Vatican calls for global ceasefire during World Cup final

first_imgFaithInternationalLifestylePrint Vatican calls for global ceasefire during World Cup final by: – July 11, 2014 Share Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img VATICAN CITY (AFP) – The Vatican on Friday called for a truce in wars around the globe during Sunday’s World Cup final, taking to social media with the hashtag #pauseforpeace as a conflict in the Gaza Strip escalates and killings continue in Ukraine.“Adherents are asking for a moment of silence around the Sunday, July 13 match to remember those stricken by wars and unrest worldwide,” the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture said in a statement.The statement said that some people were asking for a moment of silence at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro itself, although there has been no official announcement on this from FIFA.“A still, small voice of silence,” Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, said in a statement.Melchor Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said: “Sports were born around religious festivities. Sporting events were moments of peace, when wars ceased, as for the Olympic truce.”The tradition of calling for an Olympic truce lasting so that athletes and spectators can travel to the Games dates back to the 9th century BC, and the International Olympic Committee has continued the custom and promotes peace initiatives around the world.“Why not for the World Cup, why not a pause, a moment of silence, a truce for peace?” he said.The face-off in Rio will be between football-mad Pope Francis’s native Argentina and Germany — the homeland of his predecessor Benedict XVI.The Vatican has played down the prospect of the two popes settling down to watch the match — Benedict XVI is known more for his love of theology and piano music — but has said Francis might follow it.A Vatican source on Friday said he “excluded categorically” the prospect of pope emeritus Benedict XVI watching the final.“It’s really not his thing, he is not a fan.“It would be like inflicting an infinite penitence on him at the age of 87,” the source said, adding: “He has never been able to watch a football match from beginning to end in his life”. Tweet 187 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Lakers’ Russell, Bass, Huertas considered doubtful for Sunday’s game vs. Maccabi Haifa

first_imgEnergizer bunnyDespite the Lakers overseeing a surplus of power forwards, Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. has impressed observers in training camp with his endless hustle. “I’m just trying to be a guy you can put on the floor and you don’t have to worry about me. You don’t have to worry about me playing hard,” said Nance Jr. who has averaged four rebounds in 11 minutes through two exhibitions. “As long as I’m doing that, I’m happy and I’m pretty sure Coach Scott is happy.” Nance Jr. is right.“I love his energy,” Scott said. “He’s been very patient. He doesn’t rush or force anything.”Light workKobe Bryant participated in the Lakers’ light practice on Saturday that lasted only about an hour. But Bryant skipped out on the team’s shooting drills since he completed his own shooting workout beforehand. Scott reported that Bryant made “700 shots in a full-out sweat.” All three players completed practice on Saturday without any noticeable limitations. But the Lakers have listed rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell, veteran point guard Marcelo Huertas and power forward Brandon Bass as doubtful to play in Sunday’s game against Maccabi Haifa at Staples Center. Russell has nursed a bruised glute since taking a hard fall in Tuesday’s game against Utah, while Bass bruised his left knee after taking another fall in the same game. Huertas strained his right hamstring since practice last Saturday, forcing him to miss all three of the Lakers’ first three exhibition games. The 32-year-old Brazilian native spent part of his absence traveling to Vancouver to retrieve a work visa.“With D’Angelo, most of his pain is when he’s moving to his right,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “With Brandon, it’s just soreness in his knee right now. He says it feels pretty good. But once we get up and down the floor tomorrow, we’ll see how they feel.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Huertas said he feels “better” and that his hamstring “doesn’t hurt at all.” Yet, Huertas added the hamstring is “not 100 percent,” and that he will not play if it is not fully healed. Scott remains “very curious” to see Huertas after the Lakers signed him to a non-guaranteed contract. He played for FC Barcelona in Spain for the past four years. “He’s a very good floor leader,” Scott said of Huertas. “He’s going to try to guard you. He’s a guy that will make plays.”Still, Scott downplayed how much Huertas could mentor Russell, given Huertas’ lack of NBA experience. “Here, it’s much more physical, aggressive and explosive,” Huertas said. “In Europe, everyone is settled down and organized. Teams have good structure and people don’t take fast shots. You usually take care of the ball really well and try to play inside of a system longer.”last_img read more

