Ukrainian Orthodox Church breaks away from Russian influence

An independent Ukrainian Orthodox church was created at a signing ceremony in Turkey on Saturday, formalizing a split with the Russian church it had been tied to since 1686. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, signed the “Tomos” in Istanbul in front of clerics and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, forming the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It forces Ukrainian clerics ...

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U.S. sends troops to Gabon amid election uncertainty in neighbouring Congo

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday military personnel had deployed to Gabon in response to possible violent demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of Congo following a disputed presidential election there. In a letter to congressional leaders, Trump said the first of about 80 military personnel arrived in Gabon on Wednesday in case they are needed to protect U.S. citizens and ...

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Democrats pass plan to reopen U.S. government without funding for border wall

On their first day in the majority, U.S. House Democrats on Thursday night passed a plan to reopen the government without funding U.S. President Donald Trump’s promised border wall. The largely party-line votes came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room Thursday afternoon pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise. House ...

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How creating a podcast won parole for a California prisoner

In California, prison inmates typically are granted parole by doing good deeds or showing they have been rehabilitated by becoming pastors, drug counsellors or youth advocates. For Walter (Earlonne) Woods, the path to freedom was podcasting. Woods, 47, was recently released from San Quentin State Prison after Gov. Jerry Brown commuted his 31-years-to-life sentence for attempted armed robbery. Brown cited Woods’ ...

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U.S. border agents fire tear gas at migrants in Mexico

U.S. authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year to repel about 150 migrants who tried to breach the border fence in Tijuana. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement later Tuesday that the gas was used to target rock throwers apart from the migrants who were trying to cross. “No agents ...

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