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Nigerian kidnappings a sign of Boko Haram expansion, say experts

Lagos - Nigeria's dreaded Boko Haram has sounded a grim warning in claiming responsibility for a mass kidnapping in the country's northwest, analysts say.Hundreds of students were seized by gunmen last Friday from a school in Katsina state.

Surgeon jailed in France's massive paedophile case

Saintes - A retired French surgeon has been sentenced to 15 years in jail at the end of his closed-doors trial for the rape and sexual abuse of four children in the first part of France's biggest ever paedophilia case.

French hotline for Church sex abuse received 6,500 calls

Lourdes - An independent commission set up by the Catholic Church in France to investigate claims of sex abuse by priests said Wednesday it had received 6,500 calls in 17 months from alleged victims and witnesses.

How contagious are kids with Covid? Short answer: we don't know

Paris - Are children a major source of contagion for Covid-19? Ten months into a pandemic that has claimed 1.2 million lives experts are still divided on the question, even as governments must decide whether to keep classrooms open or shut.

#CancelNetflix campaign heats up over 'Mignonnes'

New York - Thousands of people launched a call to boycott Netflix on Thursday over the French film "Mignonnes," angry that its young stars were portrayed in a sexualized way.

French schoolgirl raped, murdered by serial killer, ex-wife says

Paris - The former wife of a convicted French serial killer has said he kidnapped, raped and killed a schoolgirl who disappeared 17 years ago, her lawyer said on Friday, renewing hopes of finding a body in one of France's most notorious unsolved cases.

Thunberg donates $100,000 to support children during pandemic

New York - Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has donated a $100,000 prize she won from a Danish foundation to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for use against the COVID-19 pandemic, the world body said Thursday.

French priest gets 5-year jail term for sex assault of boy scouts

Lyon - A defrocked Catholic priest was given a five-year jail term Monday for sexually abusing boy scouts in his care several decades ago, a case that roiled the French Church over claims he was shielded from prosecution by his superiors.

Cancer drug shortages leave Mexican kids fighting for life

Mexico - Five-year-old Dhana Rivas is fighting for her life on two fronts, fending off the acute lymphoblastic leukemia eating away at her frail body while her family simultaneously battles the shortage of cancer drugs plaguing Mexico.

Belgian king makes rare speech by monarch to UN Security Council

New York - Belgium's King Philippe addressed the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday, making a rare appearance by a sovereign and calling for better protection of children in conflict zones.

French priest accused of sex abuse tells trial he had been abused

Lyon - A defrocked French Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing dozens of boy scouts decades ago told his trial on Wednesday that he himself had suffered similar assaults in his youth, in an unexpected twist to his defence.

Children of Colombia's peace growing up among landmines

El Paujil - The children in the school playground are the kids of former guerrillas, born during the peace process that allowed their parents to finally lay down their arms.

Boy or girl? US parents go too far in gender reveals

Washington - A plane crash in Texas, a deadly explosion in Iowa, a massive fire in Arizona -- elaborate baby gender reveal parties, a growing trend among parents in the US, have taken a nightmarish turn."It's a girl!

French bishops approve payouts for sex abuse victims

Lourdes - French bishops on Saturday approved a programme of payouts to victims of sex abuse by priests -- but survivors have already objected that the Church has not gone far enough in admitting responsibility.

French bishops approve payouts for sex abuse victims

Lourdes - French bishops on Saturday approved a programme of payouts to victims of sex abuse by priests -- but survivors have already objected that the Church has not gone far enough in admitting responsibility.

Belgians protest any early release for child killer Dutroux

Apo - Several hundred people demonstrated in Brussels on Sunday against any early release for notorious child-killer Marc Dutroux, days after prosecutors considered his case.

Children of Venezuelan exodus trade one ordeal for another in Colombia

Apo - Stateless baby Wilbelys officially "doesn't exist," Arianna is a six-year-old who's moved home seven times, Jazmin is missing school -- the children of the Venezuelan exodus are trading one ordeal for another in neighboring Colombia.

Families sue French foreign minister over children stuck in Syria

Paris - The families of several children and wives of French jihadist fighters in Syria have filed lawsuits against France's top diplomat over his refusal to let them come to France, lawyers said Monday.

Spanish 'stolen baby' activist learns mother gave her up voluntarily

Madrid - The first woman recognised by Spanish courts as one of the "stolen babies" of the Franco dictatorship has found her biological family who told her she had in fact been given up voluntarily for adoption by her mother, public prosecutors said Thursday.

French mother gets 20 years jail for murdering 5 of her children

Colmar - A French court on Thursday jailed for 20 years a woman who killed five of her children right after they were born, a crime that was only solved over a decade after the corpses were discovered.

Rights group calls on Senegal to tackle Koranic school abuses

Dakar - Children studying in Senegal's Koranic schools face "alarming rates" of abuse, including rape, neglect and imprisonment, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, urging the government to reform the still-unregulated religious institutions.

Commission into French church sex abuse claims opens

Paris - An independent commission set up by the French Catholic Church to look at allegations of sexual abuse by clerics begins its work on Monday by launching an appeal for witness statements.

Mormons allow baptism for children of same-sex couples

Los Angeles - The Mormon Church on Thursday announced it would now allow the children of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents to be baptized, regardless of whether the parents are members.

Thousands march in Italy against anti-gay, anti-abortion group

Verona - Tens of thousands of people marched in the northern Italian city of Verona Saturday to protest a meeting of the anti-gay, anti-abortion US-based World Congress of Families.

Convicted French cardinal expected to resign at meeting with pope

Vatican City - Pope Francis met Monday with Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, France's highest-ranking Catholic official, who was expected to tender his resignation after receiving a six-month suspended jail sentence for failing to report sex abuse by a priest under his au...

How abused boy scouts made the French church tremble

Lyon - The conviction of the archbishop of Lyon for covering up paedophilia in his diocese is a victory for victim and campaigner Francois Devaux, whose dogged efforts to publicise the abuse have made him a hero -- and a reluctant cinema star.

French cardinal convicted over sex abuse cover-up

Lyon - The archbishop of Lyon Thursday announced he was resigning just hours after being handed a six-month suspended jail sentence for failing to report sex abuse in a case that has rocked the French Catholic Church and added to the Vatican's woes.

French court to rule on cardinal accused of sex abuse cover-up

Lyon - A French court on Thursday will deliver its verdict in the case of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, accused of covering up sexual abuse of minors by one of his priests.

Spanish well tragedy toddler buried

Madrid - A Spanish toddler found dead at the bottom of a deep well after a massive rescue operation was on Sunday buried next to his brother.

Prosecutor presents no charges, but trial of French cardinal still on

Lyon - A state prosecutor on Wednesday declined to press charges against a French cardinal accused of covering up sex abuse of minors by a priest in his diocese, but the court case rolled on.
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