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offsite link Pubs Close Their Beer Gardens as Poor Weather Keeps Punters Away Sat May 08, 2021 17:39 | Michael Curzon
A triple whammy of heavy rain, high winds and low temperatures has kept pubgoers away from exposed beer gardens today ? many pubs across England haven't bothered opening at all.
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offsite link Just Five New Covid Deaths Recorded in Last 24 Hours Sat May 08, 2021 17:23 | Toby Young
Britain's daily coronavirus deaths fell by nearly 30% today, as the number of people who have received a second dose soared past 17 million.
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offsite link China was Preparing for a Third World War with Biological Weapons ? Including Coronavirus ? Six Year... Sat May 08, 2021 15:45 | Toby Young
Chinese scientists have been preparing for a Third World War fought with biological and genetic weapons including coronavirus for the last six years, according to a document obtained by US investigators.
The post China was Preparing for a Third World War with Biological Weapons ? Including Coronavirus ? Six Years Ago appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Government Scientists Want People to Continue Working From Home Indefinitely Sat May 08, 2021 15:03 | Michael Curzon
Regardless of questions about productivity levels and loneliness, scientists who advise the Government would like people to keep working from home indefinitely.
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offsite link Deaths at Home Rise by a Third as Patients Stay Away From Hospital Sat May 08, 2021 11:30 | Michael Curzon
There were more deaths (from all causes) in homes in each month of 2020 than in a normal year, according to the ONS, as treatment waiting lists and the "protect the NHS" drive kept patients away from hospitals.
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Voltaire Network

Pope Visits Iraq Amidst COVID Crisis, Conflict, Soaring Poverty and Struggling Economy

category international | politics / elections | press release author Friday March 05, 2021 21:36author by Zachary Conti - Jubilee USA Report this post to the editors

Shia Muslim Leader and Pope to Meet

Pope Francis kicks off a 3-day Iraq tour and meetings with Muslim leaders, government officials and representatives of the country's dwindling Christian population.

Shia Muslim Leader and Pope to Meet

Pope Francis kicks off a 3-day Iraq tour and meetings with Muslim leaders, government officials and representatives of the country's dwindling Christian population. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Iraq saw poverty numbers climb to 37% and an estimated 11% contraction in its economy.

"Iraq was already struggling before the pandemic hit and now the suffering is even worse," stated the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network, Eric LeCompte. LeCompte advises the Vatican and Catholic leaders on economic issues. "The coronavirus crisis for Iraq means poverty has doubled and the country can't make debt payments and also pay workers."

In February the International Monetary Fund reported the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decline in the country's main revenue source, oil. Coupled with challenges of corruption, the Fund estimated the downturn of Iraq's 2020 economy by 11%.

"The Pope's visit brings hope as Iraq's people suffer from the pandemic, conflict, corruption, soaring food prices and increasing poverty," shared LeCompte. "Like too many countries, it will take Iraq's economy years to rebound to pre-pandemic levels. Iraq's pre-pandemic economy wasn't great and already had too much suffering."

The IMF forecasts that Iraq's debt will steadily rise through 2023 and could see pre-pandemic economic outputs in 2024.

On Saturday, Pope Francis travels to Iraq's holiest city, Najaf, to meet with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani who leads Iraq's Shia Muslims.

"The meeting between Ayatollah Sistani and Pope Francis signifies the Pope's commitment to tackle world problems with people of all faiths," stated LeCompte whose organization is composed of multiple faith groups including Muslims, Jews and Christians. "The Pope took the name Francis after the famed St. Francis who met with the Muslim Sultan Malek al-Kamil in 1219. The meeting between St. Francis and Sultan al-Kamil is a symbol for Pope Francis of the critical importance of interfaith dialogue."

Iraq is the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham, an important figure for Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Read the IMF's recent report on Iraq here.

Related Link: https://www.jubileeusa.org/pr_pope_iraq_covid_poverty
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