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Former Pope Benedict returns to Vatican to live out retirement

Benedict XVI moved back to the Vatican on Thursday, opening an uncertain era in Catholic Church history where an "emeritus pope" and a ruling pontiff will live as neighbours for the first time.

Fire kills dozens in Russian psychiatric hospital

Thirty-eight people were killed, most of them in their beds, in a fire that raged through a psychiatric hospital near Moscow on Friday, raising questions about the care of mentally ill patients in Russia.

French parliament approves same-sex marriage law

French parliament approved a law allowing same-sex couples to marry and to adopt children on Tuesday.

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US: Missile launch would be 'huge mistake'

SEOUL -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea on Friday that it would be a "huge mistake" to test launch a medium-range missile and said the United States would never accept the reclusive country as a nuclear power.. Addressing reporters after talks with South Korea's president

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Former British PM Thatcher dead from stroke

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died from a stroke at age 87.

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'Panda-monium' as giant pandas arrive in Canada from China

TORONTO -- Canada got a taste of international panda diplomacy on Monday with the arrival of two "Very Important Pandas" at the start of a 10-year loan to two Canadian zoos.. Speaking as the two giant pandas arrived in Toronto from China, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Junsai --

Obama, Jordan's Abdullah offer united front on Syria

By Matt Spetalnick and Suleiman Al-KhalidiReutersAMMAN, Jordan -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Jordan's King Abdullah presented a united front against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday as Jordan grapples with a refugee crisis caused by Syria's civil war.. Obama, in Jordan following a visit to Israel and

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10th anniversary of Iraq invasion marred by blasts

A dozen car bombs and suicide blasts tore into Shi'ite districts in Baghdad and south of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, killing more than 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Simpler inauguration planned for a more modest pope

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass on Tuesday among political and religious leaders from around the world and amid a wave of hope for a renewal of the scandal-plagued Roman Catholic Church.. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to cram St. Peter's Square and and

Hunters slay 3,500 reindeer on island near Antarctica

OSLO, Norway -- Hunters have slaughtered 3,500 reindeer on a British island near Antarctica in a step to get rid of animals that were brought from Norway a century ago and are an increasing threat to native wildlife.. The reindeer on South Georgia were corralled into pens and slaughtered by

Soldier accused of Afghan killings faces 'sanity' review

SEATTLE -- Doctors opened a medical review Sunday on a U.S. soldier charged with killing 16 civilians, most of them women and children, near his Army post in Afghanistan in an effort to determine his state of mind at the time of the killings and ability to stand trial.. The

Dow Jones investigates bribery allegations against WSJ China

Dow Jones & Co. said it found no sign of impropriety at its China operations, after the Wall Street Journal reported that a whistleblower had accused Journal employees of bribing Chinese officials for information.. The U.S. Department of Justice had asked Dow Jones to investigate the matter, as part of a

Space trio lands in Kazakhstan after delay

ALMATY -- A Russian Soyuz capsule made a "bull's eye" landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Saturday, delivering a Russian-American trio from the International Space Station, a day after its originally scheduled touchdown was delayed by foul weather.. NASA's Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny

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Argentina's Bergoglio elected, chooses Pope Francis as name

Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the troubled Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, and said he would take the name Francis I.

Black smoke signals no pope elected at first conclave vote

VATICAN CITY -- Thick black smoke billowed into the night sky from the Sistine Chapel's chimney on Tuesday, signalling an inconclusive first vote in the conclave to elect a new pope at a time of strife and scandal for the Roman Catholic Church.. Thousands of faithful huddled in St. Peter's

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