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Former Pope Benedict XVI Dead at Age 95



Former Pope Benedict XVI Dead at Age 95

Former Pope Benedict XVI, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years, died on Saturday at the age of 95 in the Vatican, according to a Holy See spokesman. “With sadness, I inform you that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died today at 9.34 a.m. in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” a spokesman said in a written statement.

According to the Vatican, Pope Francis will preside over his predecessor’s funeral on January 5.

Benedict, the first German pope in 1,000 years, stepped down in 2013 due to failing health, leaving behind a Catholic Church beleaguered by sexual abuse scandals, mired in mismanagement, and divided between conservatives and progressives.

He had good relations with his successor, but his continued presence inside the Vatican after he stepped down polarized the Church ideologically even more.

Concerned about Pope Francis‘s progressive moves, conservatives looked to Benedict as the defender of tradition. Several times, he had to tell nostalgic visitors, “There is only one Pope, and his name is Francis.”

Pope Benedict, a pianist and formidable theologian, was a weak leader who struggled to impose himself on the opaque Vatican bureaucracy and stumbled from crisis to crisis during his eight-year reign.

He repeatedly apologized for the Church’s failure to root out clergy sexual abuse of children, and despite being the first pope to take serious action against abuse, his efforts failed to halt a rapid decline in church attendance in the West, particularly in Europe.

Former Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

In 2022, an independent report in his native Germany claimed Benedict failed to act in four abuse cases while serving as Archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982. After being shaken by the report, he apologized in an emotional personal letter and asked for forgiveness.

In a detailed rebuttal, his lawyers argued that he was not directly to blame.

Victims’ groups claimed that the evasive response squandered an opportunity arising from a scandal that shook the Church worldwide.

On February 11, 2013, Benedict shocked the world by announcing in Latin that he was resigning, telling cardinals that he was too old and frail to lead an institution with over 1.3 billion members.

It was always going to be difficult following the death of his charismatic predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in 2005, and Benedict admitted to difficulties in an emotional farewell address.

“There were happy and light moments, but there were also difficult moments.” “There were moments… when the seas were rough and the wind blew against us, and it seemed as if the Lord was sleeping,” Benedict said to a crowd of more than 150,000 people at his last general audience.

On February 28, 2013, Benedict took up residence at the papal summer retreat at Castelgandolfo, south of Rome, while cardinals from around the world gathered in the Vatican to elect his successor.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ election

Prior to formally stepping down, Benedict and his aides chose the title “pope emeritus” and decided he would continue to wear a white cassock, albeit a slightly modified version. Some in the Church objected, claiming that he had tied his successor’s hands.

They said he should have dressed like a cardinal or a priest in red or black.

Following Pope Francis’ election on March 13, Benedict moved into a converted convent on Vatican grounds to spend his final years praying, reading, playing the piano, and receiving visitors.

He appeared in public only on rare occasions, usually for major Church ceremonies, though he paid an emotional visit to his ailing elder brother Georg, a priest, in Bavaria in June 2020. Georg died soon after, at the age of 96.

Benedict did not keep his promise to remain “hidden from the world,” and his writings in retirement occasionally caused controversy and confusion.

In a 2019 essay for a German Church magazine, he blamed the crisis over priest abuse of children on the 1960s sexual revolution, what he called homosexual cliques in seminaries, and a general collapse in morality.

Critics accused him of attempting to shift blame away from the institutional Church’s hierarchy. Conservatives, however, rejoiced, and rallied to his defense.

pope Benedict and the cardinal

Benedict and the cardinal

The ambiguity surrounding Benedict’s role reached a head in January 2020, when it was revealed that he was involved in a book written by a conservative cardinal that some saw as an attempt to influence a document Pope Francis was preparing.

As a result, Francis fired Archbishop Georg Ganswein, Benedict’s secretary, from a top Vatican position. Many people believed Ganswein misled Benedict, the cardinal, or both as a middleman between Benedict and the cardinal.

Some Vatican officials have called for clear rules regarding the status of any future pontiff who resigns as a result of the incident.

