29 July 2016
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    28/07/2016 - WORLD YOUTH DAY

    Francis takes part in WYD welcoming ceremony. The Church “wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face.”




    28/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Syrian army close to retaking Aleppo, cuts jihadists’ road to Turkey


    Syrian soldiers today took the Bani Zaid neighborhood. Militants are on the run. Assad offers amnesty to those who lay down their weapons and hand themselves in to the army. The government promises fast reconstruction of hospitals and schools. Russia offers four humanitarian corridors for civilians and fighters who hand in their weapons.


    28/07/2016 - POLAND - INDIA - WYD

    Orissa youth at WYD: In the name of our martyrs, we learn mercy

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    A delegation of about 50 young people from the area of ​​Cuttack-Bhubaneswar is in Krakow to join the rest of the young people from around the world. Forgiveness, reconciliation and the Eucharist "are our encouragement to overcome the pain of the pogroms". John, 21, speaks of the impact of the vocational centers: "Come and See is a beautiful invitation. And in my heart I feel a love that I can not express. Perhaps it is the Lord who calls me, maybe not. But I could not go home without talking to a priest".


    28/07/2016 - FRANCE-ISLAM

    Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth


    The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.


    28/07/2016 - IRAN

    Presidential elections set for May 19, 2017. Risks for Rouhani


    The President is loved by Iranians that opens the relations with the international community. But the conservative fringes show the few benefits received. The Iranian economy is still blocked thanks to the US, which maintain the embargo on the use of the dollar in financial transactions.


    28/07/2016 - CHINA

    Heavy rains spare ancient Forbidden City, flood modern skyscrapers (photos)


    Built 600 years ago, the imperial palace has a drainage system that works better than modern ones. Despite weeks of pounding rains across China, hundreds of “water spitting” dragon-shaped drainage points in the Forbidden City release excess water and prevent flooding. Online humour stresses how “modern drainage systems can't even beat the ancient ones that were erected six centuries ago!"


    28/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN

    Pope: "God saves us in littleness, being close hand, with a simple and open heart "


    Francis celebrates 1050th anniversary Baptism" of Poland" at Jasna Gora. Being attracted by power, greatness and visibility is tragically human, and it is a great temptation that tries to penetrate anywhere; giving to others, eliminating distances, abiding in the smallness and concrete situations of everyday life, this is purely divine".


    28/07/2016 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    Protests in Seoul at the opening of foundation for "comfort women"


    The foundation is part of the historic agreement reached last year on sex slaves in Japan’s military. Tokyo is providing a billion yen to help survivors and presented a verbal apology. Students, activists and Korean Church leaders slam Japan’s refusal to admit official responsibility.


    28/07/2016 - MYANMAR

    Card Bo calls on leaders to allow all religions to advise the government


    The archbishop met with Aung San Suu Kyi on Martyrs’ Day. He calls for Christians and Muslims to have the same access to ministers. Muslim leader welcomes the idea, but government official declines to comment.


    28/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    Archbishop of Jakarta: We are opposed to the death penalty, we pray for the condemned

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The government is preparing the execution of 14 prisoners of different nationalities within three days. They are all accused of drug dealing or drug possession. Msgr. Suharyo asks the faithful for special prayers "so that capital punishment is removed from our legal system." The European Union demand the suspension of executions. India and Pakistan appeal to save the lives of their citizens.


    28/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    In wake of Dhaka massacre British Council closes offices over security concerns

    by Sumon Corraya

    The language organization has to update security procedures in all schools. Smooth running of English exams guaranteed, for high schools.


    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    Pope says "the world is at war”, a “war for real” but “not a war of religions”


    On the plane taking him to Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day, Pope Francis spoke about the murder of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest killed in Saint Etienne du Rouvray. The issue of migration “requires a supplement of wisdom and mercy to overcome fears and achieve the greatest good.” At the same time, “we must encourage international collaborations and synergies in order to find solutions to conflicts and wars”.


    27/07/2016 - POLAND - IRAQ - WYD

    "Do not give in to fear": Young Iraqis appeal to France

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    There are numerous Middle Eastern delegations in Krakow: Flags from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and even an Iranian flag. Iraqis are mostly from Baghdad and Erbil: They read of the attacks in Rouen and Nice "with sorrow and solidarity". But the World Youth Day is "the right setting to send a message of hope: do not be overwhelmed by hatred." Also in the Iraqi capital today, "the attacks are more and more often the work of marginalized and antisocial, lone wolves,who only want chaos."


    27/07/2016 - EGYPT-ISLAM-FRANCE

    The Grand Imam of Al Azhar condemns the killing of Fr. Jacques Hamel in France

    by Pierre Balanian

    Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.


    27/07/2016 - EGYPT – TURKEY

    Motion goes before Egyptian parliament to recognise the Armenian genocide

    by Pierre Balanian

    Parliamentarians call on the UN and the international community to have every country recognise this as a crime against humanity. Turkey is accused of being "colonialist at its base, founded on gigantic crimes". Egypt had documents showing the Ottoman Empire's intention to eliminate the Armenians, but they were torched in Alexandria on Erdogan’s direct orders.


