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Australian police ask court to ban protest at Cardinal Pell's funeral

Australian police plan to ask a judge to ban gay rights protesters from demonstrating outside the funeral of Cardinal George Pell in Sydney on Thursday due to public safety concerns. Pell, who was once considered the third-highest-ranking cleric in the Vatican and spent more than a year in prison before his child abuse convictions were squashed in 2020, died in Rome this month at age 81.

Ribbons are tied onto a fence as a protest at St Mary's Cathedral, in Sydney, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Police plan to ask a judge to ban gay rights protesters from demonstrating outside St. Mary's Cathedral during Australian Cardinal George Pell's Sydney funeral Wednesday. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP Image via AP)

China scoffs at new Czech president's phone call with Taiwan

China on Tuesday accused Czech President-elect Petr Pavel of challenging its hard line on national sovereignty by affirming ties with self-ruled Taiwan in a phone with the island's leader. The call on Monday represents a symbolic breach of China's attempts to cut off the already highly restricted foreign relations of the self-governing democracy, which Beijing claims as its own territory with no right to independent diplomatic recognition.

In this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks by phone with the Czech Republic's President elect Petr Pavel in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

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