NEW YORK — As crowds filled around 58th Streetand 5th Avenue, not everyone was awaiting the arrival of the Pope.
The site diagonal to Central Park is also home to Apple’s flagship 5th Ave Store. True to form, lines have been increasing over the last few weeks for its own big event: the first in-store sales of the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
As of midday Thursday, lines for Apple’s new phones, which have been available for pre-order since Saturday, stretched a half block around the 58th Street store. One security guard monitoring the scene said he expected Apple’s line to grow over to 1,000 people by the evening. Still, that’s a small cry from last year’s line and a drop in the bucket to the hundreds of thousands expected to see the Pope Friday at the United Nations.
Apple’s iPhone launches are notorious for their large crowds. Last year’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch saw lines extending over 20 blocks, with some lining up weeks to be among the first to buy the devices.
Many of those in line this year were buying the phones to resell domestically or overseas, where there is high resell value for the devices. Many were speaking languages other than English, particularly Chinese or Russian. For them the wait for iPhone came down to a business decision.
The choice between Pope and phone wasn’t so easy for Miguel Guevara, a 24-year-old Apple fan and devout Catholic from New York. Guevara was fifth in line waiting to buy a new iPhone 6S Plus in Rose Gold for himself and a Rose Gold iPhone 6S for his mother, he said Thursday. He’d been waiting since Wednesday, giving away his shift at retail store Tommy Hilfiger to get in line. He’s also a student at Pace University, but isn’t missing school thanks to the Pope’s visit.
“I’m a religious guy,” says Guevara, showing off a cross tattoo on his inner right wrist and rosary beads that he keeps in his pocket. “Its unfortunate that I’m gonna miss the Pope, but I’m sure its going to be packed anyways.”
“And I have DVR, I have my roommate DVRing it.”
The Papal visit has made waiting a bit more difficult than years past, with security prohibiting tents and folding chairs ahead of the Pope’s arrival.
“It would be nice to see the Pope,” says Jackie, 18, who was fourth in line with his friend Andres on behalf of CharityDevice.org. The site that lets people donate their old devices, which are then refurbished or resold with the money going to support clean drinking water and other charities. Both have been in line for around two weeks, and in exchange for their efforts, will each be getting a 64GB Rose Gold 6S.
Jackie notes that the Apple Store is on the Pope’s route to St. Patrick’s Cathedral so they will still see him while still holding their spot in line.
And while the iPhone line-waiters have become a tradition in New York, the spectacle still draws the curious . “A lot of people walk by here and they ask you every time, almost every five minutes,” says Andres, also 18. “Before they put all the gates up, every five minutes somebody would ask us, because they saw all the chairs, ‘what are you waiting for?'”
Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal
By Philip Pullella and Scott Malone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pope Francis told Congress on Thursday that the United States should reject hostility to immigrants and treat them humanely, directly addressing a thorny subject that is dividing the country and stirring debate in the 2016 presidential campaign.
In the first speech by a pope to a U.S. Congress, the Argentine pontiff said the United States “must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,” when dealing with immigrants.
“Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility,” the 78-year-old Francis told the Republican-dominated legislature.
Aversion to illegal immigrants has featured heavily in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Front-runner Donald Trump says he would deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants if he were elected to the White House and has accused Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals across the border.
Speaking in English to lawmakers and other dignitaries packed into the House of Representatives, Francis said America should not be put off by the number of immigrants who are trying to make it their home.
“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal,” he said.
The pope described himself the “the son of immigrants” from Italy who settled in Argentina last century.
Several Republican presidential candidates were in the audience, including Ben Carson who caused controversy this week by saying a Muslim should not be U.S. president.
Francis addressed Congress the day after he raised other political issues such as climate change and inequality in a speech at the White House on Wednesday, the first full day of his six-day trip to the United States.
(Additional reporting by David Lawder, Patricia Zengerle and Susan Heavey; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Grant McCool)
- Pope’s trip ties Cuba to U.S. with message of reconciliation Reuters
- Pope to use mostly Spanish in U.S., Fidel meeting likely in Cuba Reuters
- Pope says hopes U.S. will lift Cuba embargo; will not raise with CongressReuters
- Pope to discuss Cuba embargo on trip but not dwell on issue Reuters
- Pope to meet with Obama at White House on historic U.S. visit Reuters
Pope Francis will be making his first U.S. visit this week, kicking off with his arrival from Cuba on Sept. 22. The Pope has appearances scheduled for Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia over the coming days.
