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Pope Francis arrives to meet Zambia's President Edgar Lungu during a private audience at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (Alberto Pizzoli/Pool Photo via AP)The patriarch of Russia's Orthodox Church will take part in an historic first meeting with the Roman Catholic pontiff on Feb. 12 because of the need for a joint response to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the Orthodox Church said. Senior Orthodox cleric Metropolitan Hilarion said that long-standing differences between the two churches remain, most notably a row over the status of the Uniate Church, in Ukraine. "The situation shaping up today in the Middle East, in North and Central Africa, and in some other regions where extremists are carrying out a genuine genocide of the Christian population, demands urgent measures and an even closer cooperation between the Christian churches," Hilarion said.


2016-02-05 05:01:10 -0700

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on a screen as he addresses the media from the London embassy of Ecuador Friday Feb. 5, 2016, where he has been holed up for some 3½ years to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning about alleged sexual offenses. A U.N. human rights panel says Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" by Britain and Sweden since December 2010. The U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said his detention should end and he should be entitled to compensation. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)LONDON (AP) — A United Nations human rights panel has sided with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his long-running battle with Swedish and British authorities, saying he should be allowed to walk free immediately and compensated for the years he has lost.


2016-02-05 07:32:10 -0700