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Pope Francis heading to Chile, Peru amid scandal

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Pope Francis heading to Chile, Peru amid scandal

PlayErnesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

WATCH Pope Francis departs for Chile, Peru amid scandal

When Pope Francis goes to South America this week, he will meet with indigenous tribes in Chile and visit the native people in the Amazon in Peru, a first for any pontiff.

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But the trip, the 22nd foreign trip during his tenure, could be overshadowed by security concerns, protests and church-related scandals.

PHOTO: A man exhibits on his chest photos of Pope Francis to sell outside St. Jose Cathedral ahead of the papal visit in Temuco, Chile, Jan. 14, 2018.Edgard Garrido/Reuters
A man exhibits on his chest photos of Pope Francis to sell outside St. Jose Cathedral ahead of the papal visit in Temuco, Chile, Jan. 14, 2018.

The six-day trip will take Pope Francis, who is 81 years old, across Chile and Peru, to celebrate Mass and deliver speeches. The Argentine Pope has visited both countries before becoming pope and lived in Chile for over a year while studying with the Jesuit order to become a priest.

Although this is Pope Francis’ first trip to both countries as pope, both countries have had visits from Saint Pope John Paul II in the past: Chile in 1987, and Peru twice in 1985 and 1988.

As is his custom, he is expected to focus on the people living on the margins of society, the poor and the sick, including meeting female convicts and their children at a Santiago prison. He also has a scheduled lunch with eight of the Mapucho people in Chile who have grievances with the Catholic church.

PHOTO: Kallfurayen Llanquileo, a Mapuche healer and religious leader known as a Machi, poses for a photo with her shaman drum at her home in the Mapuche community Enoco in Temuco, Chile, Jan. 8, 2018.Esteban Felix/AP, FILE
Kallfurayen Llanquileo, a Mapuche healer and religious leader known as a "Machi," poses for a photo with her shaman drum at her home in the Mapuche community Enoco in Temuco, Chile, Jan. 8, 2018.

And massive crowds are expected at nearly every place Pope Francis will visit, and to line the streets to see his Pope-mobile.

3 Chile churches firebombed days before Pope Francis visit Joy, angst over pope visit to Chile's restive Mapuche region

But the pope's visit — he is scheduled to give 21 speeches on issues like corruption in politics, the rights of indigenous peoples and clerical sex abuse — will ignite protests in both countries. The pope’s critics in both Chile and Peru, like elsewhere around the world, accuse him of not doing enough to rid the church of sexual abuse, especially of allegedly not holding bishops accountable for covering up or mishandling sexual abuse.

At least three homemade bombs went off in churches in Santiago last week, causing minor damage yet no injuries. Threats to Pope Francis were found in notes. And protests are expected there over a bishop whom Pope Francis appointed in 2015.

The bishop, who was appointed to a town near Santiago, is accused of covering up sexual abuse by a priest in the 1980ss and 1990s. Some parishioners in the town say they were denied requests to meet with the pope during his trip and are now planning to protest during his stay.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told journalists at a briefing Thursday there's a chance Pope Francis would meet with victims of clerical sex abuse privately in Chile, describing it as "not impossible." The meeting had not been set up, though.

PHOTO: Banners welcoming Pope Francis to Peru are seen in Lima, Jan. 13, 2018.Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images
Banners welcoming Pope Francis to Peru are seen in Lima, Jan. 13, 2018.

On his last day in Chile before traveling on to Peru, the pope is scheduled to meet two victims of the country’s military dictatorship under the late Augusto Pinochet. Burke, the Vatican spokesman, did not say who they were or why they were chosen, but said they will present a letter to Pope Francis during the meeting.

Tens of thousands of people were killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons in Chile during Pinochet’s reign and many others went into exile.

PHOTO: A police officer patrols in front of a banner reading Pope Francis welcome to La Araucania ahead of the papal visit in Temuco, Chile, Jan. 14, 2018.Edgard Garrido/Reuters
A police officer patrols in front of a banner reading "Pope Francis welcome to La Araucania" ahead of the papal visit in Temuco, Chile, Jan. 14, 2018.

Sex abuse cases have hurt the church's reputation in Peru, too. Last week, the Vatican announced it had taken over a Peru-based Catholic movement, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, whose founder was accused of sexual and psychological abuse. The conservative movement has about 20,000 members throughout South America and the U.S.

PHOTO: Banners welcoming Pope Francis to Peru are seen in Lima, Jan. 13, 2018.Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images
Banners welcoming Pope Francis to Peru are seen in Lima, Jan. 13, 2018.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis will not be visiting Argentia, drawing great speculation and questions. Asked why the Pope will be returning to South America for the sixth time but has still not been back as pope to Argentina, Burke cited "personal reasons."