Francis has stated that if he were to resign, he would prefer the title Emeritus Bishop of Rome, as suggested by some. He has also stated that he will not live in the Vatican but rather in a Rome home for retired priests.

Benedict, an uncompromising conservative on social and theological issues, literally cloaked himself in tradition during his papacy, frequently donning fur-trimmed capes and red shoes in public appearances — a stark contrast to his successor’s more humble, down-to-earth style.

He enraged Muslims by implying that Islam is inherently violent, and he enraged Jews by rehabilitating a Holocaust denier. The gaffes and blunders reached a climax in 2012, when leaked documents revealed corruption, intrigue, and feuding within the Vatican.

As a result of the “Vatileaks” case, his butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and convicted of passing secret documents to a journalist. Benedict later forgave him. Gabriele was hired at a Vatican-owned hospital and died there in 2020.

Pope Benedict

Gay Clergy Lobby

The media speculated that the saga, which exposed allegations of a gay clergy lobby operating against the pope, might have put pressure on him to resign. Benedict insisted on stepping down because he could no longer bear the full weight of the papacy, including the exhausting international travel required by the job.

In a book-length interview published in 2016, he acknowledged his flaws but stated that his papacy was not a failure.

“Perhaps one of my weaknesses is a lack of resolve in governing and making decisions. In reality, I am more of a professor, someone who reflects and meditates on spiritual issues,” Benedict stated in the book “Last Testament,” written by German journalist Peter Seewald.

“Practical government is not my strong point and that is certainly a weakness. But I don’t consider myself a failure.” On April 16, 1927, in the southern German village of Marktl, close to Austria, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born.

During World War II, he was forcibly enrolled in the Hitler Youth and briefly held as a prisoner of war by the Allies, but he was never a member of the Nazi party.

“Neither Ratzinger nor any member of his family were National Socialists,” wrote John Allen, a leading Church expert, in a biography of Benedict.

Ratzinger was ordained as a priest in 1951 and rose to prominence as a liberal theological adviser at the Second Vatican Council, which convened in 1962 and resulted in profound Church reform.

pope benedict

God’s Rottweiler

The Marxism and atheism of the 1968 student protests across Europe, on the other hand, prompted him to become more conservative in order to defend the faith against growing secularism.

After stints as a theology professor and then Archbishop of Munich, Ratzinger was appointed in 1981 to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the successor office to the Inquisition, where he earned the epithet “God’s Rottweiler”.

After a period of experimentation, he and Pope John Paul agreed that traditional doctrine needed to be restored in the Church.

Ratzinger first addressed the popular “liberation theology” in Latin America, ordering the one-year silence of Brazilian friar Leonardo Boff in 1985, whose writings were criticized for using Marxist ideas.

Ratzinger applied pressure on theologians, primarily in Asia, who saw non-Christian religions as part of God’s plan for humanity in the 1990s.

Ratzinger’s office condemned “radical feminism” in a 2004 document as an ideology that undermined the family and obscured the natural differences between men and women.

Benedict sought to show the world the gentler side of his nature as Pope from 2005, but he never achieved the “rock star” status of John Paul or appeared particularly at ease in the job.

Child abuse scandals dogged him for the majority of his pontificate. He called for an official investigation into abuse in Ireland, which resulted in the resignation of several bishops.

During his pontificate, however, the Vatican’s relations with once-devoutly Catholic Ireland deteriorated. In 2011, Dublin closed its embassy to the Holy See.

pope benedict

Profound consternation

Victims demanded that the International Criminal Court investigate him. The Vatican ruled that he could not be held accountable for the crimes of others, and the court declined to hear the case.

In September 2013, he denied covering up the scandals. “As for your mentioning moral abuse of minors by priests, as you know, I can only acknowledge it with profound consternation.

“However, I never attempted to conceal these facts,” he wrote in a letter to Italian author Piergiorgio Odifreddi.

Benedict visited his homeland three times as Pope, confronting its dark past at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland. As a “son of Germany,” he prayed and asked why God was silent when 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, died there during World War II.

