Pope gave green light to secret deal to free kidnapped nun, court told

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis approved a secret million-euro operation to free a Colombian nun who was held captive for more than four years by an Islamist militant group in Mali before she was released in 2021, a cardinal told a Vatican court on Thursday. read more...

Spain spy chief admits legally hacking some phones

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A leading Catalan separatist politician said Thursday that Spain’s top intelligence official acknowledged that her agency had hacked into the cellphones of “some” of the dozens of politicians reported to be targeted by spyware but she said it had proper judicial authorization. read more...

Military college student sues armed forces over HIV policy

BOSTON (AP) — A military college student said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that armed services officials deemed him unfit for service because he tested positive for HIV. read more...

Building collapse in China's Changsha kills 53

(Reuters) - Fifty-three people died when a housing block collapsed in the Chinese city of Changsha last week, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Friday after days of rescue efforts. read more...

Oil jumps $5 a barrel as EU nears ban on Russian oil

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped on Wednesday, as the European Union, the world's largest trading bloc, spelled out plans to phase out imports of Russian oil, raising concerns about further market tightness as those nations hunt for adequate supply. read more...

Defenders inside Ukrainian steel mill refuse to surrender

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian fighters battling Russian forces in the tunnels beneath Mariupol’s immense steel plant refused to surrender in the face of relentless attacks, with the wife of one commander saying they had vowed to “stand till the end.” read more...

Philippines election a rematch of late dictator's son and rights lawyer

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine voters head to the polls on Monday in a presidential election shaping up as a rematch between the son and namesake of the country's late dictator and the human rights lawyer who narrowly beat him in the 2016 vice presidential contest. read more...

Johnson's Conservatives lose London strongholds in local elections

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party lost control of traditional strongholds in London and suffered losses elsewhere in local elections, early results showed on Friday, as voters punished his government over a series of scandals. read more...

Abuse-clouded prison gets attention, but will things change?

DUBLIN, Calif. (AP) — For months, inmates and staff say, their calls for help were ignored. And in this aging prison of deep despair — a place where sexual abuse has been rampant, authorities acted with utter indifference and the workforce was deeply demoralized — the cries for help had been many and varied. read more...

Families of detained Americans to Biden: Put patriotism over politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Families of more than a dozen Americans detained abroad pressed the administration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday to act more decisively to secure the release of their loved ones and called on the government to "put patriotism over politics." read more...

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