Salacious new book says homosexuality is rampant at the Vatican

(CNN)Early in his salacious new book about homosexuality in the Vatican, the French journalist Frederic Martel asks a source to estimate the number of Vatican clergy who are “part of this community, all tendencies included.” While there has been no shortage of sexual scandals in the Catholic Church, mostly concerning the abuse of children, there are no reliable studies on the number of gay Catholics in the priesthood, mostly because church leaders won’t allow them. In that sense, Martel’s book could have provided valuable insights. He says he talked to 1,500 sources, including 41 cardinals, 52 bishops and 45 current and former Vatican ambassadors, or nuncios, during his four years of reporting the book. But is that 80% figure really …

‘This fight is madness’: Macron-Salvini spat threatens to boil over

Paris (CNN)After months of simmering tensions between Rome and Paris, the battle for the soul of Europe just got a lot uglier. On Thursday, France recalled its ambassador to Rome for the first time since 1940, when fascist leader Benito Mussolini declared war. This time the French foreign ministry blamed a war of words — “the repeated accusations, baseless attacks and outlandish claims” of Italy’s populist government. The diplomatic row now threatens to spill over into the world of art. Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy — long a source of friction between Italy, where the renaissance master spent most of his life, and France, where he sought refuge and died — is now being fought over all the more viciously. The …

The Feds are spending $48 million to move his village. But he doesn’t want to go.

Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana (CNN)The plans are grand — a brand new community with homes, baseball fields, fishing ponds, a meeting hall and a solar farm to generate electricity to sell. The land used to be sugarcane fields, but now it will be a “hugely important pioneer project,” says Pat Forbes, executive director of Louisiana’s Office of Community Development. The people of Isle de Jean Charles will not be the last to have to move because of climate change. Because it’s the first government project of its kind, it will be more expensive but it also offers opportunities, Forbes says. “One of the main objectives is to enhance the culture that the community once had and help them have …

Inside the illegal world of dogfighting

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA BBC undercover investigation revealed an international dogfighting network. Warning: Contains distressing scenes of animal cruelty A BBC investigation into the dark world of organised dogfighting discovered an illegal trade of fighting dogs stretching from Eastern Europe to Wales. The fighters face each other, ready. One rushes forward into a clash of jaws. The ground is already flecked with blood. The lighter one is winning, locked onto its opponent. The black one has lost the ability to fight back. Now, it simply fights for survival. Eventually it attempts to walk, but collapses, legs giving way, head hitting the ground. The fight is over. It dies the next day. In 2016 the BBC …

Author Rosamunde Pilcher dies at 94

Her first novel as Rosamunde Pilcher, A Secret to Tell, was published in 1955. The Shell Seekers, considered one of her most famous works, was published in 1988. It centres on Penelope Keeling, an elderly British woman who reflects on her life and her relationships with her adult children. The book won her international recognition, becoming one of her biggest successes and selling more than five million copies worldwide. Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

Online news sites ‘should be regulated’

Last local paper closes, so ring MP for news Amol Rajan’s media predictions for 2019 The independent review, undertaken by former journalist Dame Frances Cairncross, was tasked with investigating the sustainability of high-quality journalism. Its recommendations include measures to tackle “the uneven balance of power” between news publishers and online platforms that distribute their content. Services like Facebook, Google and Apple should continue their attempts to help readers understand how reliable a story is, and the process that decides which stories are shown should be more transparent, it said. “Their efforts should be placed under regulatory scrutiny – this task is too important to leave entirely to the judgment of commercial entities,” according to the report. A regulator would initially …

6 Books, Movies And Shows That Break Down Why Blackface Isn’t Just Offensive It’s Dangerous

In recent weeks alone, three prominent white male politicians from Virginia ― Gov. Ralph Northam (D), state Sen. Tommy Norment (R) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) ― have been asked to answer for their use of or association with blackface in decades-old photos. And two major fashion houses, Gucci and Prada,  The deluge of controversy is a reminder that blackface isn’t just a historic offense relegated to the pages of yearbooks. It’s a modern reality with deeply misunderstood roots. Northam, whose 1984 medical school yearbook page shows  But that’s the thing about blackface in 2019: Conversations about the racist act still revolve around its inherent offensiveness and how mocking portrayals of black people date back to 19th century minstrel performances (we’ve written about that …

Did Trump pull a switcheroo? Roundup of SOTU commentary

(CNN)CNN asked commentators for views on President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors. View more opinion articles on CNN. But alas, we have seen, heard, and read the tweets of the unscripted Trump. Just a few hours before this speech, he hosted a lunch with TV anchors where he, according to a New York Times report, attacked Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and John McCain — a national hero who has been dead for over five months. Then there was the part during the speech where he railed against illegal immigration, which he said results in lower wages for the American working class. Has he …

No local papers ‘means elderly ring MP’

