Spain’s Rafael Nadal poses with the Mousquetaires Cup (The Musketeers) after his victory in the men’s singles final match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem, on day fifteen of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULTIf Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he’d have to amend his belief that death and taxes are life’s only certainties and add a third — Rafael Nadal winning the French Open.The Spaniard secured an 11th title at Roland Garros on Sunday and 17th major of his career.ADVERTISEMENT Nadal wins 11th French Open title, beats Thiem in 3 sets Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Injury miseryHis idiosyncracies are just as charming to his supporters.His picking at the rear of his shorts and mopping of his brow, aligned with his obsessive devotion to lining up his water bottles, are parts of the Nadal DNA.Victory on Sunday moved Nadal to just three Slams behind his great rival Roger Federer who, at 36, is more than four years older.It also reignited the debate over who is actually the greatest player of all time even though the two men have shared the last six majors between them.Nadal’s Grand Slam CV boasts 11 French Opens, three US Open titles, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open.He has now also joined Federer and Novak Djokovic in passing the $100 million prize money barrier.Tennis has been good for Nadal but he has been just as influential as a key driver of the sport’s growth.He won an under-12 regional crown at age eight and by 12 had captured Spanish and European age-group junior titles.By 15, he had turned professional and, two years later, won his first match against Federer. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READ Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award At 19, he won the 2005 French Open on his debut.It was early in his career when Nadal began his habit of biting the championship trophies he wins.Nadal added Wimbledon crowns in 2008 and 2010, an Australian Open title in 2009 and completed the career Grand Slam in 2010 by defeating Djokovic in the US Open final, becoming the youngest in the Open era (since 1967) to complete the four-event career sweep.And only Nadal and Andre Agassi can say they have a career Grand Slam and an Olympic men’s singles gold medal, Nadal having claimed his in 2008 at Beijing.Nadal added another US Open crown at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York in 2013 and a third last year.Knee injuries have taken a toll throughout his career, costing him nine Slam appearances, and after he failed to even reach a Slam semi-final in 2015 and 2016 some figured his greatest moments were behind him.But Nadal roared into the 2017 Australian Open final, losing to Federer, then captured his record 10th French Open crown in June last year, setting the stage for another title run in the Flushing Meadows fortnight at the US Open in September.Only Nadal, Pete Sampras and Ken Rosewall have managed the feat of winning Grand Slam titles in their teens, 20s and 30s. Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES “I have doubts every day but that’s good as it makes me work hard with more intensity,” said Nadal last year when he captured his 10th French Open, a year after his latest battle with a wrist injury forced him to withdraw from the tournament after two rounds.That shock exit prompted speculation that Nadal was finished as a heavyweight of the sport.“You have to be humble and accept that you have to work to improve things,” added Nadal.“Life is never clear. If you have no doubts, then you are very arrogant. I am not an arrogant person.”It is that forthright modesty which endears Nadal to his legion of fans as is his respect for opponents, never forgetting to applaud every vanquished foe off court.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced He now has 86 match wins on Paris’ famous crushed red brick against just two defeats in 13 years.Juan Martin del Potro, who was run ragged by the world number one on Court Philippe Chatrier in this year’s semi-finals, was right to state that it’s almost impossible to beat Nadal on clay.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownHowever, you will never hear Nadal echo similar brash confidence despite his straight-sets win over Dominic Thiem in the final.Just as happy fishing or playing golf in Mallorca, Nadal is ruthless on the tennis court but disarmingly humble off it. View comments
About 100 young people recruited from various communities in Paynesville have been hired to work as contractors at the Community Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) in Zubah Town, Paynesville.CHAP hired the youths a month ago, to empower them earn incomes through the initiative of Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.It may be recalled that in April of this year, the Liberian president visited the CHAP project and promised to underwrite the cost for labor in an effort to expand CHAP’s works and help some interested young people in Paynesville get little cash to solve domestic problems.“I am impressed that some of the citizens are working to till the soil in the Monrovia and so I stand to support their efforts,” President Sirleaf stated during her visit at the urban agriculture project.CHAP was founded in 2008 aimed at prioritizing urban agriculture to enhance food security in Liberia. The farm land covered about 75 acres but just a very little portion is cultivated with rice and vegetables, due to the damage of the irrigation structures.Speaking to the Daily Observer Farmer Desk recently in Zubah Town, the youths expressed delight for the opportunity created to work as laborers on the farm.