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PA report cites 70 years of clergy abuse

Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused thousands of children over a 70-year period and silenced victims through “the weaponization of faith” and a systematic cover-up campaign by their bishops, the state attorney general said on Tuesday. An 884-page report made public by Pennsylvania Attorney GeneralFULL STORY

Modi campaigns on space mission

India is to launch its first manned space mission by 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yesterday in his last Independence Day speech ahead of next year’s general election. Modi, a powerful speaker who plans to seek re-election in the world’s biggest democracy early nextFULL STORY

Tonga PM calls on China to write-off Pacific debts

Tonga Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has called for China to write-off debts owed by Pacific island countries, warning that repayments impose a huge burden on the impoverished nations. Chinese aid in the Pacific has ballooned in the past few years with much of the funds comingFULL STORY

Tonga PM dares Pacific heads to weight-loss match

Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva has challenged fellow Pacific leaders to a year-long weight-loss competition to combat soaring obesity levels in the region. The Pacific has the highest obesity rates in the world and Pohiva said politicians needed to lead from the front to help curbFULL STORY

FEATURE: Tunisian anti-litter activist on 300km, 30-beach cleanup

Garbage bags at the ready, “long-distance activist” Mohamed Oussama Houij moves methodically along a beach in Tunisia’s Mediterranean town of Nabeul, scooping up all kinds of trash as he goes along. The 27-year-old sanitary engineer set out last month to walk a 300km stretch of coastlineFULL STORY

Transgender woman wins US primary

Christine Hallquist on Tuesday won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the US state of Vermont, moving a step closer to becoming the nation’s first transgender governor, US media projected. “HISTORY MADE! @christineforvt just became the first trans/non-binary gubernatorial candidate from a major political party in AmericanFULL STORY

World News Quick Take

JAPAN Abe avoids Yasukuni Shrine Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday offered a ritual cash donation to a controversial Tokyo shrine, but did not visit in person, as the country marked the 73rd anniversary of the end of World War II. Abe sent an aide to YasukuniFULL STORY

Andy Chan pans Beijing in address2018-08-15

Hong Kong independence activist Andy Chan (陳浩天) yesterday attacked China as an empire trying to “annex” and “destroy” the territory in a no-holds barred speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, which Beijing wanted cancelled. Chan, who leads the tiny Hong Kong National Party, said Beijing wasFULL STORY

Taliban overrun Afghan army base2018-08-15

The Taliban yesterday overran a base in northern Afghanistan, killing 17 soldiers, even as Afghan forces battled the insurgents for the fifth straight day in the eastern provincial capital of Ghazni, trying to flush them out of the city’s outskirts, officials said. There were fears forFULL STORY

US state braced for death penalty by drug fentanyl2018-08-15

Nebraska was scheduled on Tuesday to carry out the US’ first execution employing the opioid fentanyl as part of a four-drug combination that has never before been used. The powerful synthetic painkiller — a key cause of death in the US’ opioid and heroin abuse epidemicFULL STORY

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