08/21/2014INDONESIA - ISLAM Borobudur, Islamists target Indonesia’s most important Buddhist temple by Mathias Hariyadi The complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, risks being destroyed like the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Authorities strengthen security measures. Citizens invited to participate in the defense of "cultural heritage". President Yudhoyono declares jihadist violence "humiliating" for Islam. Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesian extremists supporters of the
Islamic State (formerly Isis, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) want to
target and destroy the most important Buddhist cultural center of the country:
the temple of Borobudur, a UNESCO World...
08/21/2014THAILAND Army leader Prayuth Chan-ocha is new Prime Minister of Thailand Powers conferred by interim Parliament, with a unanimous vote. He was the only candidate for the leadership of the government. Formal ratification of King Bhumibol Adulyadej needed. The new prime minister will reform the country without a real internal opposition; next elections slated for the end of 2015.
08/21/2014CHINA Trial opens against members of the cult "of Almighty God" Five members of the sect are charged with the murder of a woman. A sixth member, a minor, will be judged separately. In recent months, 1000 members of the sect have been arrested, judged an "evil and illegal cult". They have been tortured to force them to give up their beliefs.
08/20/2014EGYPT Attacks on Egyptian churches a year later by Nirmala Carvalho In an interview, the principal of a Jesuit school in Minya talks about "an anniversary that the world wanted to forget." Today, "the situation has improved" in the city, especially in the relations between Muslims and Christians. The Islamic community "reassures us of the need of our presence here."
08/20/2014NEPAL Floods leave 200 people dead and 10,000 families homeless by Christopher Sharma For residents, this is the worst environmental disaster in 70 years. At present, 400 people are missing with hundreds injured. Some 30,000 homes have been flooded, 5,000 damaged. In Bardia District, there is no drinking water. The carcasses of dead animals are causing fear of disease. The Catholic Church and Caritas are providing aid.
08/20/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Violence resumes in Gaza. Israel "is not defending itself, its defending its occupation” Fr. Manawel Musallam, formerly the long time pastor of Holy Family in Gaza speaks to AsiaNews. Shortly before the end of the last cease-fire, 34 Hamas rockets hit Tel Aviv and Beersheba, causing no casualties. Israel has responded with airstrikes 70. The target was the leader of the al-Qassam Brigade, instead his wife and daughter were killed.
08/20/2014VATICAN Pope asks Church to unite in prayer for persecuted Christians and minorities worldwide, particularly in Iraq The trip to Korea "can be condensed into three words: memory, hope, witness." "In a country where ancient Asian cultures and the perennial newness of the Gospel meet" there is "a young and dynamic church ", "founded on faith, on mission and the martyrdom of the lay faithful". The meeting with managers and players of his favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo, winners of the Copa Libertadores. Pope’s gratitude "for prayers and condolences for what happened in my family."
08/20/2014LEBANON - IRAQ Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists by Fady Noun The cardinal makes a short one-day stop in Erbil accompanied by civil and religious leaders. He will meet with Kurdish President Barzani and visit the archbishop's see. The trip will focus on the fate of Christians fleeing jihadists and the possible use of force to repel the Islamist threat. The issue of relations with Islam and interfaith dialogue will also be discussed.
08/20/2014IRAQ - SYRIA - UNITED STATES Islamists behead US reporter abducted in Syria in response to Obama’s airstrikes Islamic State militia release a video of the execution of journalist James Foley, abducted in November 2012. The video, titled "Message to America" is authentic and announces the killing of a second hostage if military operations are not halted. The Jihadist addresses President Obama and speaks with a British accent.
08/19/2014CHINA To stop corruption, the party must act within the limits of the constitution by Bao Tong Popular sovereignty, public opinion, and an independent judiciary as brakes on the absolute power of the Party are dreams "worth having", the great statesman writes. The charter is legitimate on paper but its spirit died in the Tiananmen Square bloodbath. Courtesy of Radio Free Asia.
08/19/2014SRI LANKA Jaffna: rising suicide rate among civil war victims by Melani Manel Perera After the war, the loss of social cohesion, economic deprivation and the lack of government rehabilitation policies have prevented people from recovering from their trauma.