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March 3, 2013 at 10:13 PM   |   Comments

Queen hospitalized with stomach bug

LONDON, March 3 (UPI) -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth is doing well after being hospitalized Sunday for gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace officials said.

It was first announced Friday that the queen, 86, was suffering from a stomach illness, The Mirror reported. She is expected to stay at the King Edward VII hospital for two days while doctors treat her for the stomach bug.

Buckingham Palace said all of the queen's engagements this week would be either postponed or canceled.

Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and large intestine that commonly causes patients to vomit, have diarrhea and become dehydrated


Cardinal steps down for sexual misconduct

GLASGOW, Scotland, March 3 (UPI) -- Scotland's Cardinal Keith O'Brien, 74, admitted Sunday his sexual conduct had been inappropriate and said he has stepped down from his post.

STV News in Glasgow said the cardinal initially had chosen to contest "anonymous and non-specific" claims against him made public last week regarding sexual misconduct with four priests.

The cardinal, however, said Sunday, "I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal."

The complaints allege inappropriate behavior dating back as far as 1980, The Observer said. A former priest said he was a 20-year-old seminarian at St. Andrew's College where O'Brien, his "spiritual director," approached him inappropriately after night prayers. Another priest said O'Brien initiated inappropriate contact during a visit to his parish. A third priest said he experienced unwanted behavior after a late-night drinking session when visiting O'Brien at the archbishop's residence, and the fourth priest says O'Brien used night prayers as an excuse for inappropriate contact, The Independent of London reported last week.

"To those I have offended, I apologize and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologize. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland," he said.

O'Brien appears to be out of the country, and he will not participate in the conclave to elect the new pope.


Lewis gets apology from Montgomery police

MONTGOMERY, Ala., March 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, was moved to tears by an apology from the Montgomery, Ala., police chief for an incident in 1961.

Lewis, D-Ga., was among the Freedom Riders who arrived in Montgomery for a march in 1961. Their bus was greeted by a white mob that beat the black protesters. Police opted to stand down and effectively let the riot happen.

The apology took place during a weekend of events dubbed a congressional pilgrimage to the civil rights fight.

Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy said the apology was long overdue and "the right thing to do." He gave Lewis the badge off his uniform.

Lewis said he was involved in numerous confrontations that met with police indifference in other cities such as Nashville and Birmingham, "but the chief of police in Montgomery is the first to apologize," he said.

"It meant a great deal," Lewis told the Montgomery Advertiser.


Walesa goes on anti-gay tirade

WARSAW, Poland, March 3 (UPI) -- Polish reformer and revered winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Lech Walesa said gay members of Parliament should have to sit "behind a wall."

Walesa, president of Poland from 1990 to 1995, made the comments during a television interview Friday. Polish leaders are debating whether to allow civil unions between homosexuals and Walesa was asked his thought by TVN24.

He responded, saying wouldn't vote for an openly gay MP.

"Homosexuals should sit on the last bench in the plenary hall, or even behind the wall, and not somewhere at the front," the staunchly Catholic Walesa said, adding "a minority cannot impose itself on the majority."

The website thenews.pl said the nation's first openly gay lawmaker, Robert Biedron, remained respectful of Walesa's place in Polish history having vanquished communism, but suggested Walesa's son, Jaroslaw, have a talk with his father about how things have changed in the 21st century.


Pope's Twitter account goes dark, for now

ROME, March 3 (UPI) -- With St. Peter's square silent this weekend, tourists were left to wonder who will be the next pope -- and whether or not he would join Twitter.

Since Pope Benedict XVI stepped down last week becoming "pope emeritus," the Roman Catholic church is in a period of Sede Vacante, or Vacant See. There is no leader to recite the Angelus in the Vatican, as Benedict did 455 times as pope, Vatican Radio said Sunday.

And there's no one to run the Twitter handle @pontifex, either, the National Catholic Register noted. Within an hour of Benedict's resignation, the Vatican had removed all 39 tweets from Benedict, who first joined Twitter 11 weeks ago.

The tweets have been archived on the Vatican's website. Benedict's smiling avatar has been removed from the account and in its place is the Vatican seal.

Benedict's former @pontifex handle has more than 3 million Twitter followers.

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