One of his trips to Germany triggered the first major crisis of his pontificate. In a 2006 university lecture, he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor as saying that Islam had only brought evil to the world, which was spread by the sword.

Following protests that included attacks on churches in the Middle East and the killing of a nun in Somalia, the pope apologized for any confusion his speech had caused.

Later that year, in a move widely perceived as conciliatory, he made a historic trip to predominantly Muslim Turkey, praying in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque with the city’s grand mufti.


Offending the Jews

In 2008, the pope visited the United States, where he apologized for the sexual abuse scandal, promised that pedophile priests would be expelled, and consoled abuse victims. But Benedict made a series of errors in 2009.

After lifting the excommunication of four traditionalist bishops, one of whom was a notorious Holocaust denier, the Jewish world and many Catholics were outraged. Benedict later stated that the Vatican should have done more research on him.

Jews were offended again in December 2009, when he relaunched the process of resurrecting his wartime predecessor Pius XII, who was accused by some Jews of turning a blind eye to the Holocaust, after a two-year pause for reflection.

In March 2009, the Pope shocked the world by telling reporters on a plane flying to Africa that the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS only made matters worse.

Benedict preferred to appoint men he trusted at the Vatican, and some of his early appointments were questioned.

He appointed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who had worked with him in the Vatican’s doctrinal office for years, as secretary of state, despite the fact that Bertone had no diplomatic experience. Bertone was later embroiled in a financial scandal involving the renovation of his Vatican apartment.

pope benedict

Pope Benedict wrote three encyclicals

Other religions criticized Benedict in 2007 when he approved a document that reiterated the Vatican’s position that non-Catholic Christian denominations were not full churches of Jesus Christ.

Critics saw his papacy as a concerted effort to reverse the reforms of the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965, which modernized the Church in sometimes turbulent ways.

Some Council decisions were rewritten by Benedict to conform to traditional practices such as the Latin Mass and highly centralized Vatican rule. One of the themes he frequently returned to was the threat of relativism, which rejected the idea that moral values were not absolute but rather relative to those who held them and the times in which they lived.

Pope Benedict wrote three encyclicals, the most important type of papal document, including Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope), an attack on atheism, in 2007. The 2009 Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) declaration called for a rethinking of how the global economy is run.

Despite the difficulties that came with having two men dressed in white in the Vatican, Francis developed a warm relationship with the man who was once dubbed “the Panzer Cardinal” and described it as being like having a grandfather in the house.

“He speaks little… but with the same profundity,” Francis once said.

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Norway Looks To Donate $7.3 Billion In Aid To Ukraine




COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The Norwegian government announced Monday that it plans to donate 75 billion kroner ($7.3 billion) to Kyiv as part of a five-year aid package, making the Scandinavian country one of the world’s largest donors to war-torn Ukraine.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stre said the money would be divided evenly between military and humanitarian aid over five years, each year receiving 15 billion kroner ($1.5 billion). Parliament will vote on the proposed aid package.

Last week, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the European Union has given Ukraine nearly 50 billion euros in economic, humanitarian, and military aid. The EU said earlier this month that on the 24th anniversary of the war, it would release its tenth set of sanctions against Russia. It will, among other things, target Russian military technology.


Norway Has Provided Ukraine With 10 Billion Kroner

Norway, which is not a member of the EU, provided Ukraine with more than 10 billion kroner ($1 billion) in civilian and military assistance last year.

“It will result in increased use of oil money,” Gahr Stre said, adding that he hopes the aid package will be approved by a “large majority” of the Norwegian parliament. The proposal is expected to be approved by a parliamentary majority.

“Supporting Ukraine means supporting a people in conflict, but supporting our fundamental security,” Gahr Stre said at a press conference.

“We are showing the Ukrainians that we will support them for a long time,” he said, adding that it would allow “better planning so that the money is used where the needs are greatest.”

Gahr Sre discussed a new Iron Curtain dividing east and west earlier Monday in Oslo.


