA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Martin Luther King's daughter said on Monday that "God can triumph over Trump," but the slain civil rights leader's son struck a conciliatory tone after meeting with the president-elect on the U.S. holiday that honors their father. The comments by the children of King, who championed racial justice until he was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39, punctuated an imbroglio involving Donald Trump and African-American congressman John Lewis that broke out over the weekend. The dispute started when Lewis, 76, a contemporary of King's who endured beatings and jail time in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, said in a televised interview that he saw Trump's election as illegitimate because of Russian interference in the campaign.

    Reuters
  • Florida nightclub gunman's wife charged with helping husband

    The wife of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, appeared in court on Tuesday, accused of committing a crime by assisting her husband ahead of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Noor Salman, 30, was not present for the June 2016 attack. The first person charged by U.S. authorities in connection with the shooting, Salman did not enter a plea at her initial court appearance in Oakland, California.

    Reuters
  • Top German court to rule on far-right NPD ban

    By Madeline Chambers BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Constitutional Court looks likely to reject on Tuesday a historic attempt by the country's 16 federal states to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), described by the intelligence agency as racist and anti-Semitic, say law experts. This is harder to prove, as the party has failed to capitalize on the refugee crisis, which shows its weakness as a political force while the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) has soared to 15 percent in some polls. "The signs are mounting that the court will not ban the NPD," said Oskar Niedermayer, politics professor at Berlin's Free University.

    Reuters
  • Joliet priest says diocese failed to follow protocol to protect children

    Standing before parishioners in his historic Joliet church, the Rev. Peter Jankowski said years of internal conflict had brought him to this difficult moment. In an emotional homily, the parish priest publicly blew the whistle on his diocese for alleged past failures that he said put children at potential risk. Jankowski delivered the homily three times two Sundays ago, including once in Spanish for his multicultural congregation. Before he left the pulpit, he asked members at St. Patrick's Catholic Church to pray for him as he embarks on a public crusade — including a direct appeal to Pope Francis. His homily did not cite any specific examples of abuse. Rather, in church documents later obtained

    Chicago Tribune q
  • HBO’s The Young Pope stars Jude Law as a smirky pontiff. It’s sly, sinister, and a whole lot of fun.

    The Young Pope glances at his adversary, preternaturally long eyelashes blinking, tanned face stretching into a sneer. By the time HBO’s The Young Pope premiered in the US on Sunday, January 15 (it’s previously aired in several other countries), the drama already had a somewhat ridiculous reputation online, because let’s be real: “The Young Pope starring Jude Law” sounds like it should be a farce.

    Vox.com q
  • The Buried Abuse of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese

    On the phone, the former Houston priest didn’t recognize the name of the 13-year-old boy he molested in 1978. So much time has passed since that third encounter with the boy, in the Town & Country Village movie theater in Memorial City, where the priest slid his hand into the boy’s jeans and masturbated him. It’s hard to keep track of these things, and besides, the priest says, it’s old news. Father Walter Dayton Salisbury, now 85, has moved on with his life since pleading no contest and serving three years’ probation. He left Houston in the early 1980s for Washington, D.C., where he was charged with molesting another boy, then spent some time at a parish outside Mobile, where he was accused

    Houston Press q