Assange to leave embassy 'soon'
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Monday he would "soon" be leaving the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he took refuge more than two years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning for alleged sexual assaults. But in a lengthy statement to reporters at the embassy, Assange did not give any indication of the exact timing or circumstances of his exit. And a WikiLeaks spokesman, Kristinn Hrafnsson, later clarified that Assange's comments had been "a declaration of hope rather than a declaration that he would be walking out of the embassy." The British police continue to post a 24-hour guard at the embassy at a cost of more than $10 million.
Pastor aims for Africa growth
The American evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who visited Rwanda this week, told the Associated Press that he hopes to expand his ministry to East Africa. Warren addressed a big rally in Kigali on Sunday during thanksgiving celebrations to mark 20 years since the genocide in which more than 800,000 Rwandans were killed. Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., has been working in Rwanda since 2004 after Rwandan President Paul Kagame read Warren's best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life. Since then more than 1,200 members of the church have been volunteers in Rwanda, especially in education and health care. A major evangelical conference is planned for next year in Rwanda.
Pope plans to visit 3 U.S. cities in 2015
Pope Francis confirmed Monday that he wants to visit the United States next year and is considering a three-city trip in September 2015: Philadelphia for a family rally, Washington to address Congress and New York to speak at the United Nations. He said there was a proposal to tag Mexico onto the trip so he could visit the Madonna of Guadalupe shrine beloved by Mexican Catholics. He made the comments Monday while returning from South Korea.
By the Numbers
99.8 Percent of California now experiencing "severe" drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
100 Percent of California experiencing "severe" drought in May.