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'Stop doing evil,' pope tells mafia

Pope Francis called on the mafia to "stop doing evil" as he met relatives of their victims on Friday to demonstrate the Catholic Church's opposition to organised crime. Over a thousand people attended prayers with the pope at a church near the Vatican, where a list of 842 names of victims of mafia violence were read out -- including butchered toddlers and renowned anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, blown up in his car in 1992. The meeting was an attempt to draw a line under the Church's historic ties with dons claiming to be God-fearing Catholics.

Pope tells Mafia to stop evil or prepare for hell

By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis, in an annual ceremony held to remember the hundreds of innocent people murdered by the Italian mafia, made a solemn plea for mobsters to change or else "end up in hell". The mafia continues to plague much of southern Italy: just on Monday, a four-year-old boy was shot dead, along with his mother and her boyfriend, near the southern city of Taranto in a suspected mob hit.

Pope meets mafia victims in stand against underworld

Pope Francis plans on Friday to demonstrate a stand against organised crime by meeting with relatives of mafia victims, a step to help overcome the Church's historic ties with dons claiming to be God-fearing Catholics. Over a thousand people are expected to attend prayers with the pope in a church near the Vatican, where a list of 900 names of victims of mafia violence will be read out -- from butchered toddlers to renowned anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, blown up in his car in 1992.

Police surround luxury Kabul hotel after gunfire

Security forces rushed to the luxury Serena hotel in central Kabul on Thursday evening after gunshots were heard at the venue, a high-security location favoured by foreign visitors to the Afghan capital. Witnesses and AFP reporters heard intense bursts of gunfire from the hotel, as surrounding roads were blocked off and emergency response teams arrived on the scene. Hashmat Stanikzai, Kabul's police spokesman, confirmed that police were surrounding the hotel, but was unable to give further details of the cause of the incident.

California major target for cyber-criminals, attorney general says

By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California has become a major U.S. target of cyber crimes committed by outlaw groups with ties to Eastern Europe, China and Africa, according to a report by state Attorney General Kamala Harris released on Thursday. As part of a broader report on international organized crime groups, Harris said about 17 percent of attempts to hack into major computer networks in the United States in 2012 were aimed at California, which is the most populous U.S. state.

Mexican vigilante leader facing murder trial

Mexico City, Mar 20 (EFE).- A leader of self-defense groups who have been battling the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel in the western Mexican state of Michoacan was ordered bound over for trial on charges of accessory to murder. State magistrate Juan Salvador Alonso Mejia also instructed police to transfer Hipolito Mora to the prison in Apatzingan, where several Templarios are being held. Mora is accused of involvement in the murders of Rafael Sanchez Moreno and his driver, Jose Luis Torres Castañeda.

Mexican vigilante leader facing murder trial

Mexico City, Mar 20 (EFE).- A leader of self-defense groups who have been battling the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel in the western Mexican state of Michoacan was ordered bound over for trial on charges of accessory to murder. State magistrate Juan Salvador Alonso Mejia also instructed police to transfer Hipolito Mora to the prison in Apatzingan, where several Templarios are being held. Mora is accused of involvement in the murders of Rafael Sanchez Moreno and his driver, Jose Luis Torres Castañeda.

Child victims of Italy's 'men of dishonour'

The brutal murder of a three-year-old boy in a mafia ambush in southern Italy shows that the so-called "code of honour" among members of organised crime groups is pure myth, according to experts. Domenico was shot dead along with his mother and her partner when the car they were travelling in was attacked by gunmen in Taranto on Monday, sparking reactions of horror in Italy. Two other children in the car apparently only survived because they played dead.

Hells Angels biker is sent to jail for a total of 27 years in two separate cases

MONTREAL - A member of the Hells Angels chapter in Trois-Rivieres has been sentenced to a total of 27 years in jail. Normand (Casper) Ouimet was sentenced today by two different judges in two different cases. His two sentences will run consecutively. Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton sentenced Ouimet to 25 years after he pleaded guilty to reduced charges of conspiracy to commit murder stemming from Operation SharQc, a major sweep against the criminal biker gang.

Ukraine oligarch to stay in Austrian custody

A Ukrainian oligarch arrested in Austria last week will remain in custody until at least Friday, if not Monday, his lawyers told the Austria Press Agency on Tuesday. Authorities have set bail for Dmytro Firtash, a backer of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, at 125 million euros ($173.9 million), the highest in Austrian legal history, APA said. The 48-year-old energy, chemicals and media magnate was arrested in Vienna on March 12 on the basis of a US arrest warrant following a lengthy FBI investigation.
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