WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ International News International News en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:10:49 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Watching and waiting http://www.wbrz.com/news/watching-and-waiting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/watching-and-waiting/ International News Tue, 28 Oct 2014 5:46:08 PM Michael Marsh Watching and waiting

HELSINKI, FINLAND- People in Norway are staring at TV and computer screens waiting for something to happen.

No one knows when it will happen but the hope is, part of a mountainside will give way. Web cams are focused on the mountainside of Mannen in western Norway and broadcaster NRK is streaming it live on hit website.

It is now a no-go zone after eleven people were evacuated from the area last week.

There's no guarantee of a good show if it happens at night or if the camera is obscured by rain and mist.

On Tuesday, a rock slide of 15 seconds was the highlight.


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Toronto elects a new mayor, ends Ford era http://www.wbrz.com/news/toronto-elects-a-new-mayor-ends-ford-era/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/toronto-elects-a-new-mayor-ends-ford-era/ International News Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:41:28 PM Rob Gillies Toronto elects a new mayor, ends Ford era

TORONTO, Canada - The Rob Ford era is over as Toronto elected a new mayor, someone who is unlikely to ever make headlines for illegal drug use and public drunkenness.

John Tory, a straight-laced, button-down moderate conservative, won Monday's election with 40 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Doug Ford, brother of the outgoing mayor. Left-leaning Olivia Chow was third with nearly 23 percent, with 100 percent of polling stations reporting.

"Torontonians want to see an end to the division that has paralyzed city hall for the past four years, and to all that I say, 'Toronto, I hear you. I hear you loud and clear,'" Tory told cheering supporters, vowing to restore Toronto's reputation on the international stage.

Rob Ford's four-year tenure as mayor of Canada's largest city was marred by his drinking and crack cocaine use. He announced last month that he wouldn't seek re-election as he battles a rare form of cancer. His brother, a city councilor, ran in his place.

"Hallelujah!" Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said upon learning the election results while on a trade mission in China.

Nelson Wiseman, a University of Toronto political science professor, said Toronto municipal politics will unlikely be international news with Tory as mayor.

"Personality wise they are mirror opposites but anybody is dull compared to Rob Ford," Wiseman said. "It's been an outrageously entertaining circus. Alas the curtain has come down."

Doug Ford's supporters booed when he congratulated Tory on his victory. Doug Ford later said the scandals played a part in the loss but said he was "super proud" of his brother.

"I still believe he's the best mayor ever," Doug Ford said.

However, Rob Ford will not disappear from Toronto politics anytime soon.

Despite the cancer, he opted to seek the City Council seat held by his brother from the Etobicoke district in western Toronto where he launched his political career. He won his old seat in a landslide Monday and said he will run for mayor again in four years.

"I will be the first person to sign up in 2018," Rob Ford told the Toronto Sun. He strongly hinted that earlier and noted that the Ford family never gives up.

Ford has previously said the doctors have told him he has a 50-50 chance of surviving the rare cancer in his abdomen, malignant liposarcoma. He was returning to the hospital on Wednesday for another round of tests.

After months of denials, Rob Ford in 2013 acknowledged he had smoked crack cocaine in one of his "drunken stupors," but he refused to resign. The City Council stripped Ford of most of his powers but lacked the authority to force him out of office because he wasn't convicted of a crime.

Ford announced he was entering rehab for drugs and alcohol in April 2014 after newspaper reports detailed three nights in which he was extremely intoxicated. One report was about a video that appeared to show him smoking a crack pipe again - nearly a year after reports of a similar video first brought international attention.

Rob Ford's antics made him the target of late-night television comedians in the U.S. Last March, he appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" after months of wooing by the talk-show host, who introduced his guest by saying he "has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his way into our national consciousness."

When Ford was elected mayor in 2010, his drug and alcohol use weren't known - but his bluster was. A plurality of voters backed him, eager to shake things up at a City Hall they viewed as elitist and wasteful. Ford's voter base resided mainly in those outer suburbs like Etobicoke. He appealed to those residents with his populist, common man touch and with promises to slash spending, cut taxes and end what he called "the war on the car."

