Vatican dodges UN sex abuse questions

The Vatican on Tuesday dodged a series of questions posed by a U.N. committee about clerical sexual abuse by noting that the Holy See doesn’t control the actions of every Catholic in the world. The Vatican’s position was laid out in a response to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child about its implementation of the 1989 U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child. (Washington Post)

UK 'stagnates' in global school test

The UK is falling behind global rivals in international tests taken by 15-year-olds, failing to make the top 20 in maths, reading and science. (BBC)

Arafat did not die of poisoning, French tests conclude

Yasser Arafat was not the victim of poisoning, French forensic scientists concluded on Tuesday, countering a Swiss report on the 2004 death of the Palestinian leader that found he was probably killed with radioactive polonium.The French conclusions were immediately challenged by his widow, Suha Arafat. A senior Palestinian official dismissed the report as "politicised". (Reuters)

Hezbollah militant killed in Beirut

One of the leaders of Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah has been killed near Beirut, the group says. Hassan Lakkis was "assassinated" near his home in Hadath - 7km (4.3 miles) south-east of the Lebanese capital, Hezbollah TV channel Al-Manar said. Hezbollah blamed Israel for his death. Israel has not commented. (BBC)

Signs of water found on 5 alien planets by Hubble Telescope

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected water in the atmospheres of five planets beyond our solar system, two recent studies reveal.The five exoplanets with hints of water are all scorching-hot, Jupiter-size worlds that are unlikely to host life as we know it. But finding water in their atmospheres still marks a step forward in the search for distant planets that may be capable of supporting alien life, researchers said. (