Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 14th 2014 Contents A29
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VATICAN CITY---Pope Francis marked
his one-year anniversary yesterday with
a simple tweet: "Please pray for me."
Francis appeal echoed his gesture on
that rainy night one year ago when he
came out onto the balcony of St Peter s
Basilica and introduced himself to the
world. Rather than impart a blessing on
the crowd below, Francis asked first for
a "favour," asking the crowd to bless him.
Francis has continued to ask for
prayers, ending nearly each appearance
with a similar request.
Francis spent his anniversary tucked
away on retreat south of Rome with sen-
ior Vatican cardinals and monsignors.
The Vatican said nothing special was
planned, just prayer and meditations.
But in his hometown of Buenos Aires,
Argentines were celebrating, particularly
the poor who live in the "misery villages"
of the capital where the former Cardinal
Jorge Mario Bergoglio ministered as arch-
Pope marks anniversary: 'Please pray for me'
Chinese satellite pictures of debris in the South
China Sea are not connected to the missing
Malaysian airliner, Malaysia s transport minister
Hishammuddin Hussein also denied a US report
that Flight MH370 might have flown for hours after
contact was lost.
Chinese state TV is still treating the pictures as
relevant and says a warship is continuing to hunt for
The plane went missing early on Saturday with
239 people on board. The search now includes the
The minister said the disappearance of the Boeing
777-200ER aircraft was unprecedented.
Hussein told reporters at Kuala Lumpur Interna-
tional Airport that the Chinese embassy in the
Malaysian capital had said the satellite images were
released by mistake and "did not show any debris
Satellite images of debris The three Chinese images
appeared to show large, floating objects in the South
The grainy satellite images were released by China s
State Administration of Science on Wednesday.
Despite the denial, state TV in China says a warship
is continuing to search for the debris spotted in the
South China Sea.
Meanwhile, the Indian army has confirmed it is
joining the search for Flight MH370 after focus was
extended to Andaman Sea, in the Indian Ocean.
Hussein said that efforts to locate the aircraft were
ongoing, promising to "spare nothing in our efforts
to find MH370".
"There are currently 43 ships and 40 aircraft
searching the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca,"
NEW YORK---Rescuers working amid
below-freezing temperatures and billowing
smoke pulled four more bodies yesterday
from the rubble of two New York City
apartment buildings, raising the death toll
to at least seven from a gas leak-triggered
explosion that reduced the area to a pile
of smashed bricks and mangled metal.
The blast Wednesday morning in Man-
hattan s heavily Hispanic East Harlem neigh-
bourhood injured more than 60 people,
with searchers still trying to locate others
a day later. Crews used generator-powered
floodlights and thermal imaging cameras
to identify heat spots---bodies or pockets
of fire---at the site on Park Avenue and 116th
Street. Police guarding the scene wore sur-
gical masks, and neighbourhood residents
covered faces with scarfs amid the thick,
Fire Department spokesman Jim Long
said it was "a very terrible and traumatic
scene." Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city
was "hoping to find others still alive" and
then "to determine exactly what happened
Construction equipment with iron jaws
picked up the smoldering debris, first
depositing it on the pavement, then hoisting
it onto trucks that hauled it away. The debris
was a wrecked collection of what were once
apartment buildings and residents belong-
The blast erupted just 15 minutes after a
neighbouring resident reported smelling
gas, authorities said. The Con Edison utility
said it immediately sent workers, but they
didn t arrive until it was too late. The explo-
sion shattered windows, rained debris onto
elevated commuter railroad tracks nearby,
cast a plume of smoke over the skyline and
sent people running into the streets. (AP)
respond to an
buildings in the
after a neighbour
Gas blast toll reaches 7
CARACAS---Venezuela s state
prosecutor said yesterday the
death toll from a month of violent
protests had risen to 28, after the
nation s top court ordered oppo-
sition mayors to dismantle barri-
cades set up by street protesters.
State prosecutor Luisa Ortega
Diaz, speaking on the sidelines of
the UN Human Rights Council in
Geneva, also said 1,293 detainees
had been released and 104 remained
in custody accused of serious
crimes during the anti-government
"We need to ensure there is no
impunity and it must be fully inves-
tigated to determine whether those
people held in jail are the authors
of those homicides," she said.
President Nicolas Maduro has
declared victory over a "coup"
attempt and does not look in danger
of being toppled.
The protesters, some of whom
have vowed to stay in the streets
until he quits, are demanding polit-
ical change, and an end of high
inflation and crime rates, as well
as shortages of basic goods such
as milk, flour and cooking oil in
Three fatal shootings on
Wednesday in central Carabobo
state were the latest fatalities from
daily clashes between opponents
of Maduro, his supporters, and
members of the security forces.
More than 300 people have been
injured in the unrest.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court
ordered two opposition mayors in
Caracas to remove barricades and
other obstacles placed across roads
in their municipalities by opposition
The barriers have frequently
become flashpoints for violence
between those who set them up,
and government supporters---or just
frustrated neighbours---who try to
The ruling, published by state
media yesterday, said the barricades
contravened Venezuelans right to
Separately, the information min-
ister said Maduro had ordered the
detention of "snipers" who killed
three people in Carabobo, as well
as raids to capture alleged financiers
of violent protests.
Other nations around Latin
American, though worried, have
taken a relatively standoff approach
to the crisis. (Reuters)
A student of Venezuela's Central University shouts slogans against
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro during a protest in Caracas,
Venezuela, Wednesday. AP PHOTO
China lost plane
images 'a mistake'
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