Daily Archives: April 1, 2021

Pope Celebrates Surprise Holy Thursday with Ousted Cardinal

Pope Francis celebrated a surprise Holy Thursday Mass with the cardinal he fired last year, extending an extraordinary gesture to Cardinal Angelo Becciu by celebrating the liturgy that commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper with his apostles before his crucifixion.News of the celebration in Becciu’s private chapel was confirmed by Becciu’s private secretary. In addition, a longtime friend who was in contact with Becciu after the papal visit said the cardinal was “very happy” with the meeting. A Vatican official said he couldn’t confirm Francis’ private initiative but added that “such a …

Report on France’s Role in Rwanda’s Genocide Fails to Lay to Rest a Dark Past

French President Emmanuel Macron will reportedly visit Kigali in coming weeks, following a report he commissioned which sheds a harsh light on France’s alleged role in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.If Macron hoped the report would put the controversy over French actions to rest, it now seems to be doing the opposite.Sounds of a Paris ceremony a […] From: BoorSee

Rights Court Backs RFE/RL Journalist in Case to Protect Phone Data From Ukrainian Officials 

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in favor of a journalist from RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service who has battled against the handover of her smartphone data to authorities in what the court agreed is an essential defense of a free press and privacy in democratic society. Natalia Sedletska, who hosts the award-winning investigative TV […] From: BoorSee

US Supreme Court Rules in Facebook’s Favor in Case About Unwanted Texting

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit accusing Facebook Inc. of violating a federal anti-robocall law.The justices, in a 9-0 decision authored by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, sided with Facebook in its argument that text messages the social media company sent did not violate a 1991 federal law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).The case highlighted the challenge for the justices in applying outdated laws to modern technologies. The ruling sparked calls for Congress to update the law, enacted three decades ago to curb telemarketing abuse by …

SpaceX Introduces All-civilian Crew

SpaceX had another rough day but still names the members of its all-civilian crew. Plus, a new study examines the effects of long-term space travel on the human body. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi has The Week in Space.Producer: Arash Arabasadi.    …

German Health Minister Calls for Vaccine Stockpile

Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, Thursday stressed the need for Germany to stock up on COVID-19 vaccine for possible repeat shots next year, and said the nation should do so with or without the rest of the European Union.Spahn made the remarks during a Berlin virtual news briefing on the countries COVID-19 vaccination program and to mark the opening of BioNTech’s plant in Marburg, Germany. He said the new plant provides Germany with an opportunity to plan for the possible need for additional doses of vaccine. Germany’s Merkel Says Europe Needs …

Florist’s Business Blossoms for Easter Holiday

Easter is one of the busier holidays for local florists in the United States, with families ordering spring blooms for their gatherings with loved ones. Esha Sarai speaks with a flower farmer and florist in Marshall, North Carolina about their best-selling products this time of year.Camera:  Esha Sarai Produced by:  Esha Sarai   …

US Unemployment Benefit Claims Increased Again Last Week

New U.S. unemployment compensation claims jumped again last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, as the recovery from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus remains tenuous.The government said 719,000 workers filed for benefits last week, up 61,000 from the revised figure of the previous week. The week-ago figure of 658,000 was the smallest total […] From: BoorSee

WHO Laments Europe’s ‘Unacceptably Slow’ COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

The World Health Organization says Europe’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts are  “unacceptably slow” in the face of a new surge of the virus and new, more contagious variants.  Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO’s European director, issued a statement Thursday urging the continent’s leaders to “speed up the process by ramping up manufacturing, reducing barriers to administering vaccines, and using every single vial we have in stock, now.”The number of new infections across Europe had fallen below 1 million just five weeks ago, but the global health agency says those numbers have since surged …

Tigray, Ethiopia: From Conflict to Humanitarian Crisis

VOA traces the beginnings of the conflict that grew into a humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. In early November 2020, the federal government of Ethiopia — led by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — launched a military campaign to regain control of the contested region from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front fighters. […] From: BoorSee

Child Among 4 Dead in Shooting at California Office Building

A child was among four people killed Wednesday in a shooting at a Southern California office building that left a fifth victim and the gunman critically wounded, police said.The violence in the city of Orange southeast of Los Angeles was the nation’s third mass shooting in just over two weeks.When police arrived at the two-story […] From: BoorSee

