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WASHINGTON (AP) - Attention online shoppers: The days of tax-free shopping on the Internet may soon end for many of you.
The Senate is voting on a bill today that would empower states to collect sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The measure is expected to pass because it has already survived three procedural votes.
The bill faces opposition in the House, where some Republicans regard it as a tax increase. But there is a broad coalition of retailers lobbying in favor of it.
Under current law, states can only require retailers to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are tax-free, giving Internet retailers an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is calling for courageous defense of children to protect them from abuse.
Francis made no mention of the church scandals in many countries in which clergy abused children and hierarchy covered up for them. At a Mass he celebrated Sunday in crowded St. Peter's Square, Francis said abuse victims are in his prayers.
He stressed that all must work with courage so that children, who are among the most vulnerable people, be always defended and protected.
Ignoring sometimes heavy rain, Francis toured the square in a popemobile, but left the vehicle to embrace disabled adults and children along his route.
In a surprise, he ventured beyond the Vatican's confines, riding the popemobile down a Rome boulevard to greet thousands of cheering faithful who couldn't fit in the square.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria says the recent Israeli airstrikes against its territory are a "flagrant violation of international law" and have made the Middle East "more dangerous."
Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi read out a Cabinet statement to reporters Sunday in Damascus following an emergency government meeting.
Al-Zoubi says the Israeli attack is evidence of the Jewish state's links with Islamic extremist groups trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad's regime.
He adds that Syria has the right and the duty "to defend its people by all available means."
In a letter sent to the United Nations and the U.N. Security Council, Syria sats the attacks aim "to give direct military support to terrorist groups" fighting the government.
Syria's government refers to rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad's regime as "terrorists."