Pope at Angelus: Christ took lowest place ‘in the world’

http://www.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20100321&t=2&i=79506973&w=460&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=2010-03-21T172247Z_01_BTRE62K157X00_RTROPTP_0_POPE

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug 29, 2010 / 07:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christ did not limit himself to taking just the lowest place at the table, explained Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday. Jesus, taught the Pope, repeatedly offers humanity “a model of humility and of free giving” and showed the world “radical humility” by accepting the Cross.

Joining the many pilgrims and faithful in attendance in the courtyard at Castel Gandolfo for the Angelus were participants in the annual conference being held for members of the association of the Pope’s ex-students. There was also a group from the Pontifical North American College, who were greeted specially by the Holy Father after the Angelus.

In his catechesis prior to the Marian prayer, the Pope reflected on the passage from St. Luke’s Gospel read in Sunday’s Liturgy. In the reading, Jesus is invited to the house of a leader of the Pharisees for a meal where, based on what he witnesses, he is inspired to tell the parable which teaches of humbling onesself and taking “the lowest place” at the table.

The Lord’s words were not meant to be a lesson in etiquette or on the hierarchy of authorities, said Benedict XVI, “He insists rather on a decisive point, which is that of humility: ‘everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted’.”

The parable can also be read as a perspective of man’s position in relation to God, explained the Pope, the “lowest place” representing “the condition of humanity degraded by sin, a condition which can only (be) liberated by the incarnation of the Only-begotten Son.”

Citing his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, the Pope taught that “For this, Christ himself ‘took the lowest place in the world – the Cross – and by this radical humility he redeemed us and constantly comes to our aid’.”

Turning to Jesus’ suggestion at the end of the parable that it should be the poorest and most excluded, those who have no way of repayment, who are invited as guests, Pope Benedict stated that the “true recompense, in fact, in the end, will be given by God, ‘who governs the world … We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength’.

“Once again, then, we look to Christ as a model of humility and of free giving: from him we learn patience in the midst of temptations, meekness amidst offenses, obedience to God in sorrow in the hope that He who invited us might say: “Friend, move up to a higher position.’ the true good, in fact, is being close to Him.”

Remembering Sunday’s feast of the “greatest among the prophets of Christ,” St. John the Baptist, the Pope closed by praying for his intercession and that of Mary “to guide us on the way of humility, to become worthy of the divine recompense.”

Prince William to wed Kate Middleton next August: Report

August 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / DNA INDIA) — Britain’s Prince William will marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton at London’s Westminster Abbey next August, according to sources.

According to sources, royal aides made ‘discreet overtures’ to senior managers at the Abbey, one of London’s most famous landmarks, to hold a wedding there on the second weekend in August next year.

Friends of the couple said a wedding next August would be ‘entirely possible,’ reports the Daily Mail.

The timing would allow Middleton to get acquainted with her role as princess before the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations and the London Olympics in 2012, the friends said.

Westminster Abbey would be an emotionally symbolic place for Prince William’s wedding – his mother Princess Diana’s funeral service took place there in 1997.

First Australian Aboriginal MP elected for Liberals

Ken Wyatt was elected as the Liberal representative for the seat of Hasluck

(KATAKAMI / BBC) — An Aboriginal Australian has been elected to parliament for the first time in the country’s history.

Ken Wyatt, 57, an expert on Aboriginal health, took the seat of Hasluck in Western Australia for the centre-right Liberal Party.

Neither the Liberals nor the governing Labor Party gained enough seats at last week’s election for a majority.

Mr Wyatt has dismissed the racist hate mail he received, saying it was time for Australia to move forward.

Historic moment

As counting closed, Mr Wyatt declared victory with a majority of nearly 1,000 votes over his rival from the centre-left Labor Party, with fewer than 1,000 votes still to be counted.

“In 50 years’ time historians and people will be analysing why Hasluck chose an indigenous candidate, and what they’ll discover is that they didn’t choose an indigenous candidate because I was indigenous,” Mr Wyatt told reporters on Sunday.

“They chose a person who they believed would represent the interests of everybody within Hasluck.”

