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Around The World Vatican City Ex-bishop held for abuse

Vatican City
Ex-bishop held for abuse: The Vatican has charged a defrocked archbishop with sexual abuse of children in the highest-profile sex-abuse case to reach the Holy See’s criminal court. Jozef Wesolowski was the papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2013, when he was recalled after allegations that he had been abusing boys in Santo Domingo. He was defrocked in June after a Vatican tribunal found him guilty of sexual abuse, and now he faces criminal charges that could lead to a prison sentence. A Vatican spokesman said the charges reflected Pope Francis’s wish “that such a grave and delicate case be handled without delay, with the just and necessary rigor.” Wesolowski, 66, is under house arrest.

Abortion stays legal: The Spanish government has dropped its effort to outlaw abortion in the face of widespread protests. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People’s Party, which has had a majority in parliament since 2011, announced last year that he planned to ban abortion except in the case of rape or to save the mother’s life. Some 75 percent of Spaniards opposed the plan, and tens of thousands turned out for rallies against it this year. This week Rajoy said he would scrap the draft law and instead push a reform to require 16- and 17-year-olds to get a parent’s permission to have an abortion. “We can’t have a law that will be changed when another government comes in,” he said.

Guadalajara, Mexico
Congressman murdered: A congressman from Mexico’s governing Institutional Revolutionary Party and an assistant were killed this week after being abducted on their way to the airport. Gabriel Gomez Michel was a pediatrician and medical-school professor who served on legislative committees for human rights and the environment. Authorities said they weren’t aware of any threats against him. The bodies, found in Gomez Michel’s SUV, were burned beyond recognition, so DNA tests will be performed to confirm their identities. More than 50 local and federal officials have been murdered in Jalisco state in the past seven years.

Tlatlaya, Mexico
Army massacre? Mexico’s attorney general is investigating allegations that the army shot and killed 22 gang members after they had surrendered. A witness said she had gone to a warehouse in Tlatlaya in June to rescue her 15-year-old daughter from the gang when soldiers arrived and started shooting. She said her daughter was wounded and lying on the ground when a soldier walked up and shot her through the head, and that other gang members were shot after they came out of the warehouse with their hands on the backs of their necks. The army said the 22 had died in a firefight; only one soldier was wounded.

Donetsk, Ukraine
Truce in jeopardy: Rebels in areas of eastern Ukraine are refusing to recognize parts of the cease-fire pact reached last month that ended the fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-supported separatists. Under the deal, the rebel territories are to hold a referendum on self-rule in December, ahead of Ukrainian general elections. But this week leaders from the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic said they would organize the vote themselves in November. In the meantime, they have not abandoned the fight for the Donetsk airport, which is controlled by Ukrainian forces but remains unusable, its runway pockmarked with craters from heavy shelling.

São Paulo
More superrich: Latin America’s population of billionaires grew faster than that of any other region in the world last year, even though many of the area’s overall economies are ailing. Some of the growth appeared to stem from large wealth transfers from elderly billionaires to multiple children. “Much of the wealth in Latin America is actually vestiges of old wealth, concentrated in a few families, and is not original wealth creation,” said David Friedman of Wealth-X, a company that tracks the ultrarich around the globe. Latin America now has 153 billionaires, with roughly one third of them living in Brazil. The U.S. still has the highest number of billionaires, with 571.

Camp Saqlawiyah, Iraq
ISIS takes base: ISIS has captured an Iraqi army base just north of insurgent-controlled Fallujah and only an hour from Baghdad. Hundreds of ISIS fighters cut off roads and besieged the base for days until it ran out of food and water, then entered disguised as Iraqi army reinforcements. At least 300 soldiers were killed. ISIS continues to advance in Iraq partly because the Sunni tribes are still reluctant to side with the Shiite-led government in fighting the extremists. “The Sunnis in Anbar and other provinces are facing oppression and discrimination by the government,” said Mohamed el-Bajjari, spokesman for a coalition of Sunni tribes. “This government must be changed to form a technocratic government of nonsectarian secular people, or the battles and the anger of the Sunni people will continue.”

Hebron, West Bank
Teen murderers killed: Israeli forces have killed the two Hamas members suspected in the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers. The suspects, Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh, were killed in a shoot-out at the West Bank house where they had been hiding; they were given heroes’ funerals by Hamas. “We are proud of you, and our people will not forget your jihad,” Hamas spokesman Hussam Bardan said. “You trampled the occupation’s nose in the dirt.” The abduction of the teenagers sparked an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip that lasted seven weeks and killed more than 2,000 Palestinians. Also this week, Israel shot down a Syrian warplane over the Golan Heights, the first such encounter in decades. The plane’s crew ejected and landed safely in Syria.

Mullahs divided on social media: Iran’s judiciary has ordered the government to block certain social-media platforms because they have been used to publish “immoral” photos and insults to the ayatollahs. Mobile-messaging services WhatsApp, Viber, and Tango were ordered to be shut down within a month. The ruling is a blow to President Hassan Rouhani, who has promoted Internet use and is active on Twitter. His communications ministry says it has agreed to remove offensive content but has balked at censoring the apps altogether. Officially, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus are blocked in Iran, but many Iranians are able to access the sites through proxy servers.

Power-sharing agreement: Ending months of political deadlock following a disputed presidential runoff, Afghanistan’s rival candidates have agreed to share power. Ashraf Ghani will become president, while Abdullah Abdullah, who had alleged massive fraud after he led strongly in the first round but lost the runoff, will take the new position of chief executive officer. The two will split cabinet appointments. The compromise, which will divert some presidential powers to the CEO, was reached in a backroom deal brokered by the U.S. “These two men have put the people of Afghanistan first,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

Bangalore, India
Orbiting Mars: In a major success for its space program, India put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars this week, just days after NASA achieved the same thing on a muchlarger scale. India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, or MOM, has just a few simple sensors and cost just $74 million to build and launch, considerably less than the budget of the movie Gravity. The probe will not be able to gather much information, and the expedition was primarily intended as a way to one-up rivals China and Japan, which have both tried and failed to put a craft into orbit around Mars. Children across India went to school just after dawn to watch the event on live television.

Wellington, New Zealand
Conservative re-elected: John Key won a third term as prime minister this week in a landslide victory after a campaign marred by allegations of scandal. Key’s National Party was accused of funding a right-wing attack blog that smeared government critics, and his justice minister was forced to resign over leaks of hacked emails. But voters happy with the country’s booming economy gave the National Party a likely 61 of the 121 seats, an unprecedented showing under New Zealand’s complicated electoral system. Key, a former investment banker, vowed to seek coalition partners despite the majority. “It’s a marvelous result that National may technically be able to govern alone,” he said. “But it’s a dangerous position for governments that let it go to their head.”

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