Pope Francis Caps Trip to Ecuador with Calls to Protect Environment
Pope Francis continues his tour of South America in Boliva Wednesday, after urging the faithful to open their arms to the poor and preserve the environment for future generations during a pair of speeches in Ecuador.
The pontiff told a group of business leaders and indigenous tribes in the capital city of Quito that "the goods of the Earth are meant for everyone, and however much someone may parade his property, it has a social mortgage."
His remarks on the environment were the first since he released his encyclical last month calling on world leaders to take immediate action to halt climate change, including ending the Earth's reliance on fossil fuels.
Pope Francis has faced heated criticism among climate change skeptics for his stance, especially in the United States, which he plans to visit in September. Conservatives have denounced him as ill-informed on the issue, and have called on him to drop the issue.
Myanmar Sets November National Election Date
Myanmar has announced that the country's long-awaited national election will be held on November 8.
The opposition National League for Democracy, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, is expected to continue its strong performance at the polls.
But Aung San Suu Kyi will be unable to run for president, after the military-dominated parliament last month rejected a constitutional reform measure. The measure would have ended the army's legislative veto power, making it easier to change the constitution.
Under the current charter, Myanmar's military has 25 guaranteed parliament seats, enough to block constitutional changes it does not like.
The constitution forbids anyone with foreign children from running for president. Aung San Suu Kyi, whose sons are British, is ineligible for the post.
The decision was seen as a setback for Myanmar's political transition, which began in 2011 when the military, which had ruled the country for decades, handed power to a mostly civilian government.