“I am glad that there is job for me here that I find to do for a living. I am very thankful to Mama Sirleaf for this opportunity,” said Elijah Yoursee, age 23.Yoursee, a high school dropout, earned his living by crushing rocks in his community prior to the CHAP’s farm work. He said that it is his plan to get more money to enable him further his education in the near future.“We want the President Sirleaf to continue to support the initiative for us to remain here and work,” he said.Farming work is not an interest for many of Liberians youths, especially the young people residing in Monrovia. Many of the youths prefer motorcycling for quick income. But Yoursee said working on the farm will lead him to acquire skills in agriculture to make him a farmer.“Before then, I did not know how to plant rice in the swamp. But it is now that I have learned such a skill,” he added.As for Jonah Brown, agriculture is important for young people because it enhances self-employment. “We cannot always expect to get imported food from Europe and Asia because our country has rich soil to feed itself. It would be good for many of us youths to venture into agriculture,”According to Brown, young Liberians going into farming will help reduce the level of unemployment facing them.Meanwhile, the farm technician of the CHAP project, John Koffeh, said that the president’s initiative has brought some level of relief to the project.About 25 plots planted with NERICA rice were harvested through the practice of the system of rice intensification (SRI). SRI is a new technology for growing lowland rice, where less seeds are sown to get more yield.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has announced that there is a possibility that the party may break away from the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) for this year’s Local Government Elections.This announcement was made on Monday by AFC Leader Raphael Trotman during a press conference at the party’s head office, where several updates were provided to the media regarding its work.Trotman said, “There is a strong opinion of body within the party that we should go alone.” However, in the same breath, he said that there was another view that the AFC should seek to enter a new accord.AFC Leader Raphael TrotmanThe party leader explained that the Cummingsburg Accord that was signed between the AFC and APNU in 2015 was just to facilitate the General Election and did not include local elections.“We are currently assessing the views of the various party leaders here in Guyana and outside of Guyana, and we would have met with the APNU and other parties to get a sense…and make a decision well before the date is announced for Local Government Elections,” he added.The AFC has, of recent, come under fire for the perceived submissive role it played when it joined forces with APNU. In mid-November 2017, the top leadership of the AFC had decided to revise its governing agreement with its coalition partner. This decision was taken after the AFC – the smaller of the two groups forming the Government – was accused of being coerced by its large partner.Speaking about the discussions surrounding the review of this Accord, Trotman said that it was still on the party’s agenda and it has sought to get some other views to begin the process.“We have, in fact, identified a team that will represent us in upcoming talks, because, like I said, the Accord has a lifespan of a minimum of three years and a maximum of five. And it was geared primarily towards national elections. It was very silent on Local Government Elections,” he explained.The Cummingsburg Accord Review Committee (CARC) has eight members: Dr Vincent Adams, Dr Rohan Somar, Marlon Williams, David Patterson, Joel Edmond, Sherod Duncan and one representative each from the party’s Women for Change and Youth for Change arms.The AFC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has mandated the party leadership to formally write to APNU with regard to the review and revision of the Cummingsburg Accord.Trotman had committed to write to meet with APNU to initiate discussions with regard to the revision of the Accord, which was signed before the last General Election.But several months have passed and Trotman is yet to write APNU. This was made clear by APNU Secretary Joseph Harmon, who said recently that to date, no correspondence was received.This process must be completed by the third anniversary of the signing of the Accord, February 14, 2018.There have been reports that the AFC was not too comfortable with the current Cummingsburg Accord which sets out how the two coalition partners would divide up the Ministries.Under the current configuration of the Government, the AFC received the portfolios of the Prime Minister, Public Security, Public Infrastructure, and the Agriculture Ministries, among others.Commenting on whether the coalition between the AFC and APNU was working well, Trotman noted that the Cummingsburg Accord pact was working well. The AFC leader declined to discuss the contrary aspects of the coalition’s mechanisms, but said the AFC saw areas that should be strengthened.Trotman said despite repeated concerns, the AFC’s membership has been growing and the party would be relying on both new media and face-to-face community outreaches.The AFC is also in the process of raising funds to assist with its run for Local Government Elections.
