Pope John Paul II will be beatified Sunday in Rome. That puts him just one step away from sainthood. For a candidate to be beatified, or declared "blessed," the Catholic Church generally must verify that God has performed a miracle because of the person's intercession. During John Paul's time as pope alone, more than 1,000 people were declared "blessed." For a person to become a saint, a second miracle is required. Here's a look at a few notable figures who are one miracle away from canonization:
Paul O'Neill, who served as Treasury Secretary during President George W. Bush's first term, has long been known for his bracing candor.
He apparently hasn't lost his edge. In a Bloomberg News interview, O'Neill said lawmakers who are threatening not to raise the federal debt ceiling are the "U.S.' version of al Qaida terrorists." O'Neill is definitely not one for sugarcoating his words, that's for sure.
The chants began even before Pope John Paul II had been put to his final rest, as his coffin was carried through St. Peter's Square: "Santo Subito! Santo Subito!"
A month later, Pope Benedict XVI — his successor and close friend — launched the process that would do just that. On Sunday, John Paul II will be beatified in Rome, bringing him one step away from sainthood.
Shortly after the violent upheaval in Libya began in February, Chavez proposed the creation of an international peace commission to mediate an end to the conflict. He said his government is continuing to seek a negotiated solution.
In the early '90s, the nomadic Tuareg people of Niger and Mali rebelled. Laid low by drought and abandoned by governments, they fought to establish a Tuareg nation. That dream was never realized, but the rebellion did inspire a tradition of guitar-wielding rebel rockers with songs of suffering and nostalgia. Bombino is one of these — a young guitarist and singer from Niger, and a rising star in Tuareg folk rock. His newest album is Agadez.
Italy has taken in more than 20,000 refugees this year fleeing political upheaval in Tunisia and other North African countries.
France, though, has refused to accept even a trainload holding visas from Italy. One big reason for the French resistance is the political challenge French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces from the right. Recent polling shows Sarkozy trailing Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's anti-immigrant National Front Party, ahead of next year's election.
Mainstream politicians all across Europe are feeling pressure from the right.