In an extraordinary moment on the last full day of the first papal trip to Iraq, Francis went to Mosul, which was seized by the Islamic State seven years ago and declared the capital of its caliphate. The pope directly addressed the suffering, persecution and sectarian conflict that have torn the nation apart.
“The real identity of this city is that of harmonious coexistence between people of different backgrounds and cultures,” Francis said in a public square surrounded by the ruins of four Christian churches. Posters that read “Mosul Welcomes You” covered walls pockmarked with bullet holes.
The pope spoke of “our conviction that fraternity is more durable than fratricide, that hope is more powerful than death, that peace more powerful than war.” “This conviction speaks with greater eloquence than the passing voices of hatred and violence,” he continued, “and it can never be silenced by the blood spilled by those who pervert the name of God to pursue paths of destruction.”
The visit, which began on Friday, is Francis’s first trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The pope has sought to protect an ancient but battered Christian community and build relations with the Muslim world. On Saturday, he met with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the revered Shiite cleric. We captured key moments of the trip in these images.
a stadium in the northern city of Erbil. The 84-year-old pope and his entourage have been vaccinated against Covid-19, but Iraq’s vaccination campaign began only last week.
the broadest reopening of Israel’s economy since the first coronavirus lockdown began a year ago.
Under Israel’s “Back to Life” program, restaurants still have restrictions on occupancy and social distancing, and indoor seating is available only to Green Pass holders — people over 16 who are fully vaccinated.
latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
As countries jostle to secure enough vaccine doses to end the Covid-19 pandemic, a second scramble is unfolding for syringes. A manufacturer in India sees a big opportunity.
The U.S. Senate passed its version of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill on Saturday. The measure now goes back to the House of Representatives, which must approve the Senate’s changes before it can go to President Biden’s desk.
one of the most anticipated, and most heavily spun, television interviews in recent memory.
Was Meghan the victim of a cold, unwelcoming family that isolated her after she married Harry and is now defaming her? Or was she a Hollywood diva who mistreated her staff?
The two-hour interview will be broadcast by CBS in the U.S. on Sunday evening and on ITV in Britain on Monday. Here’s what you need to know about Meghan, Harry and Oprah. We will have live coverage of the interview, so check back on our home page.
six places dependent on tourism, like Apollo Bay, have adapted.
Here’s what else is happening
Microsoft hack: The company said businesses and government agencies in the U.S. that use a Microsoft email service had been compromised in an aggressive hacking campaign probably sponsored by the Chinese government. The number of victims is estimated to be in the tens of thousands and could rise.
Philippines rights: Karapatan, a left-leaning human rights organization, accused the country’s security forces of killing nine activists in coordinated raids on their homes and offices in four provinces.
“Nomadland” director: Days after Chloé Zhao won a Golden Globe for the acclaimed film, she faced a backlash in China over her past remarks about the country, where she was born. References to the film’s scheduled April 23 release in China were removed from prominent movie websites.
Tehran detention: House arrest orders have been lifted forNazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman detained in Tehran since 2016, but she faces new charges and her return to London remains uncertain.
receiving his first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Saturday in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. The 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader used the moment to encourage people to take the vaccine, saying it would prevent “some serious problem.”
What we’re reading: This National Geographic article about people who play music with instruments made of ice. Scroll down for the video, so you can hear ice music’s crisp sound.
Now, a break from the news
breakfast bars with oats and coconut are perfect for a breakfast on the run or an afternoon nibble.
Listen: These podcasts are for people who know that they should be thinking more about their personal finances but aren’t even sure what the right questions are.
Do: Role-playing games, like Dungeons & Dragons, encourage players to create a story collaboratively as they play. Here’s how to play the games online.
Start off your week on the right foot with our At Home collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.
the renewed love affair of New Yorkers with Central Park. Here’s an excerpt.
Central Park has long provided a refuge from the anxieties and stresses of daily life, perhaps never more so than during the coronavirus siege and four long years of increasingly toxic politics. New Yorkers who visited the park every day, as well as those who had long taken it for granted, felt a renewed love for this amazing rectangle of green in the heart of the big city.
P.S. • We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is the first of a two-part series on President Biden’s approach to Saudi Arabia. • Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Z as in ___(five letters). You can find all our puzzles here. • The Times has a new team that is going to expand our live coverage, including Andrea Kannapell, who has been the editor of the Global Briefings, including this one, since their inception.
The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, received his first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Saturday in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala.
He used the moment to also encourage people to take the vaccine, saying it would prevent “some serious problem.”
“This injection is very, very helpful,” the 85-year-old, a leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said in video message after the inoculation, indicating that he hoped his example would inspire more people to “have courage” to get themselves vaccinated for the “greater benefit.”
The Dalai Lama received the shot at a hospital in Dharamsala,which has served as the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile for more than 50 years after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
since the Dalai Lama’s exodus in 1959, on the condition that they not protest against the Chinese government on Indian soil. China considers the Tibetan leader to be a dangerous separatist, a claim that he denies.
Videos showed the spiritual leader being driven to the hospital and his followers, who were masked, lining up on both sides of the road, with hands folded and heads down as he waved.
Dr. G.D. Gupta, an official at the hospital where the shot was administered, said that the spiritual leader “volunteered to come to hospital” and that 10 others who live in his residence also received the Covishield vaccine, which was developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
As of Saturday, India has more than 11.1 million confirmed cases and the third-highest virus death toll in the world, after the United States and Brazil, at 157,656 deaths, according to a New York Times database. India began its nationwide vaccination campaign in mid-January with health care and frontline workers.
The country recently expanded eligibility to older people and those with medical conditions that put them at risk, but the ambitious drive to vaccinate its vast population has been slow.