World & Nation News in Brief


The government of Havana, Cuba, will release 3,522 prisoners ahead of a visit from Pope Francis.  This will be the third time Cuba has granted mass amounts of prisoners release before a papal visit. Though prisoners convicted of crimes like murder, child sex abuse and national security violations are not eligible for release, many women, inmates 20 years old or younger and people with serious illnesses will be released. Cuba’s Conference of Catholic Bishops is thrilled with the decision.


A hidden bomb went off at a Nigerian refugee camp killing two adults and five children as well as injuring 20 others, a mix of residents and volunteers. The camp is the largest for Nigerian citizens displaced by Boko Haram.  Officials believe the bomb was placed there by members of the extremist organization, though there is no proof. The attack came several days after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise that the Nigerian military had the advantage on Boko Haram.


Model and motivational speaker Ashley Burnham won the Mrs. Universe pageant, an international pageant for married women involved in community work, last week in Minsk, Belarus. This is the first time a woman from the First Nations has won the pageant. Burnham is from the Enoch Cree Nation. She hopes to use her position to encourage voting among First Nations people in Canada, raise awareness of the violence against indigenous women and speak out against child abuse.

USA: California

HandUp, an organization focused on combatting homelessness, partnered with Project Homeless Connect last friday to hold a community outreach day to engaging with the local community. San Francisco city officials also attended. Volunteers gave out hygiene kits as well as gift cards redeemable through Project Homeless Connect. Attendees passed out flyers for an event where people experiencing homelessness can access Medi-Cal and dental and vision care. Currently, HandUp has raised over $800,000.