“Start Quote

Let’s move on from that [racism] – what’s more important is the way in which we move Australia forward, ”

End Quote Ken Wyatt Newly elected Aboriginal MP

The Liberals have 73 seats while the centre-left Labor Party have 72. Independents took four seats, and the Greens one. Seventy-six seats are needed in order to form a government.

Negotiations between the two main parties and the independents who hold the balance of power are continuing.

Mr Wyatt said he was disappointed by the hate mail sent to him by people who said they would not have voted for him if they had known he was indigenous.

“I’ve had that all my life, growing up as an Aboriginal in the ’60s, the ’70s and the ’80s,” he told reporters.

“Let’s move on from that – what’s more important is the way in which we move Australia forward, and the thinking that we have, and the society that we build on.”

Medvedev says special operations in N Caucasus produce good results

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with federal security chief Alexander Bortnikov before a meeting of the national Security Council at the Gorki residence outside Moscow. Shown from left in the background are, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. (Getty Images)

GORKI, August 28 (KATAKAMI / Itar-Tass) — President Dmitry Medvedev said the special operations in the North Caucasus in August produced good results and caused heavy damage to criminal underworld.

“This is a good result. Rather heavy damage was caused to bandits,” Medvedev said at a meeting with Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov on Saturday, August 28.

“Naturally, this work should continue,” the president said.

As for the criminal groups destroyed during the special operations, this is a natural result of their criminal activities, he added.

“This is why when a terrorist act in the Moscow subway occurred, I sad that all of them should be punished and all of them should be destroyed. This is they way to act. No need to be ceremonious with them,” Medvedev said.

More than 30 militants were killed in special operation in the North Caucasus in August, Bortnikov said.

“A number of special operations and combat measures were carried out in August against militants operating in the North Caucasus. As a result of this work, more than 30 bandits and chieftains were killed, a large amount of arms and explosives was seized. In addition, several terrorist acts were prevented,” he said.

The FSB, acting together with other law enforcement agencies, “neutralised” Dagestani rebel leader Vagabov on August 21. He was involved in the terrorist acts in the Moscow subway system and in Kizlyar, Dagestan, that were carried out by female suicide-bombers.

As a result of the operation, four militants were killed, and one was detained and handed over to investigators, Bortnikov said.

Magomedali Vagabov had been on the federal and international wanted lists for many years. His ‘Shariat wife’, Maryam Sharipova, was one of the two female suicide bombers who blew themselves up in the Moscow metro on March 29. The two blasts occurred almost one after another at the Lubyanka and Park Kultury metro stations. As a result, 40 people died and more than 90 were injured.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, calls for redoubling efforts

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, and Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill, center, talk as Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, second left, looks on during a visit to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

New Delhi, Aug 29 (KATAKAMI / NEW KERALA.COM)  —  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this morning visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held.

The visit took place amidst allegations of massive corruption by agencies involved in the works relating to the Games and reports of delay in the completion of sports venues. The Commonwealth Games are starting from October 3.

Accompanied by Sports Minister M S Gill and Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairperson Suresh Kalmadi, Dr Singh was shown the various facilities including playing fields, media centre, the royal box, stands for spectators, security and other arrangements.

The Prime Minister said it was a beautiful stadium and urged all authorities concerned to redouble their efforts to quickly complete whatever works remained as the people were expecting a spectacular and flawless opening to the Commonwealth Games.

The Prime Minister had in his Independence Day speech, promised the Nation that the games will be a success.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had revised the deadline to September 15.

Concerned over the delays and the corruption allegations, the Prime Minister had convened a high-level meeting on August 14 to review the preparations for the Games.

He had formed a committee of bureaucrats headed by the Cabinet Secretary and given it over-riding powers by bringing into its ambit the Games Organising Committee that has been tainted by corruption charges, following which Mr Kalmadi had complained of having been deprived of some important powers.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted to oversee the Games and a final call on any issue will be made by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The Prime Minister, who was concerned over the state of preparedness, was invited by Gill to personally inspect the Games venues.

The Nehru stadium has been refurbished at a whopping Rs 9.6 billion (approximately 200 million dollar) with international consultants from six countries – Germany, Switzerland, Britain, the US and Australia – putting their heads together to construct the state-of-art facility.

