Congo bishops say pope’s Canada trip a good sign for future

ROME — Congo’s Catholic bishops, coping with disappointment over a scrubbed visit by Pope Francis, said Saturday that his decision to go ahead with a trip to Canada was an “encouraging sign” that his knee treatment was working, as they held out hope for a rescheduled date . In the meantime, Francis is sending the … Read more

Gabon and Togo admitted into Commonwealth group of nations

KIGALI, Rwanda — The African nations of Gabon and Togo have been admitted into the Commonwealth group of nations. “We welcome them,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whose government hosted a summit of Commonwealth leaders this week, told reporters Saturday. Gabon and Togo are Francophone countries that actively tried to join the bloc of 54 nations. … Read more

Iran and EU say Vienna nuke talks will summarize in coming days

TEHRAN, Iran — The European Union and Iran agreed on Saturday to resume negotiations in Vienna in the coming days over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. The agreement could help relieve tensions after the talks stalled for months, while Iran enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels under decreasing international oversight. At … Read more

Russia pushes to block 2nd city in eastern Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine– Russian forces are trying to block a city in eastern Ukraine, the region’s governor said Saturday, after their relentless assault on a nearby city forced Ukrainian troops to begin withdrawal after weeks of intense fighting. Russia also launched missile attacks on areas far from the heart of the eastern battles. Serhiy Haidai, governor … Read more

Qatar’s emir in Cairo for 1st time since Arab spat resolved

CAIRO — Qatar’s emir arrived in Cairo late Friday for talks with Egypt’s president, his first visit to the country following years of frayed ties and a boycott of Doha by four Arab states, including Egypt. With Qatari and Egyptian flags flowing over the tarmac, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was greeted at the … Read more

US: Afghan national freed from Guantanamo Bay after 15 years

ISLAMABAD — An Afghan prisoner held in US custody for nearly 15 years has been released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center after a federal court ruled that he was unlawfully detained, the US Department of Defense said Friday. Asadullah Haroon Gul’s release was first announced earlier in the day by the Taliban in Afghanistan … Read more

Bulgarian lawmakers vote to unblock N Macedonia’s EU bid

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria’s parliament voted Friday to lift a veto that has long blocked European Union membership negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, raising fresh hopes that the bloc can now press on with its expansion plans in the Western Balkans amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. France, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, … Read more

UN chief warns of ‘catastrophe’ from global food shortage

BERLIN — The head of the United Nations warned Friday that the world faces “catastrophe” because of the growing shortage of food around the globe. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the war in Ukraine has added to the disruptions caused by climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and inequality to produce an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” … Read more

Death toll from Afghanistan’s quake rises to 1,150 people

GAYAN, Afghanistan — The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Afghanistan continued to climb days after it turned brick and stone homes into rubble, killing 1,150 people and wounding scores more, according to the latest figures carried in state media on Friday. The country of 38 million people was already in the midst of … Read more

Brazil judge releases former Bolsonaro minister from jail

SAO PAULO — A Brazilian federal judge on Thursday released a former education minister of President Jair Bolsonaro a day after he was arrested by federal police in a graft investigation. Judge Ney Bello said Milton Ribeiro and four other suspects should be freed because they are not part of the current administration and the … Read more