The Harlow Star, the last of three local papers in his constituency, had recently stopped printing, the former minister said, cutting an important thread holding the local community together. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A quarter of local and regional papers have closed in the past decade Charities for the elderly have warned that older people can be particularly affected by the loss of local services, such as High Street shops, post offices, libraries and pubs. Nyree Ambarchian, who volunteers with the Contact the Elderly charity, said: “I see first-hand that these issues are contributing to feelings of isolation. “Slowly but surely, the local fabric of our communities is being eroded by things like the decline of local newspapers, …

‘I don’t know how many people I’ve stabbed’

“I did it because I wanted the older lot to like me and because I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. “To be honest with you, I’ve stabbed quite a lot of people. “If I was to sit here and count I wouldn’t be able to. People remind me, to this day, about people I’ve stabbed that I don’t remember. “We wanted to be bad – look bad, become the gang that everyone feared. We had to carry out a lot of violent crimes to become that gang. “Giving tougher sentences will prevent people from carrying knives because nobody wants to go to jail for 10 or 15 years just for carrying a knife.” Media …

Mike Pence is NOT anti-gay Im a gay man who knows hes been falsely accused

If that doesn’t seem like the response one would expect from an anti-gay bigot who supports so-called “gay conversion therapy,” that’s because it isn’t. Despite false accusations made against him, Mike Pence is not anti-gay. As a gay man myself – and someone who not only cares deeply about these issues but advocated on behalf of the LGBT community myself for years – this is not an assertion I make lightly. INSIDE TRUMP’S PLAN TO END THE HIV EPIDEMIC AND WHAT SPARKED IT There is absolutely nothing – nothing at all – in Mike Pence’s record to indicate he sees himself as a culture warrior who believes LGBT Americans are the enemy. Yet false accusations that the evangelical stalwart is …

Thailand election 2019: Princess disqualified from prime minister bid

(CNN)Officials have disqualified a Thai princess from running for prime minister in next month’s general election after her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, said her nomination would be “inappropriate.” Thai law stipulates that once a name is submitted, it cannot be withdrawn — though the Electoral Commission has the power to decide the legitimacy of candidates. The March 24 election is widely considered to be a vote between a form of democracy and legitimized authoritarian rule, following a military coup in 2014. Coup leader turned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha announced his own candidacy Friday. The commission revealed on Monday that Prayut was among 45 candidates it said was eligible to contest the vote Ubolratana gave up her royal status when she …

Facebook removes 22 more pages connected to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and InfoWars

New York (CNN Business)Facebook on Tuesday removed 22 pages connected to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his fringe right-wing website InfoWars. In late January, Facebook announced it had tightened its recidivism policy, aiming to prevent repeat offenders from using other pages they manage to continue behavior that violates the social media company’s rules. “We’ve long prohibited people from creating new Pages, groups, events, or accounts that look similar to those we’ve previously removed for violating our Community Standards,” Facebookexplained ina January 23 blog post. “However, we’ve seen people working to get around our enforcement by using existing Pages that they already manage for the same purpose as the Page we removed for violating our standards.” “To address this gap, when …

How 1MDB finally caught up with Najib Razak

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (CNN)On Tuesday, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will appear in court — facing years in prison if convicted on corruption charges which seemed impossible less than a year ago. What is 1MDB? Political son Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Former PM arrested Scoops and scandal In early 2015, journalists from the Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal began reporting that millions of dollars had been siphoned off the fund after allegedly securing a series of leaked documents. At first it seemed like the scandal might spell the end of Najib, as opponents — and even some within his party — demanded an investigation and called for him to resign. Behind the scenes, there were efforts to smother the …

Virginia governor’s medical school found a pattern of inappropriate yearbook photos

(CNN)The president of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school said that other yearbooks had a number of photos that were “shockingly abhorrent” and inappropriate, including as recently as 2013. Northam initially apologized for the photo and said he was in it, but in a news conference Saturday, he denied that he was in the image and said he would not resign as governor. “I believe now and then that I am not either of the people in this photo,” Northam said. However, he did admit that he had put shoe polish on his face to resemble Michael Jackson in a dance contest in 1984. “I look back now and regret that I did not understand the harmful legacy of an …

The dark side of music: Using sound in torture

(CNN)General Augusto Pinochet’s authoritarian regime, in Chile from 1973 to 1990, was known for its kidnappings, imprisonments and torture. One prisoner remembers it all too well. But for some — like Jiménez — there was one more element of torture: music, Chornik says. The Valech report says music was used as a background to torture in eight detention centers, but Chornik’s work shows that the use of music was more widespread; she found evidence of its use in 30 centers. Common songs of choice in Villa Grimaldi were “Un millón de amigos (A Million Friends)” by Roberto Carlos and “Gigi l’amoroso (Gigi the Ladies’ Man),” made popular by Dalida, according to Chornik. The lyrics of “Gigi l’amoroso” praise the male …