Norway Says Oil Money Should Be Used To Support Ukraine

“The implications for Europe are difficult to overstate. A Russia in self-imposed exile is bad news for all of us.” He also stated, “Ukraine’s needs are enormous.”

The Norwegian government also proposed increasing aid to Ukraine-affected countries by 5 billion kroner ($490 million), with the money going toward humanitarian aid and food.

Last week, the Norwegian government said that oil money should be used to help Ukraine more.

Norway is one of the biggest fossil fuel exporters in Europe, and Ukraine’s conflict has increased its gas sales. However, Norway has refuted accusations of profiting from the Ukraine conflict.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago, European countries rushed to secure alternative energy sources, dramatically increasing demand — and price — for Norway’s oil and gas.



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China Accuses US Of Indiscriminate Use Of Force Over Balloon



china spy balloon

BEIJING, China — China said on Monday that the U.S. used indiscriminate force when it shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon. It said that the incident “seriously affected and hurt both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilizing Sino-US relations.”

The balloon was shot down off the coast of Carolina after passing over sensitive military sites across North America. China maintained that the flyover was an accident involving a civilian plane.

On Sunday, Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said that he filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Embassy regarding the “U.S. military attack on a Chinese civilian unmanned airship.”

“However, the U.S. turned a deaf ear and insisted on indiscriminate use of force against the civilian airship about to leave U.S. airspace, clearly overreacted, and seriously violated the spirit of international law and international practice,” Xie said.

The presence of the balloon in the skies above the United States dealt a severe blow to already strained US-Chinese relations, which have been declining for years. It prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel an important trip to Beijing aimed at defusing tensions.

Xie reiterated China’s claim that the balloon was a Chinese civil unmanned airship that erroneously entered U.S. airspace, calling it an “accidental incident caused by force majeure.”


U.S. Officials Shoot DownThe Balloon Over The Ocean

China will “resolutely safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests, resolutely safeguard China’s interests and dignity and reserve the right to make further necessary responses,” he said.

According to U.S. officials, U.S. President Joe Biden issued the shootdown order after being advised that the best time for the operation would be over water. Military officials determined that bringing the balloon down over land from a height of 60,000 feet (18,000 meters) would endanger people on the ground.

“What the United States has done has seriously impacted and harmed both sides’ efforts and progress in stabilizing Sino-US relations since the Bali meeting,” Xie said, referring to a recent meeting in Indonesia between Biden and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, that many hoped would create positive momentum for improving ties that have fallen to their lowest level in years.

On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning provided no new information, reiterating China’s insistence that the object was a civilian balloon intended for meteorological research, needed more ability to steer and entered U.S. airspace, accidentally diverging from its course. She also didn’t say what other steps China planned to take in response to Washington’s handling of the issue and the cancellation of Blinken’s trip, which would have made him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“We have stated that this is a completely isolated and accidental incident caused by force majeure, but the U.S. deliberately hyped up the incident and even used force to attack,” Mao said during a daily briefing. “This is a reckless and unacceptable action.”


Balloons Spotted Over Latin America And Japan

From Latin America to Japan, balloons thought to be Chinese have been spotted. Yoshihiko Isozaki, Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, told reporters on Monday that a flying object similar to the one shot down by the U.S. had been spotted twice over northern Japan since 2020.

“We’re still looking into them about the latest case in the United States,” he said.

Mao confirmed the identity of a Chinese balloon recently spotted over Latin America, describing it as a civilian airship used for flight tests.

“Due to weather and its limited self-control ability, the airship deviated significantly from its planned route and accidentally entered the space of Latin America and the Caribbean,” Mao explained.

Washington and Beijing disagree on things like trade and human rights, but China is especially upset about what it says are violations of its sovereignty and territorial integrity by the US and others.

Beijing is very against the U.S. selling weapons to Taiwan and against foreign politicians visiting the island, which it claims as Chinese territory and plans to take back by force if it has to.


Bejing Halted Talks With The U.S. Over The Balloon

It reacted to then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island in 2022 by firing missiles over it and staging threatening military drills seen as a practice for an invasion or blockade. Beijing also halted talks with the U.S. on issues unrelated to military tensions, such as climate change.

