John Paul nears sainthood
Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said Tuesday. The ANSA news agency reported that a commission of cardinals and bishops met Tuesday to consider John Paul's case and signed off on it. One possible canonization date is Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a major day of celebration for the Catholic Church. This year the feast coincidentally falls on a Sunday, which is when canonizations usually occur.
Giffords on gun tour
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her former astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, are in Alaska as part of a seven-state tour to lobby for expanded background checks for gun sales. On Monday, Giffords visited a Las Vegas-area range and shot a gun publicly for the first time since surviving a 2011 attack. Kelly started Tuesday at an Anchorage shooting range and shot a variety of guns and rifles. They hope to emphasize that they support Second Amendment rights but also believe additional background checks will save lives and keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them.