Arab summit seats Syria's opposition Pope has no plans to leave hotel Man dies of SARS-linked virus
DAMASCUS, Syria -- Syria's opposition took over the country's seat for the first time at an Arab summit Tuesday.
The opposition's ascension to representing the country at the summit in Qatar, a key backer of the those fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, demonstrated the extent of the regime's isolation two years into a ferocious civil war that the U.N. says has killed an estimated 70,000 people.
In Damascus, the government on Tuesday blasted the Arab League's decision, portraying it as a selling-out of Arab identity to please Israel and the United States.
The Qatari ruler, who chaired the summit, said the Syrian opposition deserves "this representation because of the popular legitimacy they have won at home and the broad support they won abroad and the historic role they have assumed in leading the revolution and preparing for building the new Syria."
VATICAN CITY -- The renovations on the papal apartment are finished, but Pope Francis has decided to stay put in the Vatican hotel for the time being.
The Vatican said Francis, who has long shunned fancy digs, told staff and guests of the Domus Sanctae Martae on Tuesday that he had no plans to move out any time soon. The occasion was the 7 a.m. Mass that Francis has celebrated each morning in the hotel chapel since his election March 13.
Francis has invited groups of guests to the daily Mass, including Vatican gardeners, street-sweepers, hotel workers and staff of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi says it's not clear how long the "experiment" of hotel living will last but that Francis has at least moved into the papal suite.
BERLIN -- A man from the United Arab Emirates who was infected with a new SARS-related virus has died in Munich, German authorities said Tuesday.
The case brings the number of confirmed human cases of new coronavirus infection worldwide to 17, according to the World Health Organization. Of these, 11 have died.
The city hospital in Munich said the 73-year-old patient, who was transferred from Abu Dhabi on March 19, had been suffering from an unspecified "serious underlying condition" that meant his chances of survival had been slim.
The new virus was first identified last year in the Middle East, and most of the patients infected had traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Pakistan.
The new coronavirus is part of a group of viruses that cause ailments including the common cold and SARS. In 2003, a global outbreak of SARS killed about 800 people worldwide.