Gomez was booed when he came on as a substitute in the 7-0 mauling of Montenegro, while Henderson missed it due to a one-match ban.Victory assured England of a place at the finals.“Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez will miss England’s final UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier in Kosovo on Sunday,” read a statement from the Football Association (FA).“Henderson arrived in camp with a viral infection that has not fully cleared.“Meanwhile, his Liverpool team-mate Gomez sustained a knock to the knee in training on Friday and has not recovered sufficiently enough to travel.“The pair have returned to their club meaning the Three Lions will head to Pristina on Saturday with a 23-man squad.”England may have assured themselves of a place in the finals but Southgate wants a win on Sunday to ensure they are seeded in the top six.Sterling is expected to play a role after being dropped for the Montenegro game due to the Gomez incident, for which he apologised.Kosovo will be in the play-offs next March having progressed through the Nations League, so their dream of reaching a first major tournament finals is still alive.0Shares0000(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Joe Gomez was booed when he came on in England’s 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 16 – Liverpool full-back Joe Gomez’s rollercoaster week, from the high of beating Manchester City last Sunday to being booed at Wembley on Thursday, ended with him missing England’s final Euro 2020 qualifier in Kosovo due to a sore knee.The 22-year-old — whose Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson also misses the trip to Kosovo with a viral infection — featured in the headlines earlier in the week after City striker Raheem Sterling confronted him at England’s training centre on Monday, the day after Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over City.
Raphoe 1st XI Ladies made the two hour trip to Belfast yesterday to take on Victorians 1st XI Ladies at Queens playing fields.They started the brighter of the two teams with Raphoe exerting a lot of pressure on Victorians in the opening 10 minutes.However Victorains were first to break the deadlock, when a long hit out from the Vics defender, broke through Raphoes high press, giving the Victorains forward a one on one with Raphoe keeper Denise Mc Elhinney. She rounded the keeper and passed to the oncoming forward who calmly slotted the ball into the open net.The momentum switched to the home team but Raphoe dug deep and continued to plug away and with dogged determination won themselves numerous short corners and well placed frees but to no avail. Leanne Patterson was awarded a 2minute sinbin for not retreating the 5 yards and with 10 players Raphoe sat back allowing Victorains into the game but they were unable to break the defence of Victoria Wray, Lyndsey Tinney, Sarah Boal and Arlyne Kilpatrick. The half ended 1-0 to Victorains. After a strongly worded and motivational team talk from coach Richard Tinney, Raphoe started the stronger of the 2 teams.They had great inter-locking play from the back line through to the front putting the pressure on the Vic’s keeper, but she was on form and made some fine saves with the defenders sweeping the ball clear from the incoming danger of the Raphoe sticks.The Victorains captain made some driving runs at the Raphoe defence but with the help from the midfield of Rachel Buchanan, Esther Hume, Sarah Patterson, Leanne Patterson and Shannon Porter they stood strong and the Raphoe keeper was not tested throughout the second half.The equaliser came in the 24th minute, when Esther Hume passed square to Lyndsey Tinney who drilled the ball into the D, where Kimberly Porter met the ball and fired home. Raphoe continued to press with some fine runs down both the left and right hand sides, with the Raphoe forwards of Sabrina Barnett, Kimberly Porter, Katy Love running into space to create holes for their teammates. Vics were rattled and a few players were sin binned for various offences including mouthing at the umpires. The winning goal came 7 minutes from time, when Sarah B passed down the left line to Rachel B who found Shannon Porter open high in the Victorains half. Porter drove the back line and passed to S Barnett who reversed the ball into the net.With Raphoe 2-1 up & Vic’s tiring, Raphoe continued to press, hitting the post and shooting just wide on a few occasions. The last few minutes saw both sides breaking but the game ended 2-1 to Raphoe.Players: Denise Mc Elhinney, Victoria Wray, Lyndsey Tinney, Arlyne Kilpatrick, Sarah Boal, Louise Moran, Shannon Porter, Esther Hume, Sarah Patterson, Rachel Buchanan, Kimberly Porter, Sabrina Barnett, Leanne Patterson, Wendy Patterson.Coach: Richard Tinney.Elsewhere, Raphoe 2nd XI Ladies played Derg valley 2nds at home on the grit at the Royal and Prior. The local derby saw Raphoe come out on top, winning 2-0. Goals game from Helen Lecky during a well worked short corner and from Liffey Mckinney in the dying moments of the game.Next week Raphoe 1st entertain Ballyclare at the Royal and Prior.Elsewhere, Raphoe 2nd XI Ladies played Derg valley 2nds at home on the grit at the Royal and Prior. The local derby saw Raphoe come out on top, winning 2-0. Goals game from Helen Lecky during a well worked short corner and from Liffey Mckinney in the dying moments of the game.Next week Raphoe 1st entertain Ballyclare at the Royal and Prior. HOCKEY: RAPHOE LADIES OVERCOME VICTORIANS IN TIGHT CONTEST was last modified: January 24th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalhockeyLadiesRaphoe
Emergency services are appealing to road users to be extremely careful due to icy conditions again today.Roads in many parts of Co Donegal are affected.Motorists using all routes are warned to take care – even major routes gritted overnight. The outside lane at Drumkeen is very slippy as is the Letterkenny to Lifford Road.Met Éireann says an overnight frost saw temperatures in some areas drop to -5C.Many secondary routes and back roads are slippy in places.The cold snap will be over soon, said Met Eireann. An Atlantic front over Ireland this evening will bring rain – and some sleet – but will take temperatures back up. WEATHER WARNING: ICE CAUSES PROBLEMS ON THE ROADS was last modified: February 3rd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegal weather warning
A Co Donegal bridge estimated to be almost 150 years old has been torn down and replaced.The bridge at Letterbrick, Cloghan was demolished on Friday and replaced with a new steel structure yesterday. Our pictures show the bridge just hours before it was replaced.The bridge was originally built to take just animals and foot pedestrians but vehicles soon began to use the bridge.Donegal County Council decided the bridge was too dangerous and replaced the bridge. HISTORIC BRIDGE TORN DOWN AND REPLACED – PICTURE SPECIAL was last modified: November 11th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bridgeCloghanLetterbrick
The fourth annual Loinneog Lúnasa festival promises to be an unforgettable weekend of ceol, cultúir and craic. A celebration of Irish traditional music and culture. Taking place from the 8-11th August and attracting music enthusiasts from all the world, the line up includes Na Casaidigh, Na Bonney Men, Clann Mac Ruaidhrí, The Unwanted and New Road all performing in various venues throughout the parish. Local star Emma Ní Fhíoruisce renowned for her pop covers as Gaeilge of Fleetwood Mac, Eagle Eyed Cherry and Guns na Roses will be showcasing her new material!Emma, who is deeply inspired by Clannad and Altan, will perform her new song which is about Gaoth Dobhair and how it feels coming home, aptly called “Ar ais go Gaoth Dobhair”.This young singer is exactly what Loinneog Lúnasa is all about.Mairead Ní Mhaonigh and sister Ann have both commented on what a natural musical talent Emma has, that she has the ability to mix modern with traditional and sound original. Festival organizer Cathal O Gallachóír, says that “This festival not only celebrates musical tradition, but also nurtures and encourages musicians and singers to carry the tradition forward.“This is why there are workshops, recitals and concerts with the best of Irish music.Other special events include a special one-day event dedicated to Sean Nós Singing.If you’re interested in Sean Nós as a beginner or otherwise and would like to learn new songs and techniques, this is the perfect opportunity.Acclaimed local Sean Nós singers Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde & Connie Mhary Mhicí will be joined by Éamon ó Donnchadha & Saileog Ní Cheannabháin will deliver singing workshops at An Gaileairí.Throughout the day each artist will teach two songs. They’ll then perform a concert later in the evening joined by the renowned piper Gay McKeon, (CEO of NPU) on the uileann pipes.The uileann pipes are a regular highlight at Loinneog Lúnasa, with last year’s ‘Tionól’ attracting pipers from all over the country and expect this gathering to continue this year.Gay Mc Keon will deliver workshops between 10 and 3pm and there will be a rare opportunity to ‘try the pipes’ with local piping teacher Conor Day and overseas Cuban student Alexander Suarez Mendez on Saturday the 9th between 10 and 1pm.Alexander Suarez Mendez is part of the Buena Vista Pipers Club in Havana – In 2011 Gay Mc Keon was invited to play at Celtfest. He had brought along sets of pipes for people to try, and said, “There were queues of people waiting to try and it took off from there. (Journal.ie)Alexander is currently in Ireland following a fundraising campaign by Irish pipers to bring this piping student to Ireland to learn more about the pipes, including making them, so he can bring these skills back to Cuba and continue to teach.Gay said, “Alexander is innately musical and people will be thrilled to hear him play. Even the way he interprets slow airs, which is a difficult thing for anyone even if you are immersed in the tradition. It is astonishing.”So those of you who are interested in the uilleann pipes are in for a special treat at Loinneog Lúnasa this year and we anticipate some unforgettable sessions in the local bars and hotels.Gaoth Dobhair, the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht and an area famous the world over for being a cradle of Irish culture and home to musical acts such as Enya, Altan, Clannad, Donal Lunny, Bothy Band, and Clann Uí Dhomhnaill of Skara Brae and younger acts like an Crann Óg and Noílín ní Cholla is proud to promote such a rich tapestry of local talent.With music and singing workshops, set dancing, open mic, craft market, a full moon beach walk and fun for all the family, there was never a better time to visit Gaoth Dobhair.All this and spectacular scenery and atmosphere, Loinneog Lúnasa presents a musical backdrop to a wonderfully cultural, family friendly festival.Also check out the Loinneog Lunasa Festival flybreak offer via Dublin and Glasgow in association with mng.ie & Donegal Airport.(www.mng.ie/whatson)LOINNEOG LÚNASA – A CELEBRATION OF TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC AND CULTURE BEGINS NEXT WEEK was last modified: August 1st, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CultureEntertainmentFeaturesGaoth DobhairIrish MusicLoinneag LúnasanewsTraditional