UN: 2 Women, 3 Children Drown in Shipwreck off Libya’s Coast

Two women and three children drowned when a boat carrying dozens of Europe-bound migrants capsized off Libya, a U.N. official said Wednesday. It was the latest shipwreck involving migrants seeking a better life in Europe.Safa Msehli, spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, said the incident took place late Tuesday. A fishing boat and Libya’s […] From: BoorSee

7 Hong Kong Democracy Activists Convicted Over 2019 Protest

Seven of Hong Kong’s prominent pro-democracy activists were found guilty Thursday of organizing and participating in an unlawful assembly during the 2019 anti-government demonstrations.The activists include media tycoon Jimmy Lai, the founder of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Day, and 82-year-old barrister Martin Lee, one of the founders of the opposition Democratic Party.  Also convicted Thursday […] From: BoorSee

Philippines Demands China Remove Vessels at 6 islands, Reefs

The Philippine government said Wednesday that more than 250 Chinese vessels it believes are operated by militia have been spotted near six Manila-claimed islands and reefs in the disputed South China Sea and demanded that China immediately remove them.The gathering of the Chinese-flagged vessels, along with four Chinese navy ships at a Chinese-occupied manmade island […] From: BoorSee

France’s Macron Orders Third Lockdown, Closes Schools

President Emmanuel Macron ordered France into its third national lockdown Wednesday in an effort to slow a third wave of COVID-19 infecting his country.Among the lockdown measures, Macron closed all schools for three weeks beginning next Monday.Macron had hoped to avoid a lockdown and the effect it would have on the economy. However, the country’s […] From: BoorSee

Georgia State Overhauls Citizen Arrest Law Following Ahmaud Arbery’s Death

Georgia overhauled a Civil War-era law Wednesday that allowed residents to arrest anyone they suspected of committing a crime — a “citizen’s arrest” law invoked by the defense of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery last year. The Arbery case garnered international outrage with civil rights activists saying it marked yet another example of a targeted attack on a Black man. The Georgia General […] From: BoorSee

Man’s Ebola Relapse Spawned 91 New Cases in Africa

A man in Africa who developed Ebola despite receiving a vaccine recovered but suffered a relapse nearly six months later that led to 91 new cases before he died. The report adds to evidence that the deadly virus can lurk in the body long after symptoms end, and that survivors need monitoring for their own welfare and to prevent spread.Relapses like this one from the 2018-20 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo are thought to be rare. This is the first one clearly shown to have spawned a large …

Scientist: Kyoto’s Earliest Cherry Blooms in 1,200 Years Point to Climate Change

The famous pink cherry blossoms of Kyoto reached full bloom this year on March 26, the earliest date in the 12 centuries since records began, according to a Japanese university.The earlier flowering indicates climate change, said Yasuyuki Aono, a professor of environmental science at Osaka Prefectural University, who has compiled a database of records of the full blooms over the centuries.Global temperatures in 2020 were among the highest on record and rivaled 2016 as the hottest year ever, according to international data compiled by the World Meteorological Organization and released …

South Africans Construct Award-Winning Zero-Carbon Home 

A team of nine South African students and young professionals won a Cape Town competition to create a zero-carbon home, just ahead of Earth Day on April 22.Experts say the house design, which incorporates solar power, passive cooling, rainwater harvesting and a food garden, could help reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.The first My Clean Green Home — a local building and design competition — challenged designers to build a house that produces no carbon emissions, with a budget of $12,000.Sharne Bloem is the architect for the winning team, Mahali, which means “place” in Swahili.”It’s a good way to …

Traveling Kenyan Music Producer Gives Hope to Rural Artists

A Kenyan music producer is taking his work to remote villages to record up-and-coming artists on location to offer something new and different for Kenya’s competitive music industry.Producer Presta George imagined how difficult it must be for village artists to get their songs on the radio, let alone become famous.And that’s where George found his calling – in the southwest town of Awendo.But the town of 16,000 people is not where he does most of his recordings.”I though it wise to bring these studios to the local people, so that …