He first won as mayor by promising to "stop the gravy train" of government spending. But Toronto got more turmoil than expected.

Tory, 60, is a longtime moderate conservative politician and adviser. He formerly was chief executive of a major cable company Rogers Communications, and also served as commissioner of the Canadian Football League. More recently, he hosted a radio talk show. He ran for mayor in 2003 and lost.

Tory has promised to end the circus at City Hall and to get people moving with a new public transit plan.

"I will be a balanced and accountable leader," Tory said.


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Army troops isolated after Africa duty tour http://www.wbrz.com/news/army-troops-isolated-after-africa-duty-tour/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/army-troops-isolated-after-africa-duty-tour/ International News Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:40:31 AM Army troops isolated after Africa duty tour

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says dozens of Army soldiers and their two-star general are being isolated at their base in Vicenza, Italy, as they return after serving in West Africa to help with the Ebola fight.

Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander who led the U.S. response in Liberia, returned to Italy with 11 staff. They will be restricted in an isolated location and will not be allowed to go to their homes for 21 days. Several dozen more are returning in the coming days and will also be isolated.

Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, says Army leaders made the decision. So far, it only affects soldiers. He says no exposure incident triggered the decision, but they will be checked regularly for any Ebola symptoms.


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Dominican agents detain woman with $70K in stomach http://www.wbrz.com/news/dominican-agents-detain-woman-with-70k-in-stomach/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dominican-agents-detain-woman-with-70k-in-stomach/ International News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 4:29:59 PM APNewsNow Dominican agents detain woman with $70K in stomach

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Dominican Republic officials say they have arrested a woman who was carrying more than $70,000 in her stomach and $69,000 hidden inside her suitcase.

The spokesman for the National Drug Control Agency says the money in the woman's stomach was divided up among 16 capsules and the cash is likely tied to drug trafficking.

Spokesman Dario Medrano said Friday that the 40-year-old woman was arrested at the airport in the popular tourist district of Punta Cana after arriving on a flight from Brussels. Her name has not been released.

Dominican authorities say this is the first time they have arrested someone who was smuggling money in their stomach.


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Too close for comfort http://www.wbrz.com/news/too-close-for-comfort/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/too-close-for-comfort/ International News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 5:48:16 PM Michael Marsh Too close for comfort

LONDON- A police officer assigned to the Royal Protection Unit at Buckingham Palace was arrested after ammunition was found in personal lockers on the grounds of the palace.

The ammo is thought to have come from Metropolitan Police supplies.

The officer is suspended from duty and is being question on suspicion of misconduct and unlawful possession of ammunition and his home was searched.

The officer works in a protection role but is not assigned to guard any individual member of the royal family.


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US negotiator: Some want talks with Iran to fail http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-negotiator-some-want-talks-with-iran-to-fail/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-negotiator-some-want-talks-with-iran-to-fail/ International News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 3:06:57 PM US negotiator: Some want talks with Iran to fail

WASHINGTON - America's chief nuclear negotiator believes that some U.S. allies and members of Congress don't want diplomacy with Iran to succeed.

The undersecretary of state for political affairs, Wendy Sherman, concedes the nuclear talks are controversial. She says some fear they'll collapse while others fear they'll succeed.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sherman says the administration has sought to allay fears in Congress and among allies including Israel and Arab Gulf states. She says the conversations reinforce her government's conviction that diplomacy is worth the risk.

Negotiators want a deal by Nov. 24. World powers are seeking limits on Iran's program so it can't produce nuclear weapons. Iran says it wants to generate nuclear energy and is asking for sanctions relief.


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Sergeant-at-arms honored for stopping attacker http://www.wbrz.com/news/sergeant-at-arms-honored-for-stopping-attacker/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sergeant-at-arms-honored-for-stopping-attacker/ International News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 8:46:15 AM APNewsNow Sergeant-at-arms honored for stopping attacker

OTTAWA, Ontario - Canada's parliament is showing its gratitude to its sergeant-at-arms, Kevin Vickers, who is credited with stopping yesterday's shooting attack inside parliament by shooting the attacker just outside the caucus rooms of the lawmakers.

