SANAA, Yemen

Exiled government declares three areas disaster zones

Yemen’s exiled government on Monday declared three areas in the country engulfed in fighting between Shiite rebels, their allies and pro-government forces as “disaster” zones, including the southern port city of Aden, and said that the last month of violence has claimed 1,000 civilian lives.

The crisis in Yemen, the Arab world’s most impoverished country, has deepened since March 26, when a Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes aimed at rolling back territorial gains by the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and their allies, loyalists of ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The country’s internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled last month to Riyadh and his government now operates from the Saudi capital.


State Supreme Court upholds monsignor’s felony conviction

The state’s highest court on Monday reinstated the landmark child-endangerment conviction of a Roman Catholic monsignor who was the first U.S. church official ever prosecuted over his handling of sex abuse complaints.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the 2012 felony conviction of Monsignor William Lynn for endangering an altar boy abused by a priest who had been transferred to his parish despite earlier complaints.

Lynn’s lawyers have long argued that Lynn, as secretary for clergy, was not responsible for the welfare of the victim under existing Pennsylvania law. However, the state court in a 4-1 ruling disagreed, potentially sending the 64-year-old Lynn back to prison.


Border guards block Russian bikers from entering country

Polish border guards on Monday blocked 10 nationalistic Russian bikers loyal to President Vladimir Putin from entering Poland as part of a ride to commemorate the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

The bikers – who have stirred controversy with their support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea – approached the Polish border from Belarus on Monday morning and spent about three hours being questioned and searched by the Polish border guards before they were turned back.

The bikers, members of a group called the Night Wolves, had wanted to travel across Eastern Europe to honor the Red Army soldiers who died as they and Western Allies defeated Hitler’s Germany, visiting their graves and other war sites.


Federal court upholds suburb’s assault ban

A U.S. appeals court Monday upheld a Chicago suburb’s assault weapons ban that had become a focus in the statewide debate over gun control, though a dissenting judge sharply criticized the majority opinion.

In a 2-to-1 decision, a panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago concluded the city of Highland Park’s 2013 ban does not violate the Second Amendment, saying municipalities ought to have leeway in deciding how to regulate firearms.