De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) with a deep 3 vs the New York Knicks, 01/22/2021
De'Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) with a deep 3 vs the New York Knicks, 01/22/2021
The Chinese government has been accused of trying to destroy the Uighur minority in north-west China.
Are we going to buy into this? Probably!
Company Announcement COPENHAGEN, Denmark; March 7, 2021 – Genmab A/S (Nasdaq: GMAB) - In accordance with Article 19 of Regulation No. 596/2014 on Market Abuse and Implementing Regulation 2016/523, this document discloses the data of the transactions made in Genmab A/S (Nasdaq: GMAB) made by managerial employees and their closely associated persons. The company’s managerial employees and their closely associated persons have given Genmab A/S power of attorney on their behalf to publish trading in Genmab shares by the company’s managerial employees and their closely associated persons. Contact: Marisol Peron, Senior Vice President, Global Investor Relations & CommunicationsT: +1 609 524 0065; E: firstname.lastname@example.org For Investor Relations: Andrew Carlsen, Senior Director, Head of Investor RelationsT: +45 3377 9558; E: email@example.com This Company Announcement contains forward looking statements. The words “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend” and “plan” and similar expressions identify forward looking statements. Actual results or performance may differ materially from any future results or performance expressed or implied by such statements. The important factors that could cause our actual results or performance to differ materially include, among others, risks associated with pre-clinical and clinical development of products, uncertainties related to the outcome and conduct of clinical trials including unforeseen safety issues, uncertainties related to product manufacturing, the lack of market acceptance of our products, our inability to manage growth, the competitive environment in relation to our business area and markets, our inability to attract and retain suitably qualified personnel, the unenforceability or lack of protection of our patents and proprietary rights, our relationships with affiliated entities, changes and developments in technology which may render our products or technologies obsolete, and other factors. For a further discussion of these risks, please refer to the risk management sections in Genmab’s most recent financial reports, which are available on www.genmab.com and the risk factors included in Genmab’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov. Genmab does not undertake any obligation to update or revise forward looking statements in this Company Announcement nor to confirm such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances after the date made or in relation to actual results, unless required by law. Genmab A/S and/or its subsidiaries own the following trademarks: Genmab®; the Y-shaped Genmab logo®; Genmab in combination with the Y-shaped Genmab logo®; HuMax®; DuoBody®; DuoBody in combination with the DuoBody logo®; HexaBody®; HexaBody in combination with the HexaBody logo®; DuoHexaBody®; HexElect®; and UniBody®. Arzerra® and Kesimpta® are trademarks of Novartis AG or its affiliates. DARZALEX® and DARZALEX FASPRO® are trademarks of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV. TEPEZZA® is a trademark of Horizon Therapeutics plc. CVR no. 2102 3884LEI Code 529900MTJPDPE4MHJ122 Genmab A/SKalvebod Brygge 431560 Copenhagen VDenmark Attachment 210307_CA18_Managerial employees transactions
The Gunners look unlikely to qualify for Europe through the Premier League.
Nigel Farage quits as Reform UK leader in step back from party politicsFormer Ukip leader says he can do just as much to influence debate via traditional and social media Nigel Farage is a regular media pundit on UK and US politics. Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA
LOS ANGELES — The time has finally come for audiences to hear Meghan and Harry describe the backstory and effects of their tumultuous split from royal life. Sunday night’s airing of a two-hour special hosted by Oprah Winfrey will provide the first, and unprecedented, peek into the couple’s departure from royal duties and the strains it has placed on them. How it’s received is likely to depend on which side of the Atlantic Ocean viewers are on. The show, which includes Winfrey’s interviews with Meghan and Harry, will air first in the United States — Meghan’s home country — at 8 p.m. Eastern. Hours earlier, Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, will deliver a royal address before Commonwealth Day. British audiences will wake up Monday to headlines and social media posts about Winfrey’s special, but won’t be able to see the full interview until Monday night when it airs on ITV. Royal interviews that aren't tied to a specific topic are rare, and prior televised sessions have often proved problematic. Prince Andrew’s 2019 BBC interview about his links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein led to his own departure from royal duties after he failed to show empathy for Epstein’s victims. Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal duties began in March 2020 over what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is biracial. Clips released ahead of the airings suggest that at least Meghan will have some pointed criticisms of royal life. In one she describes the royal family as “the firm,” a nickname that is sometimes used affectionately and sometimes critically. At one point, Winfrey asked Meghan how she felt about Buckingham Palace “hearing you speak your truth today?” “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” she said. “And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, there’s been a lot that’s been lost already.” In another clip, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after her divorce from Prince Charles. “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago,” Harry said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.” In Britain, the interview is seen as poorly timed. It will air while Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip remains hospitalized after undergoing a heart procedure. Meghan is shown in a clip released Friday contrasting the conversation the two women were able to have now versus in 2018 ahead of her wedding. Meghan described not being able to talk to Winfrey, who was seeking an interview, without royal minders present. “As an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is um.. different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes,” Meghan told Winfrey. It is unclear what public reaction, if any, the queen and other royal family members will have to Sunday’s interview. On Wednesday, the palace said it was launching a human resources investigation after a London newspaper reported that a former aide had accused Meghan of bullying staff in 2018. A spokesman for the duchess said she was “saddened by the latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself.” The snippets already released provide some details about the interview, which includes Winfrey speaking one-on-one with Meghan and a joint session with the couple. Holding hands, Harry and Meghan sat opposite Winfrey while she questioned them in a lush garden setting. The couple lives in Montecito, California, where they are Winfrey’s neighbours. Meghan, who recently announced she is pregnant with the couple’s second child, wore an empire-style black dress with embroidery. Harry wore a light gray suit and white dress shirt, minus a tie. As Meghan Markle, the actor starred in the TV legal drama “Suits.” She married Harry at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later. Harry and Meghan's departure from royal life was supposed to be reviewed after a year. On Feb. 19, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple would not return to royal duties and Harry would relinquish his honorary military titles — a decision that made formal, and final, the couple’s split from the royal family. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Tensions were raw ahead of midnight as Republican leader Mitch McConnell rose in the Senate for the purpose of publicly ridiculing Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the daylong delay as Democrats argued among themselves over the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package. But 12 hours later, it was Schumer, D-N.Y., reveling in the last word, an unabashedly upbeat “help is on the way” to Americans suffering through the pandemic and lockdowns as the Senate prepared to approve the massive package without a single GOP vote. Senate passage of the sweeping relief bill Saturday puts President Joe Biden’s top priority closer to becoming law, poised to unleash billion for vaccines, $1,400 direct payments and other aid, and shows Schumer, in his first big test as majority leader, can unify the ever-so-slim Democratic majority and deliver the votes. “Lessons learned: If we have unity, we can do big things,” Schumer told The Associated Press in an interview after the vote. The outcome “gives us optimism about doing more big things in the future — because it worked,” he said. Stewardship of the massive pandemic relief package was an inaugural foray of the new power dynamics of Washington, testing Democratic control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade, and setting the foundation for what’s possible for Biden’s agenda. So much of Biden's success or failure depends on the Senate, where Democrats are in command of an evenly split chamber, 50-50, a majority so delicate that any one senator can upend the legislative agenda. While Vice-President Kamala Harris is able to break tie votes, Schumer has zero slack if Republicans are opposed, voting lockstep as they did Saturday against the virus aid as bloated and unnecessary. One key centrist, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., wavered over an unemployment provision, throwing the proceedings into chaos before a grueling all-night session. Biden has been telling senators privately their vote on pandemic aid will build momentum for the next priorities. An ambitious infrastructure package is emerging, part of his “Build Back Better” campaign agenda, to bring roads, broadband and green-energy projects nationwide. He and Schumer spoke often as the Senate leader steered the pandemic aid to approval. It's now headed back to the House for a final vote, as soon as Monday. While no senators appeared ready to tank Biden’s top priority, the next votes could prove more difficult. “There’s a whole series of issues that that quite a few of us were discussing,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a Biden ally eager for bipartisanship, who spoke to the president a few minutes after the vote. “This was a reminder yesterday that, in a 50-50 Senate, if any one member changes their mind on an amendment, or vote or an issue, it can change the outcome," Coons said. Voting rights, immigration law changes and other bills will be subject to filibuster rules that require 60 votes for passage, rather than 51, a potentially impossible hurdle in the face of Republican opposition that is stoking calls to change the process to ensure Biden’s priorities don’t flame out. “We’re going to have to have discussions about that,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a member of leadership. But that tough topic was for another day. On Saturday, Democrats elbow-bumped and cheered in the chamber — Stabenow said some were almost in tears -- as they ushered the massive aid package they had promised voters to approval. With 10 million jobs lost and countless schools and businesses shuttered, it includes $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits, money school reopenings, eviction protections and small business assistance. “Only 45 days after Joe Biden became president of the United States, to be able to do something so big, and so significant, that fundamentally is the glue for us,” she said. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said it was the “best day” he’d ever had in the Senate. That biting speech from McConnell, R-Ky., poking at Democrats' temporary disarray? Brown dismissed it as cynical and unsubstantial. “So what,” Brown said. “Nobody cares about that. What they care about is, did we deliver on unemployment? Did we deliver on vaccines? Did we deliver on pensions? We cut the rate of child poverty in half. Think about that.” McConnell led Republicans to put up a blockade of opposition, reviving a strategy used the last time Democrats held the sweep of power, when Barack Obama was president, against the 2009 financial crisis rescue package. After Donald Trump won the White House, McConnell and Republicans controlling Congress with only a slightly thicker Senate margin used similar procedural tools to pass the $2 trillion GOP tax cuts on a party-line vote in 2017. Their effort to repeal and replace the health care law known as “Obamacare” fizzled when Sen. John McCain and two other Republicans voted with Democrats, and McConnell was unable to hold his party together. From his stately office off the Senate floor, with the lived-in feel of the rumpled New Yorker, Schumer pulled out his not-so-secret weapon, the flat flip-phone, which he uses for his constant calls keeping in touch with senators on their votes. "Every member of our caucus, from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin, realize that we had to pull together, that if we failed, we’d all be hurt,” Schumer said, referring to the liberal-most senator from Vermont and the centrist from West Virginia. As Manchin hesitated, Schumer called him, as did other senators, and even Biden. But Manchin also had time — hours dragged on — to make up his mind. “He listens to everybody and then he puts it together,” Brown said of Schumer. “He’s good at it.” When the votes were being tallied Saturday, Schumer spotted the two new senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and pointed at them. They had stunned the political world by defeating two Republican incumbents in special elections in January that delivered Democrats the majority. “The people of Georgia deserve a great deal of credit for what happened here today,” Warnock said afterward. “Had they not stood up in such a powerful way, in this historic election that sent Jon Ossoff and myself to the Senate, we simply would not be here.” Schumer urged the presiding officer to announce the vote, 50-49. One Republican senator was absent for a family matter. Harris was not needed to break the tie. Schumer turned to his senators and said, “We are a great team.” Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
BERLIN — Swiss voters decide Sunday on a proposal to ban face coverings, both the niqabs and burqas worn by a few Muslim women in the country and the ski masks and bandannas used by protesters. Polls are pointing to a close outcome. The measure would outlaw covering one's face in public places like restaurants, sports stadiums, public transport or simply walking in the street. There would be exceptions at religious sites and for security or health reasons, such as the face masks people are wearing now to protect against COVID-19, as well as for traditional Carnival celebrations. Authorities would have two years to draw up detailed legislation. The Swiss government opposes the measure and says that people covering their faces is a “marginal” issue. It argues the measure could harm tourism — most Muslim women who wear such veils in Switzerland are visitors from well-heeled Persian Gulf states, who are often drawn to bucolic Swiss lakeside cities. And it says that it wouldn't help the women affected. It backs instead requiring people to show their faces if requested to do so by authorities. Supporters of the proposal, which is coming to a vote five years after it was launched and has come to be known colloquially as the “burqa ban,” argue that the full-face coverings symbolize the repression of women and say the measure is needed to uphold a basic principle that faces should be shown in a free society like Switzerland's. Two of Switzerland's 26 cantons, or states, Ticino and St. Gallen, already have similar legislation that foresees fines for transgressions. National legislation would put Switzerland in line with countries like Belgium and France that have already enacted similar measures. Backers include the nationalist Swiss People's Party, which is the strongest in parliament and backed previous measures such as a ban on the construction of new minarets that voters approved in 2009. This time around, a coalition of left-leaning parties that opposes the proposal has put up signs that read: “Absurd. Useless. Islamophobic.” Support appears to have been eroding. An initial poll by the gfs.bern agency in January found more than half of voters backed the proposal, but a second poll published on Feb. 24 showed the figures had dipped to under half. Proposals need a majority of both voters and cantons to pass in Switzerland's frequent referendums. The Associated Press
