Shelby: First up today, President Obama is wrapping up an international trip marked by tense political discussions and a historic visit to the headquarters of the Catholic Church. Scott Evans has the story. Scott: President Obama met Pope Francis for the first time yesterday. The president told the pontiff, ‘It’s wonderful to be here,’ calling it ‘a great honor’. The pontiff’s first words were in English. He said, ‘Welcome, Mr. President’. The leaders used translators in their meeting in Vatican City in Italy. They discussed social and economic issues and world peace but stayed away from directly discussing hot button issues where they disagree, like abortion rights and same sex marriage. These Catholic students from Minneapolis say the pope is unlikely to flinch on church doctrine or change President Obama’s stance. Katie Dusek: They’ll respectfully disagree just because there’s a long-lasting tradition in the Catholic faith to have those values and what we’ve believed for so long. Scott: President Obama is the twelfth president to meet a Catholic pope. He called it a great honor and even invited the pontiff to the White House. This is Obama’s second visit to the holy city since he was elected. In 2009, he met with the now retired Pope Benedict. The meeting at the Vatican was part of a four day European tour for the president that started in the Netherlands, then onto Belgium and finished in Italy. During his trip, the president also met with other world leaders. They discussed issues ranging from energy to climate change to nuclear weapons. Obama also visited the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium for the first time. The EU is an economic and political partnership between 28 European countries. But most of the meetings were overshadowed by the situation in Ukraine and the growing tensions with Russia. President Obama: The United States and Europe stand united on this issue. We’re united in our support for Ukraine and for the need to provide economic assistance to help stabilize its economy. We’re united in our commitment to Europe’s security. We’re united in our determination to isolate Russia and impose costs for Russia’s actions. Scott: The president is trying to rally support from Europe to take stronger action against Russia for its involvement in taking over parts of Ukraine. Scott Evans, Channel One News. Shelby: The president is in Saudi Arabia today meeting with King Abdullah, and he will head back home to Washington, D.C. tomorrow.
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March 28, 2014