Here's a bit of news that has been making the rounds in Costa Rica for more than a week but is just now picking up steam stateside: Saying it's time for a more natural experience, Costa Rica's minister for energy and environment said they would get rid of caged animals at the country's public zoos by next year.
Uruguay is poised to create a state-licensed marijuana industry, after the country's lower house of Congress passed a controversial bill late Wednesday detailing how the government would regulate marijuana — from its production and import to marketing and distribution. The move would be a first.
NPR's South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast unit that the landmark bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to sail through.
Millions of faithful thronged Brazil's Copacabana Beach to hear Pope Francis deliver Sunday Mass, the culmination of the Latin American pontiff's first papal trip abroad.
Francis, speaking from a massive stage erected on the beach, urged those gathered for World Youth Day's concluding Mass to spread the Gospel "to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent."
The Quinta de Boa Vista park is far away from the celebrations in Copacabana Beach, where three million people gathered Saturday to hear Pope Francis speak. But the park is attracting a crowd of young people.
Kiosks for religious orders like the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Legion of Mary line the park. It looks like a job fair, and in a way, it is.
Nuns from the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes dance around in front of their stand, to the banging of drums and the strumming of guitars.
During the fourth day of his first foreign visit, Pope Francis headed to the Varginha favela in Rio de Janeiro.
As NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro described it to our Newscast unit, the shantytown was not prettied up for the pope. Its river remained clogged with sewage and dirt, and the houses were still slapped together.
"It's an extremely poor community," Lourdes said. "I think the pope wanted to come here to highlight his very personal message of affinity with the poor."