Top Asian News 3:47 a.m. GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea in response to North Korea's nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch, ahead of talks next week to set up an even more sophisticated U.S. missile defense in a move that has worried China and Russia. The new tough stance follows South Korea's decision to shut down an inter-Korean factory park that had been the rival Koreas' last major symbol of cooperation, but that Seoul said had been used by North Korea to fund its nuclear and missile programs. North Korea responded by deporting South Korean citizens, seizing South Korean assets and vowing to militarize the park.
'Finally': Pope meets Russian Orthodox leader
MEXICO CITY (AP) — With an exclamation of "Finally," Pope Francis embraced Patriarch Kirill on Friday in the first meeting between a pontiff and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, a brief but historic encounter held during a stopover in Cuba before the pope flew on to Mexico.
After 1,000-year split, pope and Russian patriarch embrace in Cuba
By Philip Pullella and Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill embraced and kissed on Friday in a historic meeting, uniting to issue a global appeal for the protection of Christians under assault in the Middle East. Nearly 1,000 years after the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity split apart, the meeting at an airport terminal in Cuba was the first ever between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch. "Their churches are being barbarously ravaged and looted, their sacred objects profaned, their monuments destroyed." They also said large-scale humanitarian aid was required to tend to refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, lamenting the "massive exodus of Christians." Cuban President Raul Castro stood to the side during the ceremony, enjoying another moment in the international limelight after receiving Francis last year and restoring diplomatic relations with the United States recently, meeting President Barack Obama in Panama in April.
FIFA presidential candidates make presentations to CONCACAF
MIAMI (AP) — Four of the five candidates for FIFA president made presentations to CONCACAF officials Friday.
Historic pope-patriarch declaration: key points
Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday held the first meeting in nearly a millennium between heads of their two branches of the Christian church. "Attempts to justify criminal acts with religious slogans are altogether unacceptable.
Pope, patriarch urge Christian unity at historic talks
Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill called in a historic meeting Friday for restored Christian unity and urgent action to help Christians threatened by violence in the Middle East. "In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa whole families, villages and cities of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being completely exterminated," they went on.
UN repatriates three Burundi officers from C. Africa over abuse claims
Pierre Niyonzima, Jimmy Rusheshe and Jean Mushimantwari, deployed as military observers, are due to be sent back to Burundi in the coming days, according to a UN source in Bangui, the Central African Republic's capital. "We received information about these officers after they were deployed that linked them to allegations of human rights violations, so the decision was made to repatriate them," Ismini Palla of the UN peacekeeping department said Friday.
Pope, Russian Orthodox chief say Christians being 'exterminated'
HAVANA (Reuters) - Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill on Friday called on the international community to protect Christians under assault in the Middle East in apparent reference to violence by the militant group Islamic State. "In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa whole families, villages and cities of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being completely exterminated," they said a joint declaration following the first-ever meeting between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch. ...
Merkel's liberal refugee policy 'unsustainable', says French PM
Germany's liberal refugee policy which ushered in 1.1 million asylum-seekers last year is not sustainable, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned Friday, as Chancellor Angela Merkel said a group of EU countries may take more in. "This policy, which is justified temporarily, is unsustainable in the long term," Valls told German regional media group Funke, pointing to the limited capacity not just in Germany, but also across Europe, to receive newcomers. "We have to say this clearly: Europe cannot take in all migrants from Syria, Iraq or Africa.
Bahrain at impasse five years after failed uprising
Five years after Sunni-ruled Bahrain crushed a popular uprising by the Shiite majority, the kingdom is locked in a political impasse exacerbated by an economic crisis, analysts say. "Hopes for progress on human rights and accountability for past and present abuses have faded," Amnesty International said ahead of Sunday's anniversary. Echoing protests against longstanding rulers elsewhere in the region, Bahrain's Shiites demanded a more representative government and a constitutional monarchy in the archipelago kingdom ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.