Officials in Germany have defended their decision to seize an indebted family’s pet pug and sell it on eBay, saying the move was a last resort because authorities were unable to find anything else to take.

The incident in the western town of Ahlen prompted criticism on social media from people who felt the decision to take away the family’s dog was heartless.

Germany’s DPA news agency quoted Ahlen’s treasurer, Dirk Schlebes, as saying the seizure was legal and only took place...

United Nations-backed investigators said Israeli soldiers intentionally fired on civilians and could have committed crimes against humanity during a string of crackdowns against Palestinian demonstrators last year in Gaza that left 189 people dead.

Israel rejected their report as "hostile, false and biased."

The independent Commission of Inquiry mandated by the Human Rights Council said more than 6,000 people were shot by military snipers using live ammunition to repel...

Israeli police arrested Adnan Ghaith, the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem, in a dawn raid, according to a local NGO and local media.

"The governor was arrested in a raid on his home in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan," the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a statement.

Ghaith was among 21 Palestinians rounded up in overnight raids carried out by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem, Maan news agency reported.

Many of those rounded up were members of the...

“In Yemen today, nearly 1.2 million children continue to live in 31 active conflict zones including Hudaydah, Taizz, Hajjah and Sa’da - in areas witnessing heavy, war-related violence. 

“Not enough has changed for children in Yemen since the Stockholm agreement on 13 December 2018. Every day since, eight children have been killed or injured. Most of the children killed were playing outdoors with their friends or were on their way to or from school. 

“The impact of the conflict...

Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexual offences in Australia, making him the highest-ranking Catholic figure to receive such a conviction.

Pell abused two choir boys in the rooms of a Melbourne cathedral in 1996, a jury found. He had pleaded not guilty.

The verdict was handed down in December, but it could not be reported until now due to legal reasons.

Pell is due to face sentencing hearings from Wednesday. He has lodged an appeal against his conviction....

One of the Catholic Church's most senior cardinals has admitted that he could have better handled sexual abuse allegations that were brought to him.

Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai is one of four men organising a major Vatican conference on child abuse this week.

We found two separate cases where the cardinal, who is tipped by some to possibly become the next Pope, is claimed to have failed to respond quickly or offer support to the victims.

Victims and those...

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Congolese police of summarily executing at least 27 people, some of whom were bound, strangled and mutilated in a crackdown on gangs in the capital Kinshasa last year.

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo denied the allegations that were in a report published on Feb. 21 by the US-based rights group. 

The report, based on interviews with nearly 80 witnesses, victims' family members, security officials and others, adds to previous...

Burberry has apologised for featuring a hoodie with a noose around the neck at London Fashion Week.

The fashion brand was criticised by one of its own models, Liz Kennedy, in a long post on Instagram in which she said: "Suicide is not fashion."

"Let's not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either," she added.

Burberry boss Marco Gobbetti said the brand was "deeply sorry for the distress" caused, adding: "It was insensitive and we made a mistake."


A member of the United Nation's fact-finding mission on Myanmar has told of horrific accounts of violence against Rohingya.

"Firstly, the killing of young men and secondly, terrible sexual violence against women and girls especially in large houses and detention centers. And there was also brutality toward children by separating them from their parents. Sometimes they were throwing them into fires," Radhika Coomaraswamy told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

A UN report released...

Defender-turned-commentator Fulvio Collovati drew the ire of Italy's top female footballers after his TV outburst.

Collovati, a 1982 World Cup winner with Italy, has been suspended from his role as a television pundit after making sexist comments about women and tactics.

Italian national broacaster Rai said it had “suspended Fulvio Collovati from all TV and radio activity until Saturday, March 9” in a statement yesterday.

The suspnsion came after the defender-turned-...

Italy’s education ministry caused an outcry by offering teachers the chance to take exorcism courses.

The ministry added an intensive, 40-hour course in “exorcisms and prayers of liberation” to its offering of training courses which Italy’s teachers can choose to take voluntarily, local media reports.

Teachers, especially those who teach religion, can learn how exorcism should be “correctly practiced” on the course, which costs 400 euros per participant.

The course is...

The Assad regime is behind the majority of over 330 alleged chemical weapons use in Syria over the last eight years, according to a German-based report.

In a report titled "Nowhere to Hide: The Logic of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria", Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI) said on Sunday that some 336 chemical attacks were recorded in Syria since the start of the civil war.

Nearly 98 percent of the attacks were carried out by the regime forces, the report added....

Almost five times as many children have died in conflict zones than fighters between 2013 and 2017, according to a report by Save the Children.

At least 870,000 children under the age of five have lost their lives as a result of armed conflict, a number far greater than the close to 175,000 fighters estimated to have died in the five-year period.

The data was released Friday ahead of the Munich Security Conference, which will take place Feb. 15-17. The annual conference gathers...

France said on Feb. 14 it is toughening its internet abuse laws after an outcry over young media executives who ran a macho "boys' club" that bullied female colleagues online.

Two government ministers said new rules will be tabled before the end of June to force YouTube and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to pull hateful posts.   

Eight journalists and public relations executives who belonged to the "League of LOL" Facebook group have either been suspended or...

Indonesian police have apologised for using a snake to terrify a suspected thief after footage appeared online.

Officers in the video laugh as an interrogator drapes the animal on a screaming, handcuffed man in the eastern Papua region.

The suspect was believed to have stolen mobile phones.

The local police chief said it was unprofessional but defended the practice, saying the snake was tame and non-venomous.

"We have taken stern action against the personnel,"...