Thu 24th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Thu 24th Apr 2014 at 10:09am

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Vatican rejects claims it is encouraging illegal ivory trade

Benedict XVI accepts a gift of an ivory crucifix from Benin's President Thomas Yayi Boni, who said it was obtained legally (Photo: CNS)

Fr Lombardi says Vatican Radio will engage in fight against poaching

Pope meets Communist leader from Vietnam for first time

Vietnam's ruling Communist Party held a congress in Hanoi last year in which Nguyen Phu Trong was elected leader (Photo: PA)

Meeting comes as restrictions on Catholics in some parts of Vietnam are being eased

Pope raises Ukrainian Exarchate in Great Britain to status of Eparchy

Bishop Hlib Borys Sviatoslav Lonchyna (CNS)

Pope Benedict has raised the Ukranian Apostolic Exarchate to the new rank of Eparchy

Bishop in Mali says his flock are in hiding

French troops stand guard about 40 km outside Segou (Photo: PA)

Bishop Traore, whose diocese is on the frontline of the conflict, says people are too scared to enter churches

Down’s abortion figures may be higher, admits Government

The Government recorded that 582 abortions were performed on unborn babies with Down's Syndrome in 2010 (Photo: PA)

Hundreds more children with Down’s Syndrome may be being aborted each year than figures show