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The Vatican this week is expected to unveil the latest installment in its social media transformation, a Facebook page dedicated to the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Vatican officials have told the Associated Press that the page, which will link to video highlights of John Paul’s 27-year papacy, is designed to promote the May 1 beatification. But it may well continue beyond given the global and enduring interest in the late pontiff.

The interactivity Facebook offers — and the potential it brings to the church’s evangelization mission — is behind the Vatican’s new social media push, the culmination of which will launched by Easter with a new Vatican information Web portal.


WTO rules for China in U.S. trade dispute

GENEVA | China is declaring victory after a World Trade Organization ruling Friday that the U.S. illegally imposed two classes of punitive duties on Chinese exports in 2007.

WTO judges said the U.S. could not apply anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties. The U.S. had imposed up to 20 percent tariffs on Chinese products, including tires and steel pipes.

China’s WTO mission in Geneva said it welcomed a decision that “strikes at the heart of how the United States has applied countervailing duties to Chinese products.”

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he was “deeply troubled” by the trade body’s decision — which is precedent-setting by limiting the ability of Chinese trading partners to set punitive duties on the world’s biggest exporter.

Mr. Kirk called it “a clear case of overreaching” by the WTO.

From wire dispatches and staff reports