Pilgrim gets slap from Pope Francis after yanking his hand

While visiting St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis got annoyed at a woman who grabbed his hand and wouldn’t let go.

One thing we have learnt about Pope Francis is that he really doesn’t like people kissing his ring. And we have been reminded of this pet hate once again, after he was seen becoming visibly indignant when a worshipper grabbed his hand and yanked it towards her.

The Sovereign of the Vatican City state is seen peeling himself away from a woman before lightly slapping her hand in the crowd in St Peter’s Square on Tuesday. Video footage captures the moment the pope walks through the Vatican City happily greeting pilgrims while en route to see a Nativity set up in the huge, cobbled esplanade.

He reaches out to greet a child, before turning away from the crowd but a woman takes her once in a lifetime opportunity to grab his hand and pull it back. It is unclear whether her intention was to peck his papal ring – a sacred symbol of the Pope’s union to the church – but whatever it was, he definitely didn’t like it.

But the abrupt gesture appeared to cause him some pain, or at least discomfort, and Francis quickly wrenched his hand free. The woman had made the sign of the cross as the pope approached but it was not clear what she was saying as she subsequently tugged him toward her.

This is not the first time pontiff has expressed his extreme dislike for worshippers gripping his hand. In March, he was caught on video repeatedly pulling his hand away from members of the public after mass  at the Basilica della Santa Casa – a shrine of Marian pilgrimage in the hill town of Loreto.

In the footage, he is seen smiling politely as he greets each person and shakes their hand, before snatching his own away as they bow to kiss the ring.

But no one seems to get the memo, as one after another they line up to try and kiss it. One woman even kneels down to carry out the act, before he momentarily looks alarmed and quickly ushers her to one side.

He offers a smile to each, as some appear a little deflated after their act of respect is rejected. A word of advice if you ever get the chance to meet Francis – do not grab his hand and don’t go near his ring.

New Year road death toll exceeds 200 in 4 days

Credit for this article goes to Bangkok Spot

Road accidents numbered 1,988, killing 208 and injured 2,031 others during the four days of New Year travel from Friday to Monday.

Vittawan Sunthornkajit, director-general of the Probation Department, said on Tuesday casualties remained high even as authorities tried hard to campaign for road safety.

On the first four days of the safety-campaigned seven-day period, Bangkok saw the highest death toll of 11. The number of injured people peaked at 66 in Nakhon Pathom province west of Bangkok. The highest number of accidents, 61, happened in Chiang Mai, the popular tourist destination in the North. Sixteen out of 77 provinces in the country remained free of death from traffic accidents.

Tuesday would see stronger efforts to campaign for road safety because most people would be celebrating the New Year transition and thus be more vulnerable to road accidents, Mr Vittawan said.

On Monday alone, there were 485 road accidents in which 48 people were killed and 484 others were injured. Drink driving remained the most common cause, resulting in 33.2% of the accidents, followed by speeding (28.7%). Motorcycles were involved in 81.8% of them.

From Friday to Monday, 4,856 people were prosecuted for drink driving and 63 of them were repeat offender, Mr Vittawan said.

From Friday to Monday, 4,856 people were prosecuted for drink driving and 63 of them were repeat offender, Mr Vittawan said.

Five killed in car crash after New Year's party in Eldama Ravine

Credit for this article goes to Standard Media

A New Year celebration ended in tragedy with five young adults dead after their car crashed along the Eldama Ravine-Torongo Road in Baringo County.

According to Eldama Ravine Police commander Rashid Mohammad, the accident occurred at 5:30 am after the revelers left Taiday’s Restaurant where hundreds of residents had gathered to usher in the New Year 2020.

“They were heading home after the party when the vehicle veered off the road, hit a culvert and landed in a ditch. It is a self-inflicted road accident,” Mohammad said, adding that the cause of the accident was being investigated.

All the five occupants in the Toyota Wing Road died on the spot. Police who had provided security at the event rushed to the scene immediately after the accident.

The five bodies were taken to the local county hospital mortuary. Identities of the victims are yet to be revealed as police were informing the next of kin.