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2015 Letter May Be Trouble for Pope Francis

Francis says he's seen no evidence against accused bishop, but now a 2015 letter surfaces

(Newser) - Pope Francis found himself courting controversy on a recent visit to Chile when he defended Bishop Juan Barros, who has been accused of covering up the actions of a pedophile priest. Francis insisted that he considers the allegations against the bishop "slander" because nobody has ever come forward with... More »

Pope's Remarks Stun Victims of Pedophile Priest

He accuses them of slandering bishop

(Newser) - Pope Francis accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country. Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop... More »

Pope Marries Flight Attendants, Makes History

It was 1st-ever airborne papal wedding

(Newser) - Pope Francis celebrated the first-ever airborne papal wedding on Thursday, marrying two flight attendants from Chile's flagship airline during a flight from Santiago, the AP reports. Bride Paola Podest, 39, and groom Carlos Ciuffardi, 41, said "I do" after telling Francis that they had been married in a... More »

Another Conservative Wins Power in Latin America

Sebastian Pinera gets another turn as president of Chile

(Newser) - Sebastian Pinera's resounding victory in a presidential runoff election swings Chile back to the right and highlights the increasing number of conservative leaders who have won power in Latin America, the AP reports. With nearly all ballots counted, the billionaire former president won 54.6% of the votes Sunday... More »

Texas Politician's Bill Urges Texans Not to Use Wrong Emoji

Lawmaker's legislation doesn't want locals using Chile's flag emoji

(Newser) - The Chilean flag is annoyingly similar to Texas' state flag, but that doesn't mean Lone Star Staters should appropriate Chile's flag emoji when they feel like expressing Texas pride. That's the gist of what one state lawmaker is trying to push through via Texas House Concurrent Resolution... More »

Chile's Worst-Ever Wildfires Wipe Out Entire Town

Firefighter, police officers among 10 killed

(Newser) - Flames from one of Chile's worst wildfires completely consumed the town of Santa Olga as the death toll from the blazes since November rose to 10, officials say. The flames engulfed the post office, a kindergarten, and about 1,000 homes in the town, located 220 miles south of... More »

Retired American May Be World's Busiest Traveler

Checking off destinations has become a full-time hobby for Don Parrish

(Newser) - When a man in Illinois retired from Bell Labs just over 10 years ago, he decided it was time to see the world. Only Don Parrish really meant that—he wanted to "see everything," and he's since flown some 5 million miles, visited all 193 UN member... More »

New Furor in Chile: Minister's Risque Gift

Government official receives a sex toy

(Newser) - A Twitter tempest has erupted in Chile over a risque Christmas gift presented to the country's economy minister: a blow-up sex doll with its mouth covered with a note that read, "To stimulate the economy." Luis Cespedes has since apologized for hooting with laughter as he, er,... More »

In Remote Chile, Skeleton of Gauguin's Dad Found

Remains at Chilean fort believed to be his

(Newser) - Artist Paul Gauguin was a little more than a year old when his parents left Paris bound for Peru. But during a stop at a Chilean fort near Antarctica on Oct. 30, 1849, Gauguin's father, Clovis, died suddenly of a heart aneurysm. His family saw him buried, but the... More »

Daring Antarctic Rescue Is Complete

It took 2 hectic days of flying to get 2 US workers to Chile

(Newser) - A small plane with two sick US workers arrived safely in Chile late Wednesday after leaving Antarctica in a daring rescue mission from a remote South Pole research station, officials say. After making a stop for a few hours at a British station on the edge of Antarctica, the two... More »

Flier Says Lack of Legroom Almost Killed Him

The fit but tall traveler developed deep vein thrombosis on a cramped 10-hour flight

(Newser) - An Air Canada passenger says a cramped 10-hour flight from Chile to Toronto in January has taken a serious toll on his otherwise impeccable health, and he wants the airline to "take a good hard look at what they're doing," he tells the CBC . Colin Savage, a... More »

Guy Attempts Suicide by Jumping in Lion Cage

Franco Luis Ferrada, 20, was critically injured

(Newser) - Two lions were killed after they severely mauled a man who stripped naked and entered their enclosure in an apparent suicide attempt early Saturday in Chile, the AP reports. The man—identified by the Guardian as Franco Luis Ferrada, 20—was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment and was... More »

North Face Founder's Widow Is Giving Away a Lot of Land

Kristine Tompkins is working with Chile

(Newser) - When North Face founder Doug Tompkins died in December in a kayaking accident, it seemed as if his South American conservation efforts had come to a premature end. But his widow is looking to carry on his philanthropy, with the BBC reporting she has offered a huge chunk of land... More »

Radio Caller Confesses to 18 Murders

'The first time [I killed someone] I cried…The second time I liked it'

(Newser) - Listeners in Chile got a major shock last week when a 62-year-old bus driver named Guillermo Reyes called into a popular radio program to talk about his love life and ended up confessing to at least 18 murders, the Daily Beast reports. Reyes, going by the fake name "Alberto,... More »

North Face Founder Dies in Kayaking Accident

Douglas Tompkins never stopped exploring

(Newser) - North Face founder Douglas Tompkins helped come up with the motto "Never Stop Exploring," and they were words he lived and died by. The 72-year-old died from hypothermia on Tuesday after his kayak capsized on General Carrera Lake in southern Chile, the BBC reports. Five other kayakers in... More »

Mom Says Hospital Won't Let Her See Baby Because She Smoked Pot

'They have violated my rights as a mother'

(Newser) - A mother in Chile claims a local hospital is keeping her away from her newborn daughter simply because she smoked marijuana a few days before giving birth, the AP reports. "They have violated my rights as a mother," the BBC quotes Sindy Ortiz. "I use this drug... More »

One of the Driest Places on Earth Is Covered in Flowers

The Atacama Desert is blooming thanks to record rainfall

(Newser) - One of the driest, harshest landscapes in the world has been transformed into a psychedelic canvas of reds, purples, and greens after record-setting rain. Live Science reports that Chile's Atacama Desert averages just over half an inch of rain a year, with some parts of the desert getting even... More »

US Names 1st Marine Sanctuaries in 15 Years

And Chile creates the 3rd-largest ocean reserve in the world

(Newser) - President Obama declared new marine sanctuaries in Lake Michigan and the tidal waters of Maryland on Monday, while Chile blocked off more than 200,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean—what it said is the third-largest marine reserve in the world—near the world-famous Easter Island from commercial fishing... More »

1M Evacuated After Chile Quake

Pacific nations warned of possible tsunamis

(Newser) - It was a terrifying night for many people in Chile, where around a million people along the country's 2,690-mile coast fled their homes after an 8.3-magnitude earthquake. Waves reached 15 feet in some areas and many homes were badly damaged, though few injuries and only five deaths... More »

Hawaii, Calif. Under Tsunami Advisories After Chile Quake

8.3 tremor killed at least 5

(Newser) - Hawaii and part of California's coast are under tsunami advisories after an 8.3-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center originally issued a watch for Hawaii but later downgraded the alert to an advisory, saying that current data indicated there would be no major... More »

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