GetFile.aspxThe Vatican – It’s Palm Sunday this weekend, the day Roman Catholic rituals include a procession re-enacting Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem – complete with waving of palm tree branches –  as well the reading of the longest gospel in the liturgical year.

The Palm Sunday gospel narrates ‘The Passion of Christ,’ including his last supper, agony in the garden, arrest, trial and crucifixion. It will be read in church services all over the world and during the Palm Sunday mass at St. Peter’s Square officiated by no less that Pope Francis.

In yet another of the many changes Pope Francis has initiated since he was elected leader of the Catholic Church, The Vatican just announced a different Palm Sunday service that will replace the reading of the pages-long Passion of Christ

In a prepared statement, Pope Francis said that instead of reading the long gospel on Palm Sunday, he will tweet a shortened version of the passion during Sunday’s services.  He is encouraging Catholics planning to attend the services at St. Peter’s Square to bring their smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices so that they can call up and read the Pope’s tweet at the appropriate time during the mass.

Catholic faithful in Rome were quick to praise the Pope’s announcement, saying that the tweet will cut down the lengthy Palm Sunday services they are subjected to year after year.  Members of the clergy said they are so looking forward to see how the Pope will deliver the Passion of Christ in 140 characters or less.

The Vatican encouraged Catholic churches throughout the world to follow Pope Francis’ example and also tweet the Palm Sunday gospel to their churchgoers.

(iReporter Spandan Chakrabarti, a non-Catholic, contributed to this report)





Kim Jong-un casts his ballot. (Photo: AFP Getty Images)

Pyongyang, North Korea – Kim Jong-Un has been re-elected president of North Korea in a landslide victory that shocked even the young leader himself. After the (s)election in which only ‘yes’ votes were counted, Kim was reaffirmed as First Chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission by the country’s new rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly.  The state-controlled Korean Central News Agency described the election as ‘the great jubilee in the nation’s history’ and told how parliament cheered as the result was announced.

Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman

Kim, in his acceptance speech, admitted he did not expect a 100% vote, especially after having executed his politically-powerful uncle last year and successfully disposed of 11 high-ranking government officials in the days just before the elections. He, however, attributed his victory to his much-publicized hangout with former American basketball star Dennis Rodman. The flamboyant and controversial player has visited Kim in Pyongyang twice in the last 12 months. The 29-year-old Korean leader is a die-hard basketball fan.

Sources close to Kim said that he has offered Rodman the position of foreign minister and concurrent North Korean ambassador to the United Nations.  Kim said he is very impressed not only at Rodman’s basketball skills but his expertise in international diplomacy.  Rodman is reportedly seriously considering Kim’s offer.




NASA photo captured by Mars Rover
NASA photo captured by Mars Rover

Washington, D.C. – It was the search for weapons of mass destruction that prompted the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.  It was to become the legacy of the administration of George W. Bush. But neither the ‘shock and awe’ that began the Iraq war nor Bush’s speech on board USS Abraham Lincoln with the sign ‘Mission Accomplished’ emblazoned behind him produced any evidence of  WMDs.

Now, it can be revealed that the regime of Saddam Hussein indeed harbored weapons of mass destruction, not hidden anywhere within Iraqi territory, but stashed away on the planet Mars.

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has released photos taken by one of two rovers on the red planet. The photos showed what appears to be artificial light emanating outward from the planet’s surface, and beamed millions of miles from Mars to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Scientists were quick to speculate that intelligent beings exist in Mars.  However, a confidential memo from the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that the light beam was part of the cache of WMDs which it said Iraq sent to the red planet just weeks prior to the U.S. invasion.

Both NASA and DOD are currently determining whether the WMDs were rocketed to Mars in unmanned spaceships or whether there actually are Iraqis now on Mars who are managing and maintaining the weapons.



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