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Pope Francis visits regions of Iraq once held by Islamic State

Pope Francis visits regions of Iraq once held by Islamic State

World
ReutersPope Francis is visiting parts of northern Iraq that were held by Islamic State (IS) militants on the third day of his historic trip to the country.Christians were among those targeted by IS when they seized the region in 2014, carrying out human rights abuses.The Pope has arrived in the city of Mosul where he is praying among the ruins of its churches, several of which were destroyed during the fighting.Later he will celebrate Mass in Irbil, with up to 10,000 attendees expected.There are fears the service could become a coronavirus super-spreader event.Iraq has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections over the past month. The 84-year-old leader of the Catholic Church and his entourage have all been vaccinated, but Iraq only received its first batch of doses last week.'Pope's visit ...
Pope, top Iraq Shiite cleric hold historic, symbolic meeting

Pope, top Iraq Shiite cleric hold historic, symbolic meeting

World
PLAINS OF UR, Iraq -- Pope Francis and Iraq's top Shiite cleric delivered a powerful message of peaceful coexistence Saturday, urging Muslims in the war-weary Arab nation to embrace Iraq’s long-beleaguered Christian minority during an historic meeting in the holy city of Najaf.Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said religious authorities have a role in protecting Iraq’s Christians, and that Christians should live in peace and enjoy the same rights as other Iraqis. The Vatican said Francis thanked al-Sistani for having “raised his voice in defense of the weakest and most persecuted” during some of the most violent times in Iraq’s recent history.Al-Sistani, 90, is one of the most senior clerics in Shiite Islam and his rare but powerful political interventions have helped shape present-da...
Italy’s president, pope mark year anniversary of first Italian COVID-19 case

Italy’s president, pope mark year anniversary of first Italian COVID-19 case

World
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and Pope France marked the one-year anniversary of the first Italian COVID-19 case by honoring health workers. The first Italian COVID-19 case was identified in Lombardy on Feb. 20, 2020 in a 38-year-old man, a research article shows. Two tourists from China had tested positive in Rome on Jan. 30. A few days after the first Italian tested positive, additional cases popped up in the surrounding area, and soon other cases, mostly in the northern area. Areas in Lombardy and Veneto went into lockdown first and by March 8 lockdowns began nationwide. Advertisement Mattarella announced the creation of a National Day to honor "health, social welfare and volunteer personnel," in a message Saturday to the President of the National Federation of O...
The Latest: Pope says pandemic worsening social inequalities

The Latest: Pope says pandemic worsening social inequalities

Health
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says that the pandemic has both ‘’exposed and aggravated’’ social inequalities. Francis said during his weekly audience Wednesday that disparities show up in the workplace, schools and government programs to address the economic impact of the pandemic. He underlined that not everyone can work from home; school has been “abruptly interrupted” for some children, but continues for others; and while “some powerful nations can issue money to deal with the crisis,’’ that would mean ‘’mortgaging the future for others.’’ The pope said, “these symptoms of inequality reveal a social illness; it is a virus that comes from a sick economy. It is the fruit of unequal economic growth that disregards fundamental human values.” ——— HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS ...
Ollie Pope is England’s best young player since Joe Root – Michael Vaughan

Ollie Pope is England’s best young player since Joe Root – Michael Vaughan

Sports
Media playback is not supported on this device Former England captain Michael Vaughan says Ollie Pope is England's best young player since the emergence of current skipper Joe Root.Pope, 22, stroked an elegant 91 not out on the first day of the third Test against West Indies to help the hosts to 258-4."He's a wonderful player," Vaughan told Test Match Special. "I don't see a great deal going wrong with his game. It can pretty much cover all conditions."Surrey's Pope made his England debut as a 20-year-old against India in 2018, but was left out after playing only two m...