British PM enjoys time with new baby daughter

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds on August 28, 2010 his baby daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron, who was born on August 24 during the premier’s summer holiday in Cornwall. (Getty Images)

Camerons release first pictures of newborn daughter


London (KATAKAMI / ZEENEWS) —  British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha were enjoying their first full day out of hospital with their new baby, Florence Rose Endellion.

The Camerons have resumed their holiday in Cornwall, southwest England, where the early birth of their fourth child caught them by surprise.

The Prime Minister posed for pictures with his four-day-old daughter yesterday.

The baby, weighing six pounds and one ounce (2.7 kilogrammes), was delivered by caesarean section on Tuesday in the Cornish capital Truro.

Samantha Cameron left the city’s Royal Cornwall Hospital on Friday.

Conservative Party leader Cameron is planning to become the first British prime minister to take paternity leave. Under British law, new fathers can take up to two weeks’ paid time off.

Paid paternity leave was introduced by Tony Blair’s government in 2003.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been in day-to-day charge of the coalition government while Cameron has been away.

The Liberal Democrat leader said on Friday he would “carry on holding the fort” until Cameron returned to work.

Florence Cameron is only the second child born to a serving British prime minister since 1849, after Blair’s son Leo in 2000.

The name Endellion refers to the village of St Endellion on the north Cornish coast, near where the Camerons are staying.

The Camerons already have a daughter, Nancy, six, and a four-year-old son, Arthur. Their first child, Ivan, who had cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, died suddenly in February last year, aged six.

David Cameron is 43 and his wife is 39.

Putin participates in opening ceremony of Russia-China oil pipeline’s Russian section

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

August 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Russian section in the Russia-China oil pipeline, which took place in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur region on Sunday.

At the beginning of the opening ceremony Putin called the pipeline a multidimensional project to step up Moscow-Beijing energy cooperation. “This is vital project for us as we diversify the deliveries of our strategic raw materials. Thus far, we made the major deliveries to Europe…The Asia-Pacific region received unsubstantial volumes,” Putin said.

Setting the pipeline in operation will change the situation dramatically, the premier emphasized. “We will deliver 30 million tons of oil and, in case of expansion, 50 million tons to the Asia-Pacific Region.”

“The implementation of this project is a crucial task for Russia and our Chinese friends. It means stabilization of supplies and energy balance for China, and for us it creates entry to new challenging markets, in this particular case, to the growing market of China,” Putin said at the ceremony.

The project is part of the East Siberia – Pacific oil pipeline, which was launched into operation in December 2009 and is designed to pump up to 1.6 million barrels (220,000 tons) of crude per day from Siberia to the Far East and then on to China and the Asia-Pacific region.

The Russia-China pipeline will stretch from the town of Skovorodino in the Amur region to the city of Daqing in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province.

“I recall how Chinese President Hu Jintao broached the issue of the project’s implementation in time of one of his visits to Moscow. We were then discussing the rout of the project, were the pipeline would lie: to the north or to the south of the Lake Baikal,” Putin said at the opening ceremony.

He emphasized that both Russia and China have known that the issues are complicated but all of them would be successfully resolved.

“I hope, our Chinese friends will tell the Chinese president and the prime minister about the fact… that the project has been accomplished in Russia. But Chinese friends will have to work for a while. Major efforts are ahead for them – 930 kilometers [of the pipeline] should be put up, these are high-technology operations,” Putin said.

“But I am absolutely confident that Russian oil will enter China this year,” he added.

In March, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said the construction of the pipeline would be finished by the end of the year and become fully operational in 2011.

Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft, oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and China’s state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are partners in the project. In line with the contract, the Chinese side provided the Russian companies with a $25-billion loan to construct the pipeline. In exchange, the Russian side agreed to pump 15 million tons of oil per year via the pipeline in 2011-2030.

