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Pope Francis meets transgender guests of Rome church

Pope Francis has met with a fourth group of transgender people who found shelter at a Rome church, the Vatican newspaper reported Thursday.

L'Osservatore Romano said the encounter took place Wednesday on the sidelines of Francis' weekly general audience. The newspaper quoted Sister Genevieve Jeanningros and the Rev. Andrea Conocchia as saying the pope's welcome brought their guests hope.

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Imagine Dragons hit the U.S. road, now mixing light and dark

Imagine Dragons are touring the U.S. this summer and fall, which means frontman Dan Reynolds has to go to a lot of dark places.

The band is debuting songs from the second half of "Mercury," a double album of brooding and moody meditations on death and human frailty. Reynolds relives the pain at every show.

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Metallica, Mariah Carey headline Global Citizen NYC concert

Metallica, Mariah Carey and The Jonas Brothers will headline a free concert in New York's Central Park next month marking the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival organized by the international nonprofit fighting extreme poverty.

The Sept. 24 event will also feature a concert across the globe in Accra, Ghana, with Usher, SZA and H.E.R.

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Serena loses 1st match since saying she's prepared to retire

Serena Williams wore her game face when she stepped out into the stadium for her first match since telling the world she is ready to leave professional tennis.

Greeted by a standing ovation, the 23-time Grand Slam champion didn't smile. She didn't wave. She took a sip from a plastic bottle as she walked in. Some folks in the crowd captured the moment with the cameras on their cellphones. Others held aloft handrawn signs — oh, so many signs — with messsages such as "Queen" or "Thank you."

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Nick Kyrgios beats top-ranked Daniil Medvedev in Montreal

Nick Kyrgios beat top-ranked defending champion Daniil Medvedev 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday in the National Bank Open.

Krygios, the Australian ranked 37th, won last week in Washington for his seventh ATP Tour title. Medvedev won last week in Los Cabos, Mexico.

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Brazil soccer body rejects WCup qualifier against Argentina

Brazil insisted that it won't play its suspended World Cup qualifying match against Argentina next month, arguing that the risks are too high ahead of the tournament in Qatar.

The qualifier nearly one year ago in Sao Paulo was stopped by local health officials after six minutes due to COVID-19 protocols regarding four Argentinian players.

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Real Madrid beats Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 for UEFA Super Cup

This time, there were only two goals.

David Alaba and Karim Benzema scored in each half for Real Madrid to win the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.

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African wildlife parks face climate, infrastructure threats

Africa's national parks, home to thousands of wildlife species such as lions, elephants and buffaloes, are increasingly threatened by below-average rainfall and new infrastructure projects, stressing habitats and the species that rely on them.

A prolonged drought in much of the continent's east, exacerbated by climate change, and large-scale developments, including oil drilling and livestock grazing, are hampering conservation efforts in protected areas, several environmental experts say.

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Firefighters combat major wildfire in southwestern France

More than 1,000 firefighters were struggling Thursday to contain a major wildfire which has burned a large area of pine forest in southwestern France, in a region that was already ravaged by flames last month.

Local authorities said more than 68 square kilometers (26 square miles) have burned since Tuesday in the Gironde region and neighboring Landes as France, like other European countries, swelters through a hot and dry summer.

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Young Gaza artist was among those killed in Israeli strikes

When Israeli bombs began falling last week, 22-year-old Duniana al-Amour ran into her room and tried to escape into her art and drawing, just as she had during Gaza's past wars.

But this time around, her pencil never met the paper.

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