Jerusalem's Christian community has demanded that Jewish leaders and the Israeli government take action against what they claim is growing harassment of their clergy by religious Jews. \nChristians say ultra-Orthodox Jewish students spit at them or at the ground when they pass. There have also been acts of vandalism against statues of the Virgin Mary. \nThe harassment came to a head last week when a Jewish student spat at Armenian Archbishop Nourhan Manougian and ripped off his crucifix, whereupon the archbishop slapped him. The police questioned both men. \nMainstream Israeli opinion has been revolted by the revelations of the abuse of Christian clergy. Avraham Poraz, the interior minister, condemned the trend of spitting at the cross and those wearing it, saying it was "intolerable" and that he was "revolted" by it. A former chief rabbi also voiced his outrage. \nAll the Christian groups complain of harassment, but the Armenians bear the brunt. Armenian clergymen said that, when they complained to the interior minister seven months ago, he told them: "Most Jews have a big problem with them as well." \nThe 3,000-strong community live in the Armenian quarter and many Jews walk through it on their way from west Jerusalem to the Wailing Wall or Western Wall. \nFather Pakrad Bourjekian, a spokesman for the Armenian church, said the attack was an extreme example of the harassment they receive every day. "Every day the fanatical Jews turn their face to the wall or spit on the ground or at us when they see the crucifix," he said. \nThe Christians admit that it is only a minority who carry out the abuse, but they feel that the issue is being ignored by religious leaders. \nBishop Aris Shirvanian of the Armenian church said: "The majority are courteous or indifferent. The problem is the very religious. It's a question of education. What must these people be learning to behave like this?" \nThe old city of Jerusalem is buzzing with rumors that young Armenians will take revenge for the attack and the daily indignities suffered by their priests. \nAris acknowledged that there was a danger of reprisals. "We are trying to control our young people and we are succeeding. But the question is that there is no one in the Jewish community trying to control their fanatics," he said. \nJerusalem has always been a city of conflict. Even the old Christian churches -- the Armenian, Orthodox, Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian and Catholic -- are known for their disputes, which regularly result in brawls.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
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KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and