Photostream : Volcano erupts in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Mount Sinabung spews volcanic smoke in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. The volcano spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years causing thousands of people living around its slope to evacuate their homes. (Getty Images)

Villagers who flee erupting Mount Sinabung rest at a temporary shelter in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. The volcano spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years causing thousands of people living around its slope to evacuate their homes. (Getty Images)

Villagers who live on the slope of Mount Sinabung receive food at a temporary shelter in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. The volcano spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years causing thousands of people living around its slope to evacuate their homes. (Getty Images)

A villager comforts her son at a temporary shelter as they fled from erupting Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. The volcano spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years causing thousands of people living around its slope to evacuate their homes. (Getty Images)

Villager wear mask to protect their respirations from volcanic ash from Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatera, Indonesia, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. The volcano blew up thick smoke and materials on Friday causing hundreds of people fled their villages despite the absence of evacuation order from authorities. Indonesia has 500 volcanoes, more than any other countries in the world. (Getty Images)

Mount Sinabung erupted in Tanah Karo, North Sumatera (August 28, 2010) Photo : DETIK.COM

People flee as unexpected volcano erupts in Tanah karo, North Sumatera (Indonesia) Photo : DETIK.COM

Photostream : German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg visits Afghanistan

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (L) and the President of the lower house of parliament Norbert Lammert leave after a ceremony at a memorial for killed soldiers at the German Bundeswehr army camp Marmal in Masar-i-Sharif, north of Kabul in Afghanistan on August 28, 2010. Zu Guttenberg and Lammert are on a visit to German Bundeswehr armed forces serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. (Getty Images)

German soldiers listen to German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (2nd L) during his visit to the German Bundeswehr army camp Marmal in Masar-i-Sharif, north of Kabul in Afghanistan on August 28, 2010. Zu Guttenberg and Lammert are on a visit to German Bundeswehr armed forces serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.  (Getty Images)

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg talks to German Bundeswehr army soldiers during breakfast at camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, August 29, 2010. Zu Guttenberg and the President of the lower house of parliament Norbert Lammert visited German Bundeswehr armed forces troops with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. (Getty Images)

German army Bundeswehr Major general Hans-Werner Fritz (3R), German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (R) and the President of the lower house of parliament Norbert Lammert (2R) attend a ceremony a memorial for killed soldiers at the Bundeswehr camp Marmal in Masar-i-Sharif, north of Kabul, August 28, 2010. Zu Guttenberg and Lammert visit German Bundeswehr armed forces with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. (Getty Images)

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (L) and the President of the lower house of parliament Norbert Lammert attend a ceremony at a memorial for killed soldiers at the German Bundeswehr army camp Marmal in Masar-i-Sharif, north of Kabul, August 28, 2010. Zu Guttenberg and Lammert visit German Bundeswehr armed forces with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. (Getty Images)

Camerons release first pictures of newborn daughter

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds on August 28, 2010 his baby daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron, who was born on August 24 during the premier’s summer holiday in Cornwall. (Getty Images)

(KATAKAMI / GUARDIAN.CO.UK) — The first pictures have emerged of the prime minister with the latest addition to clan Cameron – Florence Rose Endellion.

While politicians are often reviled for their baby-kissing antics to garner popular approval, David Cameron can probably be forgiven for sharing a tender moment with his own daughter.

Florence joins siblings Nancy and Arthur at No 10, along with their mother, Samantha, who is reportedly recovering extremely well after the delivery.

Weighing 6lb 1oz, Florence was delivered by caesarian section at the Royal Cornwall hospital in Treliske on Tuesday.

She had been due in seven or eight weeks, but took the couple by surprise while they were on a family holiday in Cornwall.

When Samantha Cameron announced her pregnancy before the election, many thought it was just the ‘bump’ (sorry) the Tory leader needed to win the election. Matters took a slightly different course of events, as I’m sure the PM himself could attest.

Florence becomes the second child born to a serving leader in a decade after Leo Blair in 2000, who was the first legitimate child born to a serving prime minister in over 150 years — since the birth of Francis Russell in July 1849.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday Aug. 28, 2010 touches noses with his new baby daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron who was born on Tuesday Aug. 24, while the family were taking their summer vacation near Truro in Cornwall, southwestern England. Cameron’s wife Samantha returned to their holiday home with the baby on Friday. Florence is the couple’s fourth child. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds on August 28, 2010 his baby daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron, who was born on August 24 during the premier’s summer holiday in Cornwall. Cameron’s wife Samantha left the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro with her new baby on August 27 and returned to their holiday home where the family is continuing their holiday. Cameron will become the first British prime minister to take statutory paternity leave, his deputy confirmed on August 27. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds his baby daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron at an unspecified location on August 28, 2010 in Cornwall, England. Mr. Cameron’s wife Samantha gave birth to their fourth child on August 24. The couple were on their summer holiday at Daymer Bay when the Prime Minister’s wife went into labour. The Prime Minister’s wife Samantha returned to their holiday home from hospital with Florence yesterday where the family are continuing their holiday. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, with his wife Samantha, pose on the coastal path, at Daymer Bay beach in Cornwall, England, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010, where the family are on holiday. (Getty Images)