Members of Parliament gave Vickers a rousing standing ovation for saving their lives as Parliament resumed this morning. As Vickers walked into the House of Commons, his lips quivered in emotion, and he acknowledged the lengthy ovation.

Vickers serves a largely ceremonial role at the House of Commons, carrying a mace and wearing green robes, white gloves and a tall imperial hat.

Police now believe that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (zeh-HAHF' bih-BOH'), who was killed in the exchange of fire at the Parliament, was the lone gunman in yesterday's attack.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today urged members of Parliament to seek medical help if they are suffering stress from the attack.

In an uncharacteristically personal speech, Harper said, "Here we are in our seats, in our chamber in the very heart of our democracy, at work." He said, "We will not be intimidated."

He noted that both of the attacks on Canadian soldiers in Canada this week came from citizens born in Canada.

IMAGE: ABC


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2 dead in shooting attack at Canada's Parliament http://www.wbrz.com/news/canadian-official-ids-ottawa-gunman/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/canadian-official-ids-ottawa-gunman/ International News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 8:01:48 AM Jeremy Hainsworth 2 dead in shooting attack at Canada's Parliament

OTTAWA, Ontario - A gunman with a scarf over his face killed a Canadian soldier standing guard at the nation's war memorial Wednesday, then stormed Parliament in a hail of gunfire before he was shot to death by the usually ceremonial sergeant-at-arms, authorities and witnesses said.

The attack immediately raised the specter of terrorism, with Canada already on heightened alert because of a deadly hit-and-run earlier in the week against two Canadian soldiers by a man who police say was fired up with radical Muslim fervor.

"Today is a sad and tragic day for our city and our country," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said. He said it was a tragedy with "origins as yet not fully known, causes not yet fully understood."

Officials identified the gunman as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, but gave no immediate details on his background. Canadian police would not speculate on a motive for the shootings.

Police said in the initial hours after the shootings that as many as two other gunmen may have taken part. But as the day wore on, the cordon around Parliament was eased, employees were allowed to go home, and it appeared increasingly likely that the attack was the work of one person.

Witnesses said the soldier posted at the National War Memorial, identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was gunned down at point-blank range just before 10 a.m. by a man carrying a rifle and dressed all in black, his face half-covered.

The gunman appeared to raise his arms in triumph, then entered Parliament, a few hundred yards away, where dozens of shots soon rang out, according to witnesses.

People fled the complex by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside and barricaded doors with chairs as police with rifles and body armor took up positions outside and cordoned off the normally bustling streets around Parliament.

On Twitter, Canada's justice minister and other government officials credited 58-year-old sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers with shooting the attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms. Vickers serves a largely ceremonial role at the House of Commons, carrying a scepter and wearing rich green robes, white gloves and a tall imperial hat.

At least two other people were reported hurt. They were listed in stable condition.

Around midday, Ottawa police spokesman Chuck Benoit said two or three gunmen were believed to be involved in the attacks. Gilles Michaud, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, called it a "dynamic, unfolding situation."

In Washington, President Barack Obama condemned the shootings as "outrageous" and said: "We have to remain vigilant." In a telephone call with the country's prime minister, he also offered U.S. help and reassurance to Canada, an ally in the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa was locked down as a precaution, and security was tightened at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington.

Tony Zobl said he witnessed the Canadian soldier being gunned down from his fourth-floor window directly above the National War Memorial, a 70-foot, arched granite cenotaph, or tomb, with bronze sculptures commemorating World War I.

"I looked out the window and saw a shooter, a man dressed all in black with a kerchief over his nose and mouth and something over his head as well, holding a rifle and shooting an honor guard in front of the cenotaph point-blank, twice," Zobl told the Canadian Press news agency. "The honor guard dropped to the ground, and the shooter kind of raised his arms in triumph holding the rifle."

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. had video of the gunman going to his car alone with his weapon after the shooting at the memorial. The car was later spotted parked in front of Parliament Hill, just down the block.

