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Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monk
Scuffles at Thai temple as police hunt for monk

By Cod Satrusayang and Aukkaraporn Niyomyat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Monks and police scuffled on Monday at a Buddhist temple in Thailand where security forces are trying to arrest an influential former abbot on money-laundering charges. The standoff at the scandal-hit Dhammakaya Temple represents one of the biggest challenges to the authority of Thailand's junta since it took power in 2014. Police said they would try to avoid violence while threatening arrest for followers of the sprawling temple who have defied orders to leave and instead flocked there, hampering the search for 72-year-old Phra Dhammachayo.

Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailout
Debt-saddled Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn IMF bailout

Mongolia has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $5.5 billion bailout package, officials announced, as the debt-wracked country tries to stabilise its economy. The landlocked north Asian nation has been hit hard by a more than 50 percent fall over the past five years in the price of copper, its main export. Billions of dollars' worth of natural resources lie buried beneath Mongolia's sprawling steppes, but development has been delayed for years and slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy.

China names and shames cities over smog controls
China names and shames cities over smog controls

China's environment ministry has named and shamed several cities in the north of the country for not doing enough to cope with smog, state news agency Xinhua reported. Large parts of northern China have been blanketed in choking smog this winter, defying repeated government efforts to tackle the problem. Pollution alerts are common in northern China, especially during bitterly cold winters when energy demand, much of it met by coal, soars.

Ecuador in key vote for Latin American left
Ecuador in key vote for Latin American left

Ecuador voted Sunday in general elections that could see a pillar of the Latin American left swing to the right -- and potentially deprive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of his place of refuge in London. President Rafael Correa, who is not running, expressed confidence that his party's candidate, Lenin Moreno, would win in the first round. The polls clearly say the contrary," he said after casting his ballot at an elementary school in Quito.

Pence arrives in Germany for meetings with world leaders
Pence arrives in Germany for meetings with world leaders

MUNICH (AP) - Making his debut on the world stage, Vice President Mike Pence is looking to reassure skeptical allies in Europe about U.S. foreign policy under President Donald Trump, who has made his "America First" mantra a centerpiece of his new administration.

Is there really such a thing as an unlimited data plan?
Is there really such a thing as an unlimited data plan?

They say everything old will eventually be new again, and as of this week, all four major wireless carriers are once again offering "unlimited" data plans to their subscribers. AT&T was the last carrier to jump on board, sort of - the carrier has actually offered unlimited data for a while now, but that plan had previously only been available to customers who also subscribed to AT&T's DirecTV satellite television service. Now it's available to everyone, which means anyone can now get an unlimited data plan from any of the nation's top four wireless carriers. But, are these new "unlimited" plans truly unlimited? Earlier this week, we published a post covering all the...

President Trump holds a press conference to announce his new Secretary of Labor nominee
President Trump holds a press conference to announce his new Secretary of Labor nominee

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, President Trump holds a press conference in the White House East Room to announce his new Secretary of Labor pick now that his initial choice, Andrew Puzder, was forced to withdraw from consideration after it became apparent he would not receive the votes to be confirmed.

Facebook says Irish challenge to U.S. data transfers
Facebook says Irish challenge to U.S. data transfers 'deeply flawed'

By Conor Humphries DUBLIN (Reuters) - Facebook said on Thursday a legal challenge against the way it transfers EU user data to the United States was "deeply flawed" and should not be referred to the EU's top court because ample privacy protections were already in place. The challenge by the Irish data regulator is the latest to question whether methods used by large tech firms such as Google and Apple to transfer data gives EU consumers sufficient protection from U.S. surveillance. The issue of data privacy came to the fore after revelations in 2013 from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden of mass U.S. surveillance caused political outrage in Europe Facebook...

Canada
Canada's Sun Life sees benefits from Trump's pro-growth agenda

Sun Life Financial , expects to benefit from a more favorable interest rate and economic environment under new U.S. President Donald Trump, the chief executive of Canada's third-biggest insurer said. Shares in Sun Life have risen by 12 percent since Trump's election win Nov. 8 and a subsequent rise in interest rates. The stock has benefited from market expectations that pro-growth policies pursued by the new administration, such as a $1 trillion infrastructure spending program, will lead to higher employment and consumer spending and a return to a more inflationary environment following years of lackluster growth.

