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Crowd gathering outside capitol to await pope

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Latest developments in Pope Francis‘ visit to the United States. All times local: 8:05 a.m. Tens of thousands already are gathering on the front lawn of the Capitol to watch the pope’s speech on Jumbotron screens and maybe catch a glimpse of Francis. He is expected to wave from a balcony a few hundred yards away. Libby Miller of Frederick, Maryland, says her friends all told her she was crazy for schlepping to Capitol Hill with her 4-year-old son, Camden,…

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No handshakes, fist bumps for pope’s speech to Congress

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No handshakes, selfies or fist bumps when Pope Francis enters the House chamber for his historic speech to Congress. That’s the message from House and Senate leaders, who in a letter asked lawmakers to refrain “from handshakes and conversations along and down the center aisle during the announced arrivals of the Senate, dean of the Diplomatic Corps, U.S. Supreme Court, president’s Cabinet and Pope Francis.” The pontiff will be on a tight schedule Thursday, and congressional leaders want to avoid…

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For GOP candidates, better to be with pope than against him

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To some Republican presidential candidates, it’s better to be with the popular pope than against him. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have deep policy differences with Pope Francis, but the senators will break off campaign travel to attend his address to Congress this month, a centerpiece of his eagerly anticipated visit to the United States. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a devout Catholic, will attend Mass with Francis in Washington. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another Catholic candidate,…

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