Web blessing for .catholic

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The Vatican has come out in first place in a long-awaited draw to expand the internet address system with new domain names that go beyond the usual .com, .org or .net endings.

Icann, the corporation that oversees the internet address system, announced the domain name .catholic written in Chinese characters will be the first bid it considers in a drive to expand and reorganise sites on the World Wide Web.

The same extension in Arabic letters ranked 25th in the random draw and the Vatican’s application for a version in Cyrillic for Russian and other Slavic languages came in 96th.