{FD} Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

An Australian inquiry into child abuse has recommended that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and clarify the extent that the seal of the confession applies to evidence of child abuse.

{FD} Japan imposes new sanctions on North Korea

Japan has announced it is freezing the assets of 19 companies to step up pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development.

{FD} Venezuelan first lady’s nephews sentenced to prison on drug charges

Two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady were sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison for drug conspiracy convictions by a judge who said their ineptness at their criminal craft and otherwise crimeless background earned them leniency.

{FD} Peru’s president faces calls to resign over murky payments

Opponents of Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski are calling on him to resign over payments he received a decade ago from a Brazilian construction company at the center of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal.

{FD} Long Island woman laundered money to ISIS through Bitcoin, prosecutors say

A Long Island woman was indicted Thursday after she allegedly laundered more than $85,000 through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies overseas to the Islamic State.

{FD} UN Security Council warns on South Sudan peace efforts

The U.N. Security Council is warning of “costs or consequences” for South Sudan’s government and opposition groups if they undermine upcoming efforts to achieve a cease-fire and implement a 2015 peace agreement.

{FD} Dutch police: 2 dead in stabbings in southern city

Police in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht say two people have died and a number of people have been wounded in two stabbing incidents.

{FD} EU distances itself from Trump with comment on Jerusalem

A European Union leader says leaders of the 28-nation bloc have reiterated their “firm commitment” to a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, in what amounts to a rebuke of President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

{FD} Mexican front-runner sets cabinet ahead of presidential vote

Front-running presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador presented his proposed cabinet if he wins Mexico’s July 1 elections.

{FD} Mexico ups benchmark lending rate ¼-point to 7.25 percent

Mexico’s central bank is raising its benchmark interest rate a quarter point to 7.25 percent to try to rein in inflation that continues to outpace targets.

{FD} EU extends sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

The European Union has extended sanctions against Russia because of the stalled peace process in Ukraine.

{FD} Clashes break out as Argentines protest pension reform

Argentine police clashed Thursday with demonstrators protesting reforms to the retirement and pension system.

{FD} Holocaust survivors worldwide celebrate Hanukkah

Hundreds of Holocaust survivors are taking part in the third candle lighting of Hanukkah in Berlin, Jerusalem and New York — part of a tribute to survivors worldwide that’s being organized by the Jewish Claims Conference.

{FD} School bus hit by train in southern France, at least 4 students dead

At least four school children were killed in southern France on Thursday after a train and bus collided, French media reported.

{FD} Kim Jong Un’s top aide executed by North Korean death squad, reports suggest

A key member of Kim Jong Un’s inner circle touted as a powerful military figure mysteriously vanished from public life recently, sparking rumors he was executed by a North Korean death squad after allegations of bribery, recent reports indicated.

{FD} The Latest: French Prime minister heads to crash site

The Latest on a collision between a train and a school bus in southern France (all times local): 6:30 p.m. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne are traveling to the site of a collision between a train and a school bus in southern France.

{FD} Nigeria governors approve $1 billion to fight Boko Haram

A Nigerian governor says 36 state leaders have approved the transfer of $1 billion to the federal government to fight the deadly Boko Haram insurgency.

{FD} Polish officials says Putin responsible for 2010 plane crash

Poland’s defense minister says a plane crash that killed the nation’s president in 2010 in Russia was preceded by two explosions on board, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to “take responsibility for what happened.”

{FD} Hunger at the doors of Damascus, as government blocks aid

At the doors of the Syrian capital, children with wrinkled faces and arms like sticks are going hungry because President Bashar Assad’s forces, supported by Russia and Iran, are blocking trucks filled with humanitarian relief.

{FD} French authorities say a school bus and train have collided

French authorities say there has been a “serious rail accident” in southern France involving a school bus and a regional train.