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Britain looks into payment for pope's visit

LONDON — British lawmakers have demanded an explanation Wednesday into why $3 million of foreign aid money helped pay for the pope's recent visit to the U.K.

Britain's government initially estimated the price of the pope's four-day visit — which saw the pontiff address crowds in London, Scotland and central England — at 10 million pounds, excluding security costs. Officials said on Wednesday that the final tally will be lower than originally thought and is likely to be confirmed to Parliament next week.

But finding out that development funds helped finance the trip was a surprise to lawmakers and will equally surprise taxpayers, said Malcolm Bruce, chairman of Parliament's international development committee.

Details of the spending came to light in a report from a committee inquiry into the accounts of Britain's Department for International Development.

Mexico will send electricity to Texas

MEXICO CITY — Mexico will provide electricity to Texas to help the U.S. state weather an ice storm that has forced rolling blackouts.

Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission said it agreed to transmit 280 megawatts of electricity to Texas between Wednesday and tonight.

A commission statement says the electricity will be transmitted at interconnection points in Nuevo Laredo — across the border from Laredo, Texas — and Piedras Negras, which sits opposite of Eagle Pass, Texas.

Rolling blackouts have been implemented across Texas, including the Dallas area, host of the Super Bowl, due to high demand during the ice storm.

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