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Pope's close aide charged, bringing sex abuse scandal to Vatican

Cardinal Georhe Pell involved in sex scandalA top adviser to Pope Francis was charged with multiple historical sex crimes in his native Australia on Thursday, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican.

Appointed Vatican economy minister by Francis, Cardinal George Pell is the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations. He asserted his innocence and said the pontiff had given him leave of absence to return to Australia to defend himself.

"I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false," the 76-year-old told a news conference at the Vatican. "The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

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'Petya' Ransomware Hits At Least 65 Countries; Microsoft Traces It To Tax Software

Petya Ransomware hits 65 countriesThe "Petya" cyberattack that has now struck computers in at least 65 countries can be traced to a Ukrainian company's tax accounting software, Microsoft says.

"We saw the first infections in Ukraine — more than 12,500 machines encountered the threat," Microsoft says. "We then observed infections in another 64 countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and the United States."

The complexity of the attack has fueled debate over whether the malware is a new threat or a more sophisticated version of the Petya malware that was used in an attack last spring.

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Canada judges can require Google to pull results globally, supreme court rules

Canada judges say Google can pull results globallyCanadian courts can force Google to remove results worldwide, the country’s top court has ruled, in decision criticised by civil liberties groups that argue such a move sets a precedent for censorship on the internet.

In its 7-2 decision, Canada’s supreme court found that a court in the country can grant an injunction preventing conduct anywhere in the world when it is necessary to ensure the injunction’s effectiveness.

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South Africa approves export of 800 lion skeletons this year

S Africa allows lion skeleton exposrtsSome 800 skeletons of captive-bred lions can be legally exported from South Africa this year, the government said Wednesday, meeting demand for the bones in parts of Asia while alarming critics who believe the policy threatens Africa's wild lions.

The lion bone industry, which supplies a traditional medicine market, has become a key part of the debate over how to protect the continent's wild lions, which are under pressure from human encroachment and poaching.

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Russia's ambassador to leave post in U.S.

Kislyak leaving Ambassador voteSergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States and a key figure in the alleged meddling of the U.S. president election, is leaving his post and returning to Moscow, the nation's Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the departure is part of a regular rotation "all planned in advance."

Kislyak's replacement in Washington will be Anatoly Antonov, according to Russian state media. Antonov is currently the deputy foreign minister and previously served as deputy minister of defense.

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Israel Nixes Plan for Mixed-Gender Prayer Spaces at Western Wall

Mixed gender prayer at Western Wall nixedIsrael's government formally suspended plans on Sunday for a mixed-gender prayer space at Jerusalem's Western Wall, bowing to opposition from Orthodox Jewish politicians to reforms at one of Judaism's holiest sites.

The decision will put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at odds with the Conservative and Reform movements of Judaism that have large followings outside Israel but will smooth his relations with ultra-Orthodox parties in his ruling coalition.

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Scores killed in tanker fire near Bahawalpur

Tanker fire kills at least 146At least 146 people have been burnt alive and dozens of others injured after a fuel tanker overturned and exploded outside the eastern city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan's Punjab province.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning as a large number of people gathered to collect petrol from the vehicle, according to rescue services.

Residents could be seen walking past blackened and twisted bodies piled by the side of the road.

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