TPM World News

HAVANA (AP) — Pope Francis hailed detente between the United States and Cuba as a model of reconciliation for the world, urging Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro to persevere in building normal ties as the pontiff launched a 10-day tour of the former Cold War foes Saturday.

Francis' surprisingly direct call for progress toward normalization came after weeks of Vatican assurances that he would not explicitly address politics during his pastoral trip to Cuba and the U.S. Francis served as mediator and guarantor of 18 months of secret negotiations that led to the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year.

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ILLAPEL, Chile (AP) — Thousands of residents of this small city in northern Chile were sleeping outside Thursday after a powerful earthquake destroyed their homes, forced more than 1 million to evacuate and killed at least eight people in the quake-prone South American nation.

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MUNICH (AP) — Embracing its role as a defender of those in need, Germany welcomed at least 10,000 more asylum seekers into the country Saturday. As officials worked to give all a firm roof over their weary heads, a packed stadium cheered some of the littlest newcomers, who walked in hand-in-hand with top soccer players.

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