    27/07/2016 - FRANCE - ISLAM

    Muslims grieve murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel, denounce "disease of Islamism”

    by K.Abderrahmani - H. Drouiche

    French Muslims condemn the "cowardly and barbaric" murder of the priest of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, and call for vigilance so that Islam is not taken "hostage" of Islamism. Daesh have long preached the destruction of those "gray areas" where Muslims encounter Westerners, denying the possibility of any dialogue and coexistence between Islam and the West and between Islam and Christians.


    27/07/2016 - MALAYSIA – SINGAPORE

    WYD: 700 young people from Malaysia and Singapore have arrived in Krakow


    Mgr Julian Leow Beng Kim, archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, leads the group. He will walk with them and share their meals. Despite economic difficulties, the faithful have been responded generously. For catechist, "We must all learn that it is not about money, status, popularity, or any other idols in the world”.


    27/07/2016 - NEPAL

    Nepal floods and landslides kill 39 with 28 missing

    by Christopher Sharma

    Heavy monsoon rains have hit Nepal, leaving the authorities powerless to rescue stranded residents. Bridges and homes have been swept away, roads have been blocked, and river waters are at their highest levels, putting thousands at risk. Some have been forced to live on the roof of their homes; others have found shelter in trees.


    27/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Killed militants linked to Dhaka massacre terrorists


    The capital's police chief said that the two terrorist groups have many similarities. They were all young and belonging to good families. University cards found in the apartment of the nine militants killed yesterday. Photos of young people spread on social media to facilitate recognition.


    27/07/2016 - CHINA - HONG KONG

    Two Hong Kong journalists sentenced in Shenzhen for publishing gossip about Chinese leaders


    The publisher Wang Jianming and editor Guo Zhongxiao sentenced to five years and three months and two years and three months. The episode brings to mind the disappearances and detentions of the five book publishers. Beijing fears Hong Kong freedoms can "pollute" Chinese society. The principle "one nation, two systems" belittled.


    27/07/2016 - MALAYSIA - PHILIPPINES

    Kuala Lumpur sentences nine Filippino Islamist militants


    The men were part of ''royal army of the Sultanate of Sulu "which in 2013 attacked Borneo to demand Islamic rule. After six weeks of guerrilla warfare and 70 deaths, Malaysia managed to drive off the attackers and captured a few. Eight others were sentenced from 10 to 18 years in prison.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND - CHINA - WYD

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    26/07/2016 - POLAND – CHINA – WYD

    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”


    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


    26/07/2016 - CHINA

    General Guo Boxiong gets life for corruption


    A former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and Politburo member, the senior officer used his influence to get promotions and took bribes. However, many believe his real crime was his loyalty to former president Jiang Zemin, not current leader Xi Jinping, and maintaining close ties with him even after he left office.


    26/07/2016 - ISLAM - EUROPE

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


    26/07/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    PIME missionary thanks God for ceasefire between government and Communist rebels


    Fr Peter Geremia speaks about renewed talks between the government and the New People's Army. About 150,000 people have died in 50 years of guerrilla war. President Duterte announced the ceasefire in his first state of the nation address. “It was high time to end this conflict” that harms “civilians caught between the two sides.”


    26/07/2016 - INDIA

    Madhya Pradesh: abducted and beaten, two Christians are arrested by police for "forced conversions"

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Ramlal Kori, a Pentecostal minister, and a friend named Nandalal were abducted by Hindu radicals in the village of Gadra, dragged into the forest and beaten with sticks. The police found them eight hours later tied to a tree. Instead of arresting the criminals, the authorities detained the Christians on the basis of the state’s anti-conversion law.


    26/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    WYD in Krakow 28 young Sri Lankans "for a great spiritual and life experience"

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The group will also perform a Sinhalese and Tamil dance, and nearly had to leave some members behind over a visa problem. "We started to pray in groups" and finally "we received a miracle".


    26/07/2016 - MYANMAR

    For bishop of Kalay, faith grows in diocese affected by depopulation


    Mgr Felix Lian Khen Thang talks about the life of the Church in Chin State, where Christians are the majority. Catholics are only 6 per cent, but their numbers are growing. “Some people come back from foreign lands” after seeking work abroad. The Holy Year and preparing for WYD have seen a flourishing of works of mercy and a greater awareness of confession and “God’s forgiveness".


    26/07/2016 - TURKEY - USA

    Without Fethullah Gülen extradition, Turkey-US relations in danger


    The religious leader is accused of being the mastermind behind the "failed coup". But some analysts say the coup "succeeded" because it has given Erdogan total power. Media campaign against Gülen and the United States. West's growing mistrust of Turkey.






    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    ISLAM - EUROPE
    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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