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Vatican: World not ending

Vatican City -

The Vatican's top astronomer has some assurances to offer: The world won't be ending in about two weeks, despite predictions to the contrary.

File photo: Ethiopia, which is receiving 300-million in British aid this year and is one of the world's poorest nations, is launching its own space programme. Credit: Reuters

The Reverend Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, wrote in Wednesday's Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that “it's not even worth discussing” doomsday scenarios based on the Mayan calendar that are flooding the internet ahead of the purported December 21 apocalypse.

Yes, Funes wrote, the universe is expanding and if some models are correct, will at one point “break away” - but not for billions of years. But he said Christians profoundly believe that “death can never have the last word.”

The Mayan Long Count calendar begins in 3 114 BC, marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. The Mayans wrote that the significant 13th Baktun ends December 21. - Sapa-AP

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