Wellington, New Zealand
Reuters

New Zealand on Monday confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the community in months in a 56-year-old woman, but said close contacts of the recently returned traveller had so far tested negative.

The woman, who returned to New Zealand on 30th December, had

Jerusalem, Israel
AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly all flights, while Israeli police clashed with ultra-Orthodox protesters in several major cities and the government raced to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control.

The entry of highly

London, UK
Thomson Reuters Foundation

As countries around the world roll out mass COVID-19 vaccination programmes, large public spaces from ice rinks to cathedrals are being repurposed as makeshift inoculation hubs.

Here are eight of the more usual venues being used to host vaccination facilities:

1. A cathedral:

A 1,500-year-old inscription which speaks of 'Christ born of Mary' has been unearthed in Israel.

The Israel Antiquities Authority, which reported the find last week, said the inscription - which is written in Greek and has been partially destroyed - once formed part of a church in what is now

RNS

Fantasy novel enthusiasts wish to turn the house of famed Catholic author JRR Tolkien in Oxford, where he wrote The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit , into a meeting place for writers, screenwriters and filmmakers from all cultures and faith backgrounds.

In 1930, Tolkien moved into

Reno, Nevada, US
AP

A rural Nevada church wants the US Supreme Court to weigh in on a legal battle over the government's authority to limit the size of religious gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic even after the church won an appeals court ruling that found Nevada’s restrictions

Mexico City, Mexico
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Investigations into human trafficking in Mexico stagnated in 2020 after two years of sharp growth, with activists saying that authorities had struggled to adapt as the crime evolved and recruitment shifted online during the coronavirus pandemic.

State authorities launched 551 trafficking cases

Vatican City
AP

Ailing Pope Francis, who this week is making limited public appearances due to persistent pain, has drawn attention to the plight of homeless people in winter, including a Nigerian man who froze to death near the Vatican. 

Francis on Sunday asked for prayers for

Washington DC, US
AP

President Joe Biden attended Mass for the first time since taking office, worshipping Sunday at the church he frequented when he was Vice President.

Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, picked Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington's Georgetown neighbourhood, a few kilometres from the

Rome, Italy
AP

The French doctor who discovered the genetic basis of Down syndrome but spent his career advocating against abortion as a result of prenatal diagnosis has taken his first major step to possible sainthood. 

Pope Francis on Thursday approved the “heroic virtues” of Dr Jerome Lejeune,

Pune, India
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Jyoti Bhambure is usually the one dispensing medicine - last week she was at the receiving end, among the first in India's million-strong force of women health workers to win a COVID-19 vaccine.

Dressed in a bright green sari with a gold border,

RNS

Rev Ed Litton, an Alabama pastor known for his work on racial reconciliation, will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention this summer.

Litton enters an increasingly crowded field for SBC president, joining Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler, Georgia pastor Mike Stone and

Vatican City
AP

Pope Francis is once again canceling public appearances due to nerve pain. 

Francis will not participate in three events over the coming days “due to a recurrence of sciatica,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement on Saturday. 

The 84-year-old pope will go ahead

Pittsburgh
AP

The son of a couple killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue attack that killed 11 worshippers is suing the National Rifle Association, arguing the group’s inflammatory rhetoric led to the violence.

Marc Simon, the son of Sylvan and Bernice Simon, filed the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday in

London, UK
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Britain's anti-labour exploitation agency is ramping up investigations into worker abuses and uncovering more suspected victims of modern slavery, but few are choosing to receive support from the government, a report showed on Thursday.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority - which has

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