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Pope, for first time, says China's Uighurs are 'persecuted' – Reuters

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In a new book, Pope Francis for the first time calls China’s Muslim Uighurs a “persecuted” people, something human rights activists have been urging him to do for years.

Pope Francis delivers his homily during a Mass celebrated as part of World Youth Day, at St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, November 22, 2020. Vincenzo Pinto/Pool via REUTERS

In the wide-ranging “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future,” Francis also says the COVID-19 pandemic should spur governments to consider permanently establishing a universal basic income.

In the book, a 150-page collaboration with his English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh, Francis speaks of economic, social and political changes he says are needed to address inequalities after the pandemic ends. It goes on sale on Dec. 1.

He also says people who see wearing masks as an imposition by the state are “victims only in their imagination” and praises those who protested against the death of George Floyd in police custody for rallying around the “healthy indignation” that united them.

“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi,” he said in a section where he also talks about persecuted Christians in Islamic countries.

While the pope has spoken out before about the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, and the killing of Yazidi by Islamic State in Iraq, it was the first time he mentioned the Uighurs.

Faith leaders, activist groups and governments have said crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place against Uighurs in China’s remote Xinjiang region, where more than 1 million people are held in camps.

Last month, during a conference at the Vatican, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted China over its treatment of Uighurs.

Beijing has rejected the allegations as a attempt to discredit China, saying the camps are vocational education and training centres as part of counter-terrorism and deradicalisation measures.

Many commentators have said the Vatican was reluctant to speak out on the Uighurs earlier because it was in the process of renewing a controversial accord with Beijing on the appointment of bishops. The accord, which Pompeo urged the Vatican to abandon, was renewed in September.

Francis also gives his clearest support to date in the book to universal basic income (UBI), a controversial policy espoused by some economists and sociologists in which governments give a fixed amount of money to each citizen with no conditions attached.

UBI was a cornerstone of the campaign of Andrew Yang last year during the Democratic presidential primaries in the United States.

“Recognising the value to society of the work of nonearners

is a vital part of our rethinking in the post-Covid world. That’s why I believe it is time to explore concepts like the universal basic income (UBI) …” he said.

“By providing a universal basic income, we can free and enable people to work for the community in a dignified way,” he said.

Francis again criticised trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.

He called it “the false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer.”

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing By Tom Brown

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Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes ruled out vs. Browns due to concussion – Sportsnet.ca

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was knocked out of the divisional-playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday with a concussion in the third quarter.

Mahomes tucked the ball on a quarterback option with 7:27 left in the third quarter and tried to reach the first-down marker on third-and-1 near midfield. He was brought down hard by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson, who had managed to get ahold of him around his helmet. Mahomes was wobbly when he got up and had to be helped from the field, then was checked briefly in the blue tent on the sideline before jogging into the Kansas City locker room.

Chad Henne entered the game for Mahomes, who had been hobbling for much of the game after hurting his foot in the first quarter. Henne played the entirety of Kansas City’s loss to the Chargers in Week 17, when coach Andy Reid sat Mahomes and several other starts with the No. 1 seed and first-round playoff bye already secured.

Henne led the Chiefs to a field goal that made it 22-10 with 4:24 left in the third quarter. Henne went down the tunnel to check on Mahomes when the third quarter ended.

The Chiefs announced early in the fourth quarter that Mahomes will not return.

Meanwhile, the Browns lost left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. to an ankle injury and his backup, Kendall Lamm, to an elbow injury, forcing them to turn to Blake Hance. Hance was signed from the Jets practice squad on Jan. 2 to provide some depth to an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries and COVID-19 since the start of the new year.

Hance made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter of their wild-card win over Pittsburgh.

Wills remained down after Nick Chubb’s carry on the Browns’ first offensive play of the game before limping to the sideline with help from the training staff. He was listed as questionable to return before being ruled out at halftime.

Lamm was replaced at the start of the second half, helping the Browns drive 77 yards for a touchdown.

The injuries to the two left tackles made it even more important that Jack Conklin was active. The All-Pro right tackle had been questionable after hurting his hamstring in last week’s wild-card win in Pittsburgh.

The depth of the Browns offensive line has been decimated this season. Backups Chris Hubbard, Nick Harris and Michael Dunn are all out with season-ending injuries.

