Heavy gunfire rocks Iraq’s Green Zone amid violent protests

BAGHDAD (AP) — Supporters of an influential Iraqi Shiite cleric fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns into Iraq’s Green Zone and security forces returned fire Tuesday, a serious escalation of a months-long political crisis that gripped the nation. The death toll rose to at least 30 people after two days of unrest, officials said. After … Read more

Iraqi Shia cleric considers quitting; storm palace followers

BAGHDAD (AP) — A hugely influential Shia cleric announced on Monday he would step down from Iraqi politics and his angry supporters stormed the government palace in response, raising fears violence could erupt in a country already in the grip of its worst political crisis in years. The Iraqi military announced a citywide curfew in … Read more

Pope expands ranks of cardinals likely to choose successor

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis elevated 20 other clergymen to the rank of cardinal on Saturday, officially expanding those who are now eligible to vote for his successor in the event he dies or resigns — the latest step he said that ‘he would consider if the need arose. Of the clergymen named new … Read more

Kabul mosque bombing kills 10, including a prominent cleric

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital, Kabul, during evening prayers on Wednesday killed at least 10 people, including a prominent cleric, and injured at least 27, said an eyewitness and the police. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest to hit the country … Read more

Iran denies involvement but justifies attack on Salman Rushdie

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian official on Monday denied that Tehran was involved in the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie, although he sought to justify the attack in the first public comments by the Islamic Republic on Bloodshed. The remarks by Nasser Kanaani, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, came three days after … Read more

Officials: Fire at Coptic church in Cairo kills 41, injures 14

CAIRO (AP) — A fire engulfed a crowded church during morning services in the Egyptian capital on Sunday, killing at least 41 worshipers and injuring 14. The church quickly filled with thick black smoke and witnesses said several trapped worshipers jumped from upper floors to escape. “Choking, choking, all dead,” said a distraught witness, who … Read more

Southern Baptists say denomination faces DOJ investigation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Southern Baptist Convention leaders said Friday that several of the denomination’s top entities are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice following its multiple issues related to clergy sexual abuse. The SBC executive committee has received a subpoena, but no one has been subpoenaed at this stage, according to committee … Read more

Suspect in 4 New Mexico murders left a trail of violence

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — In the six years since being resettled to the United States from Afghanistan, the prime suspect in the murders of four Muslim men in Albuquerque has been repeatedly arrested for domestic violence and filmed on train of slashing the tires of a woman’s car, according to police and court records. The … Read more

Japan’s PM purges Cabinet after support for church ties plummets

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday in an apparent effort to steer his administration away from the Conservative Unification Church about his ties to slain leader Shinzo Abe and senior ruling party officials. The reshuffle, the second in just 10 months since Kishida took office, follows his July … Read more

Afghan charged with killing 2 Muslims in Albuquerque

A 51-year-old man from Afghanistan was charged on Tuesday with killing two Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico, authorities said, and he is suspected of killing two others whose deaths sparked controversy. fear in the country’s Muslim communities. Authorities announced the arrest of Muhammad Syed a day after his arrest. Police Chief Harold Medina said … Read more