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Amnesty International reports decline in capital punishment
VATICAN (SE): Encouraging statistics are contained in Amnesty International’s latest report, released on April 12, according to Vatican News. The numbers show at least 993 recorded executions in 23 countries throughout 2017, down by four per cent from the previous year and down by 39 per cent from 2015.
 

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Euthanasia push robs friends and family of joy says dying mother
SYDNEY (CNS): In March, as 50-year-old former nursing educator Anna Corry, lay dying from an aggressive type of breast cancer, she sent out a request to speak publicly about her opposition to euthanasia. She was diagnosed in January 2016. 
 

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Taiwanese ambassador to Holy See awarded papal knighthood
Hong Kong (UCAN): The Vatican has bestowed a papal knighthood on Matthew Lee, Taiwan’s ambassador to the Holy See at a ceremony on March 15, in recognition of his diplomatic work.
 
Lee was awarded the Knight Grand Cross, which is the second class of five orders of knighthood founded by Pope Pius IX in 1847. The honour is typically awarded to ambassadors to the Holy See.
 

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Irish bishop resigns over abusive priest
DUBLIN (CNS): Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore, Northern Ireland, resigned on March 1 after increased criticism over how he dealt with revelations of an abusive priest. 
 
The bishop came under fire in a programme on BBC Northern Ireland on February 28, after it emerged that he concelebrated an anniversary Mass with a priest he knew had stepped down after being sent for treatment following complaints of abuse. 
 

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Meeting with Vatican abuse investigator intens
SANTIAGO (CNS): Juan Carlos Cruz, a former Chilean seminarian who accused an incumbent bishop of abuse cover-up, met with Vatican investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a longtime expert on clergy sex abuse, and said he finally felt he had been heard. 
 
The two met for nearly four hours on February 17 at Manhattan’s Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, in the United States of America. 
 

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Official miraculous healing at Lourdes
ROME (CNS): On February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin of Beauvais, France, announced  the 70th officially recognised miraculous cure of a pilgrim to the Lourdes grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous 160 years ago. 
 

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Apple shifts iCloud services in China to local firm
BEiIJING (SE): Apple will move the operation of its iCloud services in China to its partner company, the government-owned Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GBCD) on February 28. 
UCAN reported that the tech giant made the move to comply with new cybersecurity regulations laid out by Beijing. 
 

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Abuse case of Chilean bishop to be reviewed
VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis asked Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a longtime expert in handling abuse allegations, to gather new information in Chile concerning Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.
 
The Vatican said in a communiqué on January 30 that Pope Francis decided to send the archbishop to the Chilean capital of Santiago “to listen to those who expressed a willingness to submit information in their possession,” the communiqué said. 

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Duterte names new envoy to the Vatican
MANILA (SE): Grace Relucio-Princesa, has been named as the new Philippine ambassador to the Holy See by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, Vatican News reported on January 23.
 
Relucio-Princesa is currently the assistant secretary of the Department Legislative Liaison Unit and the president of the Department of Foreign Affairs Ladies Foundation.
 

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Nigeria under siege from many forces
LAGOS (CNS): Nigeria’s bishops condemned what they call brutal massacres of innocent people with at least 80 people killed since the start of the year in conflict over fertile land.
 

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