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Pope Francis goes off script in Cuba to urge clergy to embrace poverty

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Pope Francis abandoned his prepared speech Sunday at an evening prayer service in Havana to urge the clergy to embrace poverty and never forget “the most abandoned.”

His face flushing in the tropical heat, he delved into a stern and lively impromptu address to hundreds of local priests, nuns and seminarians at the Cuban capital’s cathedral on the second day of his visit to the Americas’ only communist-ruled nation.

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“Wealth makes us poor,” he told them, warning they risked “ending up mediocre” if they forget “the smallest, the most abandoned, the sickest” to focus on budgets or management principles.

“Please, don’t tire of forgiving, don’t be afraid of mercy,” said the pope, who is preparing to inaugurate a “holy year of mercy” in December.

In his prepared speech — which Francis nevertheless arranged to have sent to the press — he lashed out at backbiting and factionalism in the Church, which in two weeks will hold a synod on the family that has unleashed internal conflicts over sensitive issues such as divorce, homosexuality and unmarried couples.

He condemned “division into cliques” and urged the clergy “to speak straightforwardly, despite our disagreements and disputes, and not behind each other’s backs.”

But he added that spirited debate was healthy for the Church.

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“Conflicts and disagreements in the Church are to be expected and, I would even say, needed,” he said.

“Woe to those communities without a ‘yes’ and a ‘no.’ They are like married couples who no longer argue, because they have lost interest, they have lost their love.”

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John Oliver tells Susan Collins she can tell Trump doesn’t learn: He kept having kids after Donald Trump Jr.

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HBO host John Oliver returned Sunday evening after a cascade of unending news. On his season premiere of "Last Week Tonight," Oliver began with the announcement that on the break, the U.S. nearly went to war with North Korea, if you're sick, you probably have the coronavirus, and you'll be dead within an hour, and a "bitch" won the latest Westminster Dog Show.

When it came to President Donald Trump's acquittal, Oliver

But when it came to the president's impeachment, Oliver nailed Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who announced on CBS Evening News that the whole experience changed him.

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Trump is already making up conspiracy theories about voter fraud — and it’ll only get worse

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The election is eight months away, but President Donald Trump is already crying foul.

Bloomberg News wrote Sunday that Trump is already working to undermine the American electoral process by attacking the Democratic presidential primary.

"Indeed, his campaign, with the full support of the Republican Party, is already waging a vigorous crusade to destroy his opposition. No, it's not Joe Biden, who inspired Trump's shakedown of Ukraine. Trump's gunning for bigger game: democracy itself," wrote Francis Wilkinson for Bloomberg.

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READ IT: More than 1,100 former US Department of Justice officials tell Bill Barr to resign now

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More than 1,100 former US Department of Justice officials called on Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend and political crony Roger J. Stone Jr.

“It is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case,” wrote the former Justice Department attorneys in their Sunday letter. “It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court.”

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