Last week, Mao warned Pelosi’s successor, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, not to visit Taiwan, implying that China would respond in kind.

“China will tenaciously defend its sovereignty, security, and development interests,” Mao declared. McCarthy claimed that China had no right to tell him where and when he could travel.

China also doesn’t like it when foreign military surveillance planes fly in international airspace near its coast or when U.S. and other foreign warships pass through the Taiwan Strait, which it says is a deliberate act of provocation.

A US Navy plane conducting routine surveillance near the Chinese coast collided with a Chinese fighter plane in 2001, killing the Chinese fighter pilot and damaging the American plane, forcing it to make an emergency landing at a Chinese naval airbase on the southern Chinese island province of Hainan. China detained the 24-member U.S. Navy aircrew for ten days until the U.S. expressed regret for the death of the Chinese pilot and for landing without permission at the base.


South China Sea Continues To Hold Tension

Another major source of contention is the South China Sea. China claims virtually the entire strategically important sea and protests when U.S. Navy ships sail past Chinese military installations there.

“The presence of this surveillance balloon over the United States in our skies is a clear violation of our sovereignty, a clear violation of international law, and unacceptable,” Blinken said at a news conference with his South Korean counterpart on Friday. And we’ve made that clear to China.”

“I believe that any country that has its airspace violated in this manner would respond similarly, and I can only imagine what the reaction would be in China if they were on the other end,” Blinken said.

According to Oriana Skylar Mastro, a Stanford University expert on Chinese military affairs and foreign policy, China’s weather balloon explanation should be rejected outright.


China May Have Lost Control Over The Balloon

“This is something that countries frequently say about surveillance assets,” Mastro said.

China may have made a mistake and lost control of the balloon, but Mastro believes it was unlikely to be a deliberate attempt to disrupt Blinken’s visit.

The decision by the U.S. administration to go public and then shoot down the balloon represents a departure from its usual approach of dealing with Beijing on such matters privately, possibly in the hope of changing China’s future behavior.

However, Mastro believes that Beijing will respond negatively.

“They’re probably going to dismiss that and continue as things have been. So I don’t see a clear path to improved relations shortly.”



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Powerful Quake Rocks Turkey And Syria, Kills More Than 5,000




ADANA, Turkey: On Monday, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook wide swaths of Turkey and neighboring Syria, killing over 5,000 people and injuring thousands more as it toppled thousands of buildings and trapped residents beneath mounds of rubble.

Authorities were worried that the number of deaths would go up as rescuers searched through twisted metal and concrete for survivors in a region already struggling with Syria’s 12-year civil war and a refugee crisis.

Residents startled awake by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside in the rain and snow to avoid falling debris while those trapped cried out for help. Throughout the day, major aftershocks shook the area, including one nearly as powerful as the initial quake. Workers were still sawing away slabs and pulling bodies after nightfall as desperate families awaited word on trapped loved ones.

“My grandson is one and a half years old. Please, please assist them. We haven’t been able to hear or communicate with them since the morning. Please, they were on the 12th floor,” Imran Bahur sobbed outside her destroyed apartment building in Adana, Turkey. Her daughter and family have yet to be found.

Tens of thousands of people who were left homeless in Turkey and Syria had to spend the night outside in the cold. People in Gaziantep, Turkey, a provincial capital about 33 kilometers (20 miles) from the epicenter, took shelter in shopping malls, stadiums, and community centers. Mosques were opened throughout the region to provide shelter.


The Quake Prompted Seven days Or National Mourning.

Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, declared seven days of national mourning.

The earthquake, centered in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, sent residents of Damascus and Beirut fleeing into the streets and was felt as far away as Cairo.

The quake added to the misery in a region that has suffered greatly over the last decade. On the Syrian side, the area is split between government-held land and the country’s last opposition stronghold, which is surrounded by government forces with help from Russia. Meanwhile, Turkey is home to millions of civil war refugees.

