The Wider World

The Pope and President meet

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN is greeted by Pope Francis in the Vatican. First Lady Jill Biden is at center (Vatican Media).

President Joe Biden and Pope Francis met at the Vatican on Friday where – according to Biden – the Holy Father said the president was “a good Catholic” and endorsed him continuing to receive communion.

According to the Associated Press, the two spoke privately at length about climate change, global poverty and the effects of coronavirus. The topic of abortion was not discussed.

“We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion,” said Biden. Some conservative bishops have argued that since Biden did not support overturning the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing abortion, he should not be allowed to receive that sacrament.

Biden has said that he personally disapproves of abortion, but didn’t want his personal opinions to interfere with national policy.

The pope’s reception to the president was described by the AP was “warm,” contrasting it with former president Donald Trump’s meeting with the pontiff in 2017, who was “stone-faced.”

FDA approves vaccine for 5-to11 year olds

THE PFIZER vaccine (one-third dose) has been approved for 5-11 year-olds. (Flickr/

A one-third dose of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 was approved for “emergency use” by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, clearing the way for an estimated 28 million American boys and girls to be inoculated against COVID-19.

The New York Times reports that the “jabs” will be available almost immediately at pediatrician’s offices, pharmacies, community health centers and children’s hospitals. Fifteen million doses are ready immediately, according to The Times.

So far, 8,300 children in that age group have been hospitalized for coronavirus and as many as 170 have died.

In California, school children will not be allowed to return to classes after July 1, 2022 if not vaccinated against the virus.

Also in the news …

  • The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a mandate in Maine requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The rule did not offer a religious exemption.
  • The way the U.S. handled its submarine sales deal with Australia was “clumsy,” President Joe Biden admitted Friday on a trip to France. The subs were originally going to be built in France. He comments came after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Sports: The scene shifts to Atlanta

Against a backdrop of criticism that the tomahawk “chop” done by fans of the Atlanta Braves is offensive to some Native Americans, the World Series of baseball resumes today (Friday) in Atlanta with the Braves and visiting Houston Astros tied with one win each. The game is set to start at 5:09 p.m. Pacific time.

  • The Los Angeles Clippers (1-3) are visiting the Portland Trailblazers (2-2) tonight, while the Los Angeles Lakers (2-3) are hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Anaheim Ducks (2-4-2) are in Las Vegas visiting the Golden Knights (3-4-0).

Weather:  Dig out your sweaters

A cooling trend takes hold in the West Orange County area on Saturday as the thermometer drops to daytime high of 72 degrees (58 degrees at night) under partly cloudy skies. Sunday should see morning clouds and afternoon sun and a high of 69 with an overnight low of 56. Monday will be cloudy with a high of 68 (55). In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, Saturday will be a bit cooler with a high of 68 (59 low), dropping to 66 (57) on Sunday.



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