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Pope says Benedict’s resignation was ‘courageous’

Pope Francis on Friday hailed predecessor Benedict XVI’s historic resignation as a “courageous and humble act” in a speech to cardinals in the Vatican. Francis said Benedict, who stepped down last month, had “lit a flame in the depth of our hearts that will continue to burn”.…

Lawyers warn defense secretary of ‘serious threat’ to Guantanamo detainees

Lawyers representing Guantanamo prisoners wrote an open letter to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday to highlight the “mass hunger strike” at the facility. Forty-five lawyers wrote to Hagel to warn of the “serious threat to the health and life of detainees” who are on hunger strike at the…

Nun: Pope Francis was a ‘little devil’ in school

Decades before he became Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio was a “little devil” who jumped up and down the stairs of his century-old Buenos Aires school, the establishment’s mother superior told AFP. The Argentine cardinal memorized his multiplication tables aloud as he skipped steps at the De la Misericordia school, where…

Iraq war killed at least 116,000 Iraqi civilians: study

At least 116,000 Iraqi civilians and more than 4,800 coalition troops died in Iraq between the outbreak of war in 2003 and the US withdrawal in 2011, researchers estimate. Its involvement in Iraq has so far cost the United States $810 billion (625 billion euros) and could eventually reach $3…

Man detained in connection to Benghazi attack: report

A man believed to be connected to the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi has been detained by Libyan authorities, CNN reported Thursday. The suspect, Faraj al-Shibli, was detained shortly after returning from a trip to Pakistan. It is unclear what involvement he had in the attack, which left…

New Jesuit pope fuels conspiracy theories about an ‘army of shadows’

As the first Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis will have a global outlook without the far-fetched theories often associated with a community long shunned by the Vatican hierarchy, experts said. The Society of Jesus, founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola — a former Spanish soldier — is sometimes depicted as…

Conservative conference exposes Republican divisions

Still nursing election wounds, soul-searching Republicans gathered Thursday at the first conservative casting call for the US presidential election in 2016, with the party divided over how to broaden its appeal. Several prospective White House candidates including Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Paul Ryan lined up for a chance to…

Treasury chief Jacob Lew not worried about financial bubble

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday that he was not worried about a potential financial bubble forming as Wall Street stocks racked up record highs. “The analysis that I’ve seen doesn’t give me reason to be worried right now,” Lew said in an interview on US business news channel…

Reuters editor Matthew Keys charged with aiding ‘Anonymous’ hackers

A Reuters editor has been indicted in a California district court for allegedly conspiring with the hacker group Anonymous to access and alter a web site of the Tribune Company, his former employer. Matthew Keys, 26, the deputy social media editor at the news agency, is accused of supplying Anonymous…

Swiss Space Systems aims for low-cost satellite service

A new Swiss-based company said Thursday it would offer low-cost satellite launches which it claims could be a quarter of current market rates. Swiss Space Systems-S3 said its goal was to offer launches for 10 million Swiss francs (8.1 million euros, $10.5 million) using unmanned suborbital spaceplanes that could carry…

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