A Jordanian prince and the family of a slain 3-year-old boy and were among those who visited a New Zealand mosque Saturday when it reopened for the first time since a terrorist killed dozens of people there.
Inside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, there were few signs of the carnage from eight days earlier. Crews had replaced windows that worshippers smashed in a desperate attempt to escape when the attacker mowed them down during Friday prayers. Bullet holes were plastered over and painted. There wasn’t time to replace the carpet, which was pulled out and buried because it was soaked in blood. Shagat Khan, the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, said they hadn’t planned to open the mosque so soon but when they saw the crowds gathering after a police cordon was removed they decided to allow people to enter in managed groups “so the mosque will be alive again.”
“Those who lost their families are of course quite emotional,” he said. “And those who were present here during the incident, of course the memories come back. The flashbacks.” A total of 50 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 — the nation’s worst terrorist attack. Some 3,000 people walked through the mosque Saturday for a “march for love” to honor the victims, BBC News reported. Some held placards, with one sign reading, “He wanted to divide us, he only made us stronger.” Many people walked in silence, according to the Reuters news agency. Abdullahi Ibrahim Diriye, the uncle of the youngest shooting victim, 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim, visited the mosque with the boy’s father. Diriye said he helped lift the boy’s coffin to a gravesite Friday as Mucaad’s mother wept. The coffin was very light with such a young child inside, he said. “Always he was a happy boy, and he liked every person he met, not only Muslims,” Diriye said. Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, who traveled to New Zealand to pay his respects, hugged a man at the entrance of the mosque and told him to “be patient.” “He was crying deeply from his heart for a loved one he had lost,” the prince later explained. “And I was saying, this is God’s will, be patient. Because only through patience can you endure.” Prince Hassan said in the Middle East there have been wars every decade.
“To feel that this form of violence and cruelty is visited on you, living in this idyllic part of the world, is deeply, deeply moving,” he said. Human dignity is being assailed on all fronts by extremists, he said, and people need to stand together as human beings.
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London — CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer works just down the hall from me, but most of the time, she’s not there. Liz, as we call her in the London bureau, is usually on assignment in a foreign country. For almost three decades, Liz has reported from war zones, first for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and since 2000 for CBS News.
When we sat down for a conversation for Women’s History Month, she shared some lessons she’s learned along the way. While some pertain to being a woman journalist, others are more universal. Liz tells journalism students they need two things to make it in the business: “curiosity and a perpetual skepticism, a kind of, ‘Oh, yeah? Prove it,’ sort of attitude.” These traits, she believes, have allowed her to thrive. It makes sense – both curiosity and healthy skepticism can help us learn.
She says she’s been learning throughout her career — from reporting for The Haney Gazette in British Columbia, (“It was really part of living in a community, and the police chief I might report on, I’d see at the grocery store the next day,”) to covering business news and the oil industry in Calgary, (“I realized if you follow the money, you really understand the guts of a story well,”) and then to foreign news, opening the CBC’s Mexico City bureau in 1994.”(It was) a change of focus but not a change in the way I approached the job, which was to be curious and not take anything for granted,” Liz told me. “I always enjoyed where I was.”CBS News’ Rita Braver: “Many women got their foot in the door by taking the worst jobs”CBS News’ Lesley Stahl: “We wanted to prove we could do any story as well as a man… I don’t feel I have to prove that anymore”I have to admit, I didn’t always enjoy where I was. I got my first job in television news in my hometown of Fargo, North Dakota. After studying international relations, I had hoped to jump into international news, not potholes and blizzards. But after a few months, I, too, learned to appreciate what I was doing; covering a community I cared about and learning from my experienced colleagues.Like Liz, I went on to report overseas, starting in Iran, where I found that being a woman journalist can have its advantages (like getting better access to places where only women were allowed) and its disadvantages (like being barred from places where only men were allowed).Liz told me that although she had similar experiences, she usually sees her job as “gender-neutral,” particularly in the Arab world.”To the men there, Western women kind of do not compute,” she has said. “We show up and are bold and forward and show our hair and all that. We’re aliens.”And she has had to deal with sexual assault.
In 2002 near Kandahar, Afghanistan, when she met with local fighters for interviews, they surrounded her, and someone grabbed her backside.”I remember marching out to the head guy and telling him that it was up to him to make sure it stopped,” she recalled. “That’s something I’ve done more than once.”At other times, she said there’s simply been nothing she could do. She remembers having to cross through a dense crowd in Tehran after a disputed presidential election there in 2009.”I had my notebook and pen,” she told me, “and the whole way through this crowd, I was having my bum grabbed and my breasts grabbed, and this feeling all over my body, and I just had to suck it up.”But she said it didn’t make her angry: “I remember thinking, ‘it doesn’t really matter… It’s not going to get anything inside me – my sense of self, my professional prestige, my dignity. I wasn’t hurt, and I got to write the story.”Then I reminded her about another instance, in Cairo, that a colleague had told me about, when she had to defend herself with physical force.She was shooting an “on camera” while covering the 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square, she recalled, and when she turned to leave, she saw a man standing in front of her.
