RealNews

Security worries rise as millions mourn

With 2 million pilgrims and 200 world leaders descending on the city in advance of Friday’s papal funeral, Rome is grappling with a logistics and security challenge that officials there — or anywhere — have rarely seen. The most recent two papal funerals, both in 1978, attracted a mere 750,000 and 500,000 mourners, respectively, and just a few heads of state. But Friday’s farewell to John Paul II is expected to draw several times those numbers, including President George W. Bush, who will be the first U.S. president to attend a papal funeral mass. That has sent Italian officials into an around-the-clock scramble to plan for both mundane and special needs, from security to thwart any terrorist attack to providing food, shelter and medical care to a number of visitors that may almost equal the city’s 2.5 million population. “For us, it will be an extraordinary challenge,” Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said Sunday. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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