Heisler: Kobe he was, Kobe he remained, Kobe he left us too soon

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error In the end, Kobe Bryant didn’t need to be one of the NBA’s star of stars to be remembered, but he was one.This isn’t the end of his playing career that we always talked about, but the real end that came all too soon in that devastating helicopter crash, reminding us not of Kobe’s basketball career but how precious each day of his life was, and ours is.People around the world came together to mourn as they do in few instances. There was a moment of silence at the Grammy Awards. Fans at the NFL’s Pro Bowl chanted Kobe’s name. Dallas owner Mark Cuban said the Mavericks will retire Kobe’s No. 24. President Donald Trump posted condolences as did former President Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Tom Brady, Whoopi Goldberg, Taylor Swift, the Alabama football program, Real Madrid Football Club, Novak Djokovic, Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar.Kobe was 41 and had been retired for almost four years but in our mind’s eye remained forever young, if no longer the willowy 17-year-old the Lakers acquired out of Lower Merion High School in 1996 who stood 6-5 and weighed 165 pounds, rather than the imposing 212 he would bulk himself up to. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe heartbreak is the painful recognition that there was his career, which seemed long and glorious … and his life that was all too short.Moving into a special niche, Kobe had remained Kobe to the end of his career in 2016, three years after blowing out his Achilles tendon and ceasing to be the player he had been.For the symbolic farewell that seemed so important – he actually lived to create content his whole life – he willed himself to go out spectacularly with that 60-point game that started with five missed shots, prompting all to wonder if he was going out with an 0-for-20.Being Kobe, ever defiant, he never stopped firing and never would. He wound up taking 50 shots, outrageous even for him, and made 22, amazing us one last time.In a career that was nothing short of mythic, we all thought that was the perfect ending … but it didn’t turn out to be the ending, at all.center_img So much of what we thought about Kobe wasn’t really true, much as we wanted it to be as we followed him through what seemed like 20 years worth of change … from his arrival in 1996 as a spindly teenager who dared to feud with the mighty Shaquille O’Neal, and even fought him once … to the post-Shaq years after the Lakers chose Kobe over him … to the angry years following Bryant’s arrest for sexual assault in a case that was settled, when Kobe bristled daily at the press … and in 2007 tried to arrange a trade to the Bulls, excoriating the Lakers brass up to and including Jerry Buss, whom he was caught on camera calling an “idiot” … to the triumphant days when Kobe chilled out en route to his fourth and fifth titles in 2009 and 2010.As diminished as his play was after Achilles surgery in 2013, Kobe turned into a grown-up version of his post-adolescent self, less edgy and happier, with his final season an adoring tour de force around the league which had once scorned him.He had won. Best of all, he understood it. He hadn’t surpassed Michael Jordan, as he once had dreamed, but he had come to understand how unnecessary it was to base a career on being the GOAT, modern slang for Greatest Of All Time … crazy as it is that this rarest of distinctions now has its own acronym so we can debate it endlessly, and fruitlessly.Bryant had figured that out. Being Kobe, NBA star, husband and father, with the youngest of their four daughters arriving last June, seemed enough.No NBA player ever deserved what he got from the game more than Kobe, who poured more into it than any player ever had, working out 365 days a year, lifting weights, stretching, icing, going under the knife all around the world to avail himself of the most cutting edge medicine.I used to wonder what he would replace all that with when his playing career was over. So, surely, did he.The answer he decided upon was, when he was gone, he was going to be gone. No coaching, as, indeed, he could have. No running the Lakers front office, as Jeanie Buss and Magic Johnson asked him to do. No announcing. No involvement with basketball, except for some video breakdown he did for ESPN, which he could do by himself from home.Instead, he formed his own media company. In a feat that no former athlete had ever accomplished, he won an Academy Award for an animated short subject that he wrote, himself: “Dear Basketball.”It feels the more heartbreaking that our final glimpses of him would be of a man having a ball.He attended few Laker games. The last was Dec. 29, a victory over Dallas with Kobe in a stocking cap, hoodie and quilted vest, sitting courtside next to his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, whom they called Gigi … and who would perish in the helicopter crash with him.During that game, LeBron James came over. Kobe sprang up and the two hugged.James had arrived in the 2003 draft, also straight out of high school, seven years after Kobe, which is like two generations in NBA time. For years, the gregarious LeBron was leery of the solitary Kobe, but that ended years ago when they became teammates and friends on the U.S. national team.James is now a Laker, on Bryant’s old turf, with many of Kobe’s fans still pining for him … even as the comparison became irresistible last week as LeBron moved ahead of him for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.That was Saturday night in Philadelphia … the night before that helicopter went down and the all-time scoring list stopped feeling important.With Lakers fans on sports talk programs upset at anything that seemed to eclipse Bryant, Kobe made it clear how he felt about being passed up.“Stop,” he told a columnist recently.“When LeBron came to Los Angeles, he is now a Laker, he is part of our brotherhood, part of our fraternity, and we should embrace him that way …“Appreciate what he is as an athlete while he’s here. Appreciate this guy, celebrate what he’s done, because it’s truly remarkable.”Kobe he was when he arrived. Kobe he remained, as much as he grew up.Kobe he left us, with Gigi and seven more, all too soon.last_img read more

Iowans are again warned to be wary of COVID-related phone scams

first_imgDES MOINES — The Internal Revenue Service is renewing its warnings for Iowans to beware of crooks who are trying to pry away their personal financial data.IRS criminal investigator Steve Slazinik says more cons are appearing every week during the pandemic.  “As you know, scammers will take advantage of any situation they can to make money,” Slazinik says, “and a worldwide health pandemic is no different.”Criminals are sending out bogus emails and texts claiming to have a cure for COVID-19, or they’re pretending to be I-R-S agents seeking personal identification so taxpayers can receive their coronavirus stimulus checks.   “If it does sound suspicious, it likely is,” Slazinik says. “For instance, the IRS will not call or ask you to verify your payment details. So do not give out your bank account information or other account information, even if someone claims it’s necessary to get the check or to get the payment.”Slazinik says there are so many scams emerging, it’s difficult to identify and prosecute all of them. He advises anyone with questions to contact the agency directly at read more

The Ministry of Environment has issued a wildfire smoke advisory

first_imgExposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease. The communities included in the advisory are Fort St. John, Prince George, Mackenzie, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Vanderhoof and Quesnel.The change in weather is bringing relief from high smoke levels to many communities throughout the area, however, the fires are still active and periods of smoke may still affect communities throughout the area.Smoke levels can change rapidly, and there may be large variations over short distances.- Advertisement -Smoke transport models suggest that smoke from the active fires is still moving in an easterly direction and some communities may experience elevated levels.Contact your health care provider if you experience difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, or sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways.If you are experiencing symptoms, avoid strenuous outdoor activities, especially along busy traffic corridors.Advertisementlast_img read more