Ceremony moves nun toward sainthood

VATICAN CITY – More than a quarter-million people – rich and
poor, royal and regular – flooded St. Peter’s Square yesterday for
the beatification of Mother Teresa, honoring the nun who built
shelters, orphanages and clinics around the world to care for those
forsaken by everyone else.

Pope John Paul II presided over the open-air Mass but, for the
first time in a major Vatican ceremony, was unable to utter a word
of his homily, leaving other prelates to do so. In the few prayers
he did say, his words were so slurred and shaky they could barely
be understood.

John Paul did declare Mother Teresa “blessed,” moving the woman
many called a living saint for her work in the slums of Calcutta
one step closer to official sainthood – and bestowing the honor
during his 25th anniversary celebrations.

It has been a particularly grueling week for the ailing,
83-year-old pope, celebrating his anniversary Mass on Thursday and
gearing up for another lengthy ceremony Tuesday to install 30 new

The Vatican estimated yesterday’s crowd at 300,000 – one of its
largest ever – and the ceremony was a colorful mix of Indian dance
and sitar music with traditional Catholic hymns, reflecting the
cultures in which Mother Teresa lived and worked.

Gunmen kill 3 Israeli soldiers in ambush

EIN YABRUD, West Bank – Palestinian gunmen ambushed an Israeli
army patrol in a West Bank town at sundown yesterday, killing three
soldiers, Israeli security sources and rescue services said.

The deadly attack came a few hours after Palestinians in Gaza
fired rockets at Israeli towns, and Israeli forces wound up a phase
of a wide-ranging operation in a Palestinian refugee camp on the
Egyptian border.

Security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
Palestinians ambushed an Israeli army foot patrol in the
Palestinian village of Ein Yabrud, east of the West Bank town of
Ramallah. Three soldiers were killed and another was seriously
wounded, they said.

A spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, loosely linked to
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, told The
Associated Press its members carried out the ambush.

“A group of our fighters attacked an Israeli patrol in Ein
Yabrud, killing and injuring many soldiers,” he said by telephone,
speaking on condition of anonymity.

Poll reflects growing health care concerns

WASHINGTON – The public’s growing unease with the current health
care system has built support for a new approach that would mean
care for all Americans and changes in laws governing prescription
drugs, a poll suggests.

A sizable majority, 70 percent, said it should be legal for
Americans to buy prescription drugs outside the United States,
according to the ABC News-Washington Post poll. One in eight
respondents said they or someone in their home has done just that.
Such purchases can save money but they violate the law.

The poll released yesterday found that more than half of
Americans, 54 percent, are dissatisfied with the overall quality of
health care in the United States while 44 percent are satisfied.
That dissatisfaction is 10 percentage points higher than in 2000
and higher than it has been in the past decade when compared with
earlier surveys.

New leader hastens to form government

LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivia’s new president scrambled to assemble
a Cabinet just hours before the ministers were to be sworn in
yesterday, while Bolivians recovered from weeks of deadly street
protests that brought down the previous government.

Carlos Mesa took office Friday after protests forced former
President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to flee to the United States.
Mesa has promised a new Cabinet, independent of political parties,
to confront the nation’s crippling social problems.

Sanchez de Lozada was forced out after 65 people died in rioting
sparked by his unpopular plan to export natural gas abroad. Labor
leaders and Indian groups used the clashes to express their
frustrations that the government has failed to improve living

Lights blamed for Chicago’s deadly fire

CHICAGO – The fire that killed six people in a 35-story
government office building may have been started by malfunctioning
light fixtures, investigators said yesterday.

An electrical engineer was hired to test the fixtures, wires and
switches in the 12th floor storage room where the fire began
Friday. The results may not be available for up to two weeks, said
Tom Ahern, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives.

Although a cause has not been determined, officials have said
they do not believe the fire was arson. Employees of the secretary
of state’s office said they first spotted flames near the

– Compiled from Daily wire reports.














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