In brief: Pope pardons former butler
Vatican City – Pope Benedict XVI granted his former butler a Christmas pardon Saturday, forgiving him in person during a jailhouse meeting for stealing and leaking his private papers in one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.
Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested May 23 after Vatican police found what they called an “enormous” stash of papal documents in his Vatican City apartment.
He was convicted of aggravated theft by a Vatican tribunal on Oct. 6 and has been serving his 18-month sentence in the Vatican police barracks.
Gabriele told Vatican investigators he gave the documents to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi because he thought the 85-year-old pope wasn’t being informed of the “evil and corruption” in the Vatican and thought that exposing it publicly would put the church back on the right track.
Suicide bomber kills Taliban foe
Peshawar, Pakistan – A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed nine people including a provincial government official at a political rally held Saturday by a party that has opposed the Taliban, officials said.
The rally in Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was held by the Awami National Party, whose members have been repeatedly targeted by the Taliban.
Among the dead was Bashir Bilour, the second-most senior member of the provincial Cabinet, said Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, the politician’s brother and federal railways minister.
More than 20 others were wounded by the blast, said local police officer Sabir Khan.