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Pope Benedict XVI is ‘nearly blind in one eye’ and was advised to limit air travel because of high blood pressure: report

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Pope Benedict XVI is nearly blind in one eye and was advised by his doctor to limit air travel because of his high blood pressure, the website Vatican Insider reported on Wednesday.

The report also said the 85-year-old pontiff often has problems sleeping and has fallen out of bed several times in recent years on foreign trips, making him tired in public appearances.

The report was based on indiscretions from papal aides that Vatican affairs specialist Marco Tosatti said he had promised to keep secret until the end of the pontificate on February 28.

“The picture is of a progressive deterioration of his health and his energy — a context that fully justifies the difficult decision that the pope has taken,” Tosatti wrote after the pope said he would step down due to old age.

The report cited the pope’s doctor Patrizio Polisca saying two years ago that Benedict’s blood pressure was having “major jumps” and insisting that he spend “as little time as possible in a plane because of the dangers”.

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Tosatti added that Benedict had been expressly advised not to make the transatlantic flight to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day later this year.

In his report, Tosatti also said the pope could “almost no longer see” out of his left eye and therefore had to be helped up and down steps.

The report said Benedict even began using a walking stick to get around his own residence last year because his left hip and knee were hurting.

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The Vatican last week revealed the pope had hit his head and bled during a trip to Mexico last year and underwent surgery three months ago to replace the batteries in a pacemaker he was fitted with while he was still a cardinal.


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CNN

Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’

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CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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2020 Election

Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing

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Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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