According to a Pew Research study released Wednesday, Americans have been warming up to other religious groups across the United States, even compared to a relatively recent study released by the nonpartisan research center. The survey found that positive feelings had increased for almost all of the various religious groups studied in this year's survey, compared to the study from three years ago. The coolest overall ratings were fairly neutral on the scale – 48 and 50 toward Muslims and atheists, respectively – but were a significant step up from a 2014 survey that rated the groups at a chillier 40 and 41 degrees.
By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis appeared on Wednesday to back Native Americans seeking to halt part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying indigenous cultures have a right to defend "their ancestral relationship to the earth". The Latin American pope, who has often strongly defended indigenous rights since his election in 2013, made his comments on protection of native lands to representative of tribes attending the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome. While he did not name the pipeline, he used strong and clear language applicable to the conflict, saying development had to be reconciled with "the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories".
Almost 56,000 U.S. bridges are structurally deficient, down slightly from a year ago, with underperforming spans including New York's landmark Brooklyn Bridge, accord to a construction industry report released on Wednesday. About 1,900 structurally deficient bridges are on interstate highways and vehicles cross underperforming U.S. spans 185 million times a day, the analysis of federal data by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association found.
Four suicide bombers struck Pakistan in one day Wednesday, killing six people and unnerving citizens whose growing sense of security has been shaken by multiple Taliban blasts this week. The latest assault happened in the northwestern city of Peshawar, said police, after a bomber rode a motorcycle into a van carrying several judges that was travelling through an upmarket neighbourhood. "It was a suicide attack," senior police official Sajjad Khan told AFP.
By Phil Stewart and Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's defense secretary warned NATO allies on Wednesday that they must honor military spending pledges to ensure the United States does not "moderate" support for the alliance. Jim Mattis, on his debut trip to Brussels as Pentagon chief, also accused some NATO members of ignoring threats, including from Russia. "America cannot care more for your children's future security than you do," Mattis said in a closed-door session with NATO defense ministers, according to prepared remarks provided to reporters.
Donald Trump and his White House have come in for intense criticism in the president's dizzying first weeks in office, and the rising sound of discord is not just coming from opposition Democrats. Republicans on Capitol Hill and outside the Washington Beltway are increasingly venting their frustration and worry -- sometimes publicly but more often among themselves -- about the new administration's missteps, speedy policy rollouts, abrasive tone and often tenuous relation to facts. In a dozen AFP interviews, lawmakers, party grandees and congressional staff have painted a picture of an administration struggling to get up to speed on various fronts, trampling on White House protocol, and acting hastily instead of with deliberation and prudence as they pivot away from the policies of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama.
US consumer prices in January rose at their fastest pace in nearly four years, a fresh sign the economy may finally see faster inflation, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The consumer price index rose 0.6 percent, the third consecutive monthly acceleration and the largest increase since February 2013. The CPI also posted its largest 12-month increase in nearly five years, rising 2.5 percent compared to January 2016.
India successfully put a record 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit on Wednesday in the latest triumph for its famously frugal space programme. Celebrations erupted among scientists at the southern spaceport of Sriharikota as the head of India's Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced all the satellites had been ejected as planned. "My hearty congratulations to the ISRO team for this success," the agency's director Kiran Kumar told those gathered in an observatory to track the progress of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).