Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns) with a buzzer beater vs the Denver Nuggets, 01/23/2021
Mikal Bridges (Phoenix Suns) with a buzzer beater vs the Denver Nuggets, 01/23/2021
Vauxhall will temporarily pause car production at its Ellesmere Port plant from Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic caused a slump in demand.
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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 defence 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-day Iraq. He is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and his opinions on religious and other matters are sought by Shiites worldwide. The historic meeting in al-Sistani’s humble home was months in the making, with every detail painstakingly discussed and negotiated between the ayatollah’s office and the Vatican. Early Saturday, the 84-year-old pontiff, travelling in a bullet-proof Mercedes-Benz, pulled up along Najaf’s narrow and column-lined Rasool Street, which culminates at the golden-domed Imam Ali Shrine, one of the most revered sites in Shiite Islam. He then walked the few meters (yards) to al-Sistani’s modest home, which the cleric has rented for decades. A group of Iraqis wearing traditional clothes welcomed him outside. As a masked Francis entered the doorway, a few white doves were released in a sign of peace. He emerged just under an hour later, still limping from an apparent flare-up of sciatica nerve pain that makes walking difficult. The “very positive” meeting lasted a total of 40 minutes, said a religious official in Najaf, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media. The official said al-Sistani, who normally remains seated for visitors, stood to greet Francis at the door of his room — a rare honour. Al-Sistani and Francis sat close to one another, without masks. Al-Sistani, who rarely appears in public — even on television — wore black robes and a black turban, in simple contrast to Francis’ all-white cassock. The official said there was some concern about the fact that the pope had met with so many people the day before. Francis has received the coronavirus vaccine but al-Sistani has not. The pope removed his shoes before entering al-Sistani's room. Al-Sistani spoke for most of meeting. Francis was served tea and a plastic bottle of water, but only drank the latter. Francis paused before leaving al-Sistani’s room to have a last look, the official said. The pope arrived later in the ancient city of Ur for an interfaith meeting aimed at urging Iraq’s Muslims, Christians and other believers to put aside historic animosities and work together for peace and unity. Ur is the traditional birthplace of Abraham, the biblical patriarch revered by Christians, Muslims and Jews. “From this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters," Francis said. “Hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: they are betrayals of religion.” Religious leaders stood to greet him. While Francis wore a mask, few of the leaders on the tented stage did. The meeting was held in the shadow of Ur’s magnificent ziggurat, the 6,000-year-old archaeological complex near the modern city of Nasiriyah. The Vatican said Iraqi Jews were invited to the event but did not attend, without providing further details. Iraq's ancient Jewish community was decimated in the 20th century by violence and mass emigration fueled by the Arab-Israeli conflict, and only a handful remain. The Vatican said the historic visit to al-Sistani was a chance for Francis to emphasize the need for collaboration and friendship between different religious communities. In a statement issued by his office after the meeting, al-Sistani affirmed that Christians should “live like all Iraqis, in security and peace and with full constitutional rights." He pointed out the "role that the religious authority plays in protecting them, and others who have also suffered injustice and harm in the events of past years.” Al-Sistani wished Francis and the followers of the Catholic Church happiness, and thanked him for taking the trouble to visit him in Najaf, the statement said. For Iraq’s dwindling Christian minority, a show of solidarity from al-Sistani could help secure their place in Iraq after years of displacement — and, they hope, ease intimidation from Shiite militiamen against their community. Iraqis cheered the meeting of two respected faith leaders. ”We welcome the pope’s visit to Iraq and especially to the holy city of Najaf and his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani,” said Najaf resident Haidar Al-Ilyawi. “It is an historic visit and hope it will be good for Iraq and the Iraqi people.” Francis arrived in Iraq on Friday and met with senior government officials on the first-ever papal visit to the country. It is also his first international trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and his meeting Saturday marked the first time a pope had met a grand ayatollah. On the few occasions where he has made his opinion known, the notoriously reclusive al-Sistani has shifted the course of Iraq's modern history. In the years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion he repeatedly preached calm and restraint as the Shiite majority came under attack by al-Qaida and other Sunni extremists. The country was nevertheless plunged into years of sectarian violence. His 2014 fatwa, or religious edict, calling on able-bodied men to join the security forces in fighting the Islamic State group swelled the ranks of Shiite militias, many closely tied to Iran. In 2019, as anti-government demonstrations gripped the country, his sermon lead to the resignation of then-prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Iraqis have welcomed the visit and the international attention it has given the country as it struggles to recover from decades of war and unrest. Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group in 2017 but still sees sporadic attacks. It has also seen recent rocket attacks by Iran-backed militias against U.S. military and diplomatic facilities, followed by U.S. airstrikes on militia targets in Iraq and neighbouring Syria. The violence is linked to the standoff between the U.S. and Iran following the Trump administration's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord and its imposition of crippling sanctions on Iran. President Joe Biden has said he wants to revive the deal. Francis’ visit to Najaf and nearby Ur traverses provinces that have seen recent instability. In Nasiriyah, where the Plains of Ur is located, protest violence left at least five dead last month. Most were killed when Iraqi security forces used live ammunition to disperse crowds. Protest violence was also seen in Najaf last year, but abated as the mass anti-government movement that engulfed Iraq gradually petered out. ___ Abdul-Zahra reported from Baghdad. Associated Press journalists Anmar Khalil in Najaf, Iraq, and Samya Kullab in Baghdad contributed. Nicole Winfield And Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press
"Find someone else to admonish - my friend Meghan is way out of your league"
Free rapid tests will now be available to companies of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees.