Schedule of events
Sept. 19-22: Pope Francis arrives in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. CST.
Wednesday, Sept. 23:
8:15 a.m.: Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House.
10 a.m.: Papal Parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall
10:30 a.m.: Midday prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral.
3:15 p.m.: Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Thursday, Sept. 24
8:20 a.m.: Address to joint session of Congress. The Pope is the first Roman Catholic leader to address Congress. You can watch live here.
10:15 a.m.: Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in D.C.
4 p.m.: Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.
5:45 p.m.: Evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC.
Friday, Sept. 25
7:30 a.m.: Visit to the United Nations and address to the United Nations General Assembly. U.N. says the pope also will meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki during his visit.
10:30 a.m.: Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
3 p.m.: Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
4 p.m.: Procession through Central Park
5 p.m.: Mass at Madison Square Garden
Saturday, Sept. 26
9:30 a.m.: Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia.
3:45 p.m.: Visit to Independence Mall
6:30 p.m.: Visit to the Festival of Families
Sunday, Sept. 27
8:15 a.m.: Meeting with bishops, cardinals and seminarians at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
10 a.m.: Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
3 p.m.: Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families
6 p.m.: Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
7 p.m. Departure for Rome.
Seeing the Papal events
People will be pouring in to Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia for a chance to see the Pope but those at home will have an opportunity, too.
How you can watch the Pope
- Time Warner Cable is adding a special 24-hour “Papal Visit Channel” from Sept. 20-27. It will be on Channel 199 nationwide. https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/about-us/press/twc-to-launch-special-papal-visit-channel-ks-ne-wi.html
- Alabama-based Cable channel EWTN will carry live stream coverage as well as radio coverage.
- Major cable news networks will broadcast major events of the Pope’s visit.
- Video on demand for many events is available here.
- Time Warner’s Papal Visit Channel will stream online atTWCNews.com/papalvisit and on the Time Warner News app (iTunes andGoogle Play). Online and app access require Time Warner IDs.
- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will live stream all events onusccb.org.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be updating with information and photos from the Pope’s visit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. You can see all those channels here.
First U.S. Canonization
Pope Francis will be leading the canonization service for Father Junipero Serra, the first such mass ever held in the U.S. The ceremony will be held Sept. 23 the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the nation’s largest Catholic church.
Serra, a Spanish native who was sent to California in 1769 to spread the gospel, died in 1784. He is buried at Mission San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel. His sainthood has been protested by Native Americans due to his treatment of Indian populations in California.
Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress Thursday at 8:20 a.m. The address is not without controversy among Republicans, who disagree with the Pope on issues such as global warming and immigration.
Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, a Catholic, already said he plans to skip the debate.
Refugees and migrants take part in a protest demanding the authorities to let them go to Athens and continue their trip towards Northern Europe, at the port of Mytilene, on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Earlier many of them confronted the police as they attempted to get onboard a ship bound to Athens’ port of Piraeus. (Santi Palacios/Associated Press)
By Associated Press September 6 at 6:32 AM
BERLIN — The latest news as countries across Europe cope with the arrival of thousands of migrants and refugees. All times local (CET):
Pope Francis is asking faithful throughout Europe to shelter refugees fleeing “death from war and hunger.”
Francis said Sunday that the Vatican’s two parishes are taking in two families of refugees. He gave no details as he addressed tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.
Francis said it’s not enough to say, “Have courage, hang in there,” to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are on the march toward what he called “life’s hope.”
He called on every Catholic parish, convent, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to shelter a family, and asked bishops throughout Europe to urge their dioceses to do the same.
Israel’s prime minister says his country is not indifferent to the plight of migrants and refugees flooding Europe, but that Israel is too vulnerable to absorb them.
Benjamin Netanyahu bemoaned the “human tragedy” of the victims of Syria’s civil war and said Israel has aided them in various ways. But he added that Israel is too small a country, both geographically and demographically, to provide a haven for a large influx of migrants.
Israel runs a field hospital on its border with Syria and has taken in wounded Syrians, but has stopped short of opening the borders to its longtime enemy.
Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog says the country should take in a limited number of Syrian asylum seekers amid the current refugee crisis in Europe.