According to the White Helmets, an opposition emergency organization, hundreds of families remained trapped in rubble in the rebel-held enclave. The area is densely populated, with approximately 4 million people displaced from other parts of the country due to the war. Many of them live in buildings that previous bombardments have already destroyed.

According to rescue workers, strained health facilities quickly filled with injured. According to the SAMS medical organization, others, including a maternity hospital, had to be emptied.

According to Orhan Tatar, a disaster management official in Turkey, over 6,400 people were rescued across ten provinces.


Earth Quakes Frequently shake Up the Area.

The area is situated on major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. In 1999, similar powerful earthquakes struck northwest Turkey, killing 18,000 people.

The US Geological Survey assigned a magnitude of 7.8 to Monday’s quake, which occurred at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles). A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) away hours later.

The second jolt in the afternoon caused a multistory apartment building in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa to topple face-forward onto the street. According to a video of the scene, the structure disintegrated into rubble and created a cloud of dust as bystanders screamed.

There were reports that thousands of buildings had fallen down in a large area that went from Aleppo and Hama in Syria to Diyarbakir in Turkey quake, which is more than 330 kilometers (200 miles) to the northeast.

Authorities reported that over 5,600 buildings were destroyed in Turkey alone. Hospitals in the Turkish city of Iskenderun were damaged, and one collapsed.

Dr. Steven Godby, an expert on natural disasters at Nottingham Trent University, thinks that the rescuers may have less time to save trapped people if it is very cold. He said that working in war-torn civil areas would complicate rescue efforts even more.


Countries Around The World Are Offering Their Assistance

Hundreds of countries, the European Union, and NATO all offered help, like search-and-rescue teams, money, and medical supplies. Most of them were going to Turkey. Russia and even Israel had promised to help the Syrian government, but it was not clear if any would make it to the rebel-held pocket in the northwest, which was in ruins.

Syrian Civil Defense, which is part of the opposition, has said that the situation in the enclave is “disastrous.”

The government and Russia have been bombing the area held by the opposition in Idlib province for years. Everything the territory needs, from food to medicine, comes from neighboring Turkey.

Osama Abdel Hamid told a hospital in Idlib that most of his neighbors died. He claimed their four-story shared building collapsed as he, his wife, and three children ran for the exit. A wooden door fell on them, serving as a shield.

“God gave me a fresh start,” he said.

The bodies of several dead children, wrapped in blankets, were brought to a hospital in the small Syrian rebel-held town of Azmarin in the mountains near the Turkish border.

Four or five TV screens in Turkey showed live coverage of rescue efforts in the provinces that were hit the hardest.

Rescuers pulled two children alive from the rubble in Kahramanmaras, and one could be seen lying on a stretcher on the snowy ground. CNN Turk says that a rescue dog found a woman who was still alive and brought her to safety in Gaziantep.


Over 12.000 Injured In Ten Different Turkish Provinces

In Adana, about 20 people, some wearing emergency rescue jackets, used power saws to saw out space for survivors to climb out or be rescued from a collapsed building’s cement mountain.

“I don’t have the strength anymore,” one survivor could be heard saying from beneath the rubble of another building in Adana earlier in the day as rescue workers tried to reach him, according to a resident, Muhammet Fatih Yavuz, a journalism student.

Hundreds of rescue workers and civilians formed lines across a mountain of wreckage in Diyarbakir. They passed down pieces of broken concrete, household items, and other debris as they looked for people who were trapped under the wreckage.

According to Turkish authorities, at least 1,762 people were killed, and over 12,000 were injured in ten Turkish provinces. According to the Health Ministry, the death toll in government-held areas of Syria has risen to 593, with 1,400 injured. At least 450 people have died and hundreds have been hurt, according to groups that work in the rebel-held northwest of the country.

Huseyin Yayman, a legislator from Turkey’s Hatay province, said several family members were trapped beneath the rubble of their collapsed homes.

“There are so many other people trapped,” he told Haber Turk television over the phone. “So many buildings have been damaged. There are people on the streets. It’s winter; it’s raining.”





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