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Researchers have discovered that beluga whale vocalizations were remarkably close to human speech

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America is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom, the civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr. made his I have a dream speech

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Venezuela’s National Assembly has approved a request by President Hugo Chavez to postpone his inauguration for a new term in office

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...en in power since 1999, was re-elected in October for a fourth term. The government insists that the inauguration is a mere formality for an incumbent leader. Venezuela’s National Assembly has approved a request by President Hugo Chavez to postpone his inauguration for a new term in office After weeks of speculation, Diosdado Cabello announced to legislators that Hugo Chavez had requested to be s...

Conflicting reports have emerged over whether Beyonce sang live the National Anthem at President Barack Obama's inauguration

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...d: “There was no opportunity for Ms Knowles-Carter to rehearse with the Marine Band before the inauguration so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event. “Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances. &...

Pope Benedict XVI and the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro had a meeting today for the first time after the Pontiff saying mass in Havana

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Pope Benedict XVI and the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro had a meeting today for the first time after the Pontiff saying mass in Havana, in which he demanded greater freedom in the country and denounced Communist “fanaticism”. The meeting comes towards the end of the Pope’s three-day visit to the Communist-run island, during which the pontiff called for a bigger role for the Roman Catholi...

Pope Benedict XVI prays during the Mass held in Erfurt after the shooting incident.

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...ot informed about it before the Mass. “It didn’t seem particularly urgent,” he told reporters on the pope’s plane after the Mass. There has been very tight security for the Pope’s first state visit to his native Germany. Large parts of Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg have been locked down for the trip and large police forces were deployed.   On the Mass celebrated early Saturday, Pope Bened...

Pope Benedict XVI has delivered his traditional Urbi et Orbi Easter message of peace in front of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square in Rome

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Pope Benedict XVI has delivered his traditional Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) Easter message of peace in front of tens of thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Pope Benedict urged Syria’s government to end the bloody year-long conflict, and spoke of the trouble in Nigeria and Mali. At a Mass on Saturday, the Pope warned that mankind is “groping in the d...

Pope Benedict XVI was cheered by crowds as he made his first public appearance since resignation announcement at a weekly audience

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Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation and thanked the public for their “love and prayers”. The Pope was cheered by crowds as he entered and began speaking, at a weekly audience in a hall at the Vatican. Pope Benedict said he resigned because he was aware of his own diminishing spiritual and physical strength. Later he will hold what is exp...

Pope Francis was flown by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo for a private lunch with Pope Emeritus Benedict

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Pope Francis has met his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, for a private lunch at Castel Gandolfo; the first time such a meeting has been possible for more than 600 years. Pope Francis was flown by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo for the private lunch with Pope Emeritus Benedict. Benedict has lived at the lakeside castle south of Rome since last month, when he became the first pope in six ce...

Italian media have named the arrested man in Vatileaks scandal as Paolo Gabriele, a personal butler and assistant to Pope Benedict XVI and one of very few laymen to have access to the Pope's private apartments

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...s of confidential documents and letters to the media. Reports citing unnamed sources said he was the Pope Benedict’s personal butler. The “Vatileaks” scandal, as it is known, has enraged the Holy See. The leaks have revealed alleged corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts. The Vatican said the person detained was being questioned by Vatican magistrates. Last month, Pope...

More than 6.6 million people attended the papal events presided by Pope Francis from his election in March to the end of 2013

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...figures released by the Vatican, more than 6.6 million people attended the papal events presided by Pope Francis from his election in March to the end of 2013, compared to 2.3 million for former Pope Benedict in all of 2012. The figures were based on the number of tickets issued for papal events where they are needed, such as general audiences, Masses and private audiences. They were also based o...

Pope Benedict XVI warned yesterday that gay marriage is one of several threats to the traditional family unit

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Pope Benedict XVI warned yesterday that gay marriage is one of several threats to the traditional family unit that undermines “the future of humanity itself”. Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of proper of children needed proper “settings” and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman”. The pontiff made his comm...

Pope Benedict XVI wanted to reach out to everyone with tweets translated into eight languages

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Pope Benedict XVI is to begin sending Twitter messages using the handle @pontifex as his personal account, the Vatican has announced. A spokesman said Pope Benedict XVI wanted to “reach out to everyone” with tweets translated into eight languages. The first tweet from his account, whose name means both pontiff and builder of bridges, is expected on December 12th. Last year, Pope Bened...

