World News: Pope Returning Home; Cubans Returned; Libyan Protests; Afghanistan, Pakistan Bombings

Pope Francis
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Pope Francis is heading into the final hours of his first international trip riding a remarkable wave of popularity:
The pontiff drew a reported 3 million flag-waving, rosary-toting faithful to Rio's Copacabana beach on Saturday for the final evening of World Youth Day.
By the time his open-sided car reached the stage for the vigil service Saturday night, the back seat was piled high with soccer jerseys, flags and flowers tossed to him by adoring pilgrims lining the beachfront route.
On the beach, pilgrims staked out their spots on the sand, preparing for an all-night slumber party ahead of the final Mass on Sunday. Many of those actually paying attention to the vigil had tears in their eyes, moved by Francis' call for them to build up their church like his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, was called to do.
The vigil capped a busy day for the pope in which he drove home a message he has emphasized throughout the week in speeches, homilies and off-the-cuff remarks: the need for Catholics, lay and religious, to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.
During his ongoing trip to Brazil, Francis said Saturday that the Catholic Church must build on its centuries of work in the Amazon, where nuns and priests have helped defend poor farmers and Indians.
American nun Dorothy Stang was shot to death in 2005 because of that activism.
Francis told bishops the church must train more indigenous priests so that it can have a more "Amazonian face."
Earlier in the day, the pontiff delighted a crowd gathered in Rio de Janeiro's municipal theater when he met with Indians onstage.
One Indian man handed the pontiff a feather headdress, and the pope promptly put it on, to the surprise of the crowd.

Coast Guard returns 23 Cubans to their homeland
MIAMI (AP) -- Coast Guard crews have returned roughly two dozen Cuban migrants to their island homeland.
Coast Guard officials say 23 migrants were returned Wednesday to Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba.
The migrants were picked up in two separate interdictions between July 19 and July 22. Officials say Customs and Border Protection patrols spotted rustic vessels heading north across the Florida Straits. Coast Guard crews responded to those reports and transferred all the migrants to a cutter.
The migrants received food, water and basic medical care before they were repatriated.
According to Coast Guard records, 782 Cubans have been picked up at sea and returned to Cuba since Oct. 1.

Libyans protest killing of activist
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Hundreds of Libyans have demonstrated in the capital Tripoli and other main cities, demanding that Islamist parties be dissolved following Friday's assassination of a well-known activist who criticized them.
The demonstrators took to the streets after dawn prayers Saturday setting fire to tires then gathered at Tripoli's main square shouting, "We don't want the Brotherhood, we want the army and the police." The same slogans were raised by Egyptians on Friday's against that country's Muslim Brotherhood group.
Tripoli's protesters stormed the headquarters of a Brotherhood-affiliated party and another Islamist-allied party, destroying furniture. Witnesses say a Brotherhood party office was also stormed in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Abdul-Salam Al-Musmari, who used to publicly criticize the influential Muslim Brotherhood group, was killed by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting in Benghazi.

More than 1,000 inmates escape Libyan prison
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Libyan security officials say more than 1,000 detainees have escaped from a prison near the eastern city of Benghazi in a mass jailbreak.
A government security official in Benghazi, Mohammed Hejazi, said the jailbreak happened Saturday at Koyfiya prison, as protesters stormed the offices of Islamist-allied parties in Libya's main cities.
It wasn't immediately clear if the jailbreak was part of the protests or if inmates received outside help.
A security official from the prison confirmed the jailbreak happened. He said most of the inmates were being held on serious charges. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak with journalists.
Benghazi's security situation is among the most precarious in post-revolution Libya. Last year, the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in an attack there.

Syrian troops capture historic mosque in Homs
BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian state media says government forces have captured a historic mosque that has been under rebel control for more than a year in the central city of Homs.
State TV quotes an unnamed military official as saying that troops took control Saturday of the 13th-century mosque of Khalid Ibn al-Walid in the heavily disputed northern neighborhood of Khaldiyeh.
The mosque is famous for its nine domes and two minarets. It has been a symbol for rebels in the city that is known as "the capital of the revolution." On Monday, government troops shelled the mosque, damaging the tomb of Ibn al-Walid, a revered figure in Islam.
Government troops launched an offensive on rebel-held areas in Homs late last month and have been pushing into Khaldiyeh and nearby neighborhoods.

Pakistan: Indian gunfire kills soldier in Kashmir
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- The Pakistani army says one soldier has been killed and another wounded after Indian troops opened fire across the disputed frontier in the region of Kashmir.
Pakistan's military says in a statement that the shooting early Saturday took place in the Rawlakot area along the Line of Control that divides Pakistani-held Kashmir from Indian-held Kashmir.
A spokesman for the Indian army in Kashmir Col. R.K. Palta blamed Pakistani troops for the incident, saying they fired "unprovoked" across the frontier with automatic weapons, mortars and grenades. He said there were no casualties on the Indian side.
Pakistan and India each claim Kashmir in its entirety, and have fought two major wars over the area.

Death toll from Pakistan marketplace bombs now 57
PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Officials say the death toll from a pair of overnight bombings at a busy market in a Shiite-dominated region of northern Pakistan has risen to 57.
Hospital official Shabir Hussain and Shiite leader Hamid Ali said Saturday that another 167 were wounded in Friday's bombings in the town of Parachinar, which sits in the Kurram tribal area that borders Afghanistan to the west. The market was full of minority Shiite Muslims who were buying items for their evening meal that breaks the daytime fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
Hussain said almost all the dead and wounded were Shiites.
No one claimed responsibility, but authorities have blamed militant groups belonging to the Sunni Muslim majority for previous attacks.

Bombing targeting Afghan local police kills 7
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan official says a suicide bomber targeting a village police commander blew himself up in a bazaar in a lawless part of eastern Afghanistan, killing seven people.
Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the deputy provincial governor of Ghazni province, said Saturday that the attacker on a motorcycle killed Local Police commander Dawlat Khan, three of his men, and three civilians.
He says it took place late Friday in Ghazni's Qarabagh district.
The Afghan Local Police are a village level force designed to be a first line of defense against the Taliban. They are often targeted by insurgents who see them as a direct threat to their ability to operate.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks since foreign troops last month handed security control for the whole country to the Afghans.

Japan vows support for Philippines in China row
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged support for Philippine maritime forces as both countries confront China in separate territorial disputes.
Following a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III Saturday, Abe announced that Japan will provide a concessional loan to build 10 coast guard patrol boats for the Philippines.
Aquino says the two reviewed security challenges both countries are facing and promised to cooperate to push for what he calls responsible action from international players in a reference to China.
Abe says a key element of Japan's efforts to revive the economy and promote regional peace and security lies in closer relations with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
ASEAN includes the Philippines and Vietnam, both of which have disputes with China in the South China Sea.