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The world “must make very clear to the Syrians that this is a really serious matter and that their nonchalant attitude, their efforts to discredit the investigation … are not the attitude of the international community,” Rice said. Noting that the Mehlis report will be followed by a second U.N. report soon, Rice appeared to acknowledge that several other nations apparently prefer to wait until Mehlis delivers his final report in December before discussing whether to impose economic sanctions on Damascus. Nations with a seat on the powerful U.N. Security Council, including the United States, plan to send foreign ministers to New York next week to discuss Syria and the new report. Rice plans to attend. “We are very confident, very content to go ahead and debate the Mehlis report,” and then to deal separately with the second report when it comes, Rice said. “This is all about Syrian behavior, but if people want to sequence it, fine, we can sequence it.” The United States and France are gathering support for a U. N. Security Council resolution demanding Syria’s cooperation in the investigation into the Hariri’s killing. “Everybody thinks that certainly a resolution would be appropriate with respect to this report, at least in the initial discussions that we have had among our close allies,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington. Bush said with the French and British are on board, “it’s too early to tell” which other countries will support the United States. The second report, which U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was likely to distribute this week, is expected to implicate Syria in arms smuggling or anti-Israeli instigation in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. The United States has been in the forefront of criticism of Syria for several months, both because of long-standing suspicion that Syria was behind Hariri’s killing in February and because the United States accuses Syria of allowing arms and foreign fighters to cross its border with Iraq. The United States already has restricted trade and economic ties with Syria, a nation the State Department access of sponsoring terrorism, but a cutoff of European trade with Syria would be a major economic blow. “There will be action,” Rice said Monday. “The matter of when is a question of diplomacy.” Associated Press writers Barry Schweid in Washington and Edith Lederer in New York contributed to this report. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! OTTAWA, Canada – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that Syria should drop its “nonchalant attitude” about a United Nations report implicating it in a political killing, but she indicated the United States may be willing to put off a drive for tough international sanctions. President George W. Bush said, meanwhile, he hoped the world was not heading to a confrontation with Syria, but said “serious pressure” must be applied against Damascus. He said diplomacy should be given a chance to work before the United States responds with military attacks. “The military is always the last option,” Bush said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television. “And this is a chance for the world to work together to achieve a diplomatic solution.” Speaking to reporters en route to a brief diplomatic visit in Canada, Rice said Syria must take seriously last week’s findings from U.N. investigator Detlev Mehlis into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Benedict said joy liberates people. “With a smile, an act of kindness, a little help, forgiveness, you can bring joy, and that joy will come back to you,” the pope said. Benedict was keeping up a tradition cherished by his predecessor, John Paul II, who devoted many Sunday mornings to visiting Rome’s parishes from the affluent historic center of the city to lower-class neighborhoods on the outskirts. For his first visit, Benedict chose Santa Maria Consolatrice, a church in a working-class neighborhood near the outskirts. The church had been his titular church as cardinal from 1977 to 1993. He told the parishioners he was happy to return to their church. Before heading back to the Vatican in an open-top car, he put on a long white coat to guard against the chill and stood on the steps of the church, where he wished the several thousand people outside “many, many wishes for a Christmas and a happy New Year.” Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that joy, and not a costly present, is the true gift of Christmas as he made his first visit as pontiff to a Rome parish. “You should bring joy, not expensive gifts that cost time and money,” Benedict said in a homily that he delivered without notes for about 15 minutes in a sometimes hoarse voice. He also proposed joy as an antidote to the ills of society. “In today’s world, God is absent,” Benedict said. “People need anesthesia to live. They live in a dark world.” The atmosphere was warm as Benedict shook the hands of many parishioners, but less informal than John Paul’s visits to churches in line with a pontiff’s role as Bishop of Rome. John Paul, who died in April, made it to 301 out of Rome’s 334 parishes, often lingering to banter with children. When his health deteriorated toward the end of his papacy and the Sunday morning outings became too strenuous for him, John Paul started greeting parish groups at the Vatican. – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!