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

India’s Kartik wins singles but US beat fighting Internationals narrowly

first_img First Published: 10th December, 2019 09:02 IST Written By Press Trust Of India Last Updated: 10th December, 2019 09:02 IST India’s Kartik Wins Singles But US Beat Fighting Internationals Narrowly India’s promising amateur Kartik Sharma scored a superb singles win on the final day of the second Junior Presidents Cup golf tournament India’s promising amateur Kartik Sharma scored a superb singles win on the final day of the second Junior Presidents Cup golf tournament. Sharma ranked 190th on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, beat Stephen Campbell, Jr. who is a 2019 Rolex Junior All American and won the 2018 US Kids Teen World Championships. Sharma won 3-up as the match finished on the 16th hole.READ | Bala Devi Scripts Indian Women’s 3rd Straight Gold In South Asian GamesOn the first day, Sharma and Andi Xu lost to Preston Summerhays and Jackson Van Paris 6 and 4 in the day’s shortest match in the Foursomes. In the Four-Ball, Sharma and Xu went down 1-3 to Vishnu Sadgopan and Benjamin Jones. Sharma, based in New Delhi, plays at the DLF Golf and Country Club and is coached by Anitya Chand, a former Asian Games participant for India.READ | Ankit, Kalaivani Lead India To Six Boxing Gold Medals At 13th SAGDefending champions, the United States Team, however, withstood a gallant fight back from the International team to win the Junior Presidents Cup for a second consecutive time at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Monday. After taking a comfortable 9-3 lead from the opening day’s Four-Ball and Foursomes sessions, the American junior golfers saw the International Team pull to within three points in the Singles session through five wins in the top six matches, including a win by India’s Sharma.  But after that the Americans once again pushed hard and won through wins by Ian Siebers, Michael Thorbjornsen, Alexander Yang and Vishnu Sadagopan scored the final win to secure the title for the US Team at 13-11. Sharma won the New South Wales Amateur Open in Australia in January and also the Indian Golf Union Western India Amateur Championship by one stroke.  He is the second Indian to feature in the Junior Presidents Cup following Rayhan Thomas’ appearance in 2017. READ | MLB Winter Meetings: What To Expect From LA Dodgers In The Off-seasonREAD | Seattle Seahawks’ DK Metcalf Gets A Signature Coffee; It’s Called ‘Decaf Metcalf’ FOLLOW UScenter_img LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO USlast_img read more

Olympia Community Members Advocate for Compassionate Immigration Reform

first_imgFacebook21Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Sitara Nath“And what makes this country great for me, as an immigrant and now, a United States citizen, is really that America is a place I can finally call home,” said Meenu Nath, a local Olympia constituent and one of the 12 community members who lobbied Congressmen Denny Heck’s Lacey office for compassionate immigration reform on Thursday, May 18. The combination of leaders, local activists and faith-based organizations came together to ask Representative Heck to cosponsor the BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill which will protect young, undocumented immigrants if their protected status is revoked.Along with Charo Portaro, CIELO’s Director of Educational Programs, a team from the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, and local activists, Representative Heck’s conference room was entirely filled by the Olympia advocacy network. Photo courtesy: Sitara NathThe visit was organized by Sitara Nath, a local community organizer who takes part in the Advocacy Corps Intern Program with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a DC – based Quaker lobbyist group in the public interest. Last year, after attending a conference in Washington D.C. just days after the presidential election, Nath’s interest in compassionate immigration reform grew stronger as anti-immigrant rhetoric continued emanating from the White House. Now back in Olympia, Nath has teamed up with the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, a local coalition of faith activists who seek to support immigrant communities in the area. Dallas Roberts, the congressman’s district representative, met with the constituents and reiterated the power of stories in immigration advocacy.“What we really need is people like all of you out there and sharing these stories with other members of Congress as well – it would really support the Representative if other Washington leaders were united on this issue,” said Roberts, who also noted that the Representative is supportive of the BRIDGE Act but, due to the bipartisan nature of the bill, needs a Republican congressional member to sign on alongside him.At the visit, the constituents discussed their personal stories in relation to the BRIDGE Act in an effort to bring politics back to personal roots. Beth Halpern, a member of Strengthening Sanctuary and an ally through the Temple Beth Hatfiloh, shared a moving story of a young woman she is acquainted with who has excelled in her education but is restricted from further pursuing her dreams due to her undocumented status.Charo Portaro, the Director of Educational Programs at CIELO (Central Integral Educativo de Olympia) also joined the visit to discuss how the Congressman’s legislative decisions impact the immigrant communities she works with.“We are working to change lives through education,” said Portaro of the programs which CIELO offers, including English classes, GED preparation courses and sewing classes, to build support for immigrant families in Olympia. Portaro concluded firmly that, “This is an issue which comes down to our basic humanity and that’s why I am here – that’s why we want the Representative to support this issue.”You can learn more about CIELO and their volunteer-based programs by visiting the CIELO website or by emailing cieloproject@comcast.net. You can also find information regarding the Strengthening Sanctuary Faith Network, which provides ‘Know Your Rights’ training and Family Safety Planning, through the local Interfaith Works newsletter. To contact Sitara Nath about local lobbying opportunities for compassionate immigration reform, you can email her at sitaranath@gmail.com.last_img read more