Daily Archives: June 15, 2024


Muslim pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for daylong worship

MOUNT ARAFAT, Saudi Arabia — Following the footsteps of prophets beneath a burning sun, Muslims from around the world congregated Saturday at a sacred hill in Saudi Arabia for intense, daylong worship and reflection. The ritual at Mount Arafat, known as the hill of mercy, is considered the peak of the Hajj pilgrimage. It is often the most memorable for pilgrims, who stand shoulder to shoulder, feet to feet, asking God for mercy, blessings, prosperity and good health. The mount is about 20 kilometers southeast of Mecca. Thousands of pilgrims walked …


Reported birth of rare white buffalo calf fulfills Lakota prophecy

HELENA, Montana — The reported birth of a rare white buffalo in Yellowstone National Park fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends better times, according to members of the American Indian tribe who cautioned that it’s also a signal that more must be done to protect the earth and its animals. “The birth of this calf is both a blessing and warning. We must do more,” said Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota and the Nakota Oyate in South Dakota, and the 19th keeper of the sacred …


US cricket team advances to second round in Twenty20 World Cup

LAUDERHILL, Florida — The United States cricket team made more history by reaching the second round in its Twenty20 World Cup debut after its last group game against Ireland was washed out Friday. Rain meant the match at Broward County Stadium was abandoned without a ball bowled, advancing the Americans to the Super Eight stage and automatically qualifying them for the 2026 Twenty20 World Cup in India and Sri Lanka. The U.S. qualified for this T20 World Cup only as a co-host with the West Indies, but it has used home …


Myanmar cracks down on flow of information by blocking VPNs

BANGKOK — Myanmar’s military government has launched a major effort to block free communication on the internet, shutting off access to virtual private networks — known as VPNs — which can be used to circumvent blockages of banned websites and services.  The attempt to restrict access to information began at the end of May, according to mobile phone operators, internet service providers, a major opposition group, and media reports.  The military government that took power in February 2021 after ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi has made several …


Pope meets 100 comedians at Vatican: ‘You also make God smile’

VATICAN CITY — Before flying to Italy’s southern Puglia region to meet world leaders at the Group of Seven summit, Pope Francis hosted a very different audience at the Vatican on Friday celebrating the importance of humor. The pontiff welcomed more than 100 comedians from 15 nations, including U.S. celebrities Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien. “In the midst of so much gloomy news, immersed as we are in many social and even personal emergencies, you have the power to spread peace and smiles,” Francis told …