WORLD

Chief Afghan peace envoy says US troops pulling out too soon

ANKARA, Turkey — Afghanistan’s chief peace envoy Abdullah Abdullah said Saturday that the US decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has come too soon, as his country is still struggling to attain peace and security amid an ongoing conflict.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Abdullah also described as “shocking” an Australian military report that found evidence that elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners. He welcomed a decision by Australian authorities to pursue the perpetrators.

Pope: Involve poor people in planning post-pandemic economy

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged young economists, entrepreneurs and business leaders Saturday to promote post-pandemic development models that involve the poor.

Francis, in a videotaped message for a forum of young people in Assisi, Italy, said the worst reaction once the Coronavirus pandemic ends would be to “fall even more deeply into feverish consumerism and forms of selfish self-protection.”

Instead, Francis said, the poor should be invited to participate in discussions about creating a “different economic narrative” that he thinks is urgently needed.

NATION

Florida teacher faces 408 child porn charges

LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida high school teacher, soccer coach and church youth leader has been charged with 408 counts of child pornography possession, authorities said Saturday.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference that 46-year-old Shawn Fitzgerald possessed hundreds of pornographic images on his cellphone. Investigators were led to Fitzgerald by a tip from the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children.

Judd said it didn’t appear that the images were locally produced or that Fitzgerald had harmed any children himself. But Judd also said more charges are likely.

Judge throws out Trump bid to stop PA vote certification

Pennsylvania officials can certify election results that currently show Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes, a federal judge ruled Saturday, dealing President Donald Trump’s campaign another blow in its effort to invalidate the election.

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