By Philip Pullella and Scott Malone UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Friday condemned the craving for material gains and power, telling an annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations that greed is destroying the Earth's resources and aggravating poverty. The spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics condemned the "grave offense" of economic and social exclusion, in his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The first pope from Latin America, Francis has often criticized unbridled capitalism in the two years of his papacy.
U.S. environmental regulators said on Friday they are sending a letter to all automobile manufacturers saying they are stepping up emissions-testing activities in response to Volkswagen's alleged violations of pollution laws. "We are upping our game," Chris Grundler, head of transportation and air quality at the Environmental Protection Agency, told reporters in a teleconference. Volkswagen could face $18 billion in fines from the EPA after it admitted using software in diesel cars that evades emissions tests.