Letting countries leave euro zone would break ECB policy: Coeure
Letting countries leave euro zone would break ECB policy: Coeure

By Andreas Framke MAASTRICHT, The Netherlands (Reuters) - Giving countries the option to leave the euro zone would make it impossible for the European Central Bank to reach all corners of the union with its monetary policy, ECB director Benoit Coeure said on Thursday Speaking as eurosceptic voices in France and Italy grow louder, Coeure said granting this option would break the channel through which the ECB transmits its monetary policy to the economy, that is financial markets and the banking sector. "An exit option would create a permanent impairment of the transmission mechanism of monetary policy in the European monetary union," Coeure told an audience in the Dutch town of...

Girl, 7, Gets Letter From Google CEO
Girl, 7, Gets Letter From Google CEO

 "Dear Google Boss," Chloe Bridgewater, who lives in Hereford, England, started her letter.

Pro-Brexit economists urge UK to unilaterally scrap tariffs
Pro-Brexit economists urge UK to unilaterally scrap tariffs

By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Britain should be prepared to scrap all tariffs on imports unilaterally when it leaves the European Union to give consumers and the broader economy a boost, even if it hurts some businesses, economists who favour Brexit said on Thursday. Britain's government has said it wants to reach a free-trade agreement with the EU when it leaves the bloc, which is likely to happen in just over two years' time, and finance minister Philip Hammond has rejected any unilateral action by Britain. Britain currently enjoys tariff-free access to EU markets.

UK
UK 'reassured' by GM's plans for Vauxhall cars

Britain's economy minister Greg Clark said Thursday he was "reassured" by General Motors' plans for its European interests, including Britain's Vauxhall, amid talk of a takeover by France's PSA Group. "There is some way to go in discussions between GM and PSA but I was reassured by GM's intention, communicated to me, to build on the success of these operations rather than rationalise them," the minister said in a statement.

South Africa
South Africa's Woolworths banks on cosmetics as profit dips

By TJ Strydom JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African retailer Woolworths Holdings aims to double its share of the country's beauty products market in three years, its chief executive said, as the group reported a drop in half-year profit. South African retailers have struggled to grow earnings as weak economic growth and clothing markdowns by competitors hit sales, with Truworths International also reporting lower profits on Thursday. Woolworths, an upmarket retailer which sells mostly clothing and food in South Africa, has only a 3 percent market share in cosmetics but its Australian department store chain David Jones has a long relationship with beauty houses.

South Africa
South Africa's Zuma says govt will act against banks accused of forex rigging

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's President Jacob Zuma told parliament on Thursday the government would come down hard on the local banks accused in a report by the competition watchdog of rigging the rand currency. "This matter is still under investigation... government is ready to act against market abuse, price fixing and collusion in the private sector in order to protect our country's economy," Zuma said in a speech. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia)

Global stocks hit all-time high thanks to Donald Trump
Global stocks hit all-time high thanks to Donald Trump's promises and strong economic data

Global stocks scaled new all-time highs on Thursday, spurred by a double whammy of robust economic data and lingering confidence in the Trump administration's promises to cut taxes and roll back regulation. The MSCI's All Country World index, a common benchmark which spans 46 countries, hit its highest level ever according to Reuters, after major indices on Wall Street already scored fresh records on Wednesday night, despite stocks across Europe inching lower. "Across the broad landscape, global data has been looking really impressive and a lot of indicators have been looking really strong," Nandini Ramakrishnan, a global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management told The...

Futures lower as investors assess corporate results
Futures lower as investors assess corporate results

(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was set to open lower on Thursday, after closing at a record high a day earlier, as investors assessed results of companies, including Bombardier and Encana. March futures on the S&P TSX index were down 0.14 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose on Wednesday, led by gains for its financial services group after strong economic data from both Canada and the United States. No major Canadian economic releases are scheduled. Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were down 0.15 percent at 7:15 a.m. ...

Nigeria raises 160 bln naira bonds at yields below inflation
Nigeria raises 160 bln naira bonds at yields below inflation

By Oludare Mayowa LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria has raised 160 billion naira ($525 million) in local currency bonds at its second debt auction this year at yields lower than the inflation rate in Africa's biggest economy, the Debt Management Office said on Thursday. Annual inflation in Nigeria climbed to high of 18.72 percent in January, its 12th straight monthly rise.

Nigeria's Eurobond 8 times oversubscribed, shows confidence

The London Stock Exchange says Nigeria's $1 billion Eurobond is eight times oversubscribed and demonstrates international confidence despite the oil-producing nation's economic woes. The 15-year bond offering ...

