Pope wrapping up Cuba trip ahead of US flight

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SANTIAGO, Cuba (AP) — Next stop: Washington and many people in and around the nation’s capital are anxiously awaiting the arrival today of Pope Francis as he begins his first ever visit to the United States.

A Mass and a speech to Congress are among the Washington highlights. Francis will also be in Philadelphia and New York. Before coming to Washington, Francis wraps up a trip to Cuba with a Mass at a revered shrine and a pep talk with families.

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Beyond its importance to the pope, the state of the family has been a longtime concern for the Roman Catholic Church in Cuba. Economic deprivation and successive waves of emigration have left many families broken and divided.