Printed on: September 25, 2013

World news


Egypt Brotherhood dismantling on hold

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's military-backed government on Tuesday signaled it was in no rush to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood, preferring to wait for a ruling outlawing the ousted president's group to be upheld by a higher tribunal.

The group rejected Monday's court verdict and vowed to appeal it. But with much of their leadership in prison and public opinion appearing to run strongly against them, analysts said the Brotherhood can do little more.

In the nearly three months since a coup ousted President Mohammed Morsi after millions took to the streets demanding his removal, the government has rounded up around 2,000 top leaders, midlevel organizers and rank-and-file members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Activists face piracy charges in Russia

MURMANSK, Russia (AP) -- Russia's top investigative agency said Tuesday it will prosecute Greenpeace activists on piracy charges for trying to climb onto an Arctic offshore drilling platform owned by the state-controlled gas company Gazprom.

The 30 activists from 18 countries were on a Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which was seized last week by the Russian Coast Guard. The ship was towed Tuesday into a small bay near Russia's Arctic port of Murmansk, and the activists were bused to the local headquarters of Russia's Investigative Committee late at night for several hours of questioning and then into a detention facility.

Piracy carries a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of about $15,500.

Benedict defends his abuse record

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Seven months after leaving the papacy, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI broke his self-imposed silence Tuesday by releasing a letter to one of Italy's best-known atheists,

Piergiorgio Odifreddi, in which he denied covering up for sexually abusive priests and defended Christianity to nonbelievers.

It was the first work published by Benedict since he retired and his first-ever denial of personal responsibility for the sex scandal. But what made the letter published in La Repubblica more remarkable was that it appeared just two weeks after Pope Francis penned a similar letter to the newspaper's atheist editor.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the appearance of the letters was pure coincidence. But they provide evidence that the two men in white, who live across the Vatican gardens from one another, are of the same mind about the need for such dialogue and may even be collaborating on it.