Trudeau says Canada, EU must lead world economy
Trudeau says Canada, EU must lead world economy

By Philip Blenkinsop STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that the whole world benefited from a strong European Union and that the bloc and his country needed to lead the international economy in challenging times. Trudeau told the European Parliament that the Union was an unprecedented model for peaceful cooperation in a speech that marked his distance from both the United States under new President Donald Trump, who has questioned the value and future of the bloc, and from Britain, which has voted to leave it. An effective European voice on the global stage was not just preferable, but essential, Trudeau said.

Four famines mean 20 million may starve in the next six months
Four famines mean 20 million may starve in the next six months

By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 20 million people - greater than the population of Romania or Florida - risk dying from starvation within six months in four separate famines, U.N. World Food Programme chief economist Arif Husain says. Wars in Yemen, northeastern Nigeria and South Sudan have devastated households and driven up prices, while a drought in east Africa has ruined the agricultural economy. "In my not quite 15 years with the World Food Programme, this is the first time that we are literally talking about famine in four different parts of the world at the same time," he told Reuters in an interview.

Global stocks mixed on upbeat US data, rate hike prospects
Global stocks mixed on upbeat US data, rate hike prospects

Global stocks were mixed Thursday as investors took profit amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more aggressively than expected following upbeat U.S. economic data. KEEPING ...

Nigeria not sure yet how much to borrow from World Bank -minister
Nigeria not sure yet how much to borrow from World Bank -minister

Nigeria has not decided yet how much it wants to borrow from the World Bank, its budget minister said on Wednesday, to help pay for record spending of $24 billion this year. Diplomats and officials told Reuters last week the oil producer plans to present the required economic reform proposals to the World Bank this month to borrow at least $1 billion. "The figure will depend on the (2017) budget approved by the National Assembly," Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planning, told reporters when asked about the application.

Gold rises as dollar gives up gains; U.S. rates in focus
Gold rises as dollar gives up gains; U.S. rates in focus

Gold prices rose on Thursday as the dollar drifted down from one-month highs hit in the previous session on upbeat U.S. economic data that boosted the prospects of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month. U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January and consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in nearly four years. Spot gold had ticked up 0.2 percent, to $1,235.01 per ounce at 0529 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent, to $1,236.2.

Nigeria not sure yet how much to borrow from World Bank: minister
Nigeria not sure yet how much to borrow from World Bank: minister

Nigeria has not decided yet how much it wants to borrow from the World Bank, its budget minister said on Wednesday, to help pay for record spending of $24 billion this year. Diplomats and officials told Reuters last week the oil producer plans to present the required economic reform proposals to the World Bank this month to borrow at least $1 billion. "The figure will depend on the (2017) budget approved by the National Assembly," Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planning, told reporters when asked about the application.

'Day Without Immigrants' protests being held across US

Immigrants across the country are expected to stay home from school and work on Thursday to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life. "A Day Without Immigrants" actions ...

Dollar slips from one-month peak on profit taking after upbeat U.S. data
Dollar slips from one-month peak on profit taking after upbeat U.S. data

By Yuzuha Oka TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar took a breather on Thursday after climbing to a one-month high as a run of upbeat U.S. economic data rekindled expectations of an early rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The dollar index touched 101.76 on Wednesday, a peak unseen since Jan. 12, on the wake of better-than-expected U.S. inflation and retail sales data before retreating to 100.94 on profit-taking. U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in nearly four years, jumping 0.6 percent in January.

Asia markets dip as Trump rally takes a break
Asia markets dip as Trump rally takes a break

The rally in Asian markets petered out Thursday, while the dollar also dipped as investors brushed off another record Wall Street close and upbeat US data to cash in profits. Another positive assessment of the US economy and reassurance over tax reform from President Donald Trump was not enough to spur further buying in Asia after the past week's rally. Also, Trump said Wednesday he would release specifics on his new tax plan in the "not-too-distant future", adding it will be "good and simpler".

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Japan finmin Aso hold phone talks
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Japan finmin Aso hold phone talks

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso spoke by phone with newly sworn-in U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday but they did not discuss currencies, a Japanese finance ministry official said. The U.S. Senate on Monday voted to confirm the former Goldman Sachs banker as Treasury secretary, installing the Trump administration's point-man on tax reform, financial deregulation and economic diplomacy efforts. U.S. President Donald Trump refrained from criticizing Japan's currency policy or its trade surplus with the U.S. when he met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in Washington and Florida.

