VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press

CATHOLIC YOUTHS CONVERGE ON RIO TO SEE "SLUM POPE

 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Thousands of young Roman Catholics from around the Americas are converging on Rio de Janeiro, taking dayslong bus trips or expensive plane flights that were paid for by baking cookies and holding garage sales, running raffles and bingo tournaments and even begging for coins in public plazas.

 

Some of the poorest traveled from so-called "misery villages" in Argentina's capital, thanks to donations from the Buenos Aires archdiocese. Their agenda at World Youth Day includes meeting with other disadvantaged youngsters in Manguinhos, a favela Pope Francis plans to visit, and sharing stories about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the subway-riding Argentine Jesuit they now affectionately call their "slum pope."

 

Road trips can be fun, but many have been expressing more profound emotions, excited by the changes they see in the church since Francis was elected in March. His first months as pope have already renewed their faith, many say, by showing how church leaders can get closer to their people and relate to their real-world problems with humor and a common touch.

 

"Like anyone else, there have been times when I haven't had this faith at 100 percent. Now I have more faith than ever, very high. I have my heart completely with God and no one can take me away from there," said Valentina Godoy, who traveled from Santiago, Chile, and shared her feelings from Brazil on a video her local church group posted on YouTube.

 

Francis joked when he first emerged on the balcony over St. Peters Square that the cardinals had chosen a pope "from the end of the world." But for many Catholics on this side of the Atlantic, he's not only the first Latin American pope. With his history of community outreach, many younger Catholics are saying that he's the first pope they can relate to in a more personal way.

 

SUPERMAN IS COMING BACK AND THIS TIME WITH BATMAN

 

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Superman is coming back and he'll have a caped co-star.

 

"Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder announced Saturday at San Diego's Comic-Con that he was making another Superman film and that it will include Batman - the first time the two superheroes will be united on the big screen.

 

He declined to reveal many details, saying the script is just being written. He then invited an actor onstage to read a passage to hint at the story line.

 

"I am the man who beat you," read Harry Lennox, before an image of the Superman logo, backed by the Batman symbol, flashed on the screen.

 

Warner Bros. then confirmed the first-ever pairing in a statement.

 

Snyder reimagined Superman in his June blockbuster "Man of Steel," starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, which has grossed more than $630 million worldwide.

 

NCAA REJECTS CLAIMS IN CONCUSSION LAWSUIT

 

CHICAGO (AP) -- Rejecting claims made in a lawsuit concerning concussions, the NCAA said Saturday it has taken steps to protect student athletes from head injuries and that player safety is among the college sports association's core principles.

 

Attorneys suing the NCAA over its handling of head injuries asked a federal judge Friday to let them expand the lawsuit to include thousands of plaintiffs nationwide. The motion seeking class-action status was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, where the original lawsuit was filed in 2011 on behalf of former Eastern Illinois football player Adrian Arrington and several other former athletes.

 

"Student-athlete safety is one of the NCAA's foundational principles," said spokeswoman Stacey Osburn. "The NCAA has been at the forefront of safety issues throughout its existence."

 

She said the association has addressed the issue of head injuries through a combination of playing rules, equipment requirements and medical practices. The NCAA does not believe the legal action is appropriate, Osburn said.

 

Concussions have become a major concern in sports in recent years. The NFL, NHL and college football, among others, have implemented stricter rules on hits to the head and player safety. The NFL is involved in a lawsuit involving more than 4,000 former players seeking millions of dollars for problems they blame on head injuries suffered during their careers.

 

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