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside Parliament, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

"I'm safe locked in a office awaiting security," Kyle Seeback, another member of Parliament, tweeted.

The chief spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Harper was safe and had left Parliament Hill.

"I was just taking off my jacket to go into caucus. I hear this pop, pop, pop. Possibly 10 shots, don't really know. Thought it was dynamite or construction rather than anything else," said John McKay, a member of Parliament.

He said security guards then came rushing down the halls, herding them toward the back of the buildings.

"And then we started talking to another woman and she was apparently inside the library of Parliament, saw the fellow, wearing a hoodie, carrying a gun," McKay said, "and then the implications of this start to sink in."

The attack came two days after a recent convert to Islam killed one Canadian soldier and injured another with his car before being shot to death by police. The killer had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey.

Canada had raised its domestic terror threat level from low to medium Tuesday because of what it called "an increase in general chatter from radical Islamist organizations."

The Islamic State group has urged supporters to carry out attacks against Western countries, including Canada, that are fighting the militants in Iraq and Syria. Eight Canadian fighter jets left for the region on Tuesday.

After the shootings, officials canceled two events in Toronto honoring Pakistani teenager and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, including one in which she was supposed to receive honorary Canadian citizenship. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 for supporting schooling for girls.


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Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison http://www.wbrz.com/news/oscar-pistorius-sentenced-to-5-years-in-prison/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/oscar-pistorius-sentenced-to-5-years-in-prison/ International News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 5:51:02 AM Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison

PRETORIA, South Africa - Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius has be sentenced to a maximum of 5 years in prison for killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day 2013.

The judge in a South African court read the sentence today, also giving Pistorius a 3-year-suspended sentenced for a firearms violation.

The judge last month acquitted Pistorius of murder, but found him guilty of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, in repeatedly shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door.

Pistorius had argued that he fired the gun, thinking someone had broken into his home.


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British royal couple's second child due in April http://www.wbrz.com/news/british-royal-couple-s-second-child-due-in-april/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/british-royal-couple-s-second-child-due-in-april/ International News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 5:35:16 AM British royal couple's second child due in April

LONDON  - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed that their second baby is due in April - the first time they've offered a month for the royal birth.

Kensington Palace also said in a statement Monday that the duchess, who has been sidelined by a prolonged bout of severe morning sickness, continues to improve.

The former Kate Middleton and Prince William are scheduled to welcome Singapore President Tony Tan when he arrives on a four-day state visit this week. She is also expected to attend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 award ceremony.

The duchess canceled several engagements after her second pregnancy was announced in early September. She had acute morning sickness during the first trimester of her pregnancy with Prince George.


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Attacks in Iraqi capital kill at least 50 people http://www.wbrz.com/news/attacks-in-iraqi-capital-kill-at-least-50-people/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/attacks-in-iraqi-capital-kill-at-least-50-people/ International News Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:42:00 AM Attacks in Iraqi capital kill at least 50 people

BAGHDAD - Militants have unleashed a wave of attacks in Iraq, mainly targeting Shiite areas in and around the capital.

Officials say at least 50 people were killed and dozens more wounded.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the day's deadliest strike. Two parked car bombs exploded simultaneously in a commercial area of northern neighborhood of Baghdad, killing 14 civilians and wounding 34 others. Residents angered by the failure of government forces to protect the neighborhood threw stones at police checkpoints and police cars that arrived to respond to the blasts, prompting police to withdraw from the area.

Senior Iraqi officials have tried to reassure residents that the capital is too well-protected for militants to capture, but they've struggled to stop the near daily attacks.

Islamic State fighters say they have a foothold inside Baghdad and have claimed several large-scale bombings, particularly in Shiite districts.


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Hong Kong police clear protesters out of tunnel http://www.wbrz.com/news/hong-kong-police-clear-protesters-out-of-tunnel/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/hong-kong-police-clear-protesters-out-of-tunnel/ International News Tue, 14 Oct 2014 1:28:11 PM APNewsNow Hong Kong police clear protesters out of tunnel

HONG KONG - Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers have moved in to clear pro-democracy protesters out of a tunnel outside the city's government headquarters.