MOSCOW — Russia's boast in August that it was the first country to authorize a coronavirus vaccine led to skepticism at the time because of its insufficient testing. Six months later, as demand for the Sputnik V vaccine grows, experts are raising questions again — this time, over whether Moscow can keep up with all the orders from the countries that want it. Slovakia got 200,000 doses on March 1, even though the European Medicines Agency, the European Union's pharmaceutical regulator, only began reviewing its use on Thursday in an expedited process. The president of the hard-hit Czech Republic said he wrote directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin to get a supply. Millions of doses are expected by countries in Latin America, Africa, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East in a wave of Russian vaccine diplomacy. “Sputnik V continues to confidently conquer Europe,” anchor Olga Skabeyeva declared on the Russia-1 state TV channel. Dmitry Kiselev, the network's top pro-Kremlin anchor, heaped on the hyperbole last month, blustering: “The Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, is the best in the world.” State TV channels have covered vaccine exports extensively, citing praise from abroad for Russia and running segments about the difficulties countries are having with Western vaccines. The early criticism of Sputnik V has been blunted by a report in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet that said large-scale testing showed it to be safe, with an efficacy rate of 91% against the virus. That could help revamp Russia's image to one of a scientific, technological and benevolent power, especially as other countries encounter shortages of COVID-19 vaccines because richer nations are scooping up the Western-made versions or manufacturers struggle with limited production capacity. “The fact that Russia is among five countries that were able to quickly develop a vaccine … allows Moscow to present itself as a high-tech power of knowledge rather than a petrol pump in decline,” said foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov. Some experts say boosting the use of vaccines from China and Russia — which have not been as popular as those from the West — could offer a quicker way to increase the global supply. Others note that Russia wants to score geopolitical points. “Putin is using (the vaccine) to bolster a very tarnished image of Russia’s scientific and technological prowess,” said Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University professor and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law. “He’s using it for geostrategic purposes in areas where Russia would like to have spheres of influence.” Whether Russia can deliver is another question. China has supplied millions of doses to other countries, but the output of Sputnik V appears for now to be far lower than the demand. “They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in terms of this vaccine actually being a viable, marketable product," said Judy Twigg, a political science professor specializing in global health at Virginia Commonwealth University. "They’ve made all of these explicit and implicit promises to people inside and outside Russia about access to this product that now is unexpectedly great. And now they’re stuck trying, scrambling, trying to figure out how to deliver on all those promises.” Russia also must take care of its own. Authorities have announced plans to vaccinate 60% of adults, or roughly 68 million people, by the end of June. The domestic rollout in Russia has been slow, compared with other nations, with about 4 million people, or less than 3% of the population, vaccinated as of late February. Some of that could also be due to widespread reluctance among Russians to trust vaccines. The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which bankrolled and markets the vaccine abroad, has not responded to a request for comment on how many doses are going to other countries. It said earlier that it has received requests for 2.4 billion doses from over 50 nations. Airfinity, a London-based science analytics company, estimates that Russia agreed to supply about 392 million doses abroad, and there are talks with countries for at least another 356 million. Judging by production and exports so far, “Russia is very far from being able to deliver this,” said Airfinity CEO and founder Rasmus Hansen. Russia manufactured just over 2 million doses last year amid reports of local producers having problems with buying equipment and making the second component of the two-shot vaccine. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Feb. 20 that over 10 million doses of Sputnik V have been produced. Sputnik V is a viral vector vaccine, which uses a harmless virus that carries genetic material to stimulate the immune system. Producing it is a complicated process, said Elena Subbotina, a consultant with the pharma consultancy CBPartners’ Central and Eastern Europe Team. Producers can’t guarantee stable output because working with biological ingredients involves a lot of variability in terms of the quality of the finished product. Some countries that have been offered large batches of Sputnik V have yet to approve it for use. In India, which has been pledged 125 million doses, the vaccine is undergoing studies to determine if it produces a comparable immune response. Brazil’s health ministry said it is negotiating to purchase 10 million doses, but the nation’s regulatory agency has yet to authorize its use. Nepal, which has been offered 25 million doses, also hasn’t given its approval. Other countries have had delays in receiving Sputnik V shipments. Argentina got nearly 2.5 million doses by March 1, even though at one point the government was expecting 5 million in January and over 14 million more in February. Officials in Hungary, who agreed to buy 2 million doses over three months, said Jan. 22 they were expecting 600,000 doses in the first 30 days, but got only 325,600 by early March. Mexico signed a deal for 24 million doses and was hoping to receive 400,000 in February but got only 