Pope Francis cancels planned retreat due to ‘cold’

first_imgPope Francis said Sunday he would not be taking part in a planned six-day spiritual retreat south of Rome after coming down with a “cold”.The 83-year-old pontiff suffered two coughing spells that forced him to turn away from the crowd and cover his mouth with his fist on a windy and cloudy day on Saint Peter’s Square.”Unfortunately, a cold forced me not to take part this year,” he said after reciting the traditional Angelus Prayer and addressing the unfolding migrant crisis on Turkey’s border with Greece. There have been 29 confirmed deaths and 105 people were receiving intensive care treatment in hospital — all of them in three adjacent northern regions near Milan.The Vatican quickly shot down speculation that the pope himself had come down with COVID-19.”There is no evidence to suggest a diagnosis of anything other than a slight ailment,” a Vatican spokesman told AFP Sunday.The pope himself looked relatively strong on Sunday despite the coughing fits.He smiled a few times and addressed a range of theological issues before turning his attention to the plight of thousands of migrants from Turkey who have been blocked at the rugged frontier with Greece. “I am a little saddened by the news coming from many displaced people, so many men, women and children chased because of war,” Francis said.The pontiff asked the faithful to share a prayer for “so many migrants who seek refuge in the world — and help”.Faithfuls listen to Pope Francis’ speech as he delivers the Sunday Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican on March 01, 2020. (AFP/ Filippo MONTEFORTE) Italy shuts down Concerns about the pope’s health have been mounting for days in a country where mass closures of public institutions and businesses due to the coronavirus are affecting the lives of millions.He first looked like he might be sick on Wednesday and lightened his workload for the rest of the week.The Vatican used the “mild ailment” term for the first time on Thursday to explain why the pope was spending his day around his Saint Martha’s guest house in the Vatican.But he still continued celebrating the morning mass and receiving visitors even as football matches were being cancelled and businesses were telling their employees to work from home.He met with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church head Sviatoslav Shevchuk on Saturday and spent almost 15 minutes speaking on Sunday from his Vatican window.The Argentine-born pontiff has enjoyed a life of good health despite losing part of a lung as a young man and suffered from sciatica — a nerve condition that causes pain in his hip.Yet he rarely cancels appointments and normally takes extra time to mingle with supporters and the faithful.Topics : The annual retreat will still start Sunday but only include members of the Roman Curia administration team of the Holy See.The pope will be staying home while the rest of Italy battles Europe’s worst outbreak of the novel coronavirus that has spread from China to every continent except for Antarctica.Pope Francis wipes his nose during the Ash Wednesday mass which opens Lent, the forty-day period of abstinence and deprivation for Christians before Holy Week and Easter, on February 26, 2020, at the Santa Sabina church in Rome. – Pope Francis postponed his official appointments on February 28 and was working from home, the Vatican said, a day after cancelling a scheduled appearance at mass because of “a mild ailment”. Francis, 83, had appeared earlier in the week to be suffering from a cold. He was seen blowing his nose and coughing during the Ash Wednesday service, and his voice sounded hoarse. (AFP/Alberto PIZZOLI)The number of cases in Italy surpassed 1,000 on Saturday and the toll continues to mount.last_img read more

2018 FMCG Games Come to a Close Sunday

first_imgCurtains will this Sunday be drawn on this year’s edition of the Fast Moving Consumers Games at the YabaTech Sports Complex by 12p.m.Over the past four weeks, the Games has stayed true to its name by offering an exciting, captivating and entertaining tournament.This year’s edition features the likes of Nestle, Unilever, FrieslandCampina, Guinness and Reckitt Benckiser in feature events; football, athletics, board games; (chess and scrabble) and table tennis.  This weekend sees table toppers Nestle take on FrieslandCampina in the battle for the Football crown, while Reckitt Benckiser trade tackles with Unilever in a dicey but yet promising match which can potentially take the winner up to second.Other events for the weekend includes the Athletics finals in both male and female category and the conclusion of the scrabble events.The past weekend saw the conclusion of the table tennis and chess events which saw Nestle and FrieslandCampina claiming gold.The football event witnessed FrieslandCampina defeating arch-rivals – Unilever by a lone goal and Reckitt Benckiser earning their first victory in the competition by defeating Guinness.The event was graced by notable dignitaries from the participating companies; Dayanand T.S. – General Manager West Africa, Reckitt Benckiser, Ayodele Alabi – Corporate Communication Manager, Guinness, Torinmo Fabanwo – Human Resources Manager, Reckitt Benckiser, Kenneth Omeni – Head, Audit, FrieslandCampinaWamco and Odoemene Okezie – Human Resources Business Partner, Unilever.The battle for who becomes the Overall Champion and also who wins the Football Trophy goes down to the wire as the stakes are high and more medals will be claimed this weekend.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Oregon man gets 14 years for Vancouver bank robberies

first_imgMarx Wayne Coonrod denied robbing the same Vancouver Umpqua Bank branch twice and trying a third time over a three-month span in 2016 through the very end of his criminal case.“My right to a fair trial was taken from me. I’m sorry about what happened to these people, but it wasn’t me,” Coonrod said during sentencing Friday.“You’re a bank robber,” Clark County Superior Court Judge Daniel Stahnke replied, moments before he handed down a more than 14-year prison sentence.Coonrod, a 62-year-old from Scappoose, Ore., robbed the bank Feb. 1, 2016, and March 16, 2016, and tried to do it again April 22 of that year, court records say.The first robbery was carried out by a man wearing a dark-colored, hooded jacket, a dark beanie and scarf. He walked into the bank shortly after 10:30 a.m., according to an affidavit of probable cause. Witnesses described the robber as being an average height, with a heavy build and distinctive, almost limping walk, Senior Deputy Prosecutor James Smith said. The robber demanded bills in $50 and $100 denominations. He didn’t show a firearm.last_img read more