He added, however, that the Pope’s plane will fly over the country, and that the pope is expected to issue a "significant message" to his native land.

Argentina will not be sending any special representative to neighboring Chile for his visit but up to 1 million Argentine pilgrims are expected to cross the border to catch a glimpse of their native son.

PHOTO: Members of a lay community hold banners reading Osorno suffer as they gather at a rally against Osornos city bishop, Juan Barros, in front of the Cathedral of Santiago, Jan. 13, 2018 in Santiago, Chile.ristobal Saavedra Vogel/Reuters
Members of a lay community hold banners reading "Osorno suffer" as they gather at a rally against Osorno's city bishop, Juan Barros, in front of the Cathedral of Santiago, Jan. 13, 2018 in Santiago, Chile.

This will be the Pope’s first foreign trip in 2018. Future trips have yet to be announced officially, but a visit to Ireland in August is being planned.

Vatican officials are studying the possibility of at least another trip this year, possibly to the Baltics or Asia.

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World

Egypt’s leader seeks to defuse tension with Sudan, Ethiopia

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Egypt's leader seeks to defuse tension with Sudan, Ethiopia

The Associated Press
FILE – In this June 28, 2013 file photo, the Blue Nile river flows near the site of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near Assosa, Ethiopia. Egypt's president has sought to defuse tensions with Ethiopia and Sudan, reassuring them that his country is not meddling in their internal affairs or planning to go to war against them. Egypt has expressed mounting alarm over a soon-to-be-completed upstream dam in Ethiopia that Cairo fears could cut into its share of the Nile River, which provides nearly all its freshwater. It has accused Sudan of siding with Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Elias Asmare, File)

Egypt's president on Monday sought to defuse tensions with Ethiopia and Sudan, reassuring them that his country was not meddling in their internal affairs or planning to go to war against them.

Egypt has expressed mounting alarm over a soon-to-be-completed upstream dam in Ethiopia that Cairo fears could cut into its share of the Nile River, which provides nearly all its freshwater. It has accused Sudan of siding with Ethiopia, and of reviving a longstanding border dispute.

But in televised comments, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Egypt's strategic choice was peace, not war.

"Egypt neither conspires nor meddles in in anyone's internal affairs. We are determined to have good relations (with Sudan and Ethiopia). Our region has seen enough the past few years," he said.

"We are not prepared to go to war against our brethren or anyone else for that matter. I am saying this as a clear message to our brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia," he added.

The Egyptian leader also called on his country's media to cease attacks on Sudan, saying it should follow the example of his administration which, he said, refrained from insulting its neighbors even in the face of accusations and intentional slights.

Egypt says Ethiopia is not doing enough to ease its concerns about the effects of filling the reservoir behind the dam, which is expected to begin soon and could cut into Egypt's share of the Nile.

Ethiopia says the $5 billion dam is essential for its economic development and argues that the vast majority of its 95 million people lack electricity, which the dam's hydroelectric plant will generate.

Egypt, with a population roughly equal to Ethiopia's, has traditionally received the lion's share of the Nile's waters under agreements reached in 1929 and 1959. Other Nile basin nations view those agreements as unfair, saying they ignore the needs of their own large and growing populations.

Sudan has meanwhile revived a longtime border dispute with Egypt, which has refused to negotiate over the issue or submit the conflict to international arbitration. Egypt in turn accuses Sudan of conspiring with Qatar and Turkey against it. Sudan last week recalled its ambassador in Cairo for consultations.

Earlier this week, Sudanese media reports quoted a senior government official as saying Egypt and its regional ally Eritrea are massing troops on its eastern border. However, the Sudanese Foreign Minister later played down the reports during a visit to Khartoum by his Ethiopian counterpart. He said his own country's buildup of forces near the border with Eritrea was designed to counter a rebel threat. He did not elaborate.

Egypt does not officially have troops deployed in Eritrea, although persistent but unconfirmed media reports speak of Cairo enjoying access to a military base in the Horn of Africa nation. Sudan is at sharp odds with Eritrea, which has in turn been a bitter rival of Ethiopia's since the two nations fought a war in the 1990s.

Ethiopia also accuses Eritrea of training rebels to carry out sabotage attacks on the dam.

El-Sissi hosted Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in Cairo last week, but little of any substance has emerged from their talks. Pro-government Egyptian media reports have for days been saying that Ethiopia's prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, plans to visit Cairo this month for talks with el-Sissi.