David Cameron picks black and white family portrait for Christmas card (December 2008) Photo: TOM STODDARD/GETTY

Indonesia : One dies in Mount Sinabung eruption

Mount Sinabung

Jakarta (KATAKAMI / ANTARA) – One local resident was reported to have died following the eruption of Mount Sinabung in Tanah Karo district, North Sumatra at 0.15 am local time on Sunday.

Presidential Special Staff for Natural Disaster Andi Arif said in his twitter social network account he was informed by a resident of Cinta Rakyat village that a local resident Surbakti (54) had died.

Andi said that Surbakti died on the way when he was evacuated from his home to a safer place. He suffered from a breathing problem.

The 2,460 meter-high Mt Sinabung erupted early on Sunday at 0.15 a.m Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB).

According to the Indonesian Red Cross office for North Sumatra, about 14,000 residents have been evacuated to safer plances.

The volcano had been inactive for many years with the previous eruption event occurring in 1600. Ash spewed into the atmosphere up to 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) high and lava was seen near the crater.

Indonesia : Twelve thousands evacuated over Mount Sinabung in eruption

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Villager wear mask to protect their respirations from volcanic ash from Mount Sinabung in Karo, North Sumatera, Indonesia, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

Jakarta (KATAKAMI / ANTARA) – About 12 thousand local residents around Mount Sinabung which erupted at 0:15 am local time on Sunday have been evacuated to safer places, a red-cross official said.

“Based on temporary data collected by the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) a total of 12 thousand locals of 14 villages in three sub districts have been evacuated,” Muhammad Irsal, a member of PMI`s disaster mitigation task force (Satgana), said when he was contacted through the phne here on Sunday.

Mt Sinabung has been spewing thick smokes and vulcanic ashes since Friday night.

Since then, North Sumatra branch of PMI has sent 5 personnel to the location.

Muhammad Irsal is one them who is now in the disaster location in Sigaranggarang village, near Mt Sinabung.

He said that locations impacted by the mount eruption included Bekerah, Simacan, Suka Nalau, Sigaranggarang, Kota Gunung, Kuta Rakyat and Kota Bayakan villages in Namanparang sub district; Sukameria and Selandi villages in Payung sub district; and Mardinding, Kutambaru and Terdaji villages in Payung sub district.

The PMI personnel worked hand-in-hand with the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), local government, health services and social affairs services in evacuating residents.

Until Sunday morning, the locations around Mt Sinabung have been sterilized and deserted because all residents have been evacuated, according to Irsal.

“We felt strong tremors last night. It was a vulcanic quake. After that, the crater of Mount Sinabung spewed glowing lava. And trees in the mount slopes were burnt. It was followed by thick clouds that caused visibility to be only about five meters. We soon helped locals to evacuate to safer locations,” Irsal said.

He said that on Saturday night, PMI had distributed some 500 masks before it sent three personnel from North Sumatra office and one ambulance car to carry out mobile monitoring around the locations.

President Medvedev attends the blessing ceremony unveiling the icon above the gates of the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill walk to attend a blessing ceremony of the gate icon at the Spasskaya tower of Moscow’s Kremlin on August 28, 2010. (Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office)

August 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / KREMLIN.RU) — Dmitry Medvedev took part in the ceremony unveiling the icon on the Moscow Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower.

The unveiling of the icon above the Spasskaya Tower’s gate is timed to coincide with the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducted a prayer service for the consecration of the icon.

The Fund of St Andrew the Apostle took the initiative to restore the Kremlin gate icons. This initiative benefited from the support of the President and the blessing of the Patriarch.

After studies were conducted in the niches of the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya towers, the icons were found hidden under a layer of plaster in April 2010.