Venezuela’s Vice-President Nicolas Maduro has given the annual state of the nation speech in place of Hugo Chavez, who is still recuperating in Cuba after cancer surgery

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...Constitution, which stipulates that the president should appear “personally” to give the speech within 10 days of the inauguration of the legislature. The current assembly was sworn in on January 5. The speech, which in Hugo Chavez’s hands could go on for hours, lasted a matter of minutes with Nicolas Maduro. President Hugo Chavez underwent a fourth operation for cancer on Decemb...

President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters and opponents have staged rival rallies across Egypt

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...to mark a year in office. Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, became Egypt’s first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair. His first year as president has been marred by constant political unrest and a sinking economy. Mohamed Morsi also used his televised address to warn the media not to abuse free speech. Within hours ripple...

Lady Gaga sang The Lady Is A Tramp with renowned crooner Tony Bennett at the Washington Convention Center to the delight of those who had campaigned for Barack Obama's re-election

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...y in attendance took to social media and Instagram to share pictures. President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama took to the stage before Lady Gaga’s entrance to thank supporters for their hard work, saying that the thousands of guests at his staff ball represented his “deepest hopes for America”. Tuesday’s inauguration festivities came hot on the heels of Barack Obama...

Pope Benedict XVI is to resign at the end of this month in an entirely unexpected development

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...esignation have yet to emerge. At 78, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was one of the oldest new popes in history when elected. Resignations from the papacy are not unknown, but this is the first in the modern era, which has been marked by pontiffs dying while in office. Pope Benedict XVI took the helm as one of the fiercest storms the Catholic Church has faced in decades – the scandal o...

Paolo Gabriele pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated theft but said he had abused the Pope's trust

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Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict’s former butler, who is on trial inside the Vatican, has denied charges of stealing confidential documents from the pontiff’s private apartment. Paolo Gabriele, 46, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated theft but said he had abused the Pope’s trust. He said he believed the pontiff was being manipulated, and that he acted alone in copying the s...

Paolo Gabriele, the Pope's butler, has been charged with illegally obtaining private papal documents and memos

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Pope Benedict XVI has broken his silence on the Vatileaks scandal, expressing his anger at the way some parts of the media are covering the story. Pope Benedict said “exaggerated” and “gratuitous” reports were painting a false image of the Holy See. A series of leaks has revealed allegations of corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts. Paolo Gabriele, the Pope̵...

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that Pope Benedict was not stepping down because of any specific illness

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The Vatican has acknowledged that Pope Benedict XVI has had a pacemaker for years, one day after his resignation. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that Pope Benedict was not stepping down because of any specific illness. The Pope’s last public appearance will be his final mass in Saint Peter’s Square on February 27, Federico Lombardi said. The pontiff would have no role in the...

Pope Benedict XVI has given his final Sunday blessing at the Vatican before he steps down on February 28

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Pope Benedict XVI has given his final Sunday blessing at the Vatican before he steps down on February 28. In his last Angelus in St Peter’s Square, the Pope told thousands of cheering pilgrims his decision did not mean he was abandoning the Church. Pope Benedict, 85, announced his resignation last week, saying ill-health meant he could not continue. Cardinals are gathering to choose the nex...

Barbara Walters has been hospitalized after she fell last night at an inauguration party and will be unable to contribute to ABC News' coverage of the event

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...s’ spokesperson. Because of her injury, the veteran newswoman will not contribute to Monday’s second inauguration of President Barack Obama. Barbara Walters was in Washington to cover the inauguration events and tripped last night on a step at the residence of Britain’s U.S. ambassador, Sir Peter Westmacott, Politico’s Mike Allen first reported. Barbara Walters has been hospitalized after she fel...

Barack Obama has officially been sworn in today for his second term as US president in a small ceremony at the White House

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...day sprucing up a school with other volunteers, as part of a National Day of Service kicking off the inauguration ceremonies – similar to the way he spent the day before his first presidential inauguration in 2009. He urged volunteers to honor the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, whose birthday, a national holiday, falls on Monday. This year is the 50th anniversary of King&#...

One unconfirmed report suggested Pope Benedict had resigned after being presented with a dossier detailing a network of priests who were being blackmailed

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...#8220;gossip” and “calumny”. Federico Lombardi made the comments on Vatican radio. Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the first by a pope in nearly 600 years, takes effect on Thursday, February 28. His decision surprised many within the Church. There have been recent articles in the Italian and international media of intrigue, and corruption in the Church. One unconfirmed re...

Pope Francis says Pope Benedict's decision to resign was a great example

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Pope Francis said during his Sunday Angelus address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was “a great example” of what it means to follow one’s conscience through prayer. Following one’s conscience doesn’t mean chasing after one’s own self-interests; it calls for listening to God, understanding his w...