25 February 2018
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  • 25/02/2018 - VATICAN

    “The transfiguration helps the disciples, and us too, to understand that the passion of Christ is a mystery of suffering, but is above all a gift of infinite love on the part of Jesus. The event of Jesus who transfigures himself on the mountain helps us to better understand also his resurrection.”




    24/02/2018 - TURKEY – CYPRUS – ITALY

    Turkish ships block Italian drilling ship in Cypriot waters

    by NAT da Polis

    The Saipem drilling platform, which operates under license from the Cypriot government, was supposed to resume its activities. Turkey rejects the agreements signed by the Cypriot government with Israel and Egypt, claiming that they harm the interests of Turkish Cypriot community. However, others believe that Turkey is using the latter to control the oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean.


    24/02/2018 - IRAN

    Tehran wants own digital currency to boost economy and circumvent US sanctions


    According to the Minister of Information and Telecommunications, the government has plans to use a cryptocurrency. An Iranian bank is preparing to announce a tender to build such a platform. The United States is ready to hit those who use the new currency.


    24/02/2018 - SRI LANKA

    Postcards in Colombo to fight violence against women

    by di Melani Manel Perera

    The One Billion Rising global movement comes to Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan women and girls write postcards with personal accounts of abuse and harassment to be delivered to the Minister of Justice.


    24/02/2018 - PHILIPPINES

    For Father Buen, a missionary in Quezon City Jail, God loves each prisoner

    by Santosh Digal

    “Working with our brothers behind bars has been both frightening and, at the same time, fulfilling,” priest says. Quezon City Jail is the second largest prison in the Philippines. Built for 800 inmates, it currently holds 3,600.


    24/02/2018 - VATICAN – PAKISTAN

    Pope receives Asia Bibi’s husband and daughter


    In the meeting with Francis, a young Nigerian woman who escaped from Boko Aram joined the husband and daughter of the Pakistani Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy. This afternoon the Colosseum will be bathed in red light in solidarity with all those persecuted because of their faith.


    24/02/2018 - CHINA – EUROPEAN UNION

    European politicians call on Beijing to release Gui Minhai immediately and unconditionally


    A group of 37 European politicians sign a letter calling for his release. They are in favour of relations with China, but not at the price of the safety of European citizens. Gui is not the first, but he must be the last. China is pursuing a "disturbing pattern of repression" against human rights activists.


    23/02/2018 - UNITED NATIONS – SYRIA

    UN Security Council to vote on truce resolution in Syria, but Russia casts doubts


    The text calls for a 30-day truce in order to deliver humanitarian aid and evacuate wounded from eastern Ghouta, a rebel enclave under government siege. In five days of attacks at least 400 people have been killed. People have also died in Damascus. Moscow threatens to use its veto if the resolution is unfavourable to its Syrian ally.


    23/02/2018 - IRAN – UNITED STATES

    US sanctions have turned Iranian airplanes into ‘flying coffins’


    Last Sunday’s air crash that killed 65 people has raised the issue of airplane safety in Iran. Some 200 accidents have occurred in 20 years with at least 2,000 deaths. Most of the fleet should have been changed ten years ago, but sanctions have stopped purchases. And Trump is now set to block a billion-dollar agreement between Teheran and Boeing (as well as Airbus).


    23/02/2018 - PAKISTAN

    In Punjab, fear spreads among Christians after young man is charged with blasphemy

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    About 800 Christian families have left their homes in the village of Dhir after Patras Masih, 18, was accused of sharing an offensive post on Facebook. Police watch over empty homes to prevent robberies. For priest, “Illiterate people do not need to buy expensive smartphones as they do not know how to use social media”.


    23/02/2018 - INDIA

    Indian Church celebrates the day of prayer and fasting for peace

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for the resolution all conflicts, in particular for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Syro-Malankara Church met in Trivandrum cathedral, in Kerala. Sister Meena Barwa, raped by Hindu radicals, prays "for peace in Kandhamal".


    23/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: A Day of Fasting and Prayer for South Sudan, Congo and Syria


    Francis recalled it at the conclusion of the spiritual exercises. The Spirit of God "also flies and works outside" the Church, "it also works in unbelievers, in 'pagans'".


    23/02/2018 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Rapper arrested for insulting Islam with a video for the Year of the Dog


    Dancers with dog masks make suggestive moves in front of a building believed to be a mosque. The musician defends himself saying said that it was the Prime Minister's Office. This year's Chinese New Year has been a sensitive issue. Dogs are deemed impure by Muslims who are 60 per cent of the population.


    23/02/2018 - CHINA – UNITED STATES

    Gun ownership: China slams US, says Washington should learn from Beijing to protect human rights


    Editorial in party newspaper points the finger at others where gun ownership is more important than life. China rejects criticism on human rights, but persecutes activists and lawyers.


