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Pope replaces German 'bling bishop' after inquiry PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 07:42

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has permanently removed a German bishop from his Limburg diocese after his 31 million-euro ($43-million) new residence complex caused an uproar among the faithful.

Francis had temporarily expelled Monsignor Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg in October pending a church inquiry into the affair. The Vatican said Wednesday that the inquiry found that he could no longer exercise his ministry and that Francis had accepted his resignation, which was originally offered Oct. 20.

A replacement, Monsignor Manfred Grothe, will take over for now, the Vatican said citing a statement from the diocese.

It added that Tebartz-van Elst would get a new job, and that the pope hoped that the faithful of Limburg would accept the decision with "docility and willingness to rediscover a climate of charity and reconciliation."


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Satellite spots 122 objects in Malaysia jet search PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ROB GRIFFITH, Associated Press TODD PITMAN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 07:41

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A French satellite scanning the Indian Ocean for remnants of a missing jetliner found a possible plane debris field containing 122 objects, a top Malaysian official said Wednesday, calling it "the most credible lead that we have."

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the objects were more than 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Australia, in the area where a desperate, multinational hunt has been going on since other satellites detected possible jet debris.

Clouds obscured the latest satellite images, but dozens of objects could be seen in the gaps, ranging in length from one meter (yard) to 23 meters (25 yards). Hishammuddin said some of them "appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials."

The images were taken Sunday and relayed by French-based Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Europe's Airbus Group; its businesses include the operation of satellites and satellite communications.

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Burger King Baby finds birth mom, feels 'pure joy' PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 06:24

A woman who, as a newborn, was abandoned in the bathroom of a Pennsylvania fast-food restaurant said she has found her birth mother just three weeks after launching a search that garnered worldwide attention, and as her mother prepared to look for her.

Katheryn Deprill, 27, said Tuesday she felt "pure joy" when she met her biological mother for the first time Monday at an attorney's office. And, after she learned the sad details of her conception and abandonment, she said she understood why her mom did what she did.

"She is better than anything I could've ever imagined. She is so sweet and amazing. I'm so happy," said Deprill, who has become known as the Burger King Baby.

The woman had decided about six months ago to launch her own search for the daughter she gave up.

Deprill began her quest on March 2 by posting on her Facebook page a photo in which she held up a sign that said, "Looking for my birth mother. ... She abandoned me in the Burger King bathroom only hours old, Allentown PA. Please help me find her by sharing my post."

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Hawaii lawmaker, police agree to prostitution ban PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by OSKAR GARCIA, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 06:21

HONOLULU (AP) — A key Hawaii lawmaker considering an anti-prostitution bill says he and Honolulu police have agreed to get rid of a longtime exemption that allowed officers to have sex with prostitutes.

State Sen. Clayton Hee, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he and police agreed at a meeting Tuesday that the exemption ran contrary to popular opinion.

Honolulu police said during the meeting that they're OK with making it expressly illegal for officers to have sex with prostitutes, as long as undercover officers can still say they'll have sex so they can make arrests.

Honolulu police spokeswoman Teresa Bell told The Associated Press that officers have never been allowed to have sex with prostitutes under departmental rules, so making it illegal won't change how officers operate.

"That's exactly what we wanted and how we've been conducting our investigations — with the verbal offer," Bell said.

Bell said Hee met with officers who submitted written and oral testimony to a House committee earlier in the legislative session.

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Three Secret Service agents benched before Obama trip PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 06:15

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service sent three agents home from the Netherlands just before President Barack Obama's arrival after one agent was found inebriated in an Amsterdam hotel, the Secret Service said Tuesday.

The three agents were benched Sunday for "disciplinary reasons," said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan, declining to elaborate. Donovan said the incident was prior to Obama's arrival Monday in the country and did not compromise the president's security in any way.

Still, the incident represents a fresh blemish for an elite agency struggling to rehabilitate its reputation following a high-profile prostitution scandal and other allegations of misconduct. An inspector general's report in December concluded there was no evidence of widespread misconduct, in line with the service's longstanding assertion that it has no tolerance for inappropriate behavior.

The agents sent home from Amsterdam were placed on administrative leave, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the disciplinary action. The newspaper said all three were on the Counter Assault Team, which defends the president if he comes under attack, and that one agent was a "team leader."

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