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World news in brief

20 January 2023


Nepalese soldiers and police officers at the crash site in Pokhara

Nepalese soldiers and police officers at the crash site in Pokhara

Pope mourns victims of air disaster in Nepal

POPE FRANCIS has expressed his condolences to the families of the 70 people who were killed in a plane crash in Nepal on Sunday morning, Vatican News reports. The Yeti Airlines plane was approaching the new airport in the tourist town of Pokhara. In a telegram to the President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari, the Pope reassured the people of Nepal of his prayers for those affected and involved in recovery efforts, and commended the souls of the deceased to God. An eyewitness’s recording of the plane’s descent suggested that the plane suddenly veered to the left on an otherwise normal landing, Reuters reports. Rescuers were searching the debris for remains this week.


French nun, Covid survivor, dies, aged 118

A FRENCH Roman Catholic nun, Sister André DC, who was believed to be the oldest known person in the world, has died, aged 118. Born Lucile Randon in southern France on 11 February 1904, she worked as a governess, teacher, and missionary, before retiring at the age of 75. She died in her sleep at the Sainte-Catherine-Labouré nursing home in Toulon, a spokesperson, David Tavella, told AFP on Tuesday. She had survived Covid in 2021.


RC priest burned alive in Nigeria

A ROMAN CATHOLIC priest in Nigeria, Fr Isaac Achi, has been killed after his house was set alight by bandits on Sunday morning, Vatican News reports. Another priest was shot and injured as he attempted to flee. A group of unknown assailants attacked Fr Achi’s house at St Peter and St Paul, Kafin-Koro, in the Paiko region, before dawn. When the security forces arrived, the bandits fled, setting fire to the house, from which Fr Achi was unable to escape. A second priest in the building, Fr Collins Omeh, was also shot and wounded; he remains in hospital, but is responding to treatment. The RC diocese of Minna requested prayers.


DRC churchgoers killed in bomb attack

AT LEAST 14 churchgoers were killed and a further 40 people were injured when an improvised explosive device was detonated at a Pentecostal church in Kasindi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Congolese military have blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces — an active rebel group, affiliated with Islamic State. A Kenyan national has been arrested in connection with the attack. Pope Francis is due to visit the DRC at the end of this month.


Flying mission appoints new chief executive

THE Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has appointed Donovan Palmer as its next chief executive, it was announced last week. Mr Palmer is a former chief executive of Mercy Ships, and UK national director of the charity YWAM (Youth with a Mission). He said: “I was deeply impacted and inspired by MAF’s story in South America in my teens. The commitment of the staff bringing together faith and professionalism to operate aircraft in some of the most difficult to reach places in the world is a unique and extraordinary legacy that has stood the test of time.” MAF would be focusing on helping world leaders to reach to the 2030 global poverty goals, he said.


Union flag still missing from Venice church

A UNION flag flown at half-mast over the door of St George’s, Venice, is still missing, after it disappeared during the period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II in September, writes Rebecca Paveley. The flag was flown on the evening of her death. A visiting priest, the Revd Martin Poole, said that the church had become a focal point for people in Venice to mourn at that time. The parade flag disappeared some time during the night, and was reported to the police. A “missing” sign remains posted on the church door.

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