CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST
Synagogue shooting in California on last day of Passover
One woman is dead and three others are injured after a shooting in a synagogue in Poway, California, on Saturday. Police have said that a 19-year-old man entered the Chabad of Poway around 11 a.m. carrying an assault rifle. Four victims were shot: an older woman, two men and a girl, according to police. As the suspect left the temple, an off-duty Border Patrol agent fired at him, striking the suspect’s car. Police say that the suspect then drove off before giving his location to police and surrendering without incident. Saturday was the final day of the Jewish Passover. According to the Associated Press, a person identifying as the suspect posted a long, anti-Semitic message before the attack, praising other shootings like the Christchurch mosque and Tree of Life synagogue shootings. Police are now investigating the suspect’s involvement in the March 24 arson and vandalism of a mosque in Escondido.
5 men rescued from Virginia cave after being trapped
Five men trapped in a southwest Virginia cave have been rescued, authorities said on Sunday. The men were planning to explore and camp in the cave, which is located on private property, until Sunday, said Jess Powers, emergency management coordinator for Russell County. However, a heavy downpour on Saturday made conditions muddy and wet, adding to their difficulties, Powers said. One man came out of the cave Sunday morning at 2 a.m. and informed authorities that the others were having a hard time getting out, saying they were exhausted and starting to have issues with hypothermia. Another man was rescued a few hours later, and the rest shortly after that, authorities said. The five men were all able to receive medical attention after being rescued.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ opens with record $1.2 billion
The newest Avengers movie has become the biggest box office film in history. Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” made an estimated $1.2 billion dollars in the worldwide box office for its opening. CNN said “Endgame” is the only film in history to cross the $1 billion mark for its debut. The previous record-holder was the film’s prequel, “Avengers: Infinity War,” which made $640 million at its opening. “Endgame” made an estimated $350 million domestically and $859 million internationally during its opening weekend. The much-awaited film has been met with a high demand, with thousands of sellouts and additional showings being added. In the past 10 years, Marvel Studios has made nearly $20 billion at the worldwide box office, CNN said.
Sri Lanka Easter bombings strike fear
Catholic churches remain closed and Muslim women have been ordered to stop wearing veils in public in Sri Lanka as the country tries to recover from a devastating series of bombings on Easter Sunday. Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo and the country’s senior Catholic leader, has told churches not to hold Mass until police can be sure they will not be attacked. President Maithripala Sirisena banned all kinds of face coverings that could conceal a person’s identity, including religious head coverings by Muslim women. More than 250 were killed and 500 more were wounded during the bombings on Easter, which targeted three churches and three hotels. According to media reports, an ISIS splinter group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Authorities have also arrested 48 suspects in connection to the attacks and are cracking down on the spread of false information and inflammatory remarks.
Japanese emperor abdicates
The 85-year-old emperor of Japan abdicated the throne on Tuesday. Emperor Akihito ended his 30-year reign when he turned over his position to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, and is the first emperor to abdicate in 200 years. For some time, the emperor had made know his desire to abdicate while still well and capable, the Associated Press reported. The Japanese emperor is a purely symbolic position with no political power; however, the emperor is still a prominent public figure who interacts with foreign dignitaries. Akihito was the first emperor to marry a commoner and will break a centuries-old burial custom by deciding he would be cremated upon his death. He will now be known as emperor emeritus but will retain no official duties. The incoming emperor, Nahurito, is 59 years old and ascended the throne on Wednesday.
38 dead after Mozambique cyclone
A cyclone hitting Mozambique has killed 38 people, the government said on Monday. Cyclone Kenneth is the second powerful cyclone to hit the country in just six weeks. More than 600 people were left dead from Cyclone Idai in March, most of the deaths being caused by flooding that followed. According to ABC News, heavy rain hampered efforts to deliver food, shelter and relief to communities heavily affected by the cyclone. More rain is forecast in the next few days. The government described the situation as critical and worried that the death toll would continue to rise in the next few days with the continuing rain. The government said that 160,000 are at risk.