    23/02/2018 - INDIA

    Bishops launch website to encourage marriages among the castes


    The link dedicated to young people accessible through site of the Office for Disadvantaged castes of the Episcopal Conference. In India there are 12 million Catholic Dalits, or 60% of the faithful.


    23/02/2018 - UZBEKISTAN

    Andijan massacre, human rights activist released after 12 years


    He had spread information about the Andijan massacre. Mirziyoyev's crack down on Karimov regime officials continues: ex-prosecutor general arrested.


    23/02/2018 - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    Kirill: the meeting with Francis in Havana saved the world

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The conflict in Syria was likely to lead to a confrontation between Russians and Americans. With the Pope "we were able to agree on many important issues, above all by focusing on the dangerous situation that had arisen in Syria".


    22/02/2018 - CHINA – VATICAN

    Chinese priest talks about the enflamed climate surrounding China-Vatican talks

    by Cheng Zhi

    Some media in favour of a deal speak in "disgusting" ways. Those who oppose it are not against an agreement or against diplomatic relations, but are against reaching one at any cost. "[W]here does the Church truly exercise her rights?"  The author is a priest in the underground Church in eastern China.


    22/02/2018 - BANGLADESH

    Pupils in Dhaka Catholic school remember 'mother tongue martyrs' (photos)


    The students of the Saint Teresa School in Mirpur-2 marched, sang, danced, and read poems to reaffirm the right to express themselves in their own language. Celebrations highlighted the sacrifice of students who gave their lives and the need for “harmony among all religions".


    22/02/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope to the young: Like Mary, do not be afraid. The WYD is for the brave


    The Message for the 33rd World Youth Day, which will be celebrated on 25 March next at the diocesan level, released today. Bearing in mind the October Synod, the Pope urges young people to "not fear", to "name" their fears and to live in discernment of  God's call to a "love full of audacity and entirely projected towards the gift of self".


    22/02/2018 - CHINA

    Chinese researchers testing hypersonic aircraft for two-hour Beijing-New York flight


    The new plane is designed to fly at a speed of more than 6,000 km/h. its design improves aerodynamics. The craft is also part of an hypersonic arms race, and a turning point in nuclear warheads delivery.


    22/02/2018 - VIETNAM

    Phan Thiết Catholics celebrate New Year with poor families

    by Ngoc Lan

    Vietnam has two million poor families, 11 per cent of the population living with less than 15 dollars a month. The Diocese of Phan Thiết and the Archdiocese of Huế help Catholics and others. “These are gestures of love and compassion, actions that encourage us in life,” Buddhist man says.


    22/02/2018 - UN - SYRIA

    UN told Ghouta east is 'hell on earth'. Diplomats scramble to secure a ceasefire


    The Security Council ready to vote for a draft resolution. The goal is to reach a 30-day ceasefire and promote the delivery of aid and medicines. Uncertainty of Russian support. UN Secretary-General: The "humanitarian tragedy" demands intervention.


    22/02/2018 - KOREA

    Olympics, Pyongyang sends a delegation for the closing ceremony


    It is likely that President Moon will also receive them in private. No meeting with the US representation led by Trump's daughter.


    22/02/2018 - SRI LANKA - EU

    European Union calls on Sri Lanka to activate Office for Missing Persons

    by Melani Manel Perera

    In a tweet the government is invited to give answers to the families of the victims. The Kilinochchi protesters recall a year of protests, during which seven elderly parents died.


    22/02/2018 - HONG KONG

    Rents for sports clubs: 'The government helps the rich'

    by Paul Wang

    Exclusive clubs save up to $ 400 million in Hong Kong and allow use only for members. In the territory there is no public housing and the rents of the houses are prohibitive for young people.


    22/02/2018 - MYANMAR

    Bomb in Lashio: two dead and 22 wounded


    The victims were employees of Yoma Bank, employed for the branch located in the heart of the city. At the moment no suspects are identified. The end of the civil war is the highest priority declared by Aung San Suu Kyi. Fighting between army and ethnic minority rebels intensifies.


    21/02/2018 - PAKISTAN

    Integral ecology: spring tree planting campaign launched in Karachi

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The initiative is part of Caritas’s environment-related development plans inspired by Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. A "spiritual ecological conversion" is needed to save the environment that surrounds us.


    21/02/2018 - INDONESIA

    Mass and Muslim solidarity after church attack

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Four people were wounded in the attack on 11 February. The 23-year-old Islamic extremist Suliyono who attacked the church armed with a sword has been forgiven. The Islamic organisations Muhammadiyah and Gus Durians show solidarity with Catholics.


    21/02/2018 - INDIA

    Holy Spirit Sisters support women's development in Madhya Pradesh

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The congregation set up the Uday Social Development Society in 2009. "[E]ducation is the key to success in life". The NGO offers sewing, embroidery, cooking and home economics courses. Its goal is to make women independent and "agents of social transformation".






    Editor's choices

    BANGLADESH
    Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)



    Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.


    KOREA
    Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug



    After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


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