200,000. The Russian Direct Investment Fund has agreements with manufacturers in countries including Brazil, South Korea and India to boost production, but there are few indications that manufacturers abroad have made any large amounts of the vaccine so far. The Brazilian company Uniao Quimica is in the pilot testing phase, the results of which will be shared with Russia before the company can produce it for sale. Indian drugmaker Hetero Biopharma, with a deal to make 100 million doses, was to begin production at the start of 2021, but it isn’t clear if it has actually started. South Korean company GL Rapha, which expects to make 150 million doses this year, will be manufacturing finished products by sometime in March, said company official Kim Gi-young. Russia so far hasn't faced any criticism for delaying supplies of Sputnik V to other countries, with foreign officials optimistic about the deals. Hungary is still awaiting large shipments, but expressed optimism about receiving them. “The Russian side, with minimal delay, will meet the 600,000 doses agreed to in the first phase, and then the additional 1.4 million doses,” Hungary's State Secretary Tamas Menczer said last month. Prime Minister Viktor Orban added Friday: “The Russians are pretty much keeping their promises.” Promising more than can be delivered appears to be a universal problem with coronavirus vaccines, and it is a real risk for Russia as well, said Theresa Fallon, director of the Brussels-based Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies. “They have won the gold medal for creating this very effective vaccine," she said. "But the problem is, how are they going to implement it?” ——- Associated Press writers Aniruddha Ghosal in New Delhi, India; David Biller in Rio de Janeiro; Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Justin Spike and Bela Szandelszky in Budapest, Hungary; and Tong-hyung Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed. Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Daria Litvinova, The Associated Press
‘I hope no one eggs my house,’ joked the actor, after popular theories were proved false
QARAQOSH, Iraq — Pope Francis called on Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices committed against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches and met ecstatic crowds in the community’s historic heartland, which was nearly erased by the Islamic State group’s horrific reign. At each stop in northern Iraq, the remnants of its Christian population turned out, jubilant, ululating, decked out in colorful dress, though heavy security prevented Francis from plunging into the crowd as he would normally do. Nonetheless, they seemed simply overjoyed that they had not been forgotten. It was a sign of the desperation for support among an ancient community uncertain whether it can hold on. Traditionally Christian towns dotting the Nineveh Plains of the north were emptied as Christians — as well as many Muslims — fled the Islamic State group’s onslaught in 2014. Only a few have returned to their homes since the defeat of IS in Iraq declared four years ago, and the rest remain scattered elsewhere in Iraq or abroad. Bells rang out in the town of Qaraqosh as the pope arrived. Speaking to a packed Church of the Immaculate Conception, Francis said “forgiveness” is a key word for Christians. “The road to a full recovery may still be long, but I ask you, please, not to grow discouraged. What is needed is the ability to forgive, but also the courage not to give up.” The Qaraqosh church has been extensively renovated after being vandalized by IS militants during their takeover of the town, making it a symbol of recovery efforts. For the Vatican, the continued presence of Christians in Iraq is vital to keeping alive faith communities that have existed here since the time of Christ. The population has dwindled from around 1.5 million before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that plunged the country into chaos to just a few hundred thousand today. Francis's visit to Iraq, which was on its last day Sunday, aimed to encourage them to stay and help rebuild the country and restore what he called its “intricately designed carpet” of faith and ethnic groups. In striking images earlier Sunday, Francis, dressed in white, took to a red carpet stage in a square in the north’s main city, Mosul, surrounded by the grey hollowed-out shells of four churches, nearly destroyed in the war to oust the Islamic State group from the city. It was a scene that would have been unimaginable years earlier. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was at the heart of the IS so-called “caliphate” and witnessed the worst of the group’s rule inflicted on Muslims, Christians and others, including beheadings and mass killings. “How cruel it is that this country, the cradle of civilization, should have been afflicted by so barbarous a blow,” Francis said, “with ancient places of worship destroyed and many thousands of people – Muslims, Christians, Yazidis — who were cruelly annihilated by terrorism — and others forcibly displaced or killed.” He deviated from his prepared speech to address the plight of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, which was subjected to mass killings, abductions and sexual slavery at the hands of IS. “Today, however, we reaffirm our conviction that fraternity is more durable than fratricide, that hope is more powerful than hatred, that peace more powerful than war.” The square where he spoke is home to four different churches — Syriac Catholic, Armenian-Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Chaldean — each left in ruins. IS inflicted atrocities against all communities, including Muslims, during its three-year rule across much of northern and western Iraq. But the Christian minority was hit especially hard. The militants forced them to choose among conversion, death or the payment of a special tax for non-Muslims. Thousands fled, leaving behind homes and churches that were destroyed or commandeered by the extremists. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, became IS’s bureaucratic and financial backbone. It was from Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque that then-IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance when he gave a Friday sermon calling on all Muslims to follow him as “caliph.” It took a ferocious nine-month battle to finally free the city in July 2017, during which between 9,000 and 11,000 civilians were killed, according to an AP investigation at the time. Al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria in 2019. The war left a swath of destruction across Mosul and the north, and many Iraqis have been left on their own to rebuild amid a years-long financial crisis. The Rev. Raed Kallo, was among the few Christians who returned to Mosul after IS was defeated. “My Muslim brothers received me after the liberation of the city with great hospitality and love,” he said on stage before the pontiff. Before IS, he had a parish of 500 Christian family. Most emigrated abroad, and now only 70 families remain, he said. “But today I live among 2 million Muslims who call me their Father Raed,” he said. Gutayba Aagha, the Muslim head of the Independent Social and Cultural Council for the Families of Mosul, encouraged other Christians to return. “In the name of the council I invite all our Christian brothers to return to this, their city, their properties and their businesses.” Throughout his four-day visit, Francis has delivered a message of interreligious tolerance and fraternity to Muslim leaders, including in an historic meeting Saturday with Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. At Qaraqosh, Francis urged its residents to continue to dream, and forgive. “Forgiveness is necessary to remain in love, to remain Christian,” he said. He spoke after a Qaraqosh resident, Doha Sabah Abdallah, told him how her son and two other young people had been killed in a mortar strike Aug. 6, 2014 as IS was nearing the city. Their death was the alarm for the rest of the residents to flee. “The martyrdom of these three angels was a clear warning: if it weren’t for them, the people of Baghdede would have remained, and would have inevitably fallen into the hands of ISIS,” referring to the name of Qaraqosh used by residents. “The deaths of three saved the entire city.” She said now it was for the survivors to “try to forgive the aggressor.” Before leaving Qaraqosh, the pontiff signed a book of honour, writing, “From this Church, destroyed and rebuilt, a symbol of the hope of Qaraqosh and of all Iraq, I ask of God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the gift of peace.” Francis wraps up the day with a Mass in the stadium in Irbil, in the semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, that is expected to draw as many as 10,000 people. He arrived in Irbil early Sunday, where he was greeted by children in traditional dress and one outfitted as a pope. Public health experts had expressed concerns ahead of the trip that large gatherings could serve as superspreader events for the coronavirus in a country suffering from a worsening outbreak where few have been vaccinated. The Vatican has said it is taking precautions, including holding the Mass outdoors in a stadium that will only be partially filled. But throughout the visit, crowds have gathered in close proximity, with many people not wearing masks. The pope and members of his delegation have been vaccinated but most Iraqis have not. ___ Kullab reported from Baghdad. Nicole Winfield And Samya Kullab, The Associated Press
BEIRUT — A suspected missile strike on an oil-loading facility used by Turkey-backed opposition forces in northern Syria appears to have sparked a massive fire across a large area where oil tankers are normally parked, satellite images show. Syrian opposition groups and at least one war monitor blamed Russia for the strike Friday night near the towns of Jarablus and al-Bab, near the border with Turkey. In a report, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said Russian warships in the Mediterranean had fired three missiles that struck primitive oil refineries and tanker trucks in the region. It said more than 180 trucks and tankers were burned in the massive blaze, and at least four people killed and 24 wounded. Satellite images by Planet Labs Inc. analyzed by The Associated Press on Sunday showed what appeared to be the aftermath of a large fire that tore through an area near Jarablus between Friday and Saturday morning. Past satellite photos of the site, some 75 kilometres (45 miles) northeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo, showed hundreds of tanker trucks gathered in the area. An image from Saturday showed char marks across the entire area where the trucks once were. NASA’s fire satellite monitoring, which watches for flashes associated with blazes or explosions, showed fires at the site in the early morning hours of Saturday. The reports of missiles fired from a Russian warship — a rare occurrence — could not be independently verified and Russia, which is a main supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country’s 10-year civil war, has not commented on the accusations. Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency reported they were ballistic missiles, but said it was not clear who carried out the attacks. Turkey and allied Syrian opposition fighters control large parts of northern Syria. The Associated Press
Bear Grylls clashed with a boa constrictor on the set of interactive Netflix special 'Animals on the Loose: A You vs. Wild Movie'.
