Pope Francis on Thursday set up a committee to fight child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and give pastoral care to victims following a recommendation from a council of cardinals he has asked to advise him. The announcement was made by US cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston and one of the eight members of the council, who said the precise composition of the new committee will be announced "in the near future".
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition fighters have killed an Iraqi freelance journalist in the rebel-held north of the country, the latest of dozens of reporters who have died in the country over the past three years, an activist group and an international media watchdog said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages rose sharply last week, making home-buying slightly less affordable.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council authorized French and African troops in Central African Republic on Thursday to use force to protect civilians, imposed an arms embargo on the country and asked the United Nations to prepare for a possible peacekeeping mission. In a unanimously adopted resolution the 15-member council also asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to establish an inquiry into human rights abuses in the landlocked, mineral-rich nation of 4.6 million people, which slipped into chaos after Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in March.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter as businesses aggressively accumulated stock, but underlying domestic demand remained sluggish and buoyed the case for the Federal Reserve to keep up its stimulus for now. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate instead of the 2.8 percent pace reported earlier, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The third-quarter growth pace was the fastest since the first quarter of 2012 and marked an acceleration from the April-June period's 2.5 percent rate, although economists expect slower growth in the final months of the year. Inventories accounted for a massive 1.68 percentage points of the advance made in the July-September quarter, the largest contribution since the fourth quarter of 2011.
By Emmanuel Braun and Paul-Marin Ngoupana BANGUI (Reuters) - Rival milita forces clashed in Central African Republic's capital on Thursday hours before the U.N. was expected to authorise a French mission to halt Muslim-Christian sectarian violence that threatens to escalate into widespread massacres. Former rebels now in charge of the country said Bangui had come under attack from local militia and fighters loyal to ousted president Francois Bozize. Mindful of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when hundreds of thousands were killed as the world looked on, the United States and other Western powers are lobbying for international action to prevent the anarchy in Central African Republic from leading to major atrocities against the civilian population. "We've received numerous reports from very credible sources of extrajudicial executions," said Joanne Mariner, a crisis expert with Amnesty International who is currently in Bangui.
A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed car into Yemen's defence ministry Thursday, allowing gunmen to launch an assault on the complex which left 25 people including three foreign doctors dead, officials said. The attacks in the capital and in the country's south have been blamed on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which Washington regards as the jihadist network's most dangerous branch. "At least 25 people have been killed," said a security official, shortly after the defence ministry had put the death toll at 20. "A car bomb driven by a suicide bomber forced its way into the western entrance of the ministry complex," a security official told AFP.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The U.N.'s economic body for Latin America and the Caribbean says the region's poverty is now easing at a slower pace.
By Brenda Goh LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will impose a capital gains tax on foreign property investors from 2015 in a bid to allay fears that wealthy foreign buyers are inflating a London-led property bubble which is pricing locals out of the market. To roars of approval in the British parliament, Chancellor George Osborne said that from April 2015 he would introduce a capital gains tax on future gains made by non-residents who sell a residential property in the United Kingdom. "Britain is an open country that welcomes investment from all over the world, including investment in our residential property," Osborne said in a budget update. "But it's not right that those who live in this country pay capital gains tax when they sell a home that is not their primary residence - while those who don't live here do not.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching ads backing eight-term Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, who faces a primary challenge in Idaho, and two GOP candidates in West Virginia as the business organization ramps up its political activity for next year's congressional elections.
ADEN, Yemen (AP) — A suicide car bomber struck Yemen's Defense Ministry Thursday, killing 18 soldiers and paving the way for a carload of gunmen wearing army uniforms to storm the heavily guarded compound in the capital of Sanaa, officials said.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged lower in early trading Thursday as more positive news on the economy led investors to anticipate that the Federal Reserve is getting closer to reducing its economic stimulus program.
LONDON (AP) — Austerity will remain in place in Britain for years to come, the government insisted Thursday even though the U.K. economy is growing faster than most of its peers.
Washington (United States) (AFP) - The US economy grew at a speedy annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter on inventory investment, the best growth in almost two years, the government reported Thursday. The Commerce Department revised sharply upward its first estimate of gross domestic product growth of 2.8 percent for the July-September quarter. Inventory investment led the increase, adding 1.7 percentage points to the headline GDP number. There's no momentum here," said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Economics.
NEW YORK (AP) — William Bratton, whose tenure as New York City police commissioner in the 1990s was marked by a steep decline in crime and clashes with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has been chosen to lead the nation's largest police force again.