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Pope Francis is celebrating Easter Mass this year facing a fresh round of bloodshed targeting Christians in Sri Lanka.

Hours after celebrating a late-night vigil, Francis processed into a flower-decked St. Peter’s Square for the liturgy Sunday commemorating the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion.

This year the Easter season has been marred both by the destruction of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral by fire last week and the massacre on Sunday in Sri Lanka. More than 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded following near-simultaneous blasts at three Sri Lankan churches during Easter Sunday services and three hotels frequented by foreigners.

After Mass, Francis delivers his annual Easter “Urbi et Orbi” speech about conflicts and other difficulties around the world.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on Ukraine’s presidential runoff: (all times local):

10:10 a.m.

Corruption and economic stagnation are big issues for voters in Ukraine’s presidential runoff.

Lyudmila Potrebko, a 22-year-old computer programmer, cast her ballot for Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old comedian who is challenging President Petro Poroshenko.

She says “I have grown up under the old politicians and only have seen empty promises, lies and corruption … It’s time to change that.”

Zelenskiy, 41, got twice as many votes as Poroshenko in the first round three weeks ago. Like his sitcom character, a teacher thrust into the presidency after a video of him blasting corruption goes viral, he has focused on fighting graft, riding the wave of public distrust of Ukraine’s political elite.

Many voters in this nation of 42 million are struggling to survive on meager wages and soaring utility bills.

Irina Fakhova, a 55-year-old sales clerk, says “we have grown poor under Poroshenko and have to save to buy food and clothing … we have had enough of them getting mired in corruption and filling their pockets and treating us as fools.”

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8 a.m.

Polls have opened in Ukraine’s presidential runoff as the nation’s incumbent leader struggles to fend off a strong challenge by a comedian who denounces corruption and plays the role of president in a TV sitcom.

Opinion surveys ahead of Sunday’s vote have shown 53-year-old President Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, reflecting public dismay with endemic corruption, a moribund economy and a five-year fight against Russia-backed insurgents in the country’s east.

Zelenskiy, 41, got twice as many votes as Poroshenko in the first round three weeks ago. Like his sitcom character, a teacher thrust into the presidency after a video of him blasting corruption goes viral, he has focused on fighting graft, riding the wave of public distrust of Ukraine’s political elite.

Poroshenko, a billionaire candy magnate before taking office, has relied on traditional political barnstorming, using sympathetic television stations to extensively cover his appearances. Zelenskiy, however, has largely stayed away from the campaign trail and eschewed interviews. He has run his campaign mainly on Instagram, where he has 3.7 million followers.

Source: Fox News World

Displaced by a massive fire, Notre Dame Cathedral’s Paris parishioners are gathering to celebrate Easter in another church and to pray for a speedy reconstruction of their beloved monument.

The fire that engulfed Notre Dame during Holy Week has forced worshippers to find other places to attend Easter services. The Paris diocese invited them to attend Easter Mass on Sunday at the grandiose Saint-Eustache Church on the Right Bank of the Seine River.

Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit will lead the service. Other Catholics from around France and other countries who wanted to mark Easter in Notre Dame are also expected to attend.

Notre Dame isn’t expected to reopen to the public for at least five or six years, according to its rector, although the French president is pushing for a quick reconstruction. Investigators believe the fire was an accident.

Source: Fox News World

The U.S. ambassador to Poland wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish, and the reaction has been a wave of angry comments on Twitter.

Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher also wished Poles a happy Easter on Sunday. But by then, she was accused of offending the country with her Passover tweet and reminded that she is serving in a mostly Roman Catholic country.

Krystyna Pawlowicz, a lawmaker with Poland’s ruling right-wing party, called it a “provocation.”

Robert Bakiewicz, a far-right activist who organizes a yearly Independence Day march that government leaders joined last year, said “Christ died and was resurrected also for you, pagans and traitorous Jews.”

Some came to Mosbacher’s defense, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population. Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the Holocaust.

Source: Fox News World

The U.S. ambassador to Poland sparked a wave of angry comments on Twitter after she wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish on Friday.

Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher, who also wished Poles a happy Easter on Sunday, was accused of offending the mostly Roman Catholic country with the tweet, with some calling it a “provocation.”

Her tweet said: “On the occasion of the Feast of Pesach, commemorating the departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage tonight, I wish peace and joyful holidays! Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Passover!”

It triggered many anti-Semitic comments including one claiming that “only Catholics live in Poland.”

