Pope Francis cranked up his charm offensive on the world outside the Vatican on Tuesday, saying in the second widely shared media interview in two weeks that each person must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them and calling efforts to convert people to Christianity solemn nonsense.
The Vaticans head seemed intent on distancing himself from its power, saying church leaders have often been narcissists and clericalism should not have anything to do with Christianity.
The interview with atheist Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari set off another round of debate about what the pope meant.
Was he saying people can make up their own minds, even if they disagree with church teachings? Or was he just using casual language to describe classic church teaching about how people need to come to Catholic doctrine of their free will?
The parts of the wide-ranging interview that will be pored over are theological – the uncomplicated, unqualified language Francis uses to speak about faith.
Asked if there is a single vision of good, and who decides, Francis says: Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good
Buddhist mobs riot in Myanmar
Buddhist mobs killed a 94-year-old Muslim woman and torched more than 70 homes as sectarian violence again gripped Myanmars Rakhine state despite a visit by President Thein Sein, officials and residents said.
With attacks reported in several villages on the outskirts of Thandwe, where tensions have been mounting for days, the number of causalities could rise.
More than 700 rioters, some swinging swords, took to the streets in Thabyuchaing.
Jellyfish jam up nuclear plant
Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble a reactor Sunday after tons of jellyfish clogged the pipes that bring in cool water to the turbines.
By Tuesday, the pipes had been cleaned of the jellyfish and engineers were preparing to restart the reactor, which at 1,400 megawatts of output is the largest boiling-water reactor in the world, said Anders Osterberg, a spokesman for OKG, the plant operator.
‘Destructive’ device found at Fla. airport
Jacksonville International Airport in Florida has reopened after a bomb squad removed what was described as a destructive device from the area that had prompted an evacuation.
Jacksonville Sheriffs Office spokesman Shannon Hartley told a news conference Tuesday night that one of two suspicious packages found at the airport had a destructive component. He said the device was later rendered safe.
Teen charged with Colorado killing
A Colorado teen charged with kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl pleaded guilty Tuesday to all 22 charges against him, against the advice of his attorneys.
Austin Sigg, 18, could be sent to prison for the rest of his life for the October 2012 slaying of Jessica Ridgeway in Westminster. Jessica was abducted while walking to school, and her disappearance panicked thousands of residents in Denvers western suburbs.
Bikers, SUV driver in bloody melee
An unauthorized motorcycle rally featuring hundreds of bikers in New York City took a bloody turn when a large group of riders surrounded a man driving with his family, then chased his SUV for miles after he plowed through a blockade of bikes and beat him.
One biker suffered broken legs and apparent spine injuries when the SUV ran over him and may be paralyzed, police said. The driver, who was traveling with his wife and toddler, needed stitches to his face at a hospital.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said there were 15 arrests and 55 motorcycles confiscated.