20 October 2017
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  • 20/10/2017 - IRAQ

    The regional authorities open to talks with the central government according to Constitution and in a perspective of partnership. An Iraqi court orders the arrest of Kurdish President Kosrat Rasul. First frictions within political leadership in Erbil after the "cataclysm" that led to the loss of territories occupied after the US invasion.




    20/10/2017 - PAKISTAN

    US drone kills Taliban leader


    Umar Khalid Khorasani was wounded last week in Afghanistan. Islamic group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militants claimed the attack on Gulshan-i-Iqbal park in Lahore in 2016, which resulted in more than 70 mostly Muslim victims. Anti-terrorism operations ahead of visit by US Secretary of State.


    19/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    A declining birthrate threatens the economies of South Korea and Japan


    Steps taken so far have failed. Ministers from the two countries met today in Seoul to discuss the issue. An aging population weighs heavily on the economy, shrinking the labour force and driving up welfare costs. Economics is the main issue.


    19/10/2017 - MYANMAR

    Yangon, interreligious dialogue is the key to reconciliation


    Fr Mark Tinwin, who teaches at a Yangon seminary, speaks about the matter. For him, when the people of Myanmar will live in peace and harmony, the nation will be able to work on economic development and social progress by focusing on education, health, employment, social security and infrastructure. The Catholic Church is committed to national unity, and the promotion of dialogue in families and villages.


    19/10/2017 - SYRIA

    I, a Christian doctor in Aleppo, close to the victims of the war


    Nabil Antaki speaks of great signs of hope. Hundreds of volunteers work day and night to ensure survival to others. A lay member of the Blue Marists, he is one of the few doctors left in the city. Faith in Christ his "strength to remain". In Syria, 80% of the population does not have health care. 70% of specialist doctors have emigrated. 


    19/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Catholics and Methodists as brothers and sisters on the journey together


    Francis expressed his desire to continue the path of rapprochement to a delegation of the Methodist World Council on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Methodist-Catholic theological dialogue. For him, “As we look to the future, beyond the past fifty years, one thing is certain: we cannot grow in holiness without growing in communion.”


    19/10/2017 - SOUTHEAST ASIA

    Beijing becoming a major weapons supplier in Southeast Asia


    China won a US$ 148 million contract to supply the Thai military with 49 tanks. Malaysia has bought 18 frigates for coastal defense. Indonesia has obtained Chinese-made radar and command systems. China is Myanmar’s largest arms supplier.


    19/10/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Hindu Tamils celebrate Diwali, asking the god Ganesh to bless their future

    by Melani Manel Perera

    During the "festival of lights", the faithful offer rituals and prayers to worship the gods. Since the temple in Sri Siththi Vinayagar (Trincomalee) is undergoing renovation, votive rituals are celebrated in a temporary hut.


    19/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Salvation is "free", do not close the door to anyone seeking it


    "The doctors of the law are not just of those times, there are so many even today. That is why we need to pray for shepherds. Pray so that we do not lose the key to knowledge and do not close the door to ourselves and the people who want to enter. "


    19/10/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    At the Congress Xi reaffirms: Sinicization of religions under the Communist Party

    by Li Yuan

    In his speech yesterday at the Party Congress, Xi Jinping reiterated the "new approach" to religious activities. The Catholic Church reiterates the independence of nomination and ordination of bishops. Two bishops present at the Congress: Msgr. Giovanni Fang Xingyao of Linyi and Msgr. Giuseppe Ma Yinglin of Kunming.


    19/10/2017 - EU-ISRAEL-PALESTINE

    European countries: Israel must reimburse seizures and destruction of humanitarian material


    The letter, signed by eight countries, is an unprecedented move in relations with Israel. Israel's coercive measures on schools and against international assistance cause suffering to Palestinians. More than one million euros in European funding lost.


    19/10/2017 - INDIA

    300 Hindu radicals attack Chhattisgarh Protestant church: two seriously injured


    The aggression at the Bastar for Christ Movement Church in Jarpara took place during Sunday prayers. Women and children also beaten. Pastor: "The radicals are supported by the Bjp party in power."


    19/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarch Appeal: People Before Oil, No More Conflict

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    In a letter to the President of the Republic, Sako urges "cooperation" between Iraqi leaders. The goal is to create a "modern and strong civilian" nation, capable of initiating economic, social and cultural reforms. The Iraqi army  takes a large portion of Nineveh and Diyala from the Kurds. Fears for Teleskof and Alqosh.


    18/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Iraqi Kurdistan caught between Talabani's death and Barzani's political suicide

    by Pierre Balanian

    Kirkuk's seizure by the Iraqi army marks a turning point, and certainly widens the split between Talabani’s supporters and those of Barzani. Turkey and Iran are happy at the end of the dream for independence.


    18/10/2017 - IRAN – EUROPEAN UNION – UNITED STATES

    EU disowns Trump over Iran nuclear deal, a “key pillar” for international non-proliferation


    At a time of acute nuclear threat, European leaders intend to preserve the agreement signed with Iran despite Trump’s threat to terminate it. For UN atomic agency, the deal is fundamental for the security of the US, its allies and the region. The IMF rejects the US president’s demand to cut loans to Tehran.


    18/10/2017 - VATICAN – INDIA

    Christian-Hindu dialogue is difficult but imperative to know each other

    by Anna Chiara Filice

    A Hindu-Christian international conference on ‘Enlightenment and tantra’ was held in Rome. For Mgr Spreafico, “ignorance brings many evils”. Card Tauran noted Pope Francis’s many appeals in favour of dialogue. “Every religion and every believer thinks that his or her belief is the best’” said Hindu scholar. Spirituality should be the starting point, Christian mystic said.