POLISH NEWSPAPER’S FRONT PAGE SPARKS OUTRAGE AFTER IT INSTRUCTS ‘HOW TO SPOT A JEW’

Another said in part: “it is a great snub for the Polish nation that just Jewish individuals still on this earth.”

Robert Bakiewicz, a far-right activist who organizes a yearly Independence Day march said: “Christ died and was resurrected also for you, pagans and traitorous Jews.”

Some came to Moschaber’s defense, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population.

This weekend – during the 76th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – Jews held a special Passover Seder with approximately 100 Jewish families from Israel, Europe, and the United States at the Warsaw Ghetto.

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Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the 1939 occupation by Nazi Germany. The government has also been accused in the past of trying to rewrite history by banning any suggestion of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

The U.S. ambassador to Poland sparked a wave of angry comments on Twitter after she wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish on Friday.

Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher, who also wished Poles a happy Easter on Sunday, was accused of offending the mostly Roman Catholic country with the tweet, with some calling it a “provocation.”

Her tweet said: “On the occasion of the Feast of Pesach, commemorating the departure of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage tonight, I wish peace and joyful holidays! Chag Pesach Sameach, Happy Passover!”

It triggered many anti-Semitic comments including one claiming that “only Catholics live in Poland.”

POLISH NEWSPAPER’S FRONT PAGE SPARKS OUTRAGE AFTER IT INSTRUCTS ‘HOW TO SPOT A JEW’

Another said in part: “it is a great snub for the Polish nation that just Jewish individuals still on this earth.”

Robert Bakiewicz, a far-right activist who organizes a yearly Independence Day march said: “Christ died and was resurrected also for you, pagans and traitorous Jews.”

Some came to Moschaber’s defense, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population.

This weekend – during the 76th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – Jews held a special Passover Seder with approximately 100 Jewish families from Israel, Europe, and the United States at the Warsaw Ghetto.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the 1939 occupation by Nazi Germany. The government has also been accused in the past of trying to rewrite history by banning any suggestion of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

Polls opened early Sunday in North Macedonia for a presidential election seen as a key test for the government following the country’s changing its name to end a decades-old dispute with neighboring Greece over the use of the term “Macedonia”.

More than 3,400 polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and will close at 7 p.m. (1700GMT).

Three university professors are vying for the largely ceremonial presidency post.

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova is backed by the main conservative opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, Stevo Pendarovski is a joint candidate of the ruling Social Democrats and 30 smaller parties, while Blerim Reka is supported by two small ethnic Albanian parties.

A candidate needs 50% plus one vote of the 1.8 million registered voters to win outright in the first round.

Source: Fox News World

Pope Francis has carried a lit candle up the main aisle of a darkened St. Peter’s Basilica in a dramatic Saturday Easter vigil ritual.

The pontiff, prelates and other faithful also clutching candles appeared as slow-moving points of light in darkness, part of a procession symbolizing Christians’ belief that Jesus triumphed over death by resurrection following crucifixion.

At the chant in Latin for “light of Christ, the basilica’s lights were suddenly switched on. Francis then reached the central altar to celebrate Easter Vigil Mass.

Among those attending the service were eight people who prepared to be baptized by the pope. The Vatican said these new faithful are from Italy, Albania, Ecuador, Indonesia and Peru.

On Sunday, Francis celebrates Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square and gives a speech from the basilica balcony.

Source: Fox News World

Several thousand people have turned up at an anti-government protest in Belgrade a day after Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic held a mass rally in an apparent bid to counter months of street demonstrations against him.

Protesters marched through downtown Belgrade on Saturday demanding more democracy and media freedom in Serbia. Such marches have been held every Saturday since last December.

A former extreme nationalist who now says he wants Serbia to join the European Union, Vucic has rejected opposition allegations that he has imposed an autocracy on Serbia. He told supporters at Friday’s rally that political differences should be solved at the ballot box.

Tens of thousands of people from all over Serbia and some neighboring countries were bused to Belgrade for Vucic’s rally in a show of political strength.

Source: Fox News World

Authorities in Bulgaria say a small private plane has crashed in a field in a southern region, killing the pilot and the lone passenger on board.

Plovdiv police chief Atanas Ilkov said the two-seat Zodiac aircraft was on a demonstration tour when one of its wings separated in flight and it fell to the ground near a stadium in the village of Orizare. The accident occurred at 10:20 a.m. Saturday as a sports event was taking place at the stadium.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The crash is the second of a small Bulgarian aircraft this month. On April 2, a small plane crashed into a mountain in neighboring Northern Macedonia, killing all four people on board.

Source: Fox News World


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