Monday April 25 2022: A selection of news briefs from around the globe
Thousands of Christian worshippers celebrate Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
Jerusalem: With processions, chants and ululations, thousands of Christian Palestinians and pilgrims celebrated the Holy Fire ceremony of Jesus’ resurrection at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday, the first to be held since Israel imposed new restrictions on attendance.
Citing public safety, Israeli authorities sought to limit participation to 1 700 worshippers, a move criticised by church leaders as an infringement of the right to freedom of worship. It was subsequently increased to 4 000. After two years of Covid-19 travel restrictions, Israel has recently started allowing tourists back into the country.
However, access to Gazans has been restricted following violent clashes Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem last week. Israel announced the temporary closure of the sole pedestrian crossing at Erez from the enclave to the Jewish state from yesterday. The closure for the crossing will affected at least 12 000 Gazans with work permits.
Meanwhile, in Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, pictured, whose backing for “military operation” in Ukraine has dismayed many Christians, said he hoped it would end quickly but again did not condemn it. He led a service at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in the Russian capital on the eve of Orthodox Easter which President Vladimir Putin attended. AFP
Miners missing in second incident
Warsaw: Rescuers were making their way underground toward 10 miners who went missing on Saturday after a second coal mine accident in just days in Poland.
The latest tragedy took place at the Zofiowka mine in southern Poland, when a tremor shook the pit in the early hours 900m below the surface, causing a methane leak, mine owner JSW said. Some 42 miners were able to make it to the surface.
In 2018, five miners were killed when an earthquake struck the same coal mine in the country which relies heavily on the fossil fuel.
Twelve rescue teams were trying to reach the spot where the missing miners were thought to be. AFP
New Ebola case in north-western DRC
Kinshasa: Democratic Republic of the Congo Health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani has confirmed that a positive case of Ebola has been detected in Wangata Health Zone of the Equateur province, in north-western DRC.
In December, the DRC declared the end to its 13th Ebola outbreak in the north-eastern North Kivu province.
Genome sequencing conducted by the DRC’s National Institute of Biomedical Research found that the first Ebola case detected in the 13th outbreak was likely a new flare-up of the 2018-2020 outbreak that killed more than 2 200 people in eastern DRC, the second deadliest on record. Xinhua
Strike chaos at Amsterdam airport
Amsterdam: Schiphol airport urged travellers to stay away for several hours on Saturday as a strike by ground personnel at the start of a school holiday caused chaos at Europe’s third-busiest airport.
Later, the airport said passengers were welcome again but would still face long waiting times and possible delays or cancellations.
Police closed highway exits to the airport briefly as lines of frustrated passengers at departure gates stretched out of the airport buildings.
Baggage handlers for KLM, the Dutch arm of airline Air France-KLM, went on strike to press demands for higher pay and better working conditions. Reuters
Johnson causes more trouble for Tories
London: Boris Johnson aimed to end months of political turmoil when he apologised to the House of Commons last week for breaking the UK’s lockdown rules.
Instead, the beleaguered prime minister appeared to be in trouble again with his ruling Conservative Party, whose Members of Parliament are increasingly jaded by the drip-drip of scandal. Far from drawing a line under “partygate”, Johnson now faces a third inquiry into the matter – this time on whether he lied to Parliament – prolonging the turbulence surrounding his leadership.
The government’s chaotic handling of an opposition Labour Party motion demanding the probe was greeted with dismay by fed-up Tories.
And while Johnson’s latest woes don’t necessarily mean his leadership is doomed, some prominent lawmakers have publicly called for him to resign. Bloomberg