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Historic step: Pope, Russia patriarch meet in Cuba Feb. 12

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 5th - 11:51am

In an historic step to heal the 1,000-year schism that split Christianity, Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in an attempt to begin bridging the church's East-West divide.

Utah lawmaker: Pornography a public health crisis

Brady McCombs and Michelle L. Price, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 5th - 10:01am

A state senator in Utah wants to declare pornography a public health crisis, echoing an argument being made around the U.S. by conservative religious groups as porn becomes more accessible on smartphones and tablets.

Ukrainian minister hopes resignation will speed up reforms

Sveta Kozlenko, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 5th - 7:50am

The Ukrainian economy minister whose resignation plunged the country into yet another political crisis said on Friday he hopes it will help create momentum for economic reforms.

Syrian family arrives in Italy in first humanitarian airlift

Nicole Winfield, Fadi Tawil and Maria Grazia Murru, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 4th - 7:10am

A 7-year-old Syrian girl suffering from a rare form of eye cancer arrived in Italy on Thursday, the first of an estimated 1,000 refugees who are being brought here on humanitarian grounds in a pilot project aimed at dissuading people from embarking on deadly sea crossings.

The Latest: Phoenix council replaces prayer with silence

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 8:02pm

The Latest on the Phoenix City Council discussion on the future of opening prayers at its meetings (all times local):

Obama visits US mosque, says impression of Muslims distorted

Darlene Superville, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 1:31pm

President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to correct what he called a "hugely distorted impression" of Muslim-Americans as he made his first visit to a U.S. mosque. He said those who demonize all Muslims for the acts of a few are playing into extremists' hands.

Pope denounces Mexican corruption, violence on eve of visit

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 7:10am

Pope Francis is denouncing corruption, violence and drug-trafficking in Mexico, telling Mexicans that he will use his upcoming visit to pray with them for "the gift of peace."

Malaysian politician ousted after criticizing prime minister

Eileen Ng, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 6:10am

The son of former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned as the top leader of a federal state Wednesday, saying he was ousted because he had criticized Prime Minister Najib Razak over a $700 million financial scandal.

Philippines fears new fighting with stalled Muslim autonomy

Jim Gomez, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 5:30am

The Philippine Congress ended its last regular session of its term Wednesday without passing a Muslim autonomy bill that aims to peacefully settle a decades-long Muslim rebellion in the south, sparking concerns the setback may ignite new fighting.

Virginia man in same-sex custody case ordered to prison

Wilson Ring, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 2nd - 7:21pm

A pastor convicted of helping a Virginia woman flee the country rather than share custody of her daughter with her former Vermont same-sex partner has been ordered to federal prison after a court rejected an appeal of his 2012 conviction.

Lawmakers, magistrate want to defend gay marriage exemption

Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 5th - 1:11pm

North Carolina legislators and a magistrate who won't issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples are asking a federal court to let them defend a religious exemption law challenged as discriminatory.

Oahu church, school found to have most sex abuse allegations

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 5th - 5:40am

A Catholic church and school on Oahu have generated the most allegations across the state of priests and teachers sexually abusing students decades ago.

The Vatican says Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 5th - 4:20am

The Vatican says Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba.

Saudi official says kingdom ready to send troops to Syria

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 4th - 1:30pm

A Saudi military spokesman said Thursday the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State group provided coalition leaders agree during an upcoming meeting in Brussels.

Saudi military spokesman tells AP the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State group if coalition

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 4th - 11:41am

Saudi military spokesman tells AP the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State group if coalition leaders agree.

House bill aims at high school athletes' religious clothing

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 3:01pm

A House committee has approved a bill preventing state-funded high schools from joining athletic associations that don't allow athletes to wear clothing expressing religious beliefs.

Wisconsin firm terminates Muslim workers in prayer dispute

Greg Moore, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 12:41pm

A civil liberties group said Wednesday that it plans to file federal discrimination and harassment complaints after a Wisconsin manufacturer fired seven Muslim employees for violating a company break policy that doesn't provide extra time for prayer.

Indiana business fears fallout from gay rights failure

Brian Slodysko and Aric Chokey, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 3rd - 1:10am

Indiana corporate leaders warned that the failure of the Republican-controlled Legislature to enact a law protecting gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination could rebound on business, making it harder to recruit talented employees and sell the state as an attractive place to live.

Alleged phony priest arrested for pope-trip swindle

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 2nd - 8:21pm

A man who allegedly posed as a priest and officiated at Masses, funerals, confessions, and at least one marriage was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of selling thousands of dollars in phony tickets to see Pope Francis during last year's U.S. visit.