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In the foreground
by Mathias Hariyadi | INDONESIA

Yesterday, two major protests were held in the centre of the capital: one ended peacefully, the other in clashes. Security forces arrested 58 people, suspected of being troublemakers. The rioters are not from Jakarta, but from the provinces of Banten, Central Java and West Java. Law enforcement agencies warn against fake news.

News

The president of the Academy of Medical Sciences writes to the UN secretary general. "Inhuman obstacles" interrupt aid "indiscriminately". According to a survey, half of Americans expect a war with Iran in the near future. And 49% disapprove of the White House's handling of the Iranian affair.

| 22/05/2019
| IRAN - UNITED STATES

The investigation into fake marriages is expanding. Some Christian pastors are also involved by issuing wedding certificates. The Chinese embassy warns against sensationalism, but is forced to admit that it blocked scores of visa applications. At least 700 women have been caught up in human trafficking in the past year alone.

| 21/05/2019
| PAKISTAN – CHINA
by Nirmala Carvalho

This year marks the Convention’s 30th anniversary. Arigatou International, an NGO, wants to set up a platform for discussion among religious leaders o protect children with the help of religion.

| 21/05/2019
| INDIA

Trafficking generates US$ 105 million in annual profits. Almost one survivor in two is forced into prostitution, over 30 per cent are sold into forced marriages and another 15 per cent forced into cybersex. The victims are mostly aged between 12 and 29 but some are younger.

| 21/05/2019
| KOREA – CHINA

Japan announced its honours for foreigners. The archbishop and librarian emeritus of the Vatican will receive the Order of the Rising Sun-Gold and Silver Star in recognition for his contribution to boosting relations and strengthening friendly ties between Japan and the Holy See.

| 21/05/2019
| JAPAN - VATICAN
by Louis Raphael Sako*

With rising tensions in the background, the Chaldean primate writes to US and Iranian embassies in Baghdad, stressing the consequences of "another catastrophic war" in the Middle East. Rouhani rejects talks. Trump threatens the use of "great force".

| 21/05/2019
| IRAQ – IRAN – UNITED STATES

President and director of the AIF present the 2018 Report. The Vatican system was welcomed in the Sepa (Single Euro Payments Area). The first conviction for money laundering. New agreement protocols with foreign jurisdictions.

| 21/05/2019
| VATICAN

At Mass in Santa Martha, Pope Francis says that peace can also be lived in "tribulations", as indicated by the eighth beatitude: "Blessed are you when they revile you ...". The "gift of peace" - different from "anxiolytics" - brings fortitude with it, the ability to "bear" everything. And it makes the "the heart smile".

| 21/05/2019
| VATICAN
by John Ai

Journey into the economic heart of southern China. The megalopolis attracts millions of migrant workers. Its factories offer dull jobs in demanding and sometimes dangerous conditions. The factories tend to create corporate "mini-cities" where workers spend their wages, putting money back into corporate pockets. Young cynics look for day jobs and spend time in Internet cafes and bingo halls.

| 21/05/2019
| CHINA
by Mathias Hariyadi

The Electoral Commission publishes the official results of the April elections. There is a difference of 10% in votes between the incumbent president and the challenger Prabowo Subiato. The opposition denounces fraud: it will present a complaint to the Constitutional Court. The organizers of the "people's power" campaign say that today and tomorrow, more than one million people will take to the streets to protest.

| 21/05/2019
| INDONESIA
by Vladimir Rozanskij

The journalists resign in solidarity with two of their colleagues dismissed for writing an article about Senate speaker, Valentina Matvienko, labelling her "custodian of Putinism". A worrying sign for press freedom and freedom of expression.

| 21/05/2019
| RUSSIA

The launch early yesterday morning only recently confirmed by official Riyadh media. Already in 2017, a rocket launched by the rebels in Yemen was directed at the most important holy site for Islam. Fringe pushing for war against Tehran is growing among Saudi intellectuals and scholars.

| 21/05/2019
| SAUDI ARABIA - YEMEN

At the opening the Bishops’ Assembly, Francis referred to a “possible" synod of the Italian episcopate. He called on its members to reflect on "any lack of collegiality and participation in the condition of the Conference".

| 20/05/2019
| VATICAN – ITALY
by Thanh Thuy

The missionary's work began in the village of Pháo Đài in 1956. He was killed by those who feared the spread of Christianity. "It is thanks to Brother Pascal Việt that the seed of the Gospel bears fruit,” said Mgr Pierre Nguyễn Văn Khảm during the baptism.

| 20/05/2019
| VIETNAM
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