TSX rises for 7th straight day, sets record high
TSX rises for 7th straight day, sets record high

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose for the seventh straight day on Wednesday to set a fresh record high, led by gains for its financial services group after strong economic data from both Canada and the United States. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 15.03 points, or 0.10 percent, at 15,801.06. Six of the index's 10 main groups rose. (Reporting by Fergal Smith, Editing by W Simon)

German minister says NATO allies to invest more 'in coming years'

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday she could understand the U.S. call for NATO partners to step up funding for the transatlantic alliance and European allies would meet their obligations "in the coming years". The United States for years has called for European allies to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense, and the new U.S. President Donald Trump has unnerved German politicians by describing the NATO alliance as obsolete.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Spy Photos: Real Photos, Not Renderings
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Spy Photos: Real Photos, Not Renderings

Bed of Steel.

Ayatollah Khamenei criticizes Iran
Ayatollah Khamenei criticizes Iran's president on economy ahead of vote

By Babak Dehghanpisheh BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's president must do more to improve the economy, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday in a rare public criticism from the supreme leader three months before Hassan Rouhani runs for re-election. Unemployment, recession and inflation - issues that could win or lose an election - all remain major problems in the final month's of Rouhani's first four-year term, Khamenei said in a speech, according to the state broadcaster's website. Rouhani, who secured relief from economic sanctions in exchange for checks on Iran's nuclear program, may face a hardline candidate in May's election who could swing the Islamic...

Canadian small business lending jumps at end of 2016: PayNet

Lending to Canadian small- and medium-sized companies jumped in December, a report showed on Wednesday, pointing to improved business confidence that could lead to stronger economic growth. The PayNet Canadian Small Business Lending Index rose to 127.7 from 119.0 in November, its highest level in a year. Lending activity fell in the latter part of 2015 through much of 2016 as companies dealt with the fallout of cheaper crude prices, which disrupted the oil-exporting economy.

U.S. retail sales beat expectations in January
U.S. retail sales beat expectations in January

WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in January as households bought electronics and a range of other goods, pointing to sustained domestic demand that should bolster economic growth in the first quarter.

Nigeria January inflation rises for 12th month running to 18.72 pct
Nigeria January inflation rises for 12th month running to 18.72 pct

Annual inflation in Nigeria rose in January to 18.72 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, its 12th straight monthly increase. A separate food index also rose, to 17.82 percent from 17.39 percent in December, the statistics office said. Galloping inflation comes as Africa's largest economy grapples with its first recession in 25 years, largely caused by the fall in global oil prices since 2014.

EU, Canada secure clearance to kick-start free trade deal
EU, Canada secure clearance to kick-start free trade deal

By Philip Blenkinsop STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union and Canada secured clearance on Wednesday for their contentious free trade deal and the removal of import duties that supporters say will boost growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. The two parties can claim a success for their open markets policy after months of protest and uncertainty and in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and wants to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement. European Parliament lawmakers backed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) by 408-254, meaning large parts of the EU-Canada deal, notably tariff...

Uganda central bank cuts main lending rate by 50 bps to 11.5 pct

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's central bank cut its benchmark lending rate by 50 basis points to 11.5 percent after the economic growth outlook worsened due to poor weather, its governor said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Duncan Miriri; editing by John Stonestreet)

Namibia central bank keeps lending rate steady 7 percent

WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia's central bank left its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 7 percent on Wednesday, saying the level was appropriate to support economic growth. (Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

EU
EU's Moscovici says Commission wants Greece in heart of euro zone

European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday the EU Commission wants Greece in the heart of the euro zone and that some more effort is needed to wrap up a crucial review of bailout reforms. In Athens to help close a review of Greek reforms which has dragged on for months, Moscovici said that Greece outperformed last year's fiscal targets and could do the same this year and in 2018. "In a few days we have a Eurogroup meeting on Feb. 20, a very important one, which could set the parameters of an agreement to conclude the review," Moscovici told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

In Ghana, post-election fiscal crunch is politics as normal
In Ghana, post-election fiscal crunch is politics as normal

By Matthew Mpoke Bigg ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has taken power with ambitious plans to revive once spectacular economic growth, only to discover a $1.6 billion hole in the budget and a deficit twice as high as expected. With Ghana more than half way through a three-year International Monetary Fund programme, the new government must reveal in its first budget next month how it intends to restore financial discipline while staying true to Akufo-Addo's election promises to boost growth and fight poverty. Akufo-Addo entered office last month on pledges to spend the equivalent of $1 million a year on development in each of Ghana's 275 parliamentary...

