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Pennsylvania report to detail decades of sexual abuse by 300 priests

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Decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania will come under public scrutiny for the first time on Tuesday with the release of a long-delayed report on a grand jury investigation led by the state’s attorney general.

Hundreds of pages long, the report will reveal the findings of one of the most expansive probes into clerical sexual abuse since an expose of widespread abuse and systematic efforts to cover it up rocked the Archdiocese of Boston nearly two decades ago.

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The Pennsylvania report will cover 70 years of abuse of children by 300 Roman Catholic priests and how the church sought to cover up the accusations. It follows a nearly two-year-long investigation by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Some of those accused have tried to stop the release of the report, saying it would unfairly damage their reputations, but prosecutors, abuse advocates and news organizations pushed for its release. Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowed the report to go ahead, but with at least some names redacted.

It ordered the report be released by 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Tuesday.

In anticipation of the release, Harrisburg’s bishop earlier this month released the names of more than 70 clergy members and seminarians accused of sexually abusing children since the 1940s. The names of the diocese bishops who supervised them, he promised, would be removed from diocesan buildings and “any position of honor” throughout central Pennsylvania.

But at the time, Shapiro said in a statement that the Diocese of Harrisburg had failed to cooperate and “sought to end the investigation entirely.”

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Since the Boston abuse scandal first erupted in the 1990s, fresh accusations involving American clerics have sporadically surfaced, further tarnishing the church’s public image.

Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, resigned in disgrace as a cardinal last month after accusations that he abused a 16-year-old boy decades ago resurfaced.

In recent months, Pope Francis has accepted a flurry of resignations as church sex abuse scandals have erupted from Chile to Argentina.

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The dioceses included in the Pennsylvania report, initiated in 2016 under then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane, are Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg.

The state’s two other dioceses were the subjects of past grand jury investigations – the Philadelphia Archdiocese in 2005 and the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 2016.

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Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Paul Simao


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Shocking photos document the devastating flooding pummeling San Francisco

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San Francisco was battered by a heavy winter storm on Saturday that caused localized flooding throughout the city.

"A low pressure system off the Northern California coast Saturday hurled bans of strong downpours into the Bay Area, triggering a flood warning for San Francisco," KPIX-TV reported.

"San Francisco Muni officials tweeted that train service between West Portal to Embarcadero Station had been shut down due to flooding. Several streets were flooded in San Francisco’s western neighborhood including knee-high water at 15th Ave and Wawona," the station noted.

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North Korea announces ‘test of very great importance’ occurred at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground: report

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North Korea state media reported on a "successful" test at a missile launch site.

"A very important test took place at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on the afternoon of December 7, 2019," a spokesperson for the Academy of the National Defense Science said.

The spokesperson said the test was "of great significance to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

https://twitter.com/nktpnd/status/1203486463209431041

#UPDATE North Korea conducts a "very important test" at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reports, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain deadlocked https://t.co/abYhRDvBic pic.twitter.com/neCYEQTEhf

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Here’s why Ukrainians are shocked about Rudy Giuliani’s new associate

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President Donald Trump's personal attorney is causing "shock" among Ukrainians for working with Andrey Artemenko, according to new reports.

"In an attempt to exonerate President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani has been working with right-wing media outlet One America News Network (OAN) to produce a television special featuring a string of current and former Ukrainian officials defending Trump’s conduct in withholding military aid to Ukraine and seeking investigations of the Bidens," Law & Crime reported Saturday.

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