“He just put his hands up and grabbed my breasts,” she recalls. “That time I got angry. And I certainly kicked him, and I think I punched him, and he looked astounded.”Liz didn’t mention where she kicked him, but her cameraman told me it was where it hurts a man the most.She may not have meant to share these stories as a guide for future behavior, but I like to think of them as options for different situations that may require different responses.Liz has had to navigate other challenges as a woman journalist. Take equal pay.”I never asked for enough at the beginning of my career because I was doing that girl thing,” she acknowledged. “I was just trying to please and was being grateful for having a job.”Many years later a woman lawyer told Liz that, compared to her male counterparts, she had been underpaid.”It’s one of the things I try to tell my daughter,” Liz explained. “Don’t be afraid to ask what you think you’re worth. If you’re worth a lot, don’t be afraid. Make it clear you won’t settle for less.”
It’s also important, she said, for women in journalism to choose partners who support their careers.”It’s a wonderful profession for women,” she said. “If they want to have children, they have to marry, as I did… someone who is a homebody.” Her husband, Luc, is “the main Mr. Mom character… and that really freed me up.”Luc, and Liz’s two children, when they were younger, must have been very understanding. Liz often leaves for weeks at a time for lands riddled with bullets and mortars.”You can control for risk very well” in high-risk environments, she told me, but there is always going to be a “wild card.”She was reminded of that vulnerability when her friend, American journalist Marie Colvin, was killed in Syria in 2012. “Marie Colvin was careful and she was hugely experienced,” Liz said. “And she just happened to draw the wild card that night.”So is the job still worth doing, I asked Liz, even if she could die doing it?
“Yes,” she said, with little pause. “Maybe my kids would say it’s a selfish thing to say, but yes, it’s made me happy, it’s kept me interested, and given me such wonderful adventures and even more wonderful friends and colleagues.”
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Johannesburg — The number of cholera cases among survivors of a devastating cyclone in central Mozambique has jumped to 139, officials have said. Nearly 1 million vaccine doses were being rushed to the region.
The Portuguese news agency Lusa reported the number late Thursday, citing national health official Ussein Isse, who had declared the outbreak a day earlier with just five confirmed cases.Cholera is a major concern for hundreds of thousands of survivors now living in squalid conditions in camps, schools and sodden homes. The disease is spread by contaminated food and water, causes acute diarrhea and can kill within hours if not treated with oral rehydration solution or intravenous fluids in severe cases.
The World Health Organization has warned of a “second disaster” if waterborne diseases like cholera spread. On Tuesday it said 900,000 oral cholera vaccines were on their way.”You can imagine how much we are sitting on a water and sanitation ticking time bomb,” the secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Elhadj As Sy, told The Associated Press last week after visiting a school where 3,000 survivors were sheltering with only six toilets between them.Some of the hardest-hit communities remained cut off from aid 15 days after Cyclone Idai roared in.They are relying on heavily polluted water, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday, adding that clear water and medical supplies are urgently needed.Even in the port city of Beira, the hub of international relief efforts, some of its 500,000 residents have resorted to drinking stagnant water by the side of the road, increasing the chances of diarrhea, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders has said. Others are drinking from contaminated wells.The aid group has seen hundreds of cases of acute watery diarrhea this week.The death toll in Mozambique is now at least 468, with at least 259 dead in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi. Officials have warned that those numbers are preliminary and final figures may never be known. Some bodies have been found and buried without being registered with authorities. Others were washed away.
As the floodwaters continue to drain, more bodies are expected to be found.Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday announced that the search and rescue phase had ended. He also declared that health care would be free for residents in cyclone-hit areas until the end of the year, Lusa reported.The United Nations has said some 1.8 million people need urgent help across the sodden, largely rural region. Hunger is another growing concern, as the storm wiped out crops on the eve of harvest.Officials have found a slender hope in the weather report, which appears free of rain for the next several days.
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A small Israeli spacecraft executed a critical rocket firing Thursday, easing out of a highly elliptical Earth orbit and into one around the moon. It sets the stage for an automated landing attempt April 11.
The spacecraft is the first privately funded, non-superpower lunar lander. “The lunar capture is an historic event in and of itself, but it also joins Israel in a seven-nation club that has entered the moon’s orbit,” said Morris Kahn, chairman of SpaceIL, the non-profit that brought the Beresheet moon landing mission to fruition. “A week from today we’ll make more history by landing on the moon, joining three super powers who have done so. Today I am proud to be an Israeli.”