    18/10/2017 - MYANMAR

    For Yangon priest, Myanmar Catholics “long for” the word of God

    by Inviato di AsiaNews

    Since Aung San Suu Kyi came to power, people feel greater religious freedom. The Myanmar Church offers many faith training programmes. The Archdiocese of Yangon is involved in many initiatives.


    18/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope says for believers “death is a door wide open” for doubters “it is a flickering light”


    Christian hope and the reality of death was the theme of catechesis for the general audience. "I invite you now, perhaps, to close your eyes and to think of that moment: of our death. Let us each think of our own death, and imagine the moment that will come when Jesus takes us by the hand and will say, 'Come, come with me, arise.' There hope will end and reality begins, the reality of life."


    18/10/2017 - CHINA

    As the Communist Party Congress gets underway, Xi Jinping announces “a new era”


    Xi’s opening speech lasted more than three hours. China will be a "modern socialist power" under the leadership of the Communist Party. The fight against corruption and the opening up of the economy will continue. Xi Jinping pursues his rise.


    18/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: All religions are called to invoke peace


    Francis receives delegates from the "World Conference of Religions for Peace". "All men of good will, especially those who hold responsibilities, are called to work for it." "Whoever commits violence or justifies it in the name of religion severely offends God".


    18/10/2017 - EU - PAKISTAN

    EU: grave concern for human rights in Pakistan


    The Council of the Europe publishes the report on "Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2016". Weak judicial system, lack of education, violence against women, discrimination of minorities, presence of terrorism. This morning an attack on a police convoy.


    18/10/2017 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Israel plans to build 1292 settlements in the West Bank


    Peace Now: The project will "affect the West Bank". Permits expected to be issued today to speed up the construction process. The government plan targets significant growth in settlements in Palestinian territories. For the first time since 2002, Hebron also involved.


    18/10/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Marawi liberated after five months of clashes


    The Islamist occupation lasted 148 days. More than 1,000 people killed, mostly rebels. Marawi's operations cost 5 billion pesos (about 95 million euros). Fears of terrorist infiltrations in Mindanao Island.


    18/10/2017 - RUSSIA

    Putin's campaign towards new elections

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The president has not yet announced his candidacy. He could do it in December. Rumours of an alternative plan, that Putin would be ready to appoint his successor: Aleksej Djumin. Meanwhile new governors arrive and there may also be new ministers.


    17/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Iraqi forces seize two Kurdish-held oil fields near Kirkuk


    The Kurds had held the Bay Hassan and Havana fields since 2014. Together they produced 250,000 barrels a day, providing Kurdistan 40 per cent of its oil exports. As Turkey backs Iraq the US calls for calm and dialogue. For Kurdish experts, voters in the referendum were "fooled by false promises".


    17/10/2017 - MYANMAR – VATICAN

    Myanmar bishops express gratitude to Pope Francis for his three gifts

    by Inviato di AsiaNews

    A solemn mass of thanksgiving is held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. For Card Charles Maung Bo, this "is a historic moment for all of us and for the Church in Myanmar”. The new nuncio, Mgr Paul Tschang In-Nam, calls on Catholics to work for national peace and reconciliation.


    17/10/2017 - VIETNAM

    Vietnamese bishops hold assembly in flood-affected Thanh Hóa diocese


    At the meeting, the new members of the Bishops' Conference introduced themselves. Preparations are underway to mark the 30th anniversary (1988-2018) of the canonisation of the 117 martyrs of Vietnam. The bishops’ ad limina visit to the pope is set for March. The prelates also met with flood victims and handed out packages with food and other items.


    17/10/2017 - INDIA

    Card Gracias highlights Amoris Laetitia's responses to the challenges of the Indian family


    Delegates from 41 dioceses attend national symposium. A "growing cultural, ideological, social and spiritual crisis” makes families feel like "a burden". There is a “spiralling rate of atrocities and violence against women” who, along with children, are victims of trafficking and exploitation. Couples in crisis "require a constructive response” because the Church never condemns anyone for eternity.


    17/10/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sinhalese girls: Blessing to spend one’s life for others

    by Melani Manel Perera

    They created the "Supatha" group of the Holy Family four years ago. Since then, they have worked on behalf of people in distress and the environment. The desire to live as "one family" in gratitude to God.


    17/10/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s new governor causes controversy using pejorative term

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Using a derogatory term for ethnic Chinese, he sparks outrage among Indonesians in order to instigate a new wave of "social differentiation". Anies Baswedan is backed by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Gerindra, a nationalist party. Sectarian divisions and religion played a decisive role in his victory against his rival.






    Editor's choices

    MYANMAR
    Rohingya not only group persecuted in Myanmar, Christian minorities are as well



    Ethnic Kachin, Chin and Naga endure suffering. Religious discrimination is in some cases even institutionalised. Christians are seen as the expression of a foreign religion, outside of the nationalist view. For years the military regime has applied stringent discriminatory measures.


    VATICAN - ASIA
    The world is in urgent need of the Church's mission

    Bernardo Cervellera

    October is a month devoted to awakening the call to mission among Christians. In the world there is indifference or enmity towards God and the Church. Religions are considered the source of all wars. Christianity is the encounter with a Person who changes the life of the believer and places him at the service of the wounds of the world, torn by frustrations and fratricidal wars. The example of the Patriarch of Baghdad and of the President of South Korea.


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