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Pope sets up bishops' tribunal in pedophile cases

Pope opens tribunalPope Francis has authorized a tribunal to deal with accountability of bishops in pedophile priest cases, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

He approved the creation of a tribunal under the Vatican agency Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with "adequate resources" so bishops can report cases of alleged child abuse by priests, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said. The move is unprecedented and establishes a permanent body to make bishops more responsible for reporting cases of abuse, as recommended by the Pope's new panel of advisors on clerical sex abuse.


FIFA suspends bidding process for 2026 World Cup amid graft probe

FIFA bidsSoccer’s scandal-ridden governing body has suspended the 2026 World Cup bidding process amid a widening probe into corruption at the organization and allegations of bribery during previous bid contests.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Wednesday that it would be “nonsense” to begin the process now. A decision had been due to be announced in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in May 2017. But FIFA will now write to its members outlining a new time frame for the process.


Seattle detains 'Raging Grannies' after Shell Arctic oil rig protest

raging granniesSix older women were detained by Seattle police on Tuesday during a protest to block access to a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig that activists believe may depart this week to resume fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, authorities said.

The six, members of an activist group known as the Seattle Raging Grannies, the local chapter of an international nonviolent activist network, were questioned and released by police after blocking railroad tracks near the Port of Seattle, police spokesman Patrick Michaud said.


Court throws out lawsuits challenging climate plan before it was final

Gina McCarthyA federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a pair of high-profile lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s sweeping plan to address climate change, saying it’s too early to challenge a proposed rule that isn’t yet final.

The ruling from the US court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit is a temporary setback to opponents of the plan, who are expected to renew their legal attack once the regulation is finalized later this year.


How US Cluster Bombs Banned by Most Countries Ended Up in Yemen

cluster bombsOn April 29, three adults and a child came across some fist-sized canisters on the ground outside of Baqim, a Yemeni town controlled by Houthi rebels. To the 10-year-old boy among them, they "looked like toys." Out of curiosity, they picked up the cannisters, which then exploded.

All four were injured; a nurse told Human Rights Watch that the child was wounded in the stomach, and one of the adults received injuries to his face, torso, thigh, and crotch. Considering the kind of damage that cluster-bomb submunitions can cause, they're lucky to still be alive.


'Horrific' Police Beating in California Caught on Camera

Salinas police attackThe brutal aftermath of a violent confrontation last Friday between the police and a man in Salinas, Calif., was captured on camera, uploaded to YouTube and shows what the police chief there described as "horrific" and "inflammatory."

The video, which was shot in a shaky minute-and-a-half, does not show what caused several officers to repeatedly strike the man, Jose Velasco, 28, with batons while he writhed on the pavement in the middle of the street.


Pentagon Adds 'Sexual Orientation' To Military's Anti-Discrimination Policy

Ashton CarterDefense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the Pentagon has added "sexual orientation" as a protected class under its Military Equal Opportunity Policy.

The policy identifies certain classes of people who should be protected from discrimination that prevents them from rising to the highest levels possible. Until now, the policy has been extended to people based on their race, religion, sex, age or national origin, but did not protect gay or lesbian military personnel from discrimination outside of their chain of command.


Writer, Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi dead at 80

Vincent BugliosiVincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles prosecutor who became a best-selling author with "Helter Skelter" -- his true-crime account of the Manson Family killings -- has died at the age of 80, his wife confirmed Tuesday.  He died Saturday of cancer.

Bugliosi rose to prominence as the 35-year-old deputy district attorney assigned to try Charles Manson and several of his followers over a series of bloody 1969 murders meant to incite a race war.


Marital Rape Is Semi-Legal in 8 States

marital rape legal An Ohio woman can be drugged and sexually assaulted—legally—if the perpetrator is her spouse. How marital rape in America secretly lives on.

Not too long ago, the term “marital rape” was considered an oxymoron. In some U.S. states, it might as well still be one.

Lawmakers in Ohio are trying to remove archaic forms of “marital privilege” in state laws pertaining to rape, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Although marital rape is illegal in Ohio as well as nationwide, the notion of marital privilege or exemption dates from an era when a man could only be charged with rape if the alleged victim was not his wife—an era that only ended in the United States on July 5, 1993 when North Carolina criminalized marital rape, becoming the final state to do so.


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