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Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt resigns after archdiocese charged with sex abuse cover-up

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The archbishop and an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis resigned on Monday amid charges the archdiocese failed to protect children from a sexually abusive priest.

Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Lee Piché posted statements announcing their resignations on the archdiocese website. Pope Francis has accepted their resignations, Nienstedt’s statement and media reports said.

Earlier this month, prosecutors in Minnesota brought criminal charges against the archdiocese, accusing it of failing to protect children from a priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

Nienstedt said in his statement that he submitted his resignation “to give the archdiocese a new beginning amidst the many challenges we face.”

“My leadership has unfortunately drawn attention away from the good works of His Church and those who perform them. Thus, my decision to step down,” Nienstedt said in his statement.

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Piché said in his statement that people of the archdiocese need healing and hope. “I was getting in the way of that and so I had to resign,” he said.

The charges against the archdiocese, which filed for bankruptcy protection in January, added to the child sexual abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church in many U.S. cities.

The archdiocese was charged with three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the need for protection or services for the minors who were the victims of sexual abuse and three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the minors’ status as juvenile petty offenders or delinquency. The archdiocese also faces a related civil complaint.

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Wehmeyer is serving a five-year prison sentence. He also is awaiting trial on charges bought by Wisconsin prosecutors in November 2014 accusing him of sexual assaulting a third minor.

Pope Francis has appointed Bernard Hebda apostolic administrator of the archdiocese, according to a letter from Hebda posted on the archdiocese website.


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Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US

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Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.

The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.

The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."

Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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