Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD/NATION [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD/NATION [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

WORLD

Pope, in Cuba, demands more freedom for Church

HAVANA -- Pope Benedict XVI demanded greater freedom for the Catholic Church in Cuba during an unusually politicized Mass before hundreds of thousands of people today.

Pope Benedict's homily was a not-so-subtle jab at Cuba's government before a vast crowd in Revolution Plaza, with the country's leadership listening from front-row seats.

Pope Benedict issued his strongest denunciation of religious intolerance yet in Cuba, referring to the Biblical account of how people persecuted by the Babylonian king "preferred to face death by fire rather than betray their conscience and their faith."

Pope Benedict didn't cite the government by name, but later he urged Cuban authorities to let the church more freely preach its message and educate its young in the faith in schools and universities.

Pakistan army chief meets top US commanders

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's army chief held talks today with top U.S. commanders for the first time since American airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year and triggered a near collapse in the nations' already troubled ties at a vital stage in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

The meeting between Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the top U.S. commander in the region, Gen. James Mattis, and the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, could be a significant step toward rebuilding a relationship seen as key to U.S. hopes of withdrawing from Afghanistan.

Pakistan retaliated for the airstrikes by kicking the U.S. out of a base used by American drones and closing its border to supplies meant for NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Acid attack victim kills herself

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani acid attack victim Fakhra Younus had endured more than three dozen surgeries over more than a decade to repair her severely damaged face and body when she finally decided life was no longer worth living.

The 33-year-old former dancing girl -- who was allegedly attacked by her then-husband, an ex-lawmaker and son of a political powerhouse -- jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Rome, where she had been living and receiving treatment. …

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