Pope in Bologna breaks bread with migrants, urges hope
BOLOGNA, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis pressed his campaign for Europe to open its doors to migrants Sunday, visiting a migrant center in northern Italy, breaking bread with refugees and insisting that politicians work for the most marginalized people and not special interests.
During a busy day in Bologna, Francis spent over an hour meeting with hundreds of migrants, greeting them one-by-one and patiently posing for selfies under drizzly skies. He hosted a luncheon of lasagna and turkey for asylum-seekers and prisoners in Bologna’s basilica, sitting down at a table in front of the altar.
He drew cheers when he ad-libbed that he knew the migrants were desperate to have identification documents, and again when he insisted that each one had a name and a story of the tragedies endured to arrive in Italy. He donned the same plastic ID bracelet that the migrants were wearing and led hundreds in silent prayer for those who died in the journey.
Francis, the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, urged European countries to open humanitarian corridors to let refugees in more quickly. And he pressed local leaders to integrate migrants into their communities.
Mexico quake toll 361; 8 still missing in collapsed building
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll from Mexico’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake rose to 361 on Sunday after another casualty was confirmed in the capital, where a search continued at a collapsed seven-story office building in a central neighborhood.
National Civil Defense chief Luis Felipe Puente reported on Twitter that the dead include 220 people killed in Mexico City by the Sept. 19 quake. The rest were in Morelos, Puebla and three other states.
The toll has continued to climb gradually nearly two weeks after the earthquake as bodies keep being pulled from the rubble — though nearly all the collapse sites have been cleared by now in Mexico City.
Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said eight people were still believed to be missing inside the wreckage of the office building, one of 38 structures that toppled in the capital.
Rescuers “continue to work intensely” at the site, Mancera said in a Sunday briefing on rescue and recovery efforts.
He also confirmed the latest figure of 220 dead in his city and said all but one had been identified. Female victims outnumbered male victims 136 to 84, and 29 of the dead were children.
Paris is for walkers and cyclists as city bans cars for day
PARIS (AP) — Parisians and tourists were encouraged to stroll through the City of Light on Sunday as officials banned cars from its streets for a day.
Paris has experimented with car-free days in the past, but Sunday marked the first time the entire city was handed over to ramblers, cyclists and roller-bladers.
Only emergency vehicles, buses and taxis were allowed on the streets from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Paris time.
“It’s nice for the air quality, for enjoying the city, walking around without any noise, without any risk to be run over by a car,” Maxime Denis said as he strolled near Place de la Republique in the city center. “But it should be a real no car day. There are still a few so we are careful.”
Another resident, Francois Boillat, noted that “as a Parisian, I only use public transport all the time, even though I have a car buried in a sixth basement car park and I barely use it. It is a bit stupid. I should sell it.”
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo was elected on a promise to curb air pollution and reduce car traffic in the French capital, where vehicle emissions are often high.
The car-free day created a potential headache for the organizers of Paris fashion week, who rely on trucks to install and remove lavish, sky’s-the-limit shows. Worried fashion houses like Valentino sent out numerous email reminders to guests who planned to arrive by car, reminding them to organize alternative transport.
The Paris couture federation, which supports the initiative, spent months working with police and local authorities to ensure events ran smoothly.