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March 27, 2014

Calling himself a "great admirer" and greeting him with a warm handshake, President Obama met Pope Francis for the first time this morning at the Vatican. The pair sat in the Papal Library (along with their interpreters) and talked about mutual issues, like solving economic inequality.

Despite the warm preamble between the two men, sharp differences remain, including their views on abortion rights, contraception, and gay rights. The Vatican mentioned the "complex phase" of the relationship between it and the White House in regards to these issues. But the White House downplayed any differences the men would have, saying the meeting was for them "to get to know each other personally" and improve relations.

The Wall Street Journal has more details about the meeting. --Jordan Valinsky

11:53 a.m. ET
Achilleas Zavallis/AFP/Getty Images

Refugees are arriving in Europe by boat at a faster rate in 2016 than at the beginning of 2015, the United Nations Refugee Agency said in a report released Friday.

In the first six weeks of 2016, more than 80,000 refugees have arrived in Europe. That's more than in the first four months of 2015.

Many European countries, including Turkey, say they're struggling to keep taking in refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in Syria.

More than 400 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean so far in 2016. Julie Kliegman

11:10 a.m. ET
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Across 10 programming languages, women are considered better coders than men, a new study published by computer science researchers shows.

Researchers examined 3 million pull requests, or contributions to projects, on GitHub, an open-source software community, and found that code written by women was accepted at 78.6 percent to men's 74.6 percent.

But there's a catch, The Guardian reports. Women's work was only accepted more than men's if their GitHub profiles were gender neutral. When users clearly identified as women, their acceptance rate was lower than that of their male peers. Julie Kliegman

10:35 a.m. ET
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More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have been infected by the Zika virus, the country's national health institute said Saturday. In the nation, 31,555 people in total have the virus, Reuters reports.

The Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency, is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a birth defect. So far there are no cases of microcephaly linked to Zika in Colombia.

The mosquito-borne virus, which has been traced back to Brazil, has spread to more than 30 countries. Julie Kliegman

9:36 a.m. ET
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The mother of Dylan Klebold, one of two boys who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, gave her first televised interview Friday. Speaking to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Sue Klebold said she missed warning signs her son was depressed.

"I think we like to believe that our love and our understanding is protective, and that 'if anything were wrong with my kids, I would know,' but I didn't know, and I wasn't able to stop him from hurting other people," she said.

Klebold's interview, which you can watch here, comes as she promotes her Feb. 15 memoir, A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Julie Kliegman

7:57 a.m. ET
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized the West for worsening relations with his nation over the conflict in Syria, USA Today reports.

"NATO's attitude toward Russia remains unfriendly and opaque, and one could go so far as to say we have slid back to a new Cold War," he said at a high-level security conference Saturday. "Sometimes I wonder if it is the year 2016 or 1962."

Medvedev disputed a widely held belief that Russian planes have bombed civilians in Syria, The Guardian reports. At the same conference, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of a political solution to Syria's five-year civil war, rather than resorting to violence. Julie Kliegman

7:30 a.m. ET
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will testify before a congressional committee on the Flint water crisis, the Detroit Free Press reports his office said Friday. In the hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, Snyder is expected to speak to what has happened in the city since it switched to lead pipes for tap water in 2014 and what reforms he recommends.

"The people of Flint have suffered because they were failed by all levels of government, and so it is understandable that there are questions at all levels of government," Snyder said in a statement. "In Michigan we are learning a great deal from this crisis and I am hopeful the federal government also will use this as an opportunity to examine health and safety protections in place, assess infrastructure needs, and avoid this type of crisis in the future."

On Thursday, Snyder had called U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and asked to testify. Julie Kliegman

February 12, 2016
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Image

On Friday, New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejía made Major League Baseball history by becoming the first player to be permanently banned from the league for using performance-enhancing drugs. This marks Mejía's third positive test for PED use in a single calendar year, after he failed a drug test in April 2015 and then another three months later. The Mets said in a statement they were "deeply disappointed" in Mejía, who can apply for reinstatement to the MLB in one year, but would have to sit out a minimum of two years before returning to major league action. Kimberly Alters

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