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5 dead in hostage situation at troubled South Africa church

Cara Anna, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 11th - 5:32am

Five people are dead and more than 40 have been arrested after an early-morning hostage situation at a long-troubled church near Johannesburg, police in South Africa said Saturday.

Church singing ban strikes sour note with California pastor

Don Thompson, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 10th - 1:49pm

Crossroads Community Church Senior Pastor Jim Clark wants to keep his 1,500 parishioners safe during the coronavirus pandemic but he's drawing the line at a new California ban on singing or chanting at religious services.

Turkey's president formally makes Hagia Sophia a mosque

Suzan Fraser, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 10th - 8:08am

The president of Turkey on Friday formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum.

China vows retaliation against US sanctions over Xinjiang

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 10th - 3:49am

China said Friday it will retaliate against U.S. officials and institutions following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on three local officials of the ruling Communist Party over human rights abuses in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Takeaways: Paycheck Protection loans and the Catholic Church

Michael Rezendes and Reese Dunklin, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 10th - 12:34am

When the coronavirus pandemic caused a broad economic downturn and Depression-era unemployment rates, Washington responded with trillions of dollars in federal relief.

US sanctions Chinese officials over repression of minorities

Deb Riechmann, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 9th - 10:02am

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party, including a member of the ruling Politburo, for alleged human rights abuses targeting ethnic and religious minorities that China has detained in the western part of the country.

Albania Holocaust memorial honors locals who protected Jews

Llazar Semini, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 9th - 9:37am

Albania unveiled a Holocaust memorial in the capital on Thursday to honor the dead and the Albanians who protected Jews from the Nazis.

Morocco to start reopening borders after strict lockdown

Amira El-Masaiti, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 9th - 6:50am

Morocco will start gradually reopening its air and maritime borders next week after one of the world’s strictest border lockdowns, which trapped tourists inside the country and left thousands of Moroccans stranded abroad and unable to come home.

Washington's 'Church of Presidents' etched in history again

Elana Schor, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 9th - 5:01am

but instead he embraced it.

Court: Some employers can refuse to offer free birth control

Jessica Gresko, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 8th - 9:00am

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Trump administration rules allowing some employers to decline to provide contraceptive coverage on religious or moral grounds, which could leave more than 70,000 women without cost-free birth control.

Supreme Court sides with Catholic schools in employment suit

Jessica Gresko, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 8th - 8:21am

The Supreme Court sided with two Catholic schools in a ruling Wednesday underscoring that certain employees of religious schools, hospitals and social service centers can't sue for employment discrimination.

Two COVID-19-ravaged churches take different recovery paths

David Crary and Luis Andres Henao, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 8th - 5:02am

The paths of two New York City churches diverged this week — one reopened and one stayed closed. But they have shared a tragic fate, together losing at least 134 members of their mostly Hispanic congregations to the coronavirus.

US hits Chinese officials with visa bans over Tibet access

Matthew Lee, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 7th - 3:28pm

The Trump administration fired a new shot in its diplomatic war with China on Tuesday by imposing travel bans on Chinese officials it says are restricting foreigners’ access to Tibet.

Russian court fines coronavirus-denying rebel monk

Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 7th - 5:44am

A Russian court on Tuesday fined a coronavirus-denying monk who has challenged Kremlin lockdown orders for spreading false information about the pandemic.

Turkey's president formally changes status of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia to a mosque

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 10th - 8:20am

Turkey's president formally changes status of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia to a mosque.

Update on the latest in business:

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 10th - 1:45am

Asian stock markets are following Wall Street lower today on worries economic recoveries might fade as coronavirus cases increase in the United States and some other countries.

Feds charge Florida man, sons with selling fake virus cure

Curt Anderson, Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 8th - 6:09pm

A Florida man and his three sons are facing federal charges that they illegally sold a bleachlike chemical mixture as a miracle cure for the new coronavirus and other diseases, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Update on the latest in business:

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 8th - 11:33am

Stocks are drifting up and down as a continued rally for big tech companies makes up for weakness elsewhere across Wall Street.

Pope denounces unimaginable "hell" of Libyan migrant camps

The Associated Press  |  Posted Jul 8th - 4:16am

Pope Francis denounced the unimaginable “hell” of Libya’s migrant detention camps as he celebrated a Mass on Wednesday in honor of would-be asylum seekers who risk their lives for a better future.