Launched February 21 as a secondary payload aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the robotic Beresheet’s main engine fired seven times over the past few weeks to raise the high point of its orbit to an altitude just past the moon’s orbit 240,000 miles away.For Thursday’s maneuver, a six-minute burn began at 10:18 a.m. ET, reducing Beresheet’s velocity relative to the moon by about 620 miles per hour, just enough to allow lunar gravity to capture the spacecraft. The burn was designed to put the craft into an orbit with a low point of about 310 miles and a high point around 6,213 miles.The firing was critical because without it, Beresheet would have sailed past the moon into a useless orbit around the sun, bringing the mission to a disappointing end.But the rocket firing went smoothly, setting the stage for landing on a broad plain known as Mare Serenitatis on April 11. If successful, Israel will join the United States, Russia and China as only the fourth nation to land an operational spacecraft on the moon.”After six weeks in space, we have succeeded in overcoming another critical stage by entering the moon’s gravity,” Ido Anteby, SpaceIL CEO, said in a statement. “We still have a long way until the lunar landing, but I’m convinced our team will … land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, making us all proud.”Designed by SpaceIL and built by Israel Aerospace Industries for the since-cancelled Google Lunar X-prize competition, Beresheet is intended to spur interest in STEM careers among students across Israel and around the world. Funded largely by private donations, the spacecraft and launch costs totaled about $100 million, a bargain compared to past interplanetary missions. But that relatively low cost came with added risk. The spacecraft has few redundant systems and its ability to recover from component failures or malfunctions is limited. Flight controllers already have had to work around problems with unexpected computer restarts and one of the spacecraft’s star trackers.
Now that it’s safely in orbit around the moon, however, the team’s sights are set on landing. Over the next week, several maneuvers are planned to put Beresheet into a circular orbit at an altitude of about 124 miles. From there, the spacecraft will begin its descent.”The spacecraft will land autonomously,” Anteby said earlier this week. “Actually, we’ll send a command to land, and it will land by itself. We have never tested it, so we are not sure how it will work. We have done a lot of experiments and a lot of tests in the lab using a simulator, but we have never tested the spacecraft to land on the moon.”He said the moon landing could be thwarted by a single sensor failure.”In order to begin the landing procedure, we need to give the spacecraft the exact location of where it is,” he said. “This accurate positioning is very risky. We also have a special sensor, a laser sensor. This is the first time that this sensor will be on the moon, so it is very risky, too.”During the final descent, a magnetometer will measure the local magnetic field before the main engine shuts down at an altitude of about 16 feet. From there, the spacecraft will free fall to the surface.Beresheet is equipped with a high-resolution camera to capture panoramic views of the landing site to help scientists better understand the area. The spacecraft also carries a small “time capsule” loaded with photos and cultural artifacts, including a copy of the Bible engraved on a coin-size disk.”Until today, three superpowers have soft landed on the moon,” said Yonatan Winetraub, co-founder of SpaceIL. “We thought it’s about time for a change. We want to get little Israel all the way to the moon. This is the purpose of SpaceIL.”
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Impact Wrestling’s next pay-per-view has been pushed back one day.
It was announced today that Impact Wrestling’s Rebellion PPV will now take place on Sunday, April 25. The show had originally been set to take place on Saturday, April 24, which is the same night as UFC 261.
Rebellion will be headlined by AEW World Champion Kenny Omega vs. Impact World Champion Rich Swann in a title vs. title match. Impact Tag Team Champions FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) defending their titles against The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) has also been announced for the PPV.
Impact notes that Deonna Purrazzo’s Knockouts Championship, Ace Austin’s X-Division Championship, and Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan’s Knockouts Tag Team titles will also be on the line at Rebellion.
“Sunday night has traditionally been the night for the big wrestling events in the sport’s history – and REBELLION is as huge of an event as any of them,” Impact Wrestling Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore said in a press release. “Swann vs. Omega, champion vs. champion, title vs. title is a happening that every wrestling fan will want to witness … it just feels right that REBELLION take place on Sunday.”
A welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal will main event UFC 261 on Saturday, April 24. Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Andrade for the women’s flyweight title and Zhang Weili vs. Rose Namajunas for the women’s strawweight title are also set for UFC 261.
Rebellion will be Impact’s first major PPV since this January’s Hard to Kill event. Omega & The Good Brothers defeated Swann, Moose & Chris Sabin at Hard to Kill, with Omega pinning Swann after hitting the One Winged Angel. This year’s Hard to Kill drew Impact Wrestling’s second-highest PPV buys since the promotion stopped airing on Spike TV in 2014. Last year’s Slammiversary was the only Impact PPV to draw more buys since the end of the Spike TV era.
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