Tag: News

New cardinals quarantine in pope’s hotel ahead of ceremony – News – Austin American-Statesman

ROME (AP) ” The Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It’s now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend’s ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors.

The 10-day quarantines, with COVID-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday’s ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.

‘They told me it would be like this but I didn’t think it would be so strict!’ marveled Cardinal-designate Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the retired archbishop of Chiapas, Mexico.

During a Zoom call with The Associated Press from his hotel room, Esquivel said he had thought there might be some exceptions to the lockdown for new cardinals. ‘No! Here, it doesn’t matter if you’re a cardinal or a pope. The virus doesn’t respect anyone,’ he said.

Pope Francis on Saturday will elevate 13 clerics to the College of Cardinals, the elite group of red-robed churchmen whose primary task is to elect a new pope. It’s the seventh time Francis has named a new batch of cardinals since his election in 2013, and his imprint is increasingly shifting the balance of power away from Europe and toward the developing world.

The Vatican has said two new cardinals won’t make it to Rome for the ceremony, known as a consistory, because of COVID-19 and travel concerns: The Vatican’s ambassador to Brunei, Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim, and the archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula.

The Vatican is arranging for them, and any of the cardinals who might not make it, to participate in the ceremony remotely from their homes. They’ll get their three-pointed ‘biretta’ hats from a Vatican ambassador or another envoy.

For those who are participating in person, the public health crisis has posed an unusual set of challenges. Italy, where the pandemic erupted in late February, is currently in the throes of a second wave. The Vatican itself has returned to a modified lockdown in recent weeks, with the Vatican Museums shuttered and a dozen Swiss Guards testing positive.

Francis, 83, has been criticized for his rather lax mask usage, but he has abided by social distancing measures to a degree. He too lives at Santa Marta, where there has been at least one positive case reported in recent months.

Usually, consistories are full of parties and crowds: Cardinals come to town with family, friends and sometimes benefactors and parishioners who get to see the new ‘princes of the church’ up close and then attend receptions and dinners in their honor. Under normal circumstances, the consistory would be followed by ‘courtesy visits,’ where the new cardinals greet well-wishers and the general public from the grandeur of their own reception rooms in the Apostolic Palace or Vatican auditorium.

This year, there will be no courtesy visits, and each cardinal has a 10-person limit for guests. For Esquivel,

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Travel agents in Mideast, Africa say UAE is blocking visas | St. Louis business news

Saeed Mohammed, an agent at Arabian Nights Tours in Dubai, said he frequently faces difficulties obtaining UAE entry visas for Iranians, Turkish citizens and those from Yemen’s rebel-held capital due to simmering political tensions. The UAE’s recent normalization deal with Israel, which now allows Israelis to visit the emirate’s skyscraper-studded cities visa-free, has cast a spotlight on a changing Middle East. Gulf leaders have come to see Israel, a former enemy, as a key ally against the shared threats of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Despite long-standing visa troubles, Mohammed said he’s never seen the 100% visa rejection rate of the past week, with some dozen visitor visas denied each day from Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and other countries.

“We can only assume that there has been some change in the law, but in reality, no one knows,” he said.

Mohammad Hosseini, Iran’s Chargé d’Affaires in the UAE, wrote on Twitter Thursday that he’s following up with the Emirati Foreign Ministry after hearing the visa ban applies to 13 countries “temporarily and until further notice.” A travel agent in Tehran said Iranians hadn’t received visas to enter the UAE since early August.

One travel agent in Istanbul said she wasn’t at all surprised by the ban, especially given the UAE’s growing trend of rejecting Turkish visas over the past few months — the result of a political rivalry, not the coronavirus, she added.

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New Cardinals Quarantine in Pope’s Hotel Ahead of Ceremony | World News

By NICOLE WINFIELD and TRISHA THOMAS, Associated Press

ROME (AP) — The Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It’s now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend’s ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors.

The 10-day quarantines, with COVID-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday’s ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.

“They told me it would be like this but I didn’t think it would be so strict!” marveled Cardinal-designate Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the retired archbishop of Chiapas, Mexico.

During a Zoom call with The Associated Press from his hotel room, Esquivel said he had thought there might be some exceptions to the lockdown for new cardinals. “No! Here, it doesn’t matter if you’re a cardinal or a pope. The virus doesn’t respect anyone,” he said.

Pope Francis on Saturday will elevate 13 clerics to the College of Cardinals, the elite group of red-robed churchmen whose primary task is to elect a new pope. It’s the seventh time Francis has named a new batch of cardinals since his election in 2013, and his imprint is increasingly shifting the balance of power away from Europe and toward the developing world.

The Vatican has said two new cardinals won’t make it to Rome for the ceremony, known as a consistory, because of COVID-19 and travel concerns: The Vatican’s ambassador to Brunei, Cardinal-designate Cornelius Sim, and the archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Cardinal-designate Jose Advincula.

The Vatican is arranging for them, and any of the cardinals who might not make it, to participate in the ceremony remotely from their homes. They’ll get their three-pointed “biretta” hats from a Vatican ambassador or another envoy.

