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Pope Francis to focus on poor in South America trip

Quito - Pope Francis makes his first South American trip in two years Sunday, for an eight-day tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay -- but not his native Argentina.

In Ecuador, indigenous Christians not sold on pope visit

Cotopaxi - Thirty years ago, Gustavo Negrete took his wooden cross and joined other indigenous Ecuadorans to greet Pope John Paul II. But he has no interest in seeing Pope Francis on Sunday.

Ecuador tense with anti-govt protests ahead of papal visit

Quito - Just days before the hotly-anticipated visit of Pope Francis to Ecuador, the country's president has come under increasing pressure from opposition protests demanding his ouster.

Ecuador releases 201 tortoises to repopulate the Galapagos

Quito - Ecuador released hundreds of giant tortoises raised in captivity onto an island of the Galapagos. The goal is to restore giant tortoises and to conserve the archipelago's biodiversity.

Assange 'celebrates' 3 years in London Ecuadorian embassy

London - As of June 19, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks has spent three years now in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He sought asylum in the embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face questioning on sexual assault accusations.

Ecuador weighs Swedish request to question Assange

Quito - Ecuador said Wednesday it is considering Swedish prosecutors' request to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over rape allegations.

Ecuador opposition mobilizes against inheritance tax plan

Quito - Rival protesters in Ecuador took to the street for the third night running to demonstrate over President Rafael Correa and a "redistribution of wealth" plan that would increase inheritance taxes.

Op-Ed: Will the world have to kiss its favorite banana goodbye?

Guayaquil - For the last six decades, banana crops in Latin America have flourished after nearly being wiped out by a nasty disease. Now there are worries that a more virulent strain of the same disease may wipe out the world's favorite banana — the Cavendish.

Spanish police find 441 pounds of cocaine in pineapples

Algeciras - Looks like smugglers got a little fruity while trying to smuggle cocaine into Spain. Spanish police officers seized 441 pounds of cocaine, all of it concealed within pineapples found in 11 shipping containers coming through the port of Algeciras.

Ecuador seizes 200,000 shark fins bound for Asia

Manta - Police in the Ecuadorean port city of Manta have dealt a major blow to the illegal trafficking in shark fins, confiscating 200,000 shark fins bound for export to Asia.

Thousands rally in Ecuador for and against president

Quito - Tens of thousands of Ecuadorans, including President Rafael Correa, his supporters and anti-government protesters turned out Friday for May Day rallies across a handful of cities.

Ecuador president says 'seriously threatened'

Quito - Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa abruptly pulled out of a public lunch on Tuesday because of what he called "a serious threat" of attack against him.The threat was being investigated and one person had been arrested.

President of Ecuador: '¡Heil Hitler!'

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa tweeted "Heil Hitler" on Thursday in response to an opposition politician's tweet about his regime.

Julian Assange: The $15 million man

Keeping an eye on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange - who is holed up inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London - has cost British law enforcement over $15 million dollars, or $10 million British pounds.

Gene discovered that makes finches distinctive

New research into the full genomes of Galápagos finches has revealed an important gene for the beak shape of the birds. The research has also revealed three previously overlooked species.

Emergency declared after Galapagos ship grounding

Quito - Ecuador activated a state of emergency Wednesday at the famous Galapagos Islands, authorities said, a week after the stranding of a cargo ship loaded with supplies that included hazardous materials.

The Dalai Lama not allowed to meet Pope Francis, was told 'No'

The Dalai Lama requested to meet Pope Francis but was refused the right to meet with him. The Dalai Lama was in Rome on Thursday for a Nobel Peace Prize winners' conference.

Seven make final cut as world's most wondrous cities

Surviving three years of global voting and competition from almost 1,200 other candidates, seven communities were announced Sunday as New7Wonders Cities.

Thousands protest in Ecuador against president

Quito - Thousands of people marched Wednesday in Ecuador against the leftist government of President Rafael Correa, denouncing a move that would allow him to extend his rule beyond 2017.

Ecuador court clears way for unlimited presidential terms

Quito - Ecuador's Constitutional Court has given lawmakers the green light to set new rules on term limits that would allow President Rafael Correa to extend his rule beyond 2017.
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