Pope Francis with Cuban president Raul Castro during a private audience at the Vatican. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/EPA/Pool

Pope Francis held a cordial hour-long meeting in the Vatican on Sunday with Cuban President Raul Castro, signalling the two men were in accord on issu(...)

Pope Francis blesses the crowd at the end of his the weekly general audience at St Peter’s Square  at the Vatican on May 6th, 2015. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis has decreed that priests may absolve women of the “sin of a procured abortion” during Holy Year next year. In Catholic teaching, it is no(...)

Pope Francis and Cuban President Raul Castro will meet  in the Vatican next Sunday. Photograph: iampiero Sposito/Reuters

In an not entirely surprising move, the Holy See has announced the Cuban President Raul Castro will meet with Pope Francis for a private audience in t(...)

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi: said the new legislation will create clarity and stability as it should shield governments from being undermined by political or electoral allies. Photograph: Olivier Morinolivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi recorded an important success in his ambitious programme of institutional reform when Italy’s lower house tonight(...)

A video image released by the Italian coast guard of a rescue operation of 397 migrants on Saturday. Photograph: AFP/Guardia Costiera

More than 6,000 migrants were rescued at sea over the weekend, with Italy’s coast guard summoning Italian and French naval boats, merchant ships and (...)

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi: Opponents have claimed his confidence vote method is the same one used by fascist dictator Mussolini. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Despite opposition from within his own Democratic Party (PD), Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi ploughed ahead with his ambitious reform programme (...)

Pope Francis and United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the Vatican on Tuesday. Photograph: EPA

Pope Francis and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon shared their concerns about both migration and climate change during an informal, half-hour meeting (...)

A rescued migrant  at the Sicilian port of Catania yesterday. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Italy’s boat people crisis continued apace yesterday as yet another vessel carrying migrants landed in the port of Catania. On a bright sunny Sicilian(...)

A migrant (right) prepares to put on a pair of new shoes after disembarking at the Sicilian harbor of Catania. Some 220 migrants who were rescued at sea off the coast of Libya on Wednesday were taken to the Sicilian port of Catania early on Thursday. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

As EU leaders were preparing for an emergency summit in Brussels today to discuss Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis, another boatload of migrants was (...)

Photograph released by Italian Police office of Ragusa, Sicily, shows a Turkish flagged yacht used by smugglers to transport migrants. Photograph: AP 1:00

The arrival in Ragusa, Sicily, on Tuesday night of a 25m-long luxury yacht sailed by three Syrians, with 98 Syrians and Palestinians, including 23 chi(...)