#ShortNews: Thousands surrender as Islamic State nears defeat in Syria

Since December, around 60,000 people have left the last IS redoubt, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around a tenth of them suspected jihadist fighters. The United Nations said the numbers from Baghouz arriving in one Kurdish-run camp further north for the displaced were smaller than in previous weeks.

Since last Sunday, air strikes and shelling have since pummelled Baghouz three nights in a row, killing scores of fighters and prompting hundreds of jihadists and their relatives to surrender. Thousands handed themselves over Tuesday, after a deluge of fire hit the IS encampment the previous night.

“Number of Daesh (IS) members surrendered to us since yesterday evening has risen to 3,000,” Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustefa Bali tweeted in English on Tuesday evening.

Read full article; https://www.france24.com/en/20190313-syria-thousands-surrender-islamic-state-group-nears-defeat-baghouz

#ShortNews: Put God back at the center

Pope Francis spoke at length interspersing a prepared discourse with many off-the-cuff remarks that highlighted the pain caused by the clerical sexual abuse scandal that is rocking the Church .

He revealed his own feelings of grief and said he shares with his brother priests “the pain and unbearable punishment that the wave of scandals of which the newspapers of the whole world are now full, is causing in the whole ecclesial body.”

Pope Francis also had words of hope and encouragement for the clergy saying “Let us not be discouraged, the Lord is purifying his Bride”. He said He is converting us all to Himself, He is putting us to the test and making us understand that without Him we are dust. He is saving us from hypocrisy, from the spirituality of appearances. He is blowing his Spirit “to restore beauty to his Bride”.

Read full version; https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-03/pope-francis-meeting-rome-clergy-lent.html

#ShortNews: Papal condemnation of New Zealand mosque shootings

His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks. Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.

Source: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/03/15/190315d.html