VATICAN CITY (AP) — Ailing Pope Francis, who is making limited public appearances due to persistent pain, drew attention to the plight of homeless people in winter, including a Nigerian man who froze to death not far from the Vatican. Francis on Sunday asked for prayers for the man named Edwin, who he said was 46, and who was “ignored by all, abandoned, even by us.” A day after the Vatican said that Francis, 84, was suffering again from sciatica, a nerve inflammation that can affect the lower back and legs, the pope skipped celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. But he appeared in the Apostolic Palace library to give his blessing.
COLUMBUS, OHio (AP) — Data shows that prosecutors will face an uphill battle in winning a murder conviction against the Ohio officer who shot and killed Andre Hill. Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy was indicted Wednesday by a Franklin County grand jury following an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Coy, who is white, shot Hill, a Black man, on Dec. 22 as he walked out of a garage holding a cell phone. Historical data compiled by criminologist Philip Stinson shows that of 96 criminal cases against officers concluded nationally since 2005, 44 resulted in convictions and 52 in acquittals.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Foreign Ministry says it is expelling diplomats from Sweden, Poland and Germany, accusing them of attending a rally in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as international tensions grew over the jailing of the Kremlin’s most prominent foe. The announcement came as the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the treatment of Navalny represents “a low point” in the relations between Brussels and Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the diplomats took part in what it called “unlawful” rallies Jan. 23. Tens of thousands of people across Russia took to the streets that day to protest Navalny’s arrest. European officials immediately denounced the move.
The school reopening debate is presenting an early test of President Joe Biden’s allegiance with powerful teachers unions. As teachers unions in some areas demand vaccines before returning to in-person instruction, the CDC’s director on Wednesday said teachers do not need vaccines to reopen safely. Some believed the CDC’s position would drive a wedge between Biden and teachers unions, but unions say that’s not the case. Even those demanding vaccines say shots would not be required if schools were taking other steps to make buildings safe. But they say schools have failed to update ventilation systems and take other important steps, making vaccines critical.