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Fake monks? Buddhist leaders warn NYC tourists to be wary

Michael Balsamo, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 10:51pm

New York City Buddhist leaders are sounding the alarm to tourists: Beware the "fake monks."

Pope: Gays and others marginalized deserve an apology

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 5:51pm

Pope Francis says gays — and all the other people the church has marginalized, such as the poor and the exploited — deserve an apology.

Pope defends Armenia 'genocide' comment; no offense meant

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 2:41pm

Pope Francis defended using the term "genocide" to describe the Ottoman-era slaughter of Armenians, saying Sunday that's how he has always referred to the massacre, he didn't mean anything offensive by it and that it would have been "very strange" to have avoided it.

AP PHOTOS: Iraqi special forces share treasured possessions

Susannah George and Maya Alleruzzo, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 6:20am

Sgt. Ahmed Abdelaziz, with Iraq's special forces, has been almost continually deployed fighting the Islamic State group ever since the militants overran nearly a third of Iraq in the summer of 2014. Now he's on the front lines of Fallujah, a city declared "fully liberated" on Sunday by the commander leading the fight against IS. Abdelaziz has with him what he always brings into battle: a photo of his brother.

Pope visits Armenia's closed border with Turkey on last day

Nicole Winfield and Avet Demourian, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 25th - 9:50pm

Pope Francis is wrapping up his trip to Armenia with a Sunday liturgy in the Apostolic cathedral celebrated by his Orthodox hosts and a visit to Armenia's closed border with Turkey amid new tensions with Ankara over his recognition of the 1915 "genocide."

Pope prays at Armenia memorial after denouncing 'genocide'

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 24th - 8:41pm

Pope Francis heads to Armenia's genocide memorial for a prayer service, fresh from his ad-libbed declaration that the Ottoman-era massacre of Armenians a century ago was a planned "genocide."

Trans-Atlantic Trend? Trump sees UK vote as validation

Julie Pace, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 24th - 8:00pm

Britain's stunning vote to bolt from the European Union sent political tremors across the Atlantic Friday, fueling Donald Trump's confidence that frustrated U.S. voters will back similarly sweeping change and rattling Democrats who are banking on Americans ultimately choosing a more conventional leader in Hillary Clinton.

Mud-splattered Filipinos pray to saint for blessing and woes

Bullit Marquez, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 24th - 3:21am

Hundreds of Filipino villagers donning capes of banana leaves covered themselves in mud Friday in a ritual to thank their patron saint, John the Baptist, who they believe saved residents from killings by Japanese invaders in World War II.

First trial begins in deadly New York church beating

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 23rd - 7:31pm

The first trial began Thursday in what New York authorities say was a 14-hour group attack during a church counseling session that killed a young man and injured his brother.

Rally outside Shiite sheikh's home reflects Bahrain unrest

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 23rd - 1:52pm

Hundreds of Bahraini protesters kept up their rally Thursday outside the home of a Shiite cleric, a day after they chanted a promise to "give our soul and blood as a sacrifice" to protect him following the government's move that revoked his citizenship this week.

Pakistan province gives $3 million to Taliban-linked school

Riaz Khan and Asif Shahzad, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 23rd - 10:51am

A Pakistani provincial government has allocated $3 million to a Taliban-linked seminary in a volatile region bordering Afghanistan, a local official said Thursday, sparking criticism from the central government in Islamabad and secular groups.

Trial resumes for sister charged in fatal church beating

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 10:10pm

Testimony is scheduled to resume in the murder trial of a New York woman accused of taking part in a group attack during a church counseling session that killed her half brother and injured another.

Man who criticized church's Ramadan message goes to mosque

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 1:41pm

A Pennsylvania politician who apologized for criticizing a church that posted a message wishing Muslims a "blessed Ramadan" attended a worship service and dined at a Harrisburg mosque.

Newport resident gives youth in Jackson County town hope

Kenneth Heard-Gazette, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 12:01pm

More than 80 volunteers from four Texas churches tore out walls, built a wooden stage and painted inside the old Calhoun Street Church of Christ building near the White River in Newport on June 13.

Vatican names Italian as acting Latin Patriarch

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 6:30am

The Vatican has put its longtime protector of Church holy sites in the Middle East in charge of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem — a sensitive position that serves as the chief clergyman to the local Catholic population.

Jerusalem gay pride parade attacker given life sentence

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 26th - 3:20am

A Jerusalem court on Sunday sentenced a radical ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jew who fatally stabbed a teenage girl at a gay pride parade last year to life in prison plus 31 years.

Amish growth extended to South America settlements last year

Mark Scolforo, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 25th - 8:11am

The Amish are branching out, setting up settlements in Bolivia, Argentina and Canada as their numbers continue to grow.

Largest US Presbyterian denomination picks 1st black leader

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 24th - 11:11am

The largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. has elected its first African-American top executive.

New Jersey Senate OK's aid for private school busing

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jun 24th - 5:00am

The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill in which state taxpayers would help cover the cost of busing private school students in Lakewood for the next three years.