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• Not so fast: Vatican says Pope Francis got it wrong, atheists do go to hell 

The Vatican has issued a new statement running counter to Pope Francis‘ recent suggestion that good deeds can earn atheists entrance to heaven.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said in what was described as an “explanatory note” that those who know about the Catholic Church “cannot be saved [if they] refuse to enter her or remain in her,” United Press International reported.

• School interrogation over toy gun leaves boy, 5, with wet pants, suspension

A Maryland family is appealing their 5-year-old son’s school suspension over a toy cap gun, characterizing the boy’s two-hour interrogation and subsequent 10-day boot from class a bit over the top.

The Calvert County kindergartner’s troubles began Wednesday, when he carried an orange-tipped unloaded toy cap gun inside his backpack on the school bus, WJLA News reported. Shortly before lunch, school officials called the boy to the office to account for a claim that he pointed the toy gun at someone on the bus and pretended to shoot. The boy – during a two-hour interrogation that ensued – denied he pointed his toy at anyone.

• Another ricin-tainted letter mailed to Obama

Yet another ricin-tainted letter was mailed to President Obama, the third such poisoned letter sent to the White House in recent weeks and part of a batch of suspicious mail sent from Spokane, Wash. that also targeted a federal judge and a post office in that city, the FBI said.

A fourth letter sent to Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane is being analyzed for possible ricin contamination, FBI officials told reporters. All the letters were intercepted by authorities before they reached their targets.

• Middle East virus, MERS, called ‘threat to the entire world’

A respiratory illness that is sweeping the Middle East, infecting dozens and killing at least 30, is a global threat that must be contained, medical experts said.

The Middle Eastern Respiratory Symptom Coronavirus has infected at least 50 in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

“We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat. Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization, in remarks this week reported by The New York Daily News. “These are alarm bells, and we must respond. The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The [virus] is a threat to the entire world.”

• Sen. John McCain accused of posing with kidnappers in Syria

Sen. John McCain is denying Lebanese media reports that he posed with known kidnappers during his recent visit to Syria.

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