The icon on the Spasskaya Tower depicts Jesus Christ and two saints, St Sergius of Radonezh and St Varlaam of Khutyn, below him. The exact date the fresco was painted is not known, but it was not before the middle or second half of the 17th century. The icon gave the tower its name, which before that time was known as Frolovskaya Tower.

The last mention of the icon is from the 1930s, when a decision to cover the icon with plaster was taken. An icon of St Nicholas (on Nikolskaya Tower) was also immured at the same time.

The icon of St Nicholas dates from the late 15th or early 16th century. The image over the gate was damaged during fighting in October 1917. Restoration work on Nikolskaya Tower will last a few months longer.



Ceremony consecrating the icon above the gate of the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower (Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (L) attend a blessing ceremony of the gate icon at the Spasskaya tower of Moscow’s Kremlin on August 28, 2010.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill attend a blessing ceremony of the gate icon at the Spasskaya tower of Moscow’s Kremlin on August 28, 2010.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends the blessing ceremony of an ancient Orthodox icon on Kremlin’s Spassky Gate in Moscow, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. The icon was discovered in April in the Kremlin’s Spassky Tower after spending years hidden inside the tower. (Getty Images)

John Lennon’s toilet sells for £9,500 at auction

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(File) Yoko Ono poses for photographers during a press conference before a charity concert to commemorate her late husband John Lennon in Saitama, suburban Tokyo, 09 December 2002, one day after the 22nd aniversary of his death. (Getty Images)

August 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / Reuters Life!) – A toilet that belonged to late Beatle John Lennon fetched 9,500 pounds at auction on Saturday, around 10 times its estimate, the sale organisers said.

Lennon, who was murdered in New York in 1980, had the porcelain lavatory removed from Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire, where he lived from 1969 to 1971, and replaced with a new one.

The builders who took away the white and blue lavatory were told to “put some flowers in it or something,” according to the auction catalogue.

Builder John Hancock stored it in his shed for 40 years until he died recently and the lavatory was sent for sale, British media reports said.

The toilet was among Beatles memorabilia sold at auction as part of the Beatle week festival in Liverpool. The pre-auction estimate was 750 to 1,000 pounds.

Anne-Marie Trace, who works at the Beatles Shop in Liverpool which organised the sale, said the high price paid had taken the organisers by surprise.

“I think it’s the most unusual item we’ve ever had in our auction,” she told Reuters.

The buyer was not identified but Trace said it was likely it was “going overseas.”

More details released on Ambassador Doug Kmiec car accident

U.S. Ambassador To Malta Doug Kmiec

Los Angeles, Calif., Aug 28, 2010 / 07:49 am (CNA).- Authorities released more details surrounding a car accident earlier this week which killed a 74-year-old religious sister and caused serious injuries to a priest and Ambassador Doug Kmiec.

Preliminary Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol reports state that at about 1:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 25, Ambassador to Malta Doug Kmiec, Our Lady of Malibu pastor Msgr. John Sheridan, and Sister Mary Campbell were involved in a one car collision at Mulholland Highway and Malibu Canyon Road.

Sr. Mary Campbell, who, according to Malibu Surfside News taught generations of  Our Lady of Malibu students, died at the scene.

Ambassador Kmiec, along with 94-year-old Msgr. Sheridan suffered injuries. After surgeries at the UCLA Medical Center Trauma Center, the ambassador is reported to be in good condition and  improving. Although doctors have been able to stop most of Msgr. Sheridan’s internal bleeding, he has been treated for several broken ribs and remains in critical condition. The priest is also being carefully monitored for pneumonia and infection.

California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang said Ambassador Kmiec was driving westbound on Mullholland when his 2009 Hyundai Accent crashed into a drainage ditch after veering off the road.

Tang reported that the cause of Kmiec losing control of the vehicle is unknown.

Authorities have said the accident remains under investigation and that dashboard control adjustment may be a factor in the collision.

According to Malibu Surfside News, Archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney visited the hospital Wednesday night and issued a statement asking the local community and those elsewhere to “please keep all three of these wonderful and devoted disciples of Jesus Christ very much in your prayers.”

Our Lady of Malibu announced plans to schedule a blood drive in Msgr. Sheridan’s name.

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