Officers, many of them in riot gear and wielding pepper spray, tore down barricades in and around the underpass early Wednesday.

The operation came hours after a large group of protesters blockaded the tunnel.

They outnumbered the police officers, who later returned with reinforcements to clear the area.

Local television broadcast live footage of the operation and its aftermath, with officers taking away dozens of protesters.

Democracy protesters have occupied key parts of the city for more than two weeks to pressure the government over curbs recommended by Beijing on democratic reforms.


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Catholic bishops take distance from gay document http://www.wbrz.com/news/catholic-bishops-take-distance-from-gay-document/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/catholic-bishops-take-distance-from-gay-document/ International News Tue, 14 Oct 2014 8:33:42 AM Catholic bishops take distance from gay document

VATICAN CITY - Conservative Catholic bishops are distancing themselves from a document showing an unprecedented opening toward gays and divorced people, saying it doesn't reflect their views and vowing to make changes to the final version.

The provisional document produced at the halfway point of a two-week meeting on family life said gays had gifts to offer the church and that their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided gay couples with "precious" support. It said the church must welcome divorced people and recognize the "positive" aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who cohabit.

Amid an outcry from conservatives, organizers of the synod insisted Tuesday that the document was merely a working paper that would be amended.


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Soldier gets Ebola but is not among peacekeepers http://www.wbrz.com/news/soldier-gets-ebola-but-is-not-among-peacekeepers/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/soldier-gets-ebola-but-is-not-among-peacekeepers/ International News Tue, 14 Oct 2014 8:15:40 AM APNewsNow Soldier gets Ebola but is not among peacekeepers

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - A Sierra Leone soldier has tested positive for Ebola but he is not a member of a battalion set to deploy to Somalia as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

The troops' mission will be to protect the Somali government and fight al-Shabab militants. Their deployment was put on hold this summer when an Ebola outbreak in West Africa spiraled out of control. The soldiers were isolated to allay concerns they might bring Ebola into Somalia. Their deployment suspension was lifted in recent days, an AU official in Somalia said.

Abdulai Bayraytay, a spokesman for the Sierra Leone government, told The Associated Press that the soldier with Ebola was not stationed at the peace mission training center in Hastings, 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Freetown, where the Somalia-bound troops have been kept in isolation.


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Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church http://www.wbrz.com/news/bishops-say-gays-have-gifts-to-offer-church/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/bishops-say-gays-have-gifts-to-offer-church/ International News Mon, 13 Oct 2014 3:17:51 PM Nicole Winfield Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church

VATICAN CITY - Catholic bishops signaled a radical shift in tone Monday about accepting gays into the church, saying they had gifts to offer and that their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided homosexual couples with "precious" support.

In a preliminary report, released half-way through a Vatican meeting on family life called by Pope Francis, the bishops also said the church must welcome divorcees and recognize the "positive" aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who cohabitate, as well as the children of these less traditional families.

While it does not change church doctrine, the tone of the report on a host of hot-button family issues such as marriage, divorce, homosexuality and birth control was one of almost-revolutionary acceptance and understanding rather than condemnation. It will guide a closed-door debate until a final document is issued Saturday.

Gay rights groups hailed what they called a "seismic shift" in the church's attitude toward gays.

"For the LGBT Catholics in the United States and around the world, this new document is a light in the darkness - a dramatic new tone from a church hierarchy that has long denied the very existence of committed and loving gay and lesbian partnerships," said Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, the biggest LGBT rights organization in the U.S.

Some conservative cardinals downplayed the report as insignificant or derided it as unacceptable, while conservative groups denounced it as heresy and a "betrayal" that will only serve to confuse Catholics.

"Confused, contradictory chaos in Rome," headlined the arch-conservative commentator Michael Voris.

Bishops clearly took into account the views of the pope, whose "Who am I to judge?" comment about gays signaled a new tone of welcome for the church. Their report also reflected the views of ordinary Catholics who, in responses to Vatican questionnaires in the run-up to the synod, rejected church teaching on birth control and homosexuality as outdated and irrelevant.

In a sign of the chasm that is apparently underway, Francis decided late Friday to add six progressives from four continents to the synod leadership to help prepare the final document after several conservatives were elected to leadership positions. None of Francis' appointees were Africans, who are traditionally among the most conservative on family issues.

"The drama continues," a wry Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, said of the debate.

The bishops said gays had "gifts and qualities" to offer and asked rhetorically if the church was ready to provide them a welcoming place, "accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony."

For a 2,000-year-old institution that teaches that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered," even posing the question was significant.

"This is a stunning change in the way the Catholic Church speaks of gay people," said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit author. "The Synod is clearly listening to the complex, real-life experiences of Catholics around the world, and seeking to address them with mercy, as Jesus did."

The bishops repeated that gay marriage was off the table. But it acknowledged that gay partnerships had merit.

"Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners," they said.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic gay rights group said that though the report repeats doctrine about gay marriage, "the move toward accepting and valuing the gifts of gay and lesbian people is a major step forward."

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, downplayed the significance of the report, saying it was merely a draft and did not represent any kind of "earthquake" in church teaching. "It's not the final word and we're going to have a lot to say about it," he said in an interview with the SiriusXM/Catholic Channel.

Indeed, Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Gadecki called the report "unacceptable" and a deviation from church teaching, according to an interview with Vatican Radio.

Conservative groups rejected the report as a "betrayal" and even heresy.

"What will Catholic parents now have to tell their children about contraception, cohabiting with partners or living homosexual lifestyles?" asked Maria Madise, coordinator of the Voice of the Family, which says it represents several pro-life and conservative groups. "Will those parents now have to tell their children that the Vatican teaches that there are positive and constructive aspects to these mortal sins? This approach destroys grace in souls."

The tradition-minded blog Rorate Caeli called the document "heresy, homoheresy."

In the report, bishops said the church must grasp the "positive reality of civil weddings" and even cohabitation, with the aim of helping the couple commit eventually to a church wedding.

They also called for a re-reading of the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which outlined the church's opposition to artificial birth control. The bishops said couples should be unconditionally open to having children, but that the message of Humanae Vitae "underlines the need to respect the dignity of the person in the moral evaluation of the methods of birth control."

There has been much talk inside the synod about applying the theological concept of the "law of gradualness" in difficult family situations, including over contraception. The concept encourages the faithful to take one step at a time in the search for holiness.

In matters of birth control, the concept amounts to a tacit acknowledgement that most Catholics already use artificial contraception in violation of church teaching. But applying the concept pastorally would encourage priests to meet these couples where they are, and then help them come to understand the full reasoning behind the ban and then adopt it themselves.

Bishops also called for "courageous" new ways to minister to families, especially those "damaged" by divorce. The document didn't take sides in the most divisive issue at the synod, whether Catholics who divorce and remarry without an annulment can receive Communion.

Church teaching holds that without an annulment, these Catholics are living in sin and thus ineligible to receive the sacraments.

The document said these Catholics deserve respect and should not be discriminated against, and then laid out the positions of both sides: those who want to maintain the status quo barring them from the sacraments, and those who favor a case-by-case approach, in which the couple undertakes a path of penance.

Pope Francis has called for a more merciful approach to these couples, but conservatives have insisted there is no getting around Jesus' words that marriage is indissoluble.

There have been suggestions that the conservatives were being sidelined, if not silenced, behind the synod walls given Francis' known position on the matter.

Asked about the perceived sidelining of conservatives at the synod, Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, said there had been "ample space" for people to speak their minds.

On other issues, the bishops said:

-The church must speed up and streamline the annulment process to make it "more accessible and flexible." Proposals include removing the automatic appeal for annulment cases and allowing an administrative rather than cumbersome judicial process, the bishops said.

-Divorced Catholics who remarry in civil unions must be treated with respect "avoiding any language or behavior that might make them feel discriminated against."

-Children of gays and divorcees require special pastoral care. "The church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given a priority."


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Dempsey: US used attack helicopters near Baghdad http://www.wbrz.com/news/dempsey-us-used-attack-helicopters-near-baghdad/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dempsey-us-used-attack-helicopters-near-baghdad/ International News Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:26:10 AM Dempsey: US used attack helicopters near Baghdad

WASHINGTON - The top U.S. military officer says the U.S. called in Apache helicopters to prevent Iraqi forces from being overrun by Islamic State militants in a recent fight near Baghdad's airport.

Gen. Martin Dempsey says the extremists were within about 15 miles and had they overrun the Iraqis, "it was a straight shot to the airport."

The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman also tells ABC's "This Week" that there could be circumstances in the future when a no-fly zone over Syria could be part of the military campaign.

Dempsey says there may come a time when he might recommend that American advisers accompany Iraqi troops against Islamic State targets. Dempsey thinks Mosul, in northern Iraq, could be the "decisive" battle in the ground campaign at some point.


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Despite demands, Syria no-fly zone a no-go for US http://www.wbrz.com/news/despite-demands-syria-no-fly-zone-a-no-go-for-us/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/despite-demands-syria-no-fly-zone-a-no-go-for-us/ International News Sat, 11 Oct 2014 11:27:11 AM BRADLEY KLAPPER Despite demands, Syria no-fly zone a no-go for US

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is boxed in by its promise to limit U.S. military engagement against Islamic State extremists, making it tough to agree to Turkey's condition for joining the fight in neighboring Syria.

Turkey and other U.S. allies want the U.S. to create a no-fly zone inside Syrian territory. Doing so would mean embracing one of two options President Barack Obama has long resisted: cooperating with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government or taking out its air defenses, action tantamount to war.

Airstrikes alone might not prevent Islamic militants from carrying out a massacre at a Kurdish border town, but for now the U.S. isn't steering a new course in its expanded, one-month counterterrorism effort in Iraq and Syria.


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Yousafzai, Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize http://www.wbrz.com/news/yousafzai-satyarthi-win-nobel-peace-prize/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/yousafzai-satyarthi-win-nobel-peace-prize/ International News Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:30:14 AM Yousafzai, Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO, Norway - News of today's Nobel Peace Prize winners has set off celebrations on the streets of Mingora, the main town in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is honoring 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

Malala is the youngest-ever Nobel winner. A Taliban gunman shot her two years ago for insisting that girls as well as boys have the right to an education.

The 60-year-old Satyarthi has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, "focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the Nobel committee said.


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Suicide attacker kills 3 in southwestern Pakistan http://www.wbrz.com/news/suicide-attacker-kills-3-in-southwestern-pakistan/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/suicide-attacker-kills-3-in-southwestern-pakistan/ International News Sat, 4 Oct 2014 10:15:19 AM Suicide attacker kills 3 in southwestern Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan - A police officer says a suicide attacker has blown himself up in a Shiite neighborhood in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 3 people and wounding 17.

Police chief Abdur Razzak Cheema says the bomber struck on Saturday in the Hazara Town neighborhood in the city of Quetta.

Cheema says the bomber was approaching the local market when police stopped him at a checkpoint. At that point, he detonated his explosives.

Cheema says a woman was among the three killed, and two women and four children were among the wounded.

The neighborhood and its surroundings are dominated by minority Shiites and have seen bombings and suicide attacks in the past.

Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, where the al-Qaeda-linked Lashker Jhangvi group operates, along with Baluch separatist and nationalist groups.


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US: Militants use beheadings to make up for losses http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-militants-use-beheadings-to-make-up-for-losses/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/us-militants-use-beheadings-to-make-up-for-losses/ International News Sat, 4 Oct 2014 8:57:41 AM LARA JAKES US: Militants use beheadings to make up for losses

WASHINGTON - U.S. officials say the Islamic State group is using images of beheadings to maintain its edge in a propaganda war even as it suffers losses on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.

Within days of U.S. airstrikes in August, militants released a video of the beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley.

The pattern continued through the next month.

Days after a military defeat, the extremists would release new videos of more beheadings of Western journalists, aid workers and Muslim soldiers.

On Friday, the Islamic State group released a new video showing the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning. The video was released after nearly two straight weeks of daily airstrikes against the group's fighters.


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