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Technology

A sampling of tracking technologies for traditional stores

A sampling of tracking technologies for traditional stores

Brick-and-mortar retailers are using different tracking technologies to better understand their customers and keep up with e-commerce giant Amazon. Here is a sampling of the different tracking methods available to stores:

FLOOR SENSORS

Paper-thin tiles developed by Milwaukee-based Scanalytics measure foot compressions to analyze people's movements over time so stores know what products displays draw customers' attention and for how long. That allows businesses to study what sells, know when to schedule staff for busy times, and what store layout is most effective. The technology might still be too pricey for smaller retailers, however.

INTELLIGENT VIDEO CAMERAS

Companies such as Toronto-based Vendlytics and San Francisco-based Prism use artificial intelligence with video cameras to analyze body motions. That can allow stores to deliver customized coupons to shoppers in real-time on a digital shelf or on their cellphones on an app.

MOTION SENSORS

Sunglass Hut and fragrance maker Jo Malone are using laser and motion sensors from Perch Interactive to tell when a product is picked up but not bought. The technology can also make recommendations for similar items on an interactive display.

WI-FI BEACONS

Wi-Fi beacons can track customer movements — as long as they connect to the store's internet. Because not everyone opts in, stores have a smaller sample size to analyze. Another drawback is that it's not possible to tell whether a customer is inches or feet from a product.

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Technology

German startup AUTO1 gets $558 million Softbank investment

German startup AUTO1 gets $558 million Softbank investment

Japan's Softbank is investing 460 million euros ($558 million) in German used car trading platform AUTO1.

The Berlin-based company was launched in 2012 and operates in over 30 countries, selling more than 40,000 cars a month on its associated sites.

AUTO1 said in a statement Monday that the investment from Softbank Vision Fund values its business at 2.9 billion euros. The company had revenue of 1.5 billion euros last year.

Akshay Naheta, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, was quoted as saying that AUTO1's platform adds "efficiency and transparency to the fragmented used car market, which is worth more than $300 billion annually."

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World

French star Deneuve apologizes to sexual abuse victims

French star Deneuve apologizes to sexual abuse victims

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WATCH 'Me Too' movement takes center stage at Golden Globes

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Film star Catherine Deneuve has apologized to victims of "odious" acts of sexual abuse, after she signed a much-criticized letter saying men are being unfairly accused of sexual misconduct.

The letter, signed by 100 French women, says the wave of accusations against powerful men since the Harvey Weinstein scandal has gone too far. The letter prompted a backlash in France and beyond.

In response, Deneuve wrote a letter published Monday by daily Liberation apologizing to abuse victims. However she also defended her view that men are becoming victims of a "media lynching" and that the current atmosphere threatens sexual freedom.

She denounced abuse of power and called for better justice against proven abusers. She also defended her feminist credentials, noting that she publicly backed legalizing abortion in France.

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World

North Korean orchestra, maybe joint hockey team at Olympics

North Korean orchestra, maybe joint hockey team at Olympics

The Associated Press
A bus carrying the South Korean delegations passes as South Korean soldier salutes at Unification Bridge, which leads to the Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone in Paju, South Korea, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The rival Koreas agreed to discuss a North Korean art troupe's visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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North Korea's delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea will include a 140-member art troupe, the two sides agreed Monday, while discussions continue over fielding a joint women's hockey team.

The two Koreas met Monday for the second time in a week as they try to hammer out details for the North's participation in next month's Games, which the South sees as a way to calm tensions caused by Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.

North Korea said the art troupe will comprise 80 orchestra members and 60 members who sing and dance. The North Koreans will perform twice — once in Seoul and the other in the city of Gangneung, where some of the Olympic competitions will be held, according to South Korean delegates who attended the meeting.

Separately, South Korean Sports Ministry spokesman Hwang Seong Un said that the two Koreas have agreed in principle to field a joint women's ice hockey team. The proposal requires International Olympic Committee approval. If realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified Olympic team ever.

Officials from both Koreas are to meet with the International Olympic Committee at its headquarters in Switzerland on Saturday. The two sides agreed Monday to meet again at their border on Wednesday for working-level talks ahead of the IOC meeting.

North Korea last week agreed to send an Olympic delegation and hold military talks aimed at reducing frontline animosities in its first formal talks with South Korea in about two years. The North has said its delegation to the Feb. 9-25 Games in Pyeongchang would include the art troupe along with officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and a taekwondo demonstration team.

The reasons for North Korea's softer approach are not clear, though some analysts say the North may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington as a way to weaken pressure and sanctions on the country. North Korea carried out nuclear and missile tests last year that triggered harsher U.N. sanctions and worldwide condemnation.

Others speculate the North wants to use the Olympics to show it's a normal country despite possessing nuclear weapons.

North Korea has insisted its talks with South Korea won't deal with its nuclear and missile programs, saying those weapons primarily target the United States. Critics question how long the warmer mood can last without any serious discussion on the North's nuclear disarmament.

