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Knife attack during Mass
KUWAIT (SE): A man armed with a long kitchen knife disrupted Mass at the cathedral in Kuwait City on March 19, local media reported.

He entered the sanctuary, asked to see the pope and attempted to grab a microphone. Police were present and ushers escorted the man from the church.

A government official said he has a history of psychiatric problems and is not involved with any terrorist organisation.
Because of its large population of expatriate workers from India, The Philippines and other nations, Kuwait has a Christian population of around 2.8 million.

Human status granted to a river
WELLINGTON (SE): The Wanganui River in New Zealand has become the first in the world to be granted the same legal rights as a person.

Long revered by the Maori people, its interests will now be represented by two people. The Maori have been fighting for over 160 years to get this recognition for their river.

“I know the initial inclination of some people will say it is pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality,” the minister for Treaty Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, said. “From a Whanganui viewpoint the wellbeing of the river is directly linked to the wellbeing of the people.”

Prime Manhattan Church property for mortgage
NEW YORK (SE): The archdiocese of New York plans to mortgage a valuable Manhattan property in order to pay sex-abuse victims.

The archdiocese has filed for permission to mortgage land on Madison Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets. The mortgage could raise US$100 million ($775 million). The archdiocese currently owns the land, which is the site of a hotel and several luxury homes.

Spurious electronic ban
WASHINGTON (SE): A ban placed on eight airlines flying to the United States of America (US) from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries as a security measure is being questioned, as no intelligence has been cited for the imposition.

The Financial Times suggests that a more probable reason is that US competitors have long wanted to retaliate against the listed airlines because of the huge subsidies they receive from their governments, making them over-competitive.

The ban seems to be aimed at cutting their business.

Deluge in Peru
LIMA (SE): Rare climactic conditions have unleashed up to 10 times the normal amount of rainfall across Peru, and swollen rivers have left some 62 people dead and up to 70,000 homeless.
Caused by a warming of the Pacific Ocean, the deluge has left half of the country under a state of emergency.

Columban Father Kevin McDonagh said his parish in Samanco has been cut off from the outside world.

He added that the worst is not yet over as rain is still expected over the next few weeks, with some of it moving south.

Mass for Donald Tsang
HONG KONG (SE): A Mass was scheduled to be offered in the cathedral on March 29 for the convicted former chief executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, and the intentions of his family.

Set to be offered by the vicar general of the diocese, Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, a notice on Facebook addressed to “Dear friends and fellow supporters of Donald Tsang” described it as a prayer for the Tsang family and all people facing difficulties.
The Mass was requested by Tsang’s wife, Selina Tsang Pou Siu-me.

Tsang talks religion
HONG KONG (UCAN): John Tsang Chun-wah, one of three candidates for chief executive, publicly talked about his Catholic faith for the first time in response to a question raised by Fong King-lok, a member of the Religious Subsector in the small circle selection body.

The Stand News reported Fong as asking, “I would like to know what your religious values are. How does God make you today?... I also want to know if the real John Tsang loves God. How will you show your faith?”
Tsang gave some quotations from Pope Francis.

Pope sends condolences to London
VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis has sent a telegramme to the archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Cardinal Nichols, expressing his condolences to the victims of the terror attack at the House of Parliament in London on March 22, in which four people were killed before a man on a rampage was shot dead, Vatican Radio reported.

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