Cardinal George Pell. Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's third-highest ranking member, was convicted by an Australian court Tuesday on charges related to the sexual abuse of two choir boys in the late 1990s, reports The Daily Beast. He's reportedly the highest ranking Vatican official to go to trial and face punishment in the church’s sex abuse scandal.

Why it matters: This is yet another major blow to the Catholic Church, one of the world’s most powerful institutions, which has been grappling with mounting child sex abuse scandals across the globe, including in the U.S. Pope Francis, who has faced some backlash over his handing of sexual abuse cases, on Wednesday expelled Pell and Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz of Chile from a Vatican advisory group. Errázuriz has been accused of covering up cases for abusive priests.

Go deeper with the New York Times' Damien Cave and Adam Baidawi: Why the Cardinal Pell Case Has Been So Secretive

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. EST: 32,062,182 — Total deaths: 979,701 — Total recoveries: 22,057,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m EST: 6,967,103 — Total deaths: 202,558 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  7. Science: During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
2 hours ago - Podcasts

The child care tax on America's economy

Child care in the U.S. is in crisis, which makes it much harder for the American economy to recover — as providers struggle to stay in business and parents wrestle with work.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the problems and what can be done to solve them, with Vox senior reporter Anna North.

Viral load is a puzzle in COVID-19

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

How sick a person gets from a virus can depend on how much of the pathogen that person was exposed to and how much virus is replicating in their body — questions that are still open for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As people try to balance resuming parts of their daily lives with controlling their risk of COVID-19, understanding the role of viral load could help tailor public health measures and patient care.

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