By Riham Alkousaa and Fanny Brodersen BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin's Pilecki Institute, which is dedicated to researching 20th century history including Nazi crimes in World War Two, is tapping that experience to collect testimonies from refugees about possible war crimes in Ukraine. The International Criminal Court (ICC) started a formal investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine after Russia invaded on Feb. 24. The Pilecki Institute, named after a Polish cavalry officer who risked his life to document the situation in the Auschwitz concentration camp during Wo...
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The new head of Italy's Catholic Church announced Friday a study into clerical child sex abuse over the last 20 years, but survivors said it fell short of an independent inquiry.
Pope Francis had called for a transparent annual audit of efforts to protect minors, as he seeks to restore trust in the Catholic Church following a global scandal.
"It's our duty, faced with so much suffering," Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the 66-year-old named this week by the pope to lead Italy's Bishops' Conference, told reporters.
In a statement at the end of its general assembly in Rome, the Conference said there would be an "analysis" conducted in collaboration with unnamed independent research institutions on alleged or confirmed crimes by clerics in Italy from 2000 to 2021.
It will use data kept by the Vatican department that deals with issues of abuse, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to establish a "deeper and more objective knowledge of the phenomenon".
The study "will allow an improvement in preventative measures" and allow victims and survivors to be treated with "more awareness", it added.
It is part of a five-point action plan which also includes a report on national cases and prevention measures over the last two years, with the aim of making this into an annual, publicly-available dossier.
Inquiries across the United States, Europe and Australia have exposed widespread abuse of children and a decades-long cover-up.
Campaigners in Catholic-majority Italy say it is now well past time for their country to do the same.
'Radical change' needed
Francesco Zanardi, who was abused by a priest when he was a teenager, told reporters it was "discriminatory" to study cases from 2000 onwards, with "many cases, like mine, excluded".
In an interview with AFP, Zanardi --the founder of survivors group Rete L'Abuso (The Abuse Network) -- also condemned Italy's judicial system for failing to properly address the issue, saying that "everyone must play their part".
Rete L'Abuso said in February it had recorded more than 300 cases of priests accused or convicted of child sexual abuse in the past 15 years in Italy, out of a total of 50,000 priests across the country.
Earlier this month, a group of survivors, lawyers and journalists who together form "ItalyChurchToo" -- named after the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment -- published an open letter calling for an independent inquiry by high-level experts.
"Italy as a country is the most behind. What we want from the new president (of the Bishops' Conference) is the courage to put into place radical change," said Ludovica Eugenio, a member of the network.
She told AFP the plan for a report dating back 20 years "will not resolve the problem because it does not go to the heart of the matter. It's a bit like building a house from the third floor, without foundations."
"Without prevention, with justice and without the truth, it will come to nothing."
During the meeting in Rome this week, US Cardinal Sean O'Malley, head of the pope's Commission for the Protection of Minors, urged the Italian bishops to confront the issue.
"The reality is that we will be judged on our response to the abuse crisis in the Church," he said in a video message, published by Vatican News.
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Jim Jordan attempts to spin a deal with House Select Committee in exchange for his cooperation: report
According to The Washington Post, the Republican lawmaker, who previously suggested that he would not cooperate with the committee, has one condition he wants to be met in order to cooperate. Jordan is reportedly requesting access to "all the evidence the committee had on him ahead of time."
On Wednesday, May 25, Jordan penned a letter addressed to the committee where he leveled accusations, accusing its members of "violating the Constitution and pursuing 'political vendettas' against Trump and the former president’s allies." Sourcing a previous letter he'd sent back in January, Jordan claimed “the Select Committee’s conduct up to that point led me to believe it was not operating fairly or in good faith.”
“Even before your subpoena, as I articulated to you in January, I had serious doubts about the Select Committee’s commitment to fundamental fairness and due process,” Jordan wrote. “Your failure to respond added to my concerns, and your unprecedented actions over the past thirteen days have exacerbated them.”
Per The Post, Jordan "requested that the committee provide him with 'all documents, videos, or other material … that you potentially anticipate using, introducing, or relying on during questioning,' as well as all material in which his name appeared or was referenced and legal analyses of the committee’s power to issue a non-ethics subpoena to a member of Congress."
The lawmaker claims that "only then could he 'adequately further respond to [the] subpoena.”
“I expect that you will provide the entirety of this material without delay," Jordan wrote.
Jordan is one of five Republican lawmakers who have been subpoenaed in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection. The other four are House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.). All initially declined to cooperate with the committee.
Fox News contributor knocks 'unfair' reporters who grilled Texas official over cops' response to school shooting
Former police officer, Trump administration official, and Fox News contributor Tom Homan says reporters and pundits criticizing the police response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 students and two teachers, are being a bit too harsh.
"I'm not a Monday morning quarterback, I'm just saying there's a lot of cops here who did a lot of the right things and overall saved a lot of lives, but there's gonna be lessons learned," Homan told Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany.
Homan went on to say that the investigation still isn't completed and some of the criticism of the law enforcement response is "jumping the gun."
"And some of these reporters, the way they're firing these questions at [Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McGraw] is a little unfair."
Watch the video below:
\u201cGet out of here with this.\n\nFox News contributor Tom Homan: "I\u2019m saying there are a lot of cops here that did a lot of the right things and overall saved a lot of lives... and some of the reporters, the way they're firing these questions at McCraw, I think is a little unfair."\u201d— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona) 1653670975