The North issued a veiled threat Sunday that it could cancel its plans to send an Olympic delegation to protest what it called South Korea's "sordid acts" that chilled the prospect for inter-Korean reconciliation.

"They should know that (the) train and bus carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said. "The South Korean authorities had better ponder over what unfavorable results may be entailed by their impolite behavior."

KCNA criticized remarks by South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week that credited President Donald Trump for getting the North to sit down with the South. It also accused Seoul of letting Washington deploy strategic assets like an aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula on the occasion of the Olympics. The United States is beefing up its presence around the peninsula in what it describes as routine training and scheduled upgrades.

The warning is relatively milder than the North's typical fiery, bellicose rhetoric and it didn't appear to put the recent signs of warming Korean ties in imminent danger.

The North Korean art troupe being sent South is to play folk songs and other classic masterpieces that are well-known to both Koreas and can go with the theme of unification, chief South Korean delegate Lee Woo-sung said. He said more discussions are expected to work out details of North Korean performances.

The art troupe would be larger than the previous six that North Korea has sent to South Korea since 1985. The North last sent such a group in 2002, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

A joint statement after Monday's meeting didn't mention North Korea's well-known Moranbong Band, an all-female ensemble hand-picked by the North's leader Kim Jong Un.

One of the North Korean delegates to the talks was Hyon Song Wol, the head of the band, fueling speculation that North Korea might send the band.

Since its first stage debut in 2012, the band is hugely popular at home and has been dubbed by outsiders as "North Korea's only girl group" for its Western-style performances featuring women in mini-skirts and high heels dancing and singing odes to Kim.

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Entertainment

Michelle Williams responds to controversy over pay gap with Mark Wahlberg

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Michelle Williams responds to controversy over pay gap with Mark Wahlberg

PlayKevin Winter/Getty Images

WATCH Mark Wahlberg donates $1.5M after pay gap controversy

Michelle Williams is responding to the controversy over a pay gap in which she was paid less than 1 percent of what her male co-star, Mark Wahlberg, received for reshoots of the film, "All the Money in the World."

The actress spoke out Saturday after Wahlberg, 46, announced in a statement that he's giving his $1.5 million fee from the reshoots to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in Williams' name. Wahlberg's agency, William Morris Endeavor, also donated another $500,000, bringing the total gift to $2 million.

The legal defense fund aims to "subsidize legal support for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or related retaliation in the workplace," its website reads.

In contrast to Wahlberg's pay, Williams, 37, was paid $80 per diem for a total of less than $1,000 for reshoots for the film.

"Today isn’t about me," Williams' statement began. "My fellow actresses stood by me and stood up for me, my activist friends taught me to use my voice, and the most powerful men in charge, they listened and they acted."

She added, "If we truly envision an equal world, it takes equal effort and sacrifice. Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment. Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours."

PHOTO: Michelle Williams poses for a portrait while promoting the movie All the Money in the World in Los Angeles, Dec. 16, 2017.Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Michelle Williams poses for a portrait while promoting the movie "All the Money in the World" in Los Angeles, Dec. 16, 2017.

Union weighs in on wage gap between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams Kevin Spacey being replaced by Christopher Plummer in upcoming film

Rapp, 46, publicly alleged in an October Buzzfeed article that one-time "All the Money in the World" star Kevin Spacey attempted to seduce him at a party back in 1986 when Rapp was 14.

Spacey issued an apology in the wake of Rapp's accusations, saying, "I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."

After Rapp's allegations became public, other claims of Spacey engaging in sexual misconduct followed.

PHOTO: Mark Wahlberg attends the premiere of Sony Pictures Entertainments All The Money In The World at Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Dec. 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Mark Wahlberg attends the premiere of Sony Pictures Entertainment's "All The Money In The World" at Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Dec. 18, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 58-year-old "House of Cards" actor was replaced by Christopher Plummer in "All the Money in the World," which centers on the story of the 1973 kidnapping of billionaire J. Paul Getty's grandson. The change came less than two months before the film's scheduled release.

Rapp responded to Williams' statement on Twitter Saturday night, writing: "I’m very moved by Michelle Williams’ kind words."

I’m very moved by Michelle Williams’ kind words.

— Anthony Rapp (@albinokid) January 14, 2018

Earlier Saturday, Wahlberg explained in a statement obtained by ABC News why he was donating his fee from the film.

“Over the last few days my reshoot fee for 'All the Money in the World' has become an important topic of conversation. I 100% support the fight for fair pay and I’m donating the $1.5M to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name," he said.

His agency, WME, added in a separate statement, "The current conversation is a reminder that those of us in a position of influence have a responsibility to challenge inequities, including the gender wage gap."

"It’s crucial that this conversation continues within our community and we are committed to being part of the solution," the statement added.

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