Candidates will be allowed to opt for Hindi/English mediums for answering papers of Foundation course examination.
The European Union will urge the United States to permit the export of millions of doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as it scrambles to bridge supply shortfalls, the Financial Times reported. The 27-nation EU also wants Washington to ensure the free flow of shipments of crucial vaccine ingredients needed in European production, the FT report on Saturday said. "We trust that we can work together with the U.S. to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the U.S. for the fulfilment of vaccine producers' contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured,” the FT quoted the European Commission as saying.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan handily won a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on Saturday, days after the embarrassing defeat of his ruling party’s key candidate in Senate elections. Khan secured the votes of 178 members of the lower house of Parliament, which is comprised of 340 lawmakers. The 11-party opposition alliance — the Pakistan Democratic Movement —boycotted the assembly’s special session.
Justin Welby condemns Nigerian archbishop's gay 'virus' comments. Archbishop of Canterbury says Henry Ndukuba’s comments that homosexuality should be ‘expunged’ are unacceptable
The release of the FX-Hulu documentary Framing Britney Spears, has prompted a collective reckoning on some of the damaging ways the public and media have treated women celebrities in the past. This has prompted an outpouring of outrage and even some apologies; for Kim Kardashian, it has elicited some deep-seated empathy. On her Instagram stories on March 5, Kardashian shared that she had watched the documentary and felt that she related to the experience of being the target of media misogyny. “The way the media played a big role in her life the way it did can be very traumatising and it can really break even the strongest person,” she wrote. “No matter how public someone’s life may seem, no one deserves to be treated with such cruelty or judgement for entertainment.” Kardashian pointed to her own experience during first pregnancy with her daughter North West. She struggled with a pregnancy condition called preeclampsia, which causes body swelling and weight gain. Kardashian wrote that as a result of this condition she gained 60 pounds and delivered almost six weeks early. “I cried every single day over what was happening to my body mainly from the pressure of being constantly compared to what society considered a healthy pregnant person should look like — as well as being compared to Shamu the Whale,” she continued. “Looking at all of the photos of myself online and in magazine made me so insecure and I had this fear of wondering if I would ever get my pre baby body back. I was shamed on a weekly basis with cover stories that made my insecurities so painful I couldn’t leave the house for months after. It really broke me.” WHO COULD’VE SEEN THIS COMING: Kim Kardashian shares numerous tabloid covers body shaming her for being pregnant. Kim says “So I finally watched the Britney Spears documentary … and it made me feel a lot of empathy for her.” pic.twitter.com/XbyJbNzbZu— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) March 5, 2021 Kardashian then proceeded to share 19 screenshots of alleged tabloid covers, as well as Internet memes that mocked her weight gain during her pregnancy, despite being a time that “was supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life.” One headline on a screenshot of an alleged cover of inTouch reads, “I’ll Never Be Sexy Again” with the caption “Kim sobs: even my armpits are fat!”; one from the National Enquirer reads, “Fat Kim’s Pregnancy: A Fake?” One meme compares Kardashian to Danny Devito’s Penguin character from Batman Returns. The reason Kardashian posted the headlines, she claimed, was to shed a harsh light on the pervasive issue of sexism when it comes to talking about women in the public sphere, with the hope that the culture will try to change. “I’m sharing this just to say I really hope everyone involved in the business of shaming and bullying someone to the point of breaking them down might reconsider and instead try to show some understanding and compassion,” she concluded. “You just never fully know what someone is going through behind the scenes and I’ve learned through my own experiences that it’s always better to lead with kindness.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Britney Spears Was Another Promising Young WomanThe Reason Kim & Khloé Are Starting RumorsKim Kardashian West Reportedly Files For Divorce
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