Authorities in Cyprus say they have rescued 114 people believed to be refugees fleeing war-torn Syria after their fishing boat issued a distress call some 46 miles (74 kilometers) off the east Mediterranean island nation’s southern coast.
Cyprus police said Sunday that all 114 people, including Palestinians from Syria, are in good health. They include 19 women, 30 children, 5 infants and 60 men.
A merchant vessel notified Cyprus’ Search and Rescue Center late Saturday that the refugees’ 60-foot (18-meter) fishing boat was in trouble.
The refugees were transferred to the southern port of Larnaca for health and identity checks.
Police said three men, including a 28-year-old believed to be the boat’s captain, have been arrested and are being questioned.
French mayors are offering to house refugees amid increasing concern for Syrians and others fleeing war and seeking haven in Europe.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement Sunday that several dozen mayors have offered to help in recent days, and convened a national meeting to organize refugee housing on Sept. 12.
France is trying to speed up the process for seeking asylum and to better welcome refugees, as the numbers coming to Europe this year have soared. Many asylum seekers in France have no place to live and sleep in make-shift camps, from Paris to Calais.
A grassroots French group arranging private housing for refugees has also seen a spike in offers in recent days, after the widely viewed photo of a drowned Syrian boy helped raise public awareness.
On the Greek island of Lesbos, police have used batons to beat back a demonstration by some 300 migrants chanting “Athena, Athena” as they tried to come out of the port area. Several of the protesters were injured in the clash, with one taken away unconscious by an ambulance.
The migrants, mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans, say that local authorities on the Aegean island are not processing them quickly enough so they can continue their journey to western Europe. They also complain that authorities on Lesbos are not offering them any help and that they are fast running out of money.
The clashes early Sunday were the third in as many days between migrants and police. The demonstration on Sunday was led by Afghans.
Thousands of migrants and refugees have arrived by train and bus in cities across Germany overnight.
Police say a special train with 570 people on board arrived in the Thuringian town of Saalfeld late Saturday. More than half of them were taken onward to Dresden, where a school for German army officers has been cleared to provide temporary shelter for 350 newcomers.
Trains also took migrants to Hamburg in the north and Dortmund in the west of the country, while buses brought more than 300 people to the capital Berlin.
Thousands more people, mainly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans fleeing war and persecution, are expected to arrive in Germany and Austria from Hungary on Sunday.
The refugees were allowed to leave Hungary Saturday after the country opened its borders with Austria.
Pope Francis visits Paraguay slum, says mass for 1 million
On the last day of his pilgrimage to South America, Pope Francis visited one of the poorest neighborhoods in one of the poorest countries of his native continent.The Banado Norte shantytown lies on the outskirts of Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Because of its location on the Paraguay River, it’s frequently overcome with floods — the name “Banado” means wetlands. Settled 50 years ago, 15,000 families live there, most of them surviving by picking through garbage and reselling it. Only 1 out of 10 residents has a regular job.Because of its location between Asuncion and the Paraguay River, the land on which the shantytown sits has recently become valuable real estate, and residents fear that unless the government steps in to protect them, they could be forced out. 46 PHOTOSPope preaches to faithful in Latin AmericaWhen Pope Francis arrived, he stopped to mingle with the residents, shake hands, and hug them. Two women told him their stories. One said: “We feel like the lepers in the gospel. We’ve been rejected until now that they’ve decided our land is very valuable.”The pope told the residents: “I could not come to Paraguay without spending time with you here on YOUR land,” emphasizing the “your.””I want to be your neighbor,” he said.Pope Francis then told the gathered residents that their faith would bring them the solidarity that would see them through.”A faith without solidarity is a sick faith, a dead faith,” the pontiff said. “Be neighbors, above all to the young and elderly. Be a support for young families and all families who are experiencing difficulties.”After Banado Norte, the pope went on to celebrate mass in Asuncion with close to a million people, some from his native Argentina just across the border from Paraguay. Entire families camped out the night before in the field where the mass was held, spreading plastic sheets on the deep mud to stay dry. Many covered their feet with plastic bags, others gave up altogether and went shoeless.People’s feet are covered with plastic bags to guard against mud while waiting for Pope Francis in Asuncion, Paraguay, on July 12, 2015. ANNA MATRANGAThe pope’s last scheduled event before heading back to Rome is a meeting with hundreds of thousands of youth, presumably to send a last message of hope for the future of this country, and the continent.