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A Libyan War Diary

Award-winning Italian photojournalist Davide Monteleone recently returned from three weeks covering the war in Libya. The April 20 deaths in the coastal city of Misrata of fellow photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros has added a bitter epitaph to this latest assignment. But sadly, there is still a war to be covered, one more story that must not go untold.

Monteleone is indeed the rare photographer who is more than a hunter of images, but a teller of stories. This one takes us from Benghazi and Ras Lanuf to Ajdabia and Ben Gardane. Monteleone is represented by the Italian photo agency Contrasto, a Worldcrunch launch partner.

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Geopolitics

The Pope's Health Feeds Succession Rumors — And Deeper Questions About The Church

It is not only the health of the Pope that worries the Holy See. From the collapse of vocations to the conservative wind in the USA, there are many ills to face.

Photograph of Pope Francis holding his hand against his forehead.

October 4, 2023 - Pope Francis concelebrates the Holy Mass with the new Cardinals at the Vatican

Evandro Inetti/ZUMA
Gianluigi Nuzzi

Updated Dec. 4, 2023 at 6:05 p.m.

ROME — "How am I? I'm fine... I'm still alive, you know? See, I'm not dead!"

With a dose of irony and sarcasm, Pope Francis addressed those who'd paid him a visit this past week as he battled a new lung inflammation, and the antibiotic cycles and extra rest he still must stick with on strict doctors' orders.

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The Pope is dealing with a sensitive respiratory system; the distressed tracheo-bronchial tree can cause asthmatic reactions, with the breathlessness in his speech being the most obvious symptom. Tired eyes and dark circles mark his swollen face. A sense of unease and bewilderment pervades and only diminishes when the doctors restate their optimism about his general state of wellness.

"The pope's ailments? Nothing compared to the health of the Church," quips a priest very close to the Holy Father. "The Church is much worse off, marked by chronic ailments and seasonal illnesses."

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