22 July 2017
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  • 21/07/2017 - CHINA

    The party remains concerned about the enduring issue. “Party members should be firm Marxist atheists, obey Party rules and stick to the Party's faith,” one official writes. They should not be “allowed to seek value and belief in religion”.

    21/07/2017 - RUSSIA

    Tsar Nicholas II's martyrdom celebrated as Russia seeks its soul

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    At least 60,000 pilgrims from around the world participated in the pilgrimage and divine liturgy in honour of the Romanov family slain by the Bolsheviks. The tsar was the last to hold sacred power in Europe. Communism included a new from "Antichrist" sacredness. Russian Orthodox exalt the "passive martyrdom", devotion to the suffering Christ.

    21/07/2017 - SYRIA

    Disabled and orphaned by war, boy calls for a spring of peace in Syria

    Rabee Zarife is a 15-year-old Muslim. In November 2016, he lost his father and both legs when a shell exploded. Today, Caritas Syria is caring for him materially and psychologically. His greatest desire is to complete his studies but he still cannot go to school. Sometimes, he feels “like when I was a baby of one-year old”.

    21/07/2017 - INDIA

    Indian bishops urge new president to uphold the constitution and the law

    The Indian Bishops' Conference congratulates Ram Nath Kovind for his election yesterday. A former governor of Bihar, he is a member of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. CIBC general secretary urges him to “devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of India.”

    21/07/2017 - MALAYSIA – ISLAM

    Record-breaking ‘Despacito’ banned in Malaysia as "obscene"

    The global his is deemed contrary to the morals and principles of the Muslim majority nation. State Tv and state radio cannot broadcast it. Private outlets are urged not to play it. For Communications Minister, entertainment should spoil people but make them better.

    21/07/2017 - ASIA

    AIDS-related deaths drop, except in Central Asia and the Middle East, UN agency reports

    UNAIDS found an "alarming" trend in the two Asian regions. Cases and deaths are up, with many people going without treatment.

    21/07/2017 - TURKEY – GREECE

    Quake hits Turkish coast: two dead, hundreds injured

    The 6.3 quake struck overnight at 1:31 am, just 10 kilometres below the seabed.

    21/07/2017 - IRAN

    Lawmakers to scrap citizenship law that discriminates against women

    Only men can pass their citizenship to their children and spouse. This way, thousands of children remain stateless. The most vulnerable are the children of Afghan refugees.

    21/07/2017 - INDIA

    In 2016, 11,400 farmers committed suicide in India over debt

    The figures are from the Agriculture Ministry. In 2015, another 12,602 farmers took their own lives. Among the states, Maharshtra is ranked first with 4,291 cases.

    20/07/2017 - EGYPT – CHINA

    China is suspected in the arrest of hundreds of Uyghur students

    China appears to be behind the round-up to get students home where they face long prison sentences on terrorism and extremism charges. Activists and international NGOs slam the "ridiculous" charges and the lack of legal protection for those in custody.

    20/07/2017 - LEBANON

    “Surrender or die”: Countdown for Al-Nusra in Jaroud Arsal and Qalamoun

    by Pierre Balanian

    Serious fighting is underway in Idleb with Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and allies. Al-Nusra in Lebanon is totally isolated and time is on the Lebanese army’s side. According to Basel El Hugeiri, mayor of Arsal, the Lebanese army urged civilians to leave.

    20/07/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Miniskirt-wearing Saudi woman released

    Officially the police accepted the version of the aspiring model who said that the video was private and posted without her knowledge. The case sparked opposite reactions on Saudi social media.

    20/07/2017 - SYRIA – UNITED NATIONS

    FAO: Wheat harvest in Syria improving, but still less than half of prewar production

    This year's harvest is 1.8 million tonnes, up 12 per cent over last. Some 6.9 million people are food insecure, another 5.6 million are at risk without monthly aid. Deir-ez-Zor and Ar-Raqqa are the most at risk.

    20/07/2017 - INDIA

    Nationalists are jubilant, Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, is India’s 14th president

    The former governor of Bihar won with 66 per cent of the votes with the support of the Hindu nationalist party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A foregone conclusion, the outcome confirms the prime minister’s political acumen. The next Union elections are set for 2019. Once marginalised, Dalits are courted today given their size (16 per cent) in the electorate.

    20/07/2017 - ASIA

    Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai among most sought-after destinations in 2017 City Index

    New York is still first, but Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong are second and third for business. The top ten includes Tokyo (fifth), Beijing (seventh), and Shanghai (tenth). The younger generation prefer Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. The data comes from the Ipsos Global survey of the best cities in which to live, work and visit.

    20/07/2017 - INDONESIA

    With support in civil society, Corruption Eradication Committee investigates lawmakers

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    The parliament is trying to hinder investigations by resorting to its Right to query. People's Representative Council Speaker Setya Novanto is among the suspects. Some legislators are thought to have received money over the electronic ID cards plan.

    20/07/2017 - CHINA - INDIA

    Modi’s Hindu nationalism could trigger another war, the Global Times says

    A belligerent editorial in the Chinese Communist Party newspaper clarifies Beijing's position. Tensions have reignited between China and India near the border with Bhutan, on the Doklam plateau claimed by China. The armies have been facing off for about a month. India feels still surrounded.

    19/07/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Clashes break out in Jerusalem between Israeli police and Muslims

    Violence started at the end of the evening prayer. Worshippers prayed outside the mosques in protest against the presence of metal detectors. Fatah called for the "Day of rage".

    19/07/2017 - IRAN – UNITED STATES

    New US sanctions angers Iran, which pledges its own sanctions

    New sanctions against the Islamic Republic are due to its support for “terrorist” groups and the Syrian regime as well as its missile programme. Some 18 entities or individuals are targeted. Washington is “deeply concerned" about Iran's "malign activities". Tehran slams the sanctions as illegal, pledges sanctions of its own against the US.

    19/07/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Authorities suspect 17 Islamist NGOs of funding to terrorism

    by Sumon Corraya

    Most of these NGOs are controlled by Jamaat-e-Islam, and are based in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. The main ones are the Bangladesh Krishi Kalyan Samity, Muslim Aid Bