European court rejects case seeking to blame Vatican for abuse

ROME — A European court agreed Tuesday that the Vatican couldn’t be sued in a local court for sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, affirming that it enjoys sovereign immunity and that the misconduct of priests and their superiors can’t be attributed to the Holy See.

The European Court of Human Rights dismissed a case brought by two dozen people who said they were victims of abusive priests in Belgium. The 24 had argued the Holy See was liable because of the “structurally deficient” way the Catholic hierarchy had handled cases of priests who raped and molested children, covering up the crimes rather than reporting them.

The plaintiffs appealed to the Strasbourg-based court after Belgian courts ruled they had no jurisdiction given the Holy See’s immunity as a sovereign state.

Russia to U.S.: Roll back diplomatic sanctions

MOSCOW — Russia offered the U.S. on Tuesday to roll back several rounds of sanctions that have hampered the activities of their diplomatic missions, and they agreed to hold another round of talks to discuss a resolution to their diplomatic tug-of-war.

The Russian proposal was made during the talks between Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Nuland arrived in Moscow on Monday on a three-day visit for talks that the U.S. State Department said would touch on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

The U.S. Embassy tweeted Nuland’s description of her meetings as “constructive” but didn’t give any details.

Kim Jong Un eyes ‘invincible military’

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed powerful missiles developed to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland, as he vowed to build an “invincible” military to cope with what he called persistent U.S. hostility, state media reported Tuesday.

In an apparent continued effort to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, Kim also used his speech at a rare exhibition of weapons systems Monday to stress that his military might isn’t targeted at South Korea and that there shouldn’t be another war pitting Korean people against each other.

“The U.S. has frequently signaled it’s not hostile to our state, but there is no action-based evidence to make us believe that they are not hostile,” Kim said Monday.

Storm kills at least 11 in northern Philippines

BAGUIO, Philippines — A tropical storm set off landslides and flash floods as it barreled over the tip of the northern Philippines, leaving at least 11 people dead and seven missing, officials said Tuesday.

More than 6,500 villagers were evacuated from homes in several towns and cities swamped by floods and battered by pounding rains and wind that toppled trees and knocked down power.

15 people escape from Boko Haram captivity

LAGOS, Nigeria — Six women and nine children abducted by Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist rebels in the country’s troubled northeast have escaped after months in captivity, according to a Borno state official.

The 15 former hostages met with Borno Governor Babagana Zulum in the state’s capital, Maiduguri.

EU vows $1.15 billion in aid for Afghan people

ROME — The European Union pledged $1.15 billion in support for the Afghan people, and the Group of 20 countries vowed to accelerate aid Tuesday amid concerns that an already precarious humanitarian and financial situation will grow catastrophic over the winter.

G-20 leaders demanded at a virtual summit hosted by Italy that the Taliban government allow humanitarian access across Afghanistan, keep Kabul Airport and the country’s borders open and ensure security for U.N., humanitarian and diplomatic staff.

They also repeated previous demands that women’s rights be respected.

BEIJING — Chinese authorities said Tuesday that 14 people died after a bus plunged into a rushing river during heavy flooding that has caused 15 other fatalities in the north.

State broadcaster CCTV said another 37 people from the bus had been rescued and seven were hospitalized. The driver was in custody.

KATHMANDU, Nepal — At least 28 people died on Tuesday in western Nepal after the bus they were on skidded off a mountain road and fell hundreds of yards into a gorge, authorities said.

The accident in the remote and rugged Mugu district also left at least 15 injured, local administrator Rom Bahadur Mahat said.

The Associated Press

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