Doctor says he told church about priest
The German archdiocese led by the future Pope Benedict XVI ignored repeated warnings in the early 1980s by a psychiatrist treating a priest accused of sexually abusing boys that he should not be allowed to work with children, the psychiatrist said Thursday. "I said, 'For God's sake, he desperately has to be kept away from working with children,' " the psychiatrist, Dr. Werner Huth, said in a telephone interview from Munich. Huth said he issued the explicit warnings about the Rev. Peter Hullermann —both written and oral — before the future pope, then Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich and Freising, left Germany for a position in the Vatican in 1982.
Gaza City, Gaza Strip
Rocket kills Thai worker in Israel
A Thai agricultural worker in Israel was killed Thursday by a rocket fired from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory of Gaza, soon after the arrival there of the European Union's top foreign policy official. The EU representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, is the bloc's most senior official to visit Gaza since Hamas took power in 2007.
U.S. envoy's visit may bring a thaw
The Obama administration's special representative to the Middle East, George Mitchell, is expected to meet Israeli leaders in Jerusalem on Sunday, according to Israeli officials, a development that would indicate a possible thawing of the bitter dispute over Israeli residential construction in contested East Jerusalem. But a U.S. official said Thursday that Mitchell's trip was "not locked in yet." The administration was expecting to hear back from the Israeli prime minister first.
Report: China used weak vaccines
An article by one of China's best-known investigative reporters has reawakened a controversy over whether provincial authorities improperly stored vaccines in rooms without air-conditioning, rendering them ineffective, and then let them be administered to children. China's Health Ministry said Thursday that it would look into the report, by Wang Keqin in the China Economic Times.
Maliki keeps lead in election count
The Iraqi prime minister's coalition has kept an edge of almost 40,000 votes over his secular rival in the latest release of preliminary results from the March 7 parliamentary elections. The latest tally shows Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki locked in a very tight race with former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. The partial results, released on Thursday by Iraq's election commission, were based on 89 percent of ballots counted. Maliki is winning in seven of Iraq's 18 provinces, while Allawi leads in five.
Reports: Finance chief executed
North Korea has executed its top financial official as it struggles to contain chaos set off by its botched attempt to halt inflation through a radical currency revaluation, according to news reports Thursday in South Korea. Pak Nam Gi, who was fired earlier this year from his post as Workers' Party head of finance and planning, was shot in Pyongyang for intentionally harming the country's economy, Yonhap News reported.