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The Roman Catholic cardinal-archbishop of Lyon said on Thursday he had suspended four priests accused of paedophile activities and said their cases were known to French judicial authorities. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said in a statement that the four had been working in the Lyon region in central France but gave no further details about them. The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked in the past two decades by sexual abuse scandals involving its priests in a number of countries worldwide, including France.
The hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic has begun to shrink, signaling good news for the environment several decades after an international accord to phase out certain pollutants, researchers said Thursday. The study found that the September ozone hole has shrunk by 1.5 million square miles (four million square kilometers) since 2000 -- an area about the size of India. The ozone hole was first discovered in the 1950s.
The United States on Thursday blacklisted eight more countries for failing to combat human trafficking, including fledgling democracy Myanmar, but was criticized for taking an easier line on Thailand. Announcing the release of the State Department's annual human trafficking report, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the rankings were based on objective criteria, and not political favor.