Pope Heads to Cuba for Historic 'Personal Conversation'
Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, has embarked on a trip that will take him to Mexico, with a stop in Cuba for a historic meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
Kirill is in Cuba for a state visit. The Holy See announced last week that Pope Francis will make a stop at Havana's José Martí International airport to have a "personal conversation" with the patriarch and sign a joint declaration. Details of the declaration have not been made public.
The Friday meeting is the first of its kind; an effort to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that has divided Christianity between East and West.
The split between the two churches since 1054 has festered over issues such as the primacy of the pope and accusations by the Russian Orthodox church that the Catholic Church is trying to poach converts in Russia.
Venezuelan Supreme Court Approves Emergency Powers for President
Venezuela's Supreme Court has ruled that President Nicolas Maduro's request for special powers to stave off an economic emergency is legal, despite criticism from the country's legislature.
The court ruled Thursday that Maduro's decree granting the president expanded authority over the economy for 60 days is legitimate. The court said opposition lawmakers did not follow the correct procedures for opposing the measure.
Maduro had asked the court for emergency powers to counteract the country's deep economic crisis by taking over the resources of private companies, imposing currency controls, and using "other social, economic, or political measures deemed fitting."
The government says the move is an attempt to stimulate production, but the opposition accuses the government of extending the reach of its power too far.