ITALY

U.N., Vatican discuss climate

The United Nations and Vatican joined forces Tuesday to warn about the dire effects of climate change, gathering religious leaders, Nobel laureates and heads of state to present a united front ahead of make-or-break environment talks later this year in Paris. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Pope Francis for framing the need to combat global warming as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical provided an “unprecedented opportunity” to create a more sustainable future for the planet. Ban opened a Vatican conference on the environment that is a key part of the Holy See’s rollout of Francis’ eagerly awaited encyclical, which is expected in June. While popes past have all taken strong stands in favor of environmental protection, Francis will be the first to address climate change in a pontiff’s most authoritative teaching document.

NIGERIA

Troops free women, girls

Nigerian troops rescued nearly 300 girls and women during an offensive Tuesday against Boko Haram militants in the northeastern Sambisa Forest, the military said, but they did not include any of the schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok a year ago. The army announced the rescue on Twitter and said it was screening and interviewing the abducted girls and women. Boko Haram has kidnapped an unknown number of girls, women and young men to be used as sex slaves and fighters.

Indonesia

Convicted smugglers are executed

Indonesia brushed aside last-minute appeals and executed eight people convicted of drug smuggling, according to foreign governments and local media reports Wednesday, although a Philippine woman was granted a stay of execution. The Indonesian government has not confirmed the executions of two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian man, but local media reported that the eight had been executed, citing official though unidentified sources.

RUSSIA

Space docking is postponed

Russia’s space agency postponed the docking of a cargo ship with the International Space Station on Tuesday because of problems with the unmanned spacecraft. Roscosmos said Russia’s Mission Control was having trouble getting data from the spacecraft and decided to postpone the docking at least until Thursday.

Portugal

Parents of missing girl win suit

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann have won 500,000 euros ($549,000) in a libel action against a former Portuguese detective who published a book alleging they were involved in their daughter’s disappearance, according to a Lisbon court ruling published Tuesday.

Compiled from wire reports.