Firefighters honored for saving Notre Dame
International | Their decision to focus on the two bell towers avoided a ‘chain collapse’
by Mindy Belz
Posted 4/19/19, 12:59 pm
FRANCE: The country paid tribute Thursday to the 600 firefighters who helped save Notre Dame from collapse. Firefighters and experts on the scene made a decision that likely saved the structure: As fire spread on the roof, they gave up fighting it there to focus on saving the cathedral’s two iconic bell towers. Said one expert on the scene, “Once we lose the war for the belfry, we lose the cathedral. Because there’s a chain collapse.” See WORLD’s recap of the week.
MALI: Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga and his government resigned Thursday, nearly a month after a massacre of 160 Fulani herdsmen. Authorities have failed to disarm the militia behind the attack.
PAKISTAN: Eight months into his tenure, Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing a major Cabinet reshuffle, ousting his finance minister and many others in what the former cricket champ called changing “the batting order in my team.”
IRAN: Authorities who have downplayed a month of catastrophic flooding now say the United States should have suspended sanctions for a year due to the disaster. Rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are contributing to relief. Floods that began March 19 have so far left at least 76 people dead, thousands homeless, and nearly $10 billion in damages. At the same time, local authorities warn that a plague of desert locusts in the country’s southern provinces threaten $30 billion worth of agricultural products.
INDONESIA: Incumbent President Joko Widodo declared victory in Wednesday’s elections, based on unofficial polls showing he won 55 percent of the popular vote. Minutes later, his rival Prabowo Subianto told the press he had actually won, citing “evidence of widespread cheating” in the polls. Prabowo took his 2014 loss to Widodo to the Constitutional Court, but official results for this year’s election aren’t due out until May 22.
PERU: Former President Alan García died by shooting himself when authorities tried to arrest him in connection with one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin American history.
GOOD FRIDAY: Four years ago, in northeast Kenya, 143 university students were killed, singled out for their faith by Somali militants at Garissa University College, a Christian institution. Survivors who escaped faced life-changing injuries, including paralysis, but are emerging with professional degrees and intact faith. Broadcast journalist Ciru Muriuki wrote in 2015:
“To all you al-Shabaab guys who have killed my Christian brothers and sisters, I forgive you. Yes, you heard me right. I forgive you. As you fill your heart with hate (just as those angry mobs did 2,000 years ago), I will fill my heart with love—like Jesus did—for truly, you know not what you do.”
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