YANGON, Myanmar — Police in Myanmar’s ancient former capital, Bagan, opened fire Sunday on demonstrators protesting last month’s military takeover, wounding several people, according to witness accounts and videos on social media. At least five people were reported wounded as police sought to break up the Bagan protest, and photos showed one young man with bloody wounds on his chin and neck, believed to have been caused by a rubber bullet. Bullet casings collected at the scene indicated that live rounds were also fired. The city, located in the central Mandalay region, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the more than 2,000 pagodas or their remnants still situated there, dating from the ninth to 13th centuries, when it was the capital of a kingdom that later became known as Burma and is now Myanmar. Bagan is best known for being one of the country’s top tourist attractions, but it has also been the scene of large protest marches against the military’s Feb. 1 seizure of power. Large protests have occurred daily across many cities and towns in Myanmar, and security forces have responded with greater use of lethal force and mass arrests. At least 18 protesters were shot and killed on Feb. 28 and 38 on Wednesday, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office. More than 1,500 have been arrested, the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said. Protests elsewhere Sunday, including in the two biggest cities of Yangon and Mandalay, were also met with the use of force by police firing warning shots, and variously employing tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades. Multiple reports from Yangon said there were also police raids Saturday night seeking to seize organizers and supporters of the protest movement. A ward chairman from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, which was ousted from power in the coup, was found dead in a military hospital Sunday morning by fellow residents of his Pabedan neighbourhood, according to a post on Facebook by NLD lawmaker Sithu Maung. Suspicion was rampant on social media that Khin Maung Latt, 58, died due to a beating in custody after being taken from his residence, but no official cause of death was immediately announced. In Yangon and elsewhere, raids are carried out nightly after an 8 p.m. curfew by police and soldiers. The arrests are often carried out at gunpoint, without warrants. In videos taken Saturday night and posted online, sporadic fire from heavy weapons could be heard in some neighbourhoods. The escalation of violence has put pressure on the global community to act to restrain the junta. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar, which for five decades had languished under strict military rule that led to international isolation and sanctions. Suu Kyi’s party led a return to civilian rule with a landslide election victory in 2015, and with an even greater margin of votes last year. It would have been installed for a second five-year term last month, but instead Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and other members of the government were placed in military detention. A rare light note was struck Saturday when demonstrators in the central city of Monywa poured cans of beer over their feet and those of passers-by to show their contempt for the brewery’s owners — the military. Myanmar Beer is one of a number of business concerns in the country that are linked to the generals and has seen its sales plummet in the weeks following the coup. It also has lost its Japanese partner, Kirin, which announced it was pulling out of the joint venture as a result of the power grab. In neighbouring Thailand, several thousand people, Thai as well as from Myanmar, rallied Sunday outside the regional office of the United Nations to bring attention to the crisis and their desire for international action to end the junta’s violence. “I have a good life here, but I’m fighting for my relatives and families and friends in Myanmar. Since Day One (when) the military took our leader, we are here,” said 26-year-old Aye Nanda Soe, who works in digital marketing and lives in Bangkok with her mother and brother while her father resides in Yangon. “We want the U.N. to protect our people first, then help our leader. My people are not safe anymore.” The Associated Press
MONSTER, Netherlands — Dutch cress grower Rob Baan has enlisted high-tech helpers to tackle a pest in his greenhouses: palm-sized drones seek and destroy moths that produce caterpillars that can chew up his crops. “I have unique products where you don’t get certification to spray chemicals and I don’t want it,” Baan said in an interview in a greenhouse bathed in the pink glow of LED lights that help his seedlings grow. His company, Koppert Cress, exports aromatic seedlings, plants and flowers to top-end restaurants around the world. A keen adopter of innovative technology in his greenhouses, Baan turned to PATS Indoor Drone Solutions, a startup that is developing autonomous drone systems as greenhouse sentinels, to add another layer of protection for his plants. The drones themselves are basic, but they are steered by smart technology aided by special cameras that scan the airspace in greenhouses. The drones instantly kill the moths by flying into