'Finally:' Pope meets Russian Orthodox leader HAVANA (AP) - Pope Francis met Friday with Patriarch Kirill in the first-ever papal meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, an historic development in the 1,000-year schism that divided Christianity that may, however, be more about Russia asserting itself than any new ecumenical progress. "Finally!" Francis exclaimed as he embraced Kirill in the small, wood-paneled VIP room of Havana's airport, where the three-hour encounter was taking place. "We are brothers." They kissed one another three times on the cheek, and Kirill told the pope through an interpreter: "Now things are easier." Francis was having the brief talks in Cuba before heading off on a five-day visit to Mexico, where the pontiff will bring a message of solidarity with the victims of drug violence, human trafficking and discrimination to some of that country's most violent and poverty-stricken regions.
Black Democrats question Sanders' commitment to Obama MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign enlisted the support of black Democrats on Friday to undermine Bernie Sanders' push to claim a piece of President Barack Obama's legacy, arguing she is the rightful heir to the nation's first black president. Clinton sought solidarity with Obama at every turn during Thursday's debate in Milwaukee, referring to herself as a "staunch supporter" of his health care law and praising him as a role model on race relations. Clinton ended the debate by criticizing Sanders for saying in an interview with MSNBC that Obama had failed the "presidential leadership test." By Friday, as Clinton traveled to a black community in South Carolina, her African-American allies in Congress seized upon the Vermont senator's comments during the debate that race relations would "absolutely" be better under a future Sanders administration.
The Latest: Clinton enlists black Democrats against Sanders COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on campaign 2016. (all times local): 3:00 p.m. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is enlisting the help of black Democrats to undermine Bernie Sanders' push to claim a piece of President Barack Obama's legacy. Clinton sought solidarity with Obama at every turn during Thursday's debate in Milwaukee, referring to herself as a "staunch supporter" of his health care law and praising him as a role model on race relations. On Friday, Clinton's African-American allies in Congress were seizing upon the Vermont senator's comments during the debate that race relations would "absolutely" be better under a future Sanders administration.
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Brazil minister says no doubt Zika connected to microcephaly BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) - Brazil's health minister said Friday that authorities were "absolutely sure" that the Zika virus is connected to devastating birth defects and rejected criticism that the government was slow to investigate the surge of cases that set off international alarms. Marcelo Castro made the remarks during an interview with The Associated Press in Brazil's capital. He spoke a day before tens of thousands of soldiers and health inspectors were to take to the streets in an unprecedented drive to encourage residents to be vigilant for mosquito breeding sites. The goal: visit 3 million homes in more than 350 cities.
Facebook nude-painting case can face trial in France PARIS (AP) - If you post a 19th-century nude painting on Facebook, is it art or impermissible nudity? That question is now cleared for trial in France, after an appeals court there ruled that an aggrieved user can sue the social network over the issue. Five years ago, Facebook suspended the account of Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 57-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover, without prior notice. That was the day he posted a photo of Gustave Courbet's 1866 painting "The Origin of the World," which depicts female genitalia. Durand-Baissas wants his account reactivated and is asking for 20,000 euros ($22,550) in damages.
'No rhyme or reason' for machete attack at Ohio restaurant COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - From the front door, the man with the machete didn't have a straight path to people in the booths at the small suburban restaurant. He stepped by the welcoming greeting on the front glass, past the half-wall entryway divider and the display case of kataifi and other Mediterranean pastries. Immediately, police said, he started swinging. "There was no rhyme or reason as to who he was going after," said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman. By the time it was over, four adults were wounded and the attacker was dead, shot by police in a confrontation a few miles away.
Obstacles abound in prosecution of Texas priest in cold case HOUSTON (AP) - Prosecutors face a tough road in their case against a former priest accused this week in the killing of a young Texas teacher and beauty queen nearly 56 years ago, according to legal experts. John Bernard Feit, 83, remained in custody Friday in Phoenix following his indictment in South Texas' Hidalgo County for the murder of 25-year-old Irene Garza. Feit had been considered a suspect in the past, and two fellow priests told authorities he confessed to them. But like many cold cases, this one will pose special difficulties stemming from decades-old evidence, a lack of DNA and the long delay in bringing charges.
Urbanization leads to change in type of bacteria in the home WASHINGTON (AP) - Whether it's a jungle hut or a high-rise apartment, your home is covered in bacteria, and new research from the Amazon suggests city dwellers might want to open a window. Scientists traveled from remote villages in Peru to a large Brazilian city to begin tracking the effects of urbanization on the diversity of bacteria in people's homes. It's a small first step in a larger quest - understanding how different environmental bugs help shape what's called our microbiome, the trillions of bacteria that share our bodies and play a critical role in our health. "Very little is known about the microbes of the built environment," microbiologist Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello of New York University, who led the pilot study, said at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Kanye's lyrics about Taylor Swift ignite new controversy NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) - Kanye West's new album, "The Life Of Pablo," has ignited a new controversy between the rapper and pop superstar Taylor Swift. West debuted his album at the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show at Madison Square Garden in New York on Thursday. The album included a song called, "Famous," in which he called the "Bad Blood" singer a "bitch" and said he made her famous. On his Twitter account, he said the lyric was not an insult. "I did not diss Taylor Swift and I've never dissed her," he wrote. "I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings," he wrote.
Au CHICAGO (AP) - Written by hand, the autopsies on the seven bullet-riddled bodies vividly describe why the Valentine's Day massacre of 1929 is still considered Chicago's most infamous gangland killing. The reports were recently unearthed with inquest transcripts from a warehouse after eight decades, and the Cook County medical examiner's office is now considering how best to preserve and display them. Executive officer James Sledge, a local history fan and a Chicago native, said he felt a chill down his back when he first read the documents outlining the attack at a Lincoln Park garage that left seven men dead and more than 160 machine gun casings littering the scene.