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Like a prayer: Pope Francis launches 'Click to Pray' app to unite young Catholics
Giuseppe Ciccia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images (ROME) -- The pope signaled his intention to harness the power of technology to reach out to young people by launching a prayer app three days before he will attend a Catholic youth festival in Panama.The app, called Click to Pray, is available on both Android and iOS devices and will allow over 1 billion Catholics worldwide to pray with the pope online.Pope Francis has his own Click to Pray profile online, which shows what he is praying for. Users can then click an icon to pray with him.Pope Francis launched the new app...
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Egyptian TV anchor sentenced to hard labor over interview with gay man
Anton Litvintsev/iStock (CAIRO) -- An Egyptian TV host was sentenced to one year of hard labor for interviewing a gay sex worker, a Cairo court ruled Sunday.Mohamed El-Gheity, a well-known journalist in Egypt who has spoken out against homosexuality, is accused of promoting debauchery and insulting religions during an episode that aired last August on private satellite channel LTC.During the interview, El-Gheity’s guest, whose face was blurred, shared details about his life as a sex worker.The guest said he was motivated to share his experience so other young Egyptians would not repeat his mistakes.The hosting channel, LTC, was taken off...
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Activists say they are helping people flee new anti-gay purge in Chechnya
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images (MOSCOW) -- LGBT activists say they have begun helping people flee from the Russian republic of Chechnya amid what they claim is a new wave of detentions and torture targeting the gay community there.The LGBT Network, a St. Petersburg-based rights group, said last week that 40 people had been detained and at least two were tortured to death in what they believe is a renewal of a campaign of terror that took place in 2017, and saw dozens of gay men kidnapped and tortured by Chechen security services.Chechnya is a majority-Muslim autonomous republic in southern Russia, ruled...
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African leaders congratulate Congo's president-elect after disputed victory
akesak/iStock (LONDON) -- African leaders have congratulated opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi for winning the Democratic Republic of the Congo's presidential election last month, after the country's top court on Sunday declared him the winner amid claims of electoral fraud.The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of the Congo confirmed Tshisekedi's victory in a statement released before dawn Sunday, rejecting a challenge from runner-up Martin Fayulu, an opposition candidate who declared himself the country's "sole legitimate president-elect" and called for peaceful demonstrations against a "constitutional coup d'etat."Fayulu had demanded a recount after the Independent National Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic...
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United Airlines passengers stranded for hours after plane diversion to Canada
Eitan Magid (NEW YORK) -- Passengers on a United Airlines flight were stranded for more than 16 hours, and many had to sleep on the plane, after the jet made an emergency landing to aid a sick passenger.Flight 179 was traveling from Newark to Hong Kong on Saturday when it was diverted in Canada due to a medical emergency, the airline said.Medical personnel met the aircraft at Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland, Canada, and transported the passenger to a local hospital, but a mechanical issue kept the plane from taking off again.The travel nightmare got even worse when passengers realized...
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Who is interpreter Marina Gross and will her notes of Trump's Putin meeting be useful?
Chris McGrath/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Marina Gross, a State Department interpreter, was the only other American in the room during President Donald Trump's one-on-one meeting with Russian President Putin in Helsinki last summer. ABC News has learned new details about the 64-year-old interpreter with the State Department's Office of Language Services who is at the center of the political storm over what she might know about the private conversations Trump held with Putin during their meeting in Helsinki last summer. Neither Gross nor her close family members provided comment for this story when contacted by ABC News. Veteran interpreters are...
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Duke of Edinburgh reportedly driving without a seat belt days after car accident
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images (LONDON) -- The Duke of Edinburgh and his driving are back in the British headlines again. Several Sunday papers have splashed photographs of the Queen's 97 year old husband back behind the wheel of a brand-new Land Rover. The photos appeared just two days after he was part of a car crash involving two women and a 9-month-old baby near the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Both of the women involved in the crash, who suffered minor injuries, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh were treated at a nearby hospital in East Anglia. The women were...
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Family of American man held in Syria appeals to Trump to intervene
Kamalmaz family (DAMASCUS, Syria) -- For almost two years, the family of an American man detained in Syria says it has operated quietly, working with the U.S. government and its allies to try to gain information about their husband and father.But now, in the hopes that President Donald Trump may be moved to personally intervene, they are going public.“I think we’ve reached the point where we absolutely are very desperate,” Ula Kamalmaz, 35, daughter of Majd Kamalmaz, 61, told ABC News.They said they haven’t heard from their father since Valentine’s Day 2017, when he arrived in Damascus, Syria, as planned...
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How one architect is helping young people remember Beirut's complicated past
Simone Cecchetti/Corbis/Getty Images (BEIRUT) -- To enter the Beirut nightclub B018, one arrives on what appears to be a helicopter landing pad and descends a staircase to enter the underground music mecca.The club is located on the spot where 20,000 Palestinian, Kurdish and South Lebanese refugees were massacred in 1976 during Lebanon’s civil war, which began in 1975 and continued for 15 years.“How do you design a bar on a site like this in a country that is in denial of its own history?” said architect Bernard Khoury, who took on the project in 1998. For Khoury, the project was...
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American-born, Iranian journalist held as ‘material witness,’ court documents show
Viktorcvetkovic/iStock (WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. government on Friday acknowledged for the first time that it secretly arrested an Iranian journalist earlier this week, demanding she testify to a federal grand jury as part of a federal probe that still remains a mystery. The acknowledgement came in a federal judge's order stating that American-born Melanie Franklin, also known as Marzieh Hashemi, was taken into custody on a material witness warrant issued in Washington. The order, unsealed Friday in federal court in Washington, D.C., confirms that Franklin has not been accused of any crime and has made two court appearances before a...
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'Sex trainer' who claimed to have information on Trump and Russia arrested in Moscow
sihuo0860371/iStock (MOSCOW) -- An Instagram model and self-described “sex trainer” from Belarus, who last year drew international attention with unsubstantiated claims to have recordings relevant to the Russian election interference investigation, has been arrested at a Moscow airport on prostitution charges after she was deported from Thailand. Anastasia Vashukevich, better known by her online persona Nastya Rybka, was drawn into the Trump-Russia saga in 2018 after Instagram videos surfaced of her aboard a yacht with Oleg Deripaska, a Kremlin-connected Russian oligarch with long-standing business ties to Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. After Vashukevich was arrested in Thailand last...
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At age of 82, Silvio Berlusconi announces his return to Italian politics, plans to run in European elections
lucagavagna/iStock (ROME) -- Four-time prime minister and octogenarian Silvio Berlusconi, announced his comeback — once again — to Italian politics Thursday.Speaking at a rally in Sardinia, he said his aim "at the beautiful age that I have" was to run in the upcoming European elections in May to stop the present upsurge of populist governments winning seats in Europe.He will run as a candidate for his center-right Forza Italia party, which, since its heyday in the 90s, has lost massive amounts of votes in the polls.He accused Europe of lacking "deep thinking about the world. ... With my knowledge, my...
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