them, destroying them in midair. “So it sees the moth flying by, it knows where the drone is ... and then it just directs the drone towards the moth,” said PATS chief technical officer Kevin van Hecke. There weren't any moths around on a recent greenhouse visit by The Associated Press, but the company has released video shot in a controlled environment that shows how one bug is instantly pulverized by a drone rotor. The drones form part of an array of pest control systems in Baan's greenhouses that also includes other bugs, pheromone traps and bumblebees. The drone system is the brainchild of former students from the Technical University in Delft who thought up the idea after wondering if they might be able to use drones to kill mosquitos buzzing around their rooms at night. Baan says the drone control system is smart enough to distinguish between good and bad critters. “You don’t want to kill a ladybug, because a ladybug is very helpful against aphids," he said. "So they should kill the bad ones, not the good ones. And the good ones are sometimes very expensive — I pay at least 50 cents for one bumblebee, so I don’t want them to kill my bumblebees.” The young company is still working to perfect the technology. “It’s still a development product, but we ... have very good results. We are targeting moths and we are taking out moths every night in an autonomous way without human intervention," said PATS CEO Bram Tijmons. "I think that’s a good step forward.” Baan also acknowledges that the system still needs refining. "I think they still need too many drones ... but it will be manageable, it will be less,” he said. “I think they can do this greenhouse in the future maybe with 50 small drones, and then it’s very beneficial.” Mike Corder, The Associated Press
Notturno review – a poetic critique of war in the Middle East. Gianfranco Rosi examines the aftermath of conflict in a bold documentary filmed over three years in four countries
Surgeons fear wave of lawsuits over delays to cancer treatment. Leading doctors issue warning after Covid forces hospitals to postpone scans and urgent operations
Shop for the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and more
Here's the full schedule of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for IPL 2021.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan Roman Catholics attended Mass dressed in black on Sunday, with prayers and protests calling for justice for those killed in co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks on Easter Sunday two years ago. Church bells tolled and prayers were chanted at 8:45 a.m., the time when bombs were detonated almost simultaneously at two Roman Catholic churches and a Protestant church during Easter services on April 21, 2019. Bombs were also set off at three top hotels targeting locals and foreigners who were eating breakfast. More than 260 people, including 171 from the two Catholic churches, were killed in the attacks, which were blamed on two local Islamic extremist groups that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. A presidential inquiry commission has handed its final report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has shared parts of it with Catholic and Buddhist religious leaders. The report has also been sent to the attorney general for legal action. However, the archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said the report had concentrated more on the failures of the then-government in preventing the attacks despite early warnings, rather than finding out the handlers of the groups accused of carrying out the bombings. “No one who wants to promote hatred and religious strife will receive our support. We believe there should be unity and brotherhood among different ethnic and religious groups all over the world," Ranjith said Sunday. “Today Holy Father Pope Francis has visited Iraq and has had a discussion with the Shia leaders (in Iran). It shows religious leaders in the world think about unity and brotherhood, not about creating strife. Therefore I request anyone inclined to create conflict on account of religion to give up that idea,” he said. At St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a predominantly Catholic area north of Colombo where 115 people were killed in the Easter attacks, parishioners attended Mass on Sunday dressed in black and held placards outside the church in a silent “Black Sunday” protest. “The main purpose of this is to show the people and our rulers that justice has not happened for the victims of the Easter attacks," said Auxiliary Bishop the Rev. Maxwell Silva, who celebrated Mass at the church. “We believe the commission report is not genuine and it did not do any justice to those who suffered," said Manilal Ranasinghe, who attended Mass at St. Mary's Church in Dehiwala, south of Colombo. Political infighting between the then-president and prime minister resulting in a communications breakdown and lapse of security co-ordination was said to have enabled the attacks despite foreign intelligence warnings. Rajapaksa told a public gathering Saturday that the report blamed the government at the time for letting its guard down on national security, and that his government will punish those responsible. Krishan Francis, The Associated Press