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The Latest: Patriarch using standard vestments to meet pope

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 12th - 8:00am

The Latest on Pope Francis's historic meeting in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and his subsequent trip to Mexico (all times local):

Philippines, rebels fortify truce amid stalled peace pact

Jim Gomez, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 12th - 6:40am

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels have extended the stay of international cease-fire monitors at their first meeting since their peace pact stalled amid fears of fresh fighting.

Carter says UAE will put special forces in Syria

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 12th - 4:40am

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says a key Persian Gulf ally has agreed to send special forces soldiers to Syria to assist in the development of local Sunni Arab fighters focused on recapturing Raqqa, the Islamic State group's capital.

Revitalized El Paso ready to show off for papal tourists

Astrid Galvan, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 6:51pm

No longer the desolate space it was a few years ago, downtown El Paso is ripe with new hotels, bars, restaurants — and bulldozers that herald the planned construction of a streetcar, a children's museum, a Mexican-American cultural center and new mixed-used buildings.

Iranians rally to celebrate anniversary of 1979 revolution

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 9:30am

Iranians held nationwide celebrations Thursday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that ousted a pro-Western monarchy and brought Islamists to power, with some making a point of taunting the U.S. despite Iran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

Defense begins case in trial against polygamous towns

Terry Tang, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 5:31pm

The mayor of a polygamous town in Utah accused of functioning as an arm of a polygamous church said Wednesday that he has never discriminated based on religion.

Pope on Ash Wednesday: charity's not to please ourselves

Frances D'Emilio, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 12:41pm

Pope Francis rubbed ashes on the bowed heads of prelates, nuns and ordinary Catholics Wednesday, and had them smudged on his own head, too, to usher in the Lenten season of prayer and sacrifice he said must be done out of authentic love, not to satisfy one's conscience.

Christian, Muslim leaders in Cyprus support peace talks

Menelaos Hadjicostis, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 9:50am

Christian and Muslim leaders in Cyprus on Wednesday repeated their full support for ongoing talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically-split country, saying their united stand for peace serves as a strong example of cooperation in a region where conflict is often fueled by religion.

Russian Orthodox Church allowed to return debt in prayers

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 12th - 5:20am

A Russian regional court has ruled that an Orthodox Church diocese can repay part of an outstanding debt in prayers rather than money.

FBI thanks evangelist for helping resolve standoff

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 6:11pm

The FBI is thanking the Rev. Franklin Graham for helping convince the last four occupiers of a national nature preserve to surrender peacefully.

Governor wants review of Idaho's faith-healing exemption

Kimberlee Kruesi, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 3:30pm

The governor said Thursday he is concerned with the number of children who die in Idaho because their parents choose faith healing for religious reasons over medical assistance.

El Paso prepares for pope's visit to US-Mexico border

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 3:01pm

When Pope Francis wraps up his visit to Mexico with a Mass in Ciudad Juarez next Wednesday, tens of thousands of people will be watching from the U.S. side of the Rio Grande in El Paso, Texas.

Herbert questions Mormon church impact on medical pot plan

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 3:01pm

Utah's governor says the Mormon church's opposition to a medical marijuana bill may have little impact on the proposal's fate.

Cuba hosting first-ever papal meeting with Russian Orthodox patriarch

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 2:31pm

The heads of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches will hold a historic meeting Friday in Cuba.

Federal trial again delayed in Charleston church shooting

Bruce Smith, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 10:30am

A judge on Thursday delayed the trial of a white man charged in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a Charleston church as attorneys wait to see whether the federal government will seek the death penalty.

Protections for gay marriage opponents come before lawmakers

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 11th - 6:30am

Discussion of legal exemptions for same-sex marriage opponents is expected to dominate the day at Georgia's Capitol.

Senate panel OKs tax break for Grand Canyon University

Bob Christie, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 5:21pm

A Senate committee dominated by Republicans has voted along party lines to advance a bill granting a big property tax break for a growing private Christian university in west Phoenix.

Sponsor delays hearing on protecting gay marriage objectors

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 3:01pm

A powerful Georgia Senate committee has delayed a hearing on a bill allowing religious adoption agencies, schools, government workers and others to refuse services to same-sex couples without being penalized.

Jailed church official wins latest child-endangerment appeal

Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 2:01pm

A Roman Catholic church official could soon seek bail after a Pennsylvania appeals court refused to review a decision to throw out his child-endangerment conviction.

Chicago-area college to name scholarship after ex-professor

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Feb 10th - 11:31am

A suburban Chicago Christian college will create a scholarship named for a former political science professor who asserted Christians and Muslims worship the same God.