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Attorneys for the federal government have opposed Dylann Roof's request for a new appellate hearing, arguing that the South Carolina man was properly convicted and sentenced for the 2015 racist slayings of nine members of a Black congregation.

FALLS CHURCH. Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia school system said it is removing two books from school libraries, including an illustrated memoir that contains explicit illustrations of sexual encounters involving children, after a parent expressed concern about them at a school board meeting.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Two of the world’s most important art museums, the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi Galleries, joined forces for the first time on Friday to inaugurate a small exhibit of rarely seen works by two Renaissance masters that confirmed a painting long suspected of being by Raphael was indeed his work.

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ROME (AP) — Tiny San Marino is one of the last countries in Europe which forbids abortion in any circumstance — a ban that dates from 1865. On Sunday, its citizens can vote in a referendum calling for abortion to be made legal in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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Washington National Cathedral announced Thursday it has chosen contemporary artist Kerry James Marshall, renowned for his wide-ranging works depicting African American life, to design new stained-glass windows with themes of racial justice that will replace a set with Confederate imagery that were removed in 2017.

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BANGKOK (AP) — A Baptist pastor and three other men were killed and a town of 2,000 homes all but abandoned this past weekend in fighting in Myanmar’s western Chin State that escalated after a call for a nationwide uprising against the country’s military government, a resident said Thursday.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Amid the Boy Scouts of America’s complex bankruptcy case, there is worsening friction between the BSA and the major religious groups that help it run thousands of scout units. At issue: the churches’ fears that an eventual settlement — while protecting the BSA from future sex-abuse lawsuits — could leave many churches unprotected.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state law preventing anyone from moving a Confederate monument or changing the historical name of a street or building without the Legislature's permission is legal.

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — A top Southern Baptist Convention committee agreed Tuesday to fund a third-party investigation into its handling of sexual abuse allegations but held off on waiving its attorney-client privilege for the probe, delaying for the future a decision seen as a key demand of the thousands of Southern Baptists who set the review in motion.

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