In Ghana, post-election fiscal crunch is politics as normal
In Ghana, post-election fiscal crunch is politics as normal

By Matthew Mpoke Bigg ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has taken power with ambitious plans to revive once spectacular economic growth, only to discover a $1.6 billion hole in the budget and a deficit twice as high as expected. With Ghana more than half way through a three-year International Monetary Fund program, the new government must reveal in its first budget next month how it intends to restore financial discipline while staying true to Akufo-Addo's election promises to boost growth and fight poverty. Akufo-Addo entered office last month on pledges to spend the equivalent of $1 million a year on development in each of Ghana's 275 parliamentary...

Asia markets, dollar rally as dealers welcome Yellen
Asia markets, dollar rally as dealers welcome Yellen

The dollar extended gains and Asian markets resumed their rally on Wednesday as traders cheered upbeat remarks on the US economy by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen and her suggestion interest rates could rise next month. Wall Street ploughed to record highs for a fourth successive day as Yellen reinforced the view that the world's top economy was in good health, with the jobs market improving and inflation heading to the Fed's two percent target. "The US dollar was on the backfoot during the Asian trade (Tuesday), but it got that boost from Yellen, so it will be on a stronger position (Wednesday)," Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at CFD and FX provider AxiTrader.

China death toll from bird flu soars to 79 in January: government
China death toll from bird flu soars to 79 in January: government

China reported as many as 79 fatalities from H7N9 bird flu in January, the government said, far surpassing the number of deaths in recent years and stoking fears about the spread of the deadly virus among the population this winter. The news released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission late on Tuesday brings the death toll since October to 100. The latest data will reinforce concerns about the spread of the virus among humans as neighboring South Korea and Japan also battle major outbreaks among their poultry flocks.

Egypt's parliament approves cabinet reshuffle

Egypt's parliament approved on Tuesday a cabinet reshuffle including new ministers for investment and agriculture, said parliament speaker Ali Abdelaal. The current International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr was nominated to head the combined ministry. Abdel Moneim Al-Banna was appointed as new agriculture minister and Ali Moselhy, a lawmaker who heads parliament's Economic Committee, was appointed as new supply minister.

South Africa
South Africa's rand hits 16-month high vs dollar

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's rand touched a 16-month high against the dollar early on Wednesday on improved risk appetite, with investors eyeing a batch of domestic and U.S. economic data due out later in the day for fresh catalysts. * At 0645 GMT, the rand traded at 13.0925 per dollar,largely unchanged from its New York close on Tuesday. The unithit 13.0450 earlier in the session, its firmest level since Oct.16, 2015. * Focus is on both local and U.S. consumer inflation andretail sales data due out later in the day. * "Today we get some decent data out of both the U.S. ...

Dollar hold gains on hawkish Yellen, investors eye U.S. inflation data
Dollar hold gains on hawkish Yellen, investors eye U.S. inflation data

By Yuzuha Oka TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar stood tall on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled a faster pace of U.S. interest rate increases at her two-day testimony before Congress. Yellen told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee the central bank will likely need to raise interest rates at one of its upcoming meetings, although she expressed caution amid considerable uncertainty over economic policy under the Trump administration. The dollar index , which measures the greenback against its six major peers, rose to a 3-1/2-week high of 101.38 on Tuesday following Yellen's remarks.

TSX posts record high as oil prices, bond yields climb
TSX posts record high as oil prices, bond yields climb

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index dipped on Tuesday after five straight days of gains that took it to an all-time high, as the materials group lost ground and investors weighed testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. At 10:36 a.m. ET (1536 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 35.88 points, or 0.23 percent, at 15,720.70. The Fed will probably need to raise interest rates at an upcoming meeting, Yellen said, although she flagged considerable uncertainty over economic policy under the Trump administration. The prospect of U.S. ...

Fed
Fed's Yellen defends 'stress test' of Wall Street

A yearly checkup on leading Wall Street banks helps regulators protect the U.S. financial system and the reviews should be preserved, the Federal Reserve chair said on Tuesday. The largest 44 banks in the United States must satisfy regulators that they could weather a serious economic downturn in the annual 'stress test' administered by the Federal Reserve. "It's been a cornerstone of our effort to improve supervision," Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers.

World cardinals back pope after anonymous attacks by conservatives
World cardinals back pope after anonymous attacks by conservatives

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Senior Roman Catholic cardinals from the around the world defended Pope Francis on Monday against a spate of recent attacks from conservatives challenging his authority. In an unusual move, nine cardinals in a group advising Francis on Vatican economic and structural reforms issued a statement expressing "full support for the pope's work" and guaranteeing "full backing for him and his teachings". The statement said the cardinals expressed their solidarity with the pope "in light of recent events," which Vatican sources said was a clear reference to the attacks.

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