Globe Trot: From pope to ‘pilgrim,’ Syrian aid, Chinese cyberwarriors, Nigerian attacks

International | Mindy Belz

Globe Trot: From pope to ‘pilgrim,’ Syrian aid, Chinese cyberwarriors, Nigerian attacks

Benedict XVI steps away from the window after delivering his last message as pope on Thursday.
Associated Press/L'Osservatore Romano (handoout)

Pope Benedict XVI appeared last night at the balcony of Castel Gandolfo palace near Rome and became, he said in his farewell address, “no longer the pope … just a pilgrim.”

In Rome on Thursday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry promised direct aid to Syrian rebels in the form of food and medical supplies. The move is likely to intensify a conflict that already has killed 70,000 Syrian civilians and turned a million Syrians into refugees.

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“We have no need for medical supplies or for food stuffs,” rebel commander Abdul Jabbar Akaidi told NPR yesterday. “We need more than this. If they are not going to offer us weaponry, then the least they can do, which we asked for before, is to give us equipment to remove the rubble.”

Russia is also deeply critical of the U.S. decision.

The internet is now a battlefield, and China is not only militarizing it but also sending cyberwarriors to the United States. Already in the first months of 2013 “a stunning number” of U.S. companies report that they have been hacked.

Unemployment in the eurozone hit 11.9 percent in January—up from December’s 11.8 percent. That’s an increase of 222,000 jobless. Lowest unemployment figures came from Austria. Highest: Greece at 27 percent.

Attacks against Christians in northeastern Nigeria, near the headquarters of the terrorist group Boko Haram, have escalated and are creating fear and intimidation in everyday life. “Even movement to eke out a living is restricted,” said the Rev. Daniel Yumuna.

The heart of Richard the Lionheart was preserved with mercury, mint, and frankincense. King Richard I died in 1199, his life said to inspire the tales of Robin Hood, and was embalmed using guidance from the Bible, according to the latest findings.

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