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Mideast expects big changes under Trump

Dan Perry and Bradley Klapper, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 19th - 12:50pm

Donald Trump's all-but-dismissal of human rights as a foreign policy principle could hit like an earthquake across a Middle East landscape beset by warring factions and beleaguered governments, with some players eyeing the prospect of once unimaginable new alliances.

Muslim clerics attack rally for missing Pakistani activists

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 19th - 8:40am

Pakistani police say Muslim clerics attacked a rally calling for the release of five anti-Taliban activists and bloggers who went missing earlier this month.

Inaugural crowds sure to be huge _ but how huge?

Ben Nuckols, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 18th - 5:42pm

Donald Trump says his inauguration will have "an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout." Organizers of a protest the next day call it the biggest demonstration in history to welcome a new president.

Rabbis plan response to white supremacist threats in Montana

Matt Volz, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 18th - 3:30pm

Orthodox Jewish rabbis said Wednesday they will counter white supremacists' harassment of the Jewish community in the Montana town of Whitefish by sending students to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp and by mailing a Torah to every Jewish family in the state.

Trump's America: Rural-urban divide in Georgia

Bill Barrow, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 18th - 10:41am

Patti Thomas owns a flower shop in the north Georgia town of Lula. Xavier Bryant runs an independent pharmacy just outside Atlanta. Looking toward the inauguration of an entrepreneur as president, the two share this expectation: Donald Trump will be good for business.

DeVos pledges not to undo public education, pushes choice

Maria Danilova and Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 8:11pm

In a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing, education secretary pick Betsy DeVos pledged that she would not seek to dismantle public schools amid questions by Democrats about her qualifications, political donations and long-time work advocating for charter schools and school choice.

2 weeks, 1 country and a world of wonders in Thailand

Courtney Bonnell, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 1:15pm

Trudging up a lush mountainside to a remote village, plunging through a swift-moving river in the footsteps of elephants and cruising Bangkok's gleaming luxury malls — with each step, I walked into different worlds, each one beautiful, all in Thailand.

Vatican rejects Knights of Malta attempt to discredit probe

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 6:50am

The Vatican struck back Tuesday at the Knights of Malta, rejecting its attempt to discredit a Vatican-appointed commission investigating the ouster of a top official over a condom scandal.

Northern Ireland unity government crumbles, faces March vote

Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 16th - 12:42pm

Northern Ireland's shattered unity government will be dissolved next week to make way for an early election demanded by the coalition's main Irish Catholic party, the secretary of state for the British territory announced Monday.

Another inaugural tradition _ prayer _ under fire over Trump

Rachel Zoll, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 20th - 2:11am

For years, the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal parish with a dual role as a civic gathering place, has hosted a prayer service for the newly sworn-in president. But keeping the tradition this year has caused an uproar among Episcopalians opposed to President-elect Donald Trump.

Texas lawmaker polls mosque leaders on Sharia law support

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 19th - 6:11pm

A Texas lawmaker has sent a survey to mosques around the state asking leaders there about Sharia Law and to pledge support for the "safety" of former Muslims who have chosen to leave the faith, implying that they could face unspecified persecution for doing so.

Historic German abbey closed, property goes to diocese

David Rising, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 19th - 8:21am

Bavarian Catholic church authorities said Thursday they have closed Germany's last Bridgettine Order abbey at the request of the Vatican — renewing concerns about what will happen to the property, including a precious library, which now goes to the local diocese.

European nationalists find common ground _ for now

Frank Jordans, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 19th - 6:10am

They are the would-be Donald Trumps of Europe and they are coming together in a bid to gain influence in some of the continent's most powerful nations.

OIC hopes to send team to Myanmar to study Rohingya's plight

Eileen Ng, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 19th - 5:20am

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation plans to send a high-level delegation to Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state to assess the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority, Malaysia said Thursday.

Nebraska targets ban on religious garb worn by teachers

Grant Schulte, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 3:34pm

Sister Madeleine Miller applied for a high school teaching job in Nebraska thinking she would get judged on her credentials — not what she was wearing on her head.

Rome's 5-Star mayor admits errors after poor survey showing

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 3:11pm

Rome's embattled mayor, the highest-profile elected official of the populist 5-Star Movement, has gone on national television to admit to a series of errors that landed her in second-to-last place in an annual survey of Italy's mayors.

Iran's president welcomes Syria talks planned for next week

Nasser Karimi, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 10:43am

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that he hopes talks planned for next week can mark the beginning of the end of the civil war in Syria, where Tehran has provided crucial military and financial support to the government.

Rights groups concerned by disappearances of Myanmar pastors

Esther Htusan, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 17th - 6:24am

Human rights organizations expressed alarm Tuesday over the disappearances of two Baptist pastors who had shown journalists a Catholic church allegedly damaged by airstrikes by Myanmar government forces who are fighting ethnic Kachin rebels.

Trump partner eyes Indonesia power, sees faults in democracy

Stephen Wright, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 16th - 8:20pm

President-elect Donald Trump's billionaire business partner and possible political proxy in Indonesia nurses big leadership ambitions in the vast but perennially lagging Southeast Asian nation, which he says isn't developed enough to have a successful democracy and needs strong leadership.

Knights of Malta seek to discredit pope's probe of ouster

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Jan 16th - 1:01pm

The head of the embattled Knights of Malta is seeking to discredit a Vatican investigation into the removal of a top official over a condom scandal, insisting that he followed the rules in the dismissal.