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Twin bombing kills at least 40 in Damascus' Old City

Twin bombings in SyriaTwo bombs killed at least 40 people, mostly Iraqi Shia pilgrims, and wounded more than 100 others in the Old City of Damascus on Saturday in a rare attack in the Syrian capital.

Syria State TV aired footage from the scene showing blood-soaked streets and several damaged buses in a car park, apparently where the explosions went off near Bab al-Saghir cemetery.

The cemetery is one of the capital's most ancient and is where several prominent religious figures are buried.


Pope Francis: Church should consider allowing married priests

Pope considers allowing priests to marryTo combat a shortage of priests, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church must consider allowing married men to join the priesthood, and consider what role they could play.

During an interview with Germany's Die Zeit, Francis said the lack of Catholic priests is an "enormous problem" for the Church.

He said the Church should consider allowing viri probati -- married men tested to be of exemplary religious faith and virtue -- to be ordained as priests.


South Korean president ousted over corruption scandal

S Korean president oustedSouth Korea's top court has unaniminously ruled to formally end impeached Park Geun-hye's presidency over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil.

The Constitutional Court's ruling on Friday sparked violent protests from Park's supporters, two of whom later succumbed to their wounds following clashes with police outside the building in downtown Seoul, according to authorities.




Sexual assault in Japan: 'Every girl was a victim'

Japan assault on sschoolgirlsTamaka Ogawa was about 10 years old when she was sexually assaulted for the first time. It was a public holiday and she was on the subway. A man standing behind her pulled down the band of her culottes and underwear, touched her bare bottom, then pressed himself against her. She recalls feeling shocked and physically sickened. When she reached home, she repeatedly washed the spot where he had pressed himself against her, although she was conscious of not spending too long in the toilet, in case her family noticed that something was wrong.

Some years later, on her first day of senior high school, she was groped on the commute home. After that, the groping and sexual assaults - men would often stick their hands inside her underwear - became a regular occurrence as she made her way to or from school in her uniform. Each time, she would run away, unsure of what to do.


Afghanistan: IS gunmen dressed as medics kill 30 at Kabul military hospital

Kabul hospital attackedMore than 30 people have been killed after attackers dressed as doctors stormed the largest military hospital in Kabul, Afghan officials say.

Militants armed with guns and grenades gained entry after one detonated explosives at a hospital gate and then opened fire on staff and patients.

Commandos who landed on the Sardar Daud hospital roof killed all four attackers after several hours of fighting.


International Women's Day: Strikes and protests around the world

International Women's DayUS congresswomen have walked out of work, joining women around the world who are going on strike as part of International Women's Day.

The move by House Democrats is part of a "Day Without a Woman" strike, designed to highlight how crucial women are to the US national workforce.

"I think it's important women in Congress show our solidarity," said Congresswoman Lois Frankel.  Schools in some districts were forced to close after staff walked out.


Former MI6 agent behind Trump dossier returns to work

Christopher SteeleThe former MI6 agent behind the controversial Trump dossier has returned to work, nearly two months after its publication caused an international scandal and furious denials from Washington and Moscow.

Christopher Steele posed for a photograph outside the office of his business intelligence company Orbis in Victoria, London on Tuesday. Speaking for the first time since his dossier was revealed, Steele said he had received messages of support.


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