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Pope Francis makes holy call to space station, gets philosophical with astronauts

Published: Thursday, October 26, 2017 @ 3:34 PM

Pope Francis speaks to the crew aboard the International Space Station from the Vatican, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Pope Francis' hookup Thursday will mark the second papal phone call to space: Pope Benedict XVI rang the space station in 2011, and peppered its residents with questions about the future of the planet and the environmental risks it faced. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
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Pope Francis speaks to the crew aboard the International Space Station from the Vatican, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Pope Francis' hookup Thursday will mark the second papal phone call to space: Pope Benedict XVI rang the space station in 2011, and peppered its residents with questions about the future of the planet and the environmental risks it faced. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)(AP)

In a live streamed video call into the heavens Thursday, Pope Francis connected with astronauts aboard the International Space Agency and jumped right into the big question: What is our place in the universe?

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Francis, the first pope to call the space station and second to speak to astronauts orbiting the earth via video call, conversed with Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Sergey Ryazanskiy and NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba.

During his 23-minute call from the Vatican Library in Rome, Italy, the pope spoke in Italian and Nespoli translated for his fellow crew members.

“Your little glass palace in totality is greater than the sum of its parts, and this is the example that you give us,” Francis said through a translator.

He asked Nespoli, “What are your thoughts regarding the place of man in the universe?" 

“Holy Father, this is a complex question," Nespoli replied in Italian as NASA TV displayed an English translation for viewers. “When we speak of these much more internal questions of where we come from, I remain rather perplexed. I think that our objective here is that of knowing our being and to fill our knowledge to understand what's around us. But on the other hand, an interesting thing is that the more we know, the more we realize how little we know.”

Francis also asked why they became astronauts and what they love about spending time at the ISS.

Ryazanskiy told the pope he was honored to continue his family’s legacy. Ryazanskiy’s grandfather had worked on the launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, which launched in 1957.

Francis, who has long exalted the role of grandparents, marveled at his response. “That's our strength: Never forget roots. It does me good to hear this! Thank you,” he said.

What You Need To Know: Pope Francis

Bresnik described the overwhelming joy of looking outside and seeing “God’s creation from his perspective.”

“As we see the peace and serenity of our planet … there's no borders, no conflict. It's just peaceful,” Breskin said. “We hope that an example of what we can achieve together [in space] sets an example for the rest of the world.”

Pope Francis’ conversation with the astronauts, particularly Russian cosmonauts Misurkin and Ryazanskiy, also marked a small step toward softening Vatican-Russian relations.

When he asked the astronauts what they thought about Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s verse that love is the force that moves the universe, Misurkin said he had been listening to the audiobook of Antoine de St. Exupery’s “The Little Prince” and was moved by the young boy’s understanding of love.

“Love is the force that gives you strength to give your life for someone else,” he told the pope.

Francis, overjoyed by Misurkin’s response, said, “It's clear you have understood the message that St. Exupery so poetically explained, and that you Russians have in your blood, in your humanistic and religious tradition.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Monkey, dog live inseparable lives

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:44 AM

WATCH: Dog and Monkey Have Inseparable Bond

A Capuchin monkey and a dog have made an unlikely pair in Colombia.

The dog, according Reuters, recently lost her litter of pups. She then became a surrogate mother of sorts to the monkey, Reuters reported.

Now the two are the best of unusual friends, Sky News reported.

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But their friendship may soon be forced to come to an end. 

The monkey becomes upset when anyone gets near them, so the Environmental and Ecological Protection Police took the dog and monkey and could separate them, returning the monkey to the wild, the Independent reported. But there could be a hiccup to their plan. The Independent reported that the Capuchins in the wild may not welcome the monkey into their group.

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Couple who lost everything in fire wins $1 million lottery

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Tips for When You Win the Lottery

A couple in Canada can now start rebuilding their lives after they were big winners in the Atlantic Lottery.

Bill Pendergast and his wife accepted a $1 million check this month, nearly two years after their home and all their belongings were destroyed in a wildfire.

The May 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire destroyed their home, along with about 10 percent of the Alberta, Canada, town, the BBC reported.

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Pendergast was recently visiting his sick father in Newfoundland, who ask him to get a soda at a store, the BBC reported. He bought a ticket at the local gas station on a whim. The next morning, he found out he was a new millionaire, CNN reported. He then called his wife, who hopped on a plane to Newfoundland to help her husband cash in on his newfound money, CNN reported.

The money, the couple said, will be used mostly to help put the pieces back together, including finishing construction on their new home, CBC reported.

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“Our rebuild should be finished in the next two to four months, so this is going to go a long way towards that,” Pendergast told CBC.

The family, including the couple’s five sons, is also going to take a family vacation, CBC reported.

But there is one thing the lucky winner always wanted that will now become a reality.

“I have always wanted a Mustang, and I will finally have one, I’m 100% sure of that,” Pendergast told CNN.

FILE PHOTO(Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle release more wedding details

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 10:21 AM

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Engaged

More details about this year’s royal wedding are being released from Kensington Palace.

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We already know that Prince Harry and his fiancée, Meghan Markle will get married on May 19. 

Now we know what will follow once they have exchanged vows.

They will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby, at St. George’s Chapel at exactly noon on May 19. That’s 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The rest of the service will be led by the Right Reverend David Conner, the dean of Windsor, CNN reported.


One hour later, at 1 p.m. local time, or 8 a.m. EST, they will depart the church via horse-drawn carriage through the streets of London, similar to what Prince Harry’s older brother Prince William and Duchess Catherine did on their wedding day in 2011, People magazine reported.


A reception will be held after the wedding at St. George’s Hall, a stateroom inside Windsor Castle. They will arrive at the event after the carriage ride.


There will be a break in the afternoon before the newlyweds are honored in a private evening reception that will be given by Prince Charles. Details on the location of the private reception have not been released, CNN reported.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Prince Harry and fiance Meghan Markle leave the 'Endeavour Fund Awards' Ceremony at Goldsmiths Hall on February 1, 2018 in London, England. The awards celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)(WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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71 dead after passenger plane crashes near Moscow, Russia's transport minister says

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 5:10 AM
Updated: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 5:10 AM

Russian Passenger Plane Crashes Near Moscow, Killing 71

A Russian passenger plane with 71 people on board has crashed near Moscow, multiple news outlets reported Sunday. Russia’s transport minister said there are no survivors from the crash.

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