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World news in brief

by
23 January 2015

reuters

Close-up: a black-footed ferret (American polecat) with an aspergillum at a pet-blessing service outside San Anton Church, Madrid, on Saturday

Close-up: a black-footed ferret (American polecat) with an aspergillum at a pet-blessing service outside San Anton Church, Madrid, on Saturday

Appoint co-ordinator on merit, say agencies

CHRISTIAN aid agencies are among more than 80 development organisations that, writing to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, have demanded that he appoint the UN's next emergency-relief co-ordinator on merit. The NGOs, including Christian Aid and Oxfam, asked Mr Ban to set up an apppointment. The letter was thought to be a protest against reported support by the Prime Minister for the appointment of the former Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, The Observer reported last Sunday.

Blogger's case referred to Saudi supreme court

A BLOGGER in Saudi Arabia who sought toleration of faiths other than the approved form of Islam has had his sentence of ten years in prison and 1000 lashes referred to the country's supreme court. The blogger, Raif Badawi, was convicted of "insulting Islam" after setting up an online forum to debate liberal reform in Saudi Arabia. He has already been flogged 50 times, but the next flogging was postponed on medical grounds last week. Outrage at his punishment has been expressed around the world.

Roman Catholic nuns expelled from Crimea

THREE Roman Catholic nuns have been expelled from Crimea by the new Russian authorities, Forum 18 News Service reports. Their residence permits were not extended, which forced their departure and the closure of their small convent in the Crimean capital, Simferopol. Since Russia invaded the Ukrainian peninsula and annexed it last year, a number of RC priests and all Crimea's foreign-born imams have been required to leave as well.

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