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Report: Bills Fans Donate More Than $150K to Lamar Jackson's Favorite Charity – Sports Illustrated

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Following the conclusion of the Buffalo Bills’ 17-3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night, over 5,500 Bills fans have donated more than $150,000 to Lamar Jackson’s preferred charity, the Louisville, chapter of Blessings in a Backpack.

On Saturday night, a Bills fan on Reddit shared that he donated $25 to Jackson’s favorite charity, an organization that works to feed elementary school children who are in need on weekends.

The donations appeared to continue overnight and into Sunday where it has reportedly reached more than six-figures of money raised.

“It started around 11:30 last night and our donation box just started flooding with donations from Bills fans for Lamar. It’s just been overwhelming—in the best possible way,” Nikki Grizzle of “Blessings in a Backpack,” told ESPN.

This isn’t the first time that Bills fans have rallied behind a singular cause following a football game. In 2017, Bills Mafia performed a similar gesture to Andy Dalton’s foundation, raising more than $415,000. Earlier this season, Bills fans also donated thousands of dollars to Oishei Children’s Hospital after it was announced that quarterback Josh Allen’s grandmother had died.

Ravens offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman, the Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year, also tweeted on Sunday that Bills fans had donated to his organization overnight. 

The Bills are set to take on the winner of Sunday’s Browns-Chiefs game in the AFC championship.

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Markstrom's shutout lifts Flames over Canucks – TSN

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CALGARY — Jacob Markstrom overcame the oddness of playing against his former Vancouver Canucks teammates with a 32-save shutout for the Calgary Flames in a 3-0 win Saturday.

Sean Monahan, Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk scored power-play goals in Calgary’s home-opener, which was the first NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome since March 8, 2020 for a span of 10 months and eight days.

Canada’s NHL clubs are playing in empty arenas to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Unfortunately there’s no fans in the stands, but hopefully there’s a lot of people watching and enjoyed the win,” Markstrom said. “It’s special playing my old team too.”

Vancouver goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots in the loss.

Flames off-season acquisitions Markstrom, defenceman Chris Tanev and forward Josh Leivo faced their former club in the first of 10 meetings this season.

Markstrom played a combined 243 regular-season and playoff games for the Canucks, while Tanev spent 10 seasons and Leivo his last two in Vancouver.

“It’s weirder than I thought it was going to be,” Markstrom said. “It’s weird seeing the team you played for a long time on the other side, but I just tried to stay focused on the puck and tried to do my part.”

Both Markstrom and Tanev made life difficult for their former club. Tanev led the Flames in blocked shots with eight, including three when Calgary was short-handed.

“He’s been doing it for me every since I came to Vancouver,” Markstrom said. “It’s a great fit for him here.

“Guys love him already and they see why I loved him so much as a teammate before. I’m lucky to have him with me here in Calgary.

Calgary scored three power-play goals on six chances and held Vancouver to 0-for-4.

“I liked our game defensively five-on-five. Offensively I didn’t like our game,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “We didn’t create enough and special teams were the difference.”

Tkachuk had time to go backhand to forehand on a Johnny Gaudreau rebound and beat Holtby’s outstretched right pad at 15:16 of the third period.

Andrew Mangiapane sent a behind-the-back backhanded feed across the high slot for Dube to rifle over Holtby’s shoulder at 16:22 of the second.

The hosts killed off a Canucks two-man advantage for 81 seconds in the opening period. Markstrom turned away three shots and Tanev blocked two attempts during it.

Tkachuk on Holtby’s left fed Monahan in the slot for a power-play goal at 8:31.

The Canucks (1-2-0) played their third road game in four nights to start the regular season. They get another chance to solve their former goaltender Monday in Calgary before returning to Vancouver.

“He played really well tonight. Not going to say he didn’t,” Canucks forward Bo Horvat said. “He stole games like that for us in previous years so we know how he can be.

“We’ve got to get in his eyes and create havoc in front of the net and we didn’t do that in front of him tonight.”

Calgary (1-0-1) has a more gentle start to its regular season with a five-day break following Monday’s rematch.

The Flames paid tribute to team president Ken King, who died March 11, and Calgary Police Service Sgt. Andrew Harnett who was killed while working New Year’s Eve.

Notes: Former Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic returned to the Saddledome wearing Canuck colours . . . Flames goaltender David Rittich dressed Saturday after sitting out the season-opener because of family issues . . . Off-season acquisition Dominik Simon made his Flames debut Saturday . . . Calgary is 9-8-3 in home openers since the turn of the century.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2021.

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