For those who are participating in person, the public health crisis has posed an unusual set of challenges. Italy, where the pandemic erupted in late February, is currently in the throes of a second wave. The Vatican itself has returned to a modified lockdown in recent weeks, with the Vatican Museums shuttered and a dozen Swiss Guards testing positive.

Francis, 83, has been criticized for his rather lax mask usage, but he has abided by social distancing measures to a degree. He too lives at Santa Marta, where there has been at least one positive case reported in recent months.

Usually, consistories are full of parties and crowds: Cardinals come to town with family, friends and sometimes benefactors and parishioners who get to see the new “princes of the church” up close and then attend receptions and dinners in their honor. Under normal circumstances, the consistory would be followed by “courtesy visits,” where the new cardinals greet well-wishers and the general public from the grandeur of their own reception rooms in the Apostolic Palace or Vatican auditorium.

This year, there will be no courtesy visits, and each cardinal

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‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hero Says He Was Kidnapped and Blindfolded Before Arrest | World News

KIGALI (Reuters) – “Hotel Rwanda” hero Paul Rusesabagina, on trial on terrorism and other charges in the central African country, said on Friday he had been kidnapped from abroad before being detained and charged.

Rusesabagina, a political dissident who has lived in exile in Belgium and the United States, was arrested in August after returning to the country.

At the time it was not immediately clear whether he had returned voluntarily or had been coerced.

“I was kidnapped to come here,” Rusesabagina said in court in the capital, Kigali, as he applied for bail.

“…They tied my legs and my arms and I was blindfolded.”

Prosecutors denied he had been kidnapped and said due process had been followed.

“No one kidnapped Paul Rusesabagina…he was detained at a legally recognised place after being notified of charges against him,” prosecutor Jean Cabin Habimana said.

The Oscar-nominated 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda” depicted Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, using his connections as a hotel manager to protect ethnic Tutsis fleeing slaughter by Hutus in the country’s 1994 genocide.

An estimated 800,000 people were killed.

Rusesabagina later acquired Belgian citizenship and became a U.S. resident.

He became a vocal critic of President Paul Kagame and once called for armed resistance to the government in a YouTube video.

In court, his lawyer, Gatera Gashabana, said Rusesabagina had been held incommunicado and his rights violated.

Rusesabagina has already been denied bail twice. [L8N2GT3U7]

The judge said he would deliver his ruling on the most recent application on Dec. 2.

(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; editing by Elias Biryabarema and Nick Macfie)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Dept. of recreation to present children’s Christmas activities | Local News

Children from all across Greene County will be able to enjoy two upcoming Christmas-themed events being coordinated by the county’s department of recreation.

Santa Claus will be the focus of the upcoming activities, as he will serve as the special guest at “Breakfast with Santa” from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 5. He will also be receiving letters from local youths who write to him through the department’s “Letters to Santa” initiative.

The breakfast starts at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the 4-H Building at the Greene County Fairgrounds. Admission is $7 per person and includes a breakfast catered by Dan Wagner, culinary arts instructor at Greene County Career and Technology Center.

To follow CDC guidelines put in place because of COVID-19, the current plan is for the department to offer three time frames with a 35-person occupancy per time frame, and masks must be worn by attendees unless they are seated.

Also, Santa will be seated behind a Plexiglas frame in the upper level of the 4-H Building and available for a picture. Children will also receive that picture with Santa and a special treat.

A mailbox for the North Pole will be available for children to write and deposit their letters into, along with “Dear Santa” templates to compose their wish list on.

The event is sponsored by Direct Results and Waynesburg VFW Post 4793.

Recreation department director Bret Moore said all steps are being taken to ensure the event will follow all CDC mandates and guidelines.

“We haven’t made a final decision yet as to whether we will allow people to come inside and eat breakfast, or if this will become a ‘to-go’ event,” Moore said. “We will make the decision based on what is best for those coming, and what is mandated.

“As for Santa, unfortunately children will not be able to sit on his lap this year because of COVID-19, but he will be there, greeting and waving, and he will be situated behind a safety glass that will resemble a wonderful Christmas card.”

Moore said tickets for the breakfast are now available at the recreation office, located at the county fairgrounds, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Also, now through Dec. 15, area children wishing to receive a personalized letter from Santa can simply send their letter with a completed request form to Greene County Department of Recreation, ATTN: Santa Claus, 107 Fairgrounds Road, Waynesburg, PA 15370.

Letter request forms include the child’s contact and basic information, including gender, age and any gifts requested from Santa, and must be completed by a parent or guardian.

A completed form must accompany each letter, and parents are asked to limit one request per child. There is no cost for a letter from Santa, as funding has been provided through various sponsors and fundraising efforts the department of recreation holds throughout the year.

Children should receive the letters before Christmas.

For more information on the “Breakfast with Santa” event or the

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Vernon recreation temporarily pauses group fitness classes – Vernon News

Fitness classes cancelled

The City of Vernon has temporarily paused fitness classes and some other programs after the province issued a new health order that restricts group fitness activities.

The order states that “businesses, recreation centres or other organizations that organize or operate high-risk indoor group physical activities (such as spin classes, hot yoga and HIIT) must suspend them. As well, “venues that organize or operate other types of indoor group physical activities must suspend them temporarily while new guidance is being developed.”

Those directly impacted by the stop order will be contacted by the city. Once new guidelines have been issued, recreation services will examine the situation and make the necessary changes to the city’s risk mitigation plans.

“While we regret having to pause some of our programs, we must ensure all programs and services provided are compliant with provincial health guidelines and orders, as we all do our part to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve again,” says Shayne Wright, manager of recreation programs.

The city hopes to restart most of its fitness programs next week, depending on what the new guidelines end up being.

For those who participate in scheduled or drop-in programs that are still running, masks are required in all recreation facilities.

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Nelson Toala: Stroke, pandemic changed life for Driskill Hotel cook – News – Austin American-Statesman

Up until about six months ago, Nelson Toala was the primary provider for his wife and two granddaughters.

He has worked as a cook at the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin for more than a decade, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit, he was temporarily furloughed. He was hoping to return back to the kitchen, but before he got the chance, he had a stroke that left him with partial paralysis on his right side. He is unable to walk or shower on his own and his speech is not as clear.

“We were sent home from work on March 17, and since then I have had a difficult time,” Toala says. “I am head of household. I recently turned 65, and without the income, it has been difficult to maintain bills and cope with my financial responsibility.”

The change is something that is unfamiliar to Toala.

He was born and raised in Ecuador. As the son of a farmer, he grew up working on the farm before going off to college to become a pharmacist. He soon would be married and become a father of three. He has always worked to provide for his family, he says.

In 2006, when he moved from Manta, Ecuador, to Austin with his wife, Maria, 65, he says although things were challenging he did not let that stop him from doing what was expected of him — providing for his family.

“At the very beginning there were a lot of difficulties because of my age, language and culture and economic barriers,” Toala says. “That was challenging for me, but we found good programs, and the people in Austin are so giving.”

He says he started taking classes so he could learn English, and Goodwill was able to help him find a job and go back to school, but he wasn’t sure what was next for him. His pharmacist license from Ecuador would not carry over in Austin. He had to start all over.

Toala first worked at Bealls, but he needed to make more money to keep up with expenses, so he got a second job working at the Marriott. He says everyone in the hotel kitchen seemed to be in culinary school, and so he thought culinary school would be the logical next step for him as well.

While working two jobs, Toala attended part-time classes at Austin Community College’s culinary program and graduated in early 2011, about three years after taking his first culinary course.

“The language barrier was difficult, but my passion to redesign my career helped get me through it,” he says. “It took me three years because I worked two jobs, was going to school and had family responsibilities. But I did it.”

He says while he was in culinary school, Bealls had closed, and so he started applying for another second job. He would eventually land at the Driskill, working his way from a part-time breakfast line cook to banquets. In the last 14 years, he has

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VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation | National News



VIRUS TODAY: Americans travel as Biden addresses nation

Holiday travelers crowd the ticketing area of terminal one Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 at MSP in Minneapolis. Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household.




Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse.

— More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus. About 778,000 people applied for unemployment last week, the second straight week the number has risen.

— Authorities are desperately pleading with people to stay home for the holidays and dramatically increasing fines for businesses that break the rules. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont says he will fine businesses $10,000 for violating virus restrictions.

THE NUMBERS: COVID-19 deaths have been shooting up all week. The average number per day is now over 1,600. The country is averaging 174,000 new cases of the virus per day.

QUOTABLE: “I don’t want to be South Dakota.” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in saying he would not follow the lead of other Republican governors who resist mask mandates. He cited the grim statistics in South Dakota and the governor’s refusal to require masks.

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Samantha Akkineni stands out with her chic and comfort look for her Maldives vacation with Naga Chaitanya : Bollywood News

South Indian actors Samantha Akkineni and Naga Chaitanya jetted off to Maldives recently to bring in the latter’s birthday. Several celebrities have already headed to the island country for a vacation making it the most preferred holiday destination among film personalities post the lockdown.

Samantha Akkineni stands out with her chic and comfort look for her Maldives vacation with Naga Chaitanya Samantha Akkineni has also been updating her Instagram feed with pictures from her getaway with her husband. While several other actors brought out their bikini during their time at the beach, flaunting their figures, actress Samantha opted for a chic and comfort look for her vacation.

She first posted a picture of herself dressed in a flowy full length floral dress perfect for a vacation by the se. She completed the look with a hat. In another post, she was seen posing by the sea in a similar outfit with a different print.

Check it out:

 

Samantha also sported a short red and white striped dress with a deep neck for one of her day outing in the island country. Take a look:

Samantha has also been sharing pictures from the activities they’ve been enjoying during their stay including scuba diving and going cycling around the town. While going cycling, Samantha opted for a complete chic look with a pink crop top and denim shorts paired with her holiday hat.

Take a look:

On Tuesday, she took to her Instagram stories and shared a selfie of her enjoying her time in the bathtub wearing a bikini top.

Samantha Akkineni stands out with her chic and comfort look for her Maldives vacation with Naga Chaitanya

ALSO READ: Samantha Akkineni salutes Nayanthara’s strength and silent determination as she wishes the latter on her birthday with a powerful message

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