VATICAN CITY (AP) — Ailing Pope Francis, who is making limited public appearances due to persistent pain, drew attention to the plight of homeless people in winter, including a Nigerian man who froze to death not far from the Vatican. Francis on Sunday asked for prayers for the man named Edwin, who he said was 46, and who was “ignored by all, abandoned, even by us.” A day after the Vatican said that Francis, 84, was suffering again from sciatica, a nerve inflammation that can affect the lower back and legs, the pope skipped celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. But he appeared in the Apostolic Palace library to give his blessing.
Also on Saturday, junior Tasia Baxter placed fourth in the pole vault with a top clearance on 10 feet, 8 inches and sophomore Taejah Robertson earned fifth place in the 60-meter hurdles in a personal-best time of 8.60 seconds. Ghanaian female sprinter Martha Bissah earned Most Outstanding Track Athlete honors at the MEAC Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday, winning two more gold medals to go with two from earlier in the week as the Spartan women placed fourth at the meet. Bissah pulled away for victories in the mile (4:53.48) and 3,000 meters (10:13.70) on Saturday. She also ran the anchor leg on the Spartans’ fourth-place 4×400 meter relay team that won its heat. On Friday, Bissah won the 800 meters and ran anchor on the winning medley relay team. Bissah is the first NSU female to earn outstanding runner honors at a MEAC indoor meet since All-American sprinter Debbie Dunn in 1999. The Spartans finished the meet with 72 points. North Carolina A&T won with 145, Florida A&M was second with 94 and Hampton was third with 73.5. The Spartans have a month off before opening the outdoor track season at William & Mary on March 17.