By Joe Bavier BANGUI (Reuters) - Pope Francis, ending a three-nation African tour, on Monday visits a mosque in a besieged Muslim enclave in Central African Republic's capital in an effort to bridge the religious divide in a nation racked by three years of violence. Healing rifts between Christian and Muslim communities has been a theme throughout Francis' first visit to the continent, which has also taken him to Kenya and Uganda. Tit-for-tat killings in and around the tiny PK5 enclave in the capital Bangui, one of the most dangerous parts of the city, have claimed at least 100 lives since late September, according to Human Rights Watch.
(Reuters) - Five-times National Basketball Association champion Kobe Bryant announced on Sunday that he will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. Bryant, who is struggling through the worst season of his illustrious 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, said in a poem posted on the Players' Tribune website that "I'm ready to let [basketball] go." The 37-year-old guard, who is third on the NBA's all-time scoring list, has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons and has a career-worst 31.5 shooting percentage through his first 12 games of the current campaign. In a poem titled "Dear Basketball," Bryant talked about shooting imaginary game-winning shots in the NBA as a young boy and falling in love with the game.
Argentina's Lucas Melano scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time Sunday to give the Portland Timbers a 2-2 draw at FC Dallas and a berth in next Sunday's Major League Soccer Cup final. The Timbers won the two-leg aggregate Western Conference final matchup 5-3 after taking the opener 3-1 at home last weekend. Portland will face the Eastern Conference winner, either the New York Red Bulls or Columbus Crew, in the championship match.