Pope Francis has named three women, two nuns and a lay woman, to a previously all-male committee that advises him in selecting the world's bishops, the Vatican said on Wednesday.

He had disclosed the decision in an exclusive interview with Reuters earlier this month, explaining

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives on Wednesday, driven out after an economic collapse unleashed a popular uprising that appeared to end his family's near two-decade dominance of the country.

His decision to leave his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in

Updated: 10.30am (AEST)
Istanbul, Turkey/United Nations, New York

Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey hailed progress at talks in Istanbul that aim to resume Black Sea grain exports blocked by Russia and ease the risk of starvation faced by millions, but an end to the war

Beijing, China

Several Chinese cities broke new records for high temperatures on Tuesday as scorching heat and contrasting relentless rains wreaked havoc, with local forecasters expecting the weather extremes to linger for days.

Red alerts, the highest in a three-tier warning system, were dispersed throughout the

United Nations

The United Nations Security Council voted on Tuesday to allow UN aid deliveries from Turkey to some four million people in northwest Syria to continue until 10th January, reaching a deal on its third attempt after the mandate for the operation expired.

The United States,


Sri Lanka's economic crisis looks to have finally toppled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 

Rajapaksa fled the country early on Wednesday, likely headed to the Maldives, hours before he was to have left office.

Demonstrators celebrate after entering into the Presidential Secretariat, after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Updated: 3:15pm (AEST)
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country early on Wednesday, two sources told Reuters, hours before he was due to step down amid widespread protests over his handling of a devastating economic crisis.

Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards left

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Gun battles between rival Haitian gangs near the capital Port-au-Prince have left thousands trapped in a small coastal town without access to water, food or medical care, a local pastor and a foreign aid group said on Tuesday. 

More than 50 people have been

Nicosia, Cyprus

A 500-year-old Orthodox icon that was looted from a church in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus has been returned to the island.

The icon of the Enthroned Christ, which Cyprus’ Antiquities Department dates to around the end of the 15th century to

Washington DC, US

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday called migration a shared "hemispheric challenge" in a meeting with Mexico's leader, his latest effort to recast illegal immigration as a regional responsibility as he faces political attacks from Republicans over his handling of the border.

The two

Bad Neuenahr, Germany

Standing in what was once his home, Erich Braun-von der Heiden stretches out his arm and points up to an attic floor where waters reached last year as catastrophic floods tore through communities in western Germany. 

In the aftermath of the country's worst

Rome, Italy

Pope Francis said he would not live in the Vatican or return to his native Argentina if and when he ever retires, but would instead like to find a church in Rome where he could continue hearing confessions.

“I’m the bishop of Rome, in this

Greenbelt, Maryland, US

NASA on Tuesday drew back the curtain on billions of years of cosmic evolution with the inaugural batch of photos from the largest, most powerful observatory ever launched to space, saying the luminous imagery showed the telescope exceeds expectations.

The first full-colour, high-resolution


Venezuelan refugee women face rising gender-based violence in Peru and Colombia, as governments are not guaranteeing their "right to a life free of violence," Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday. 

Since Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013, more than six million Venezuelans have

Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukraine said on Tuesday it had carried out a long-range rocket strike against Russian forces and military equipment in southern Ukraine, territory it says it is planning to retake in a counter-offensive using hundreds of thousands of troops.

The strike hit an ammunition dump in

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