Russian Patriarch, Pope to meet in Cuba
VATICAN CITY• Pope Francis will meet Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba next week in a historic first meeting between the heads of the two largest Christian churches, the Vatican announced yesterday. The meeting will be the first of its kind since a schism in the 11th century split what was then the only Christian Church into Western and Eastern branches.
The meeting will take place in Havana next Friday.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
80 trapped miners rescued in S. Africa
JOHANNESBURG• • Nearly 80 rescued miners were brought to the surface yesterday, police said, after 115 were trapped underground following a collapse at a gold mine earlier in the day.
The chief executive of the small gold producer Vantage Goldfields, Mr Mike McChesney, said 115 workers had initially been trapped at Lily Mine, but most had been rescued. No fatalities were reported.
South Africa's mines are the deepest and among the most dangerous in the world. Fatalities in the industry have been falling due to both improved safety practices and a reduction in labour as production declines. Last year, 77 workers were killed in mining accidents, the lowest number on record.
Pentagon seeks more funds for air force
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE (Nevada)• • The Pentagon's fiscal 2017 budget will propose a US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) boost in spending on advanced training for the US Air Force over the next five years, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday.
He said the extra funding would pay for at least 34 major air combat training exercises at Nellis Air Force Base and other ranges, helping prepare US forces for a variety of missions, from counter-insurgency operations to conflicts with technologically advanced enemies.
The Pentagon chief lauded the importance of the work done at the Nevada base, which kicked off a large-scale air combat exercise called Red Flag on Jan 25.