• FILE -- In this August 22, file photo, a Lebanese activist holds a poster with pictures of Lebanese Cabinet ministers during a protest against the ongoing trash crisis, in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. To the casual visitor, Lebanon may look like a relative success story: a tiny slice of modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism _ but the reality is quite different. For residents, it’s a failed state  eaten away by a sectarian political class, and while recent trash protests have challenged that system, others argue it’s what’s allowed a country of 4.5 million people from 18 recognized sects to survive. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

    Lebanon: Shiny on the outside, rotting from the inside

    BEIRUT (AP) — To the casual visitor, Lebanon may seem like a tiny slice of Mediterranean modernity and coexistence in a turbulent region plagued by violence and extremism.

  • This March 15, 2013 file photo shows Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Vatican says Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who has been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, was found dead in his Vatican room early Friday: the Vatican prosecutor ordered an immediate autopsy. (AP Photo/Manuel Diaz, File)

    Vatican says ex-envoy, charged with sexual abuse, has died

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who had been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, died Friday of apparent natural causes as he awaited trial, the Vatican said.

  • Mormons keep affiliation with Boy Scouts despite gay leaders

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church — the nation’s largest sponsor of Boy Scout units — is keeping its longtime affiliation with the organization despite its decision to allow gay troop leaders.

  • FIn this Sept. 18, 2007 file photo, the flags of member nations fly outside of the United Nations headquarters. In a move likely to upset Israel's government, the Palestinians and the Vatican are seeking to raise their flags at the U.N., just in time for Pope Francis' visit in September 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

    Palestinians, Vatican could raise UN flags before pope visit

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In a move likely to upset Israel’s government, the Palestinians are seeking to raise their flag, along with the Vatican flag, at U.N. headquarters — just in time for Pope Francis’ visit next month.

  • This undated file photo released Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 on a social media site used by Islamic State militants, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows smoke from the detonation of the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra. The nearly 2,000-year-old temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra this week was the latest victim in the Islamic State group’s campaign of destruction of historic sites across the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria. Arabic at bottom reads, "The moment of detonation of the pagan Baalshamin temple in the city of Palmyra." (Islamic State social media account via AP, File)

    In Islamic State war, like others, heritage always a target

    CAIRO (AP) — A nearly 2,000-year-old temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra this week was the latest victim in the Islamic State group’s campaign of destruction of historic sites across the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.

  • Mary Sisti, a vetted volunteer for next month's visit to Philadelphia by Pope Francis, poses for a photo near her home Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Princeton, N.J. About 10,000 volunteers will be on the ground in Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families and papal visit. And every one of those unpaid aides will have undergone a criminal and professional background check at a cost of $28 each. Sisti paid the full cost of her background check, noting that the $28 fee “was the least I could do. It’s a small contribution and being put to good use for my own purposes.” (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    10K volunteers to help with papal visit to Philadelphia

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An army of about 10,000 volunteers will be on hand when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia during the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families and holds the biggest events of his first trip to the U.S.