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Cardinal must leave Scotland

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican on Wednesday ordered a disgraced Scottish cardinal to leave Scotland for several months to pray and atone for sexual misconduct, issuing a rare public sanction against a "prince of the church" and the first such punishment meted out by Pope Francis.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien resigned as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and recused himself from the March conclave that elected Francis pope after a newspaper reported unnamed priests' allegations that he acted inappropriately toward them.

O'Brien subsequently acknowledged he had engaged in unspecified sexual misbehavior. He apologized and promised to stay out of the church's public life.

On Wednesday, the Vatican said O'Brien, once Britain's highest-ranking Catholic leader, would leave Scotland for several months of "spiritual renewal, prayer and penance." - AP

Refugees defy storm warning

SITTWE, Myanmar - A massive evacuation to clear low-lying camps ahead of a cyclone has run into a snag: Many members of the displaced Rohingya minority living there have refused to leave because they don't trust authorities.

About 140,000 people - mostly Rohingya - have been living in makeshift shelters in Rakhine state since last year, when two outbreaks of sectarian violence between the Muslim minority and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists forced many Rohingya from their homes. Nearly half of those displaced are in coastal areas considered highly vulnerable to Cyclone Mahasen, which is expected to make landfall early Friday.

Outside the state capital of Sittwe on Wednesday, one community of several hundred Rohingya refused to budge, despite coaxing from soldiers. "When we told them the storm was coming, they didn't believe us," said army Lt. Lin Lin. "They're still refusing to move." - AP

Bombs kill 33 across Iraq

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded near a bus station in Baghdad's main Shiite district Wednesday, the deadliest in a series of explosions that killed at least 33 people nationwide, officials said.

The bloodshed came amid growing tensions between the Shiite-led government and minority Sunnis following a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in the country's north.

An increase attacks against Sunni mosques has fed concerns about a return to retaliatory warfare. - AP


A 12-year-old Russian boy was stabbed nearly two dozen times while on vacation on the island of Crete, allegedly by a Dutchman working as an entertainer at the child's hotel, Greek authorities said. The boy was airlifted to Athens and hospitalized in serious condition Wednesday.