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Last sections of beloved 600-year-old tree removed at church

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 4:42pm

The final sections of a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation were taken down Wednesday at a New Jersey church.

Ousted Maltese knight returns in defiance of pope's wishes

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 12:58pm

The soap opera at the ancient Knights of Malta religious order took on new drama Wednesday as its ousted leader returned to Rome on the eve of the election for his successor in defiance of the pope's wishes.

Pope warns powerful to act humbly or risk ruin in TED talk

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 11:07am

Pope Francis is warning the powerful to act humbly or risk ruin, using the first-ever papal TED talk to urge the world to show more solidarity with the poor and the weak.

Angry debate in Egypt over reforms in Islam against radicals

Hamza Hendawi, Lee Keath and Mariam Fam, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 9:50am

It was a startling collision of religion and politics. Egypt's president proposed a new law that would prevent Muslim men from ending their marriages simply by saying "divorce" three times. The country's top institution of Islamic clerics, Al-Azhar, bluntly rejected the idea, saying Islam gives men that right and nothing can change that.

Myanmar bird's eye view: Bagan's Buddhist temples by balloon

Todd Pitman, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 8:32am

The moment of takeoff was silent, and mesmerizing.

In Kashmir, brutality of videos deepens anger against India

Aijaz Hussain, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 7:22am

One video showed a young Kashmiri man strapped to a patrolling Indian army jeep as a human shield against stone-throwing protesters. Others showed soldiers beating local men with sticks as other troops stood by with guns drawn.

Methodist court takes up challenge to election of gay bishop

Rachel Zoll, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 1:27pm

The highest court in the United Methodist Church considered Tuesday whether to invalidate the election of the denomination's first openly gay bishop, amid a struggle to avoid schism over the Bible and same-sex relationships.

Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga wins Templeton Prize

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 11:56am

Retired University of Notre Dame philosophy professor Alvin Plantinga has won one of the world's leading religion prizes.

Emirates CEO says US laptop carry-on ban still puzzles him

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 8:22am

The chairman and CEO of Dubai's long-haul carrier Emirates said Tuesday he "can't dig into somebody's mind" to understand why the U.S. instituted a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage from 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries.

Pope tells Egypt ahead of visit he comes as peace messenger

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 6:23am

Pope Francis has told the Egyptian people he is coming to Cairo this week as a friend and a "messenger of peace."

Pakistan raises death toll to 14 in Taliban roadside bombing

Riaz Khan, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 6:04am

A roadside bomb targeting a minivan in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region on Tuesday killed 14 people, a local official said, raising an earlier reported death toll of nine killed. The attack was claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction.

Chicago Archdiocese to settle priest abuse suits for $4.45M

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 1:42pm

The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $4.45 million to settle separate lawsuits brought by three men who allege they were sexually abused over a decade ago by a former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender.

Candle blamed for fire at Ogden church

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 26th - 11:37am

Investigators have determined that a candle started a fire at a Catholic church in Ogden that caused $10,000 in damage.

San Diego schools defend effort to fight Islamophobia

Elliot Spagat, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 9:30pm

One of the nation's largest school districts is defending its campaign to fight Islamophobia and promote understanding of Muslim culture against critics who say it is favoring a religion.

Lawmakers: Faith-based adoption groups can spurn gay couples

Kim Chandler, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 8:42pm

Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents, or other households, because of their religious beliefs.

The Latest: San Diego school official sees Muslim bullying

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 8:40pm

The Latest on a campaign against Islamophobia in San Diego public schools (all times local):

Texas advocates push longshot pot bills with veterans, moms

Meredith Hoffman, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 2:46pm

Medical marijuana advocates in Texas are promoting support from more conservative sources to push longshot legislation that would ease pot laws in a state that's lagging behind much of the rest of the country on medical marijuana.

Georgia pastor gets 35 years in prison for child molestation

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 2:10pm

A Georgia pastor has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for molesting two teenagers who attended his church in coastal Brunswick.

Court awards 3M euros to Hungary church stripped of status

Pablo Gorondi, Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 12:35pm

The European Court of Human Rights said Tuesday it awarded 3 million euros ($3.3 million) in damages to a small Hungarian Methodist church stripped of its recognized status in 2012.

Fire causes $10,000 damage at Catholic church in Ogden

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Apr 25th - 10:28am

Authorities in Ogden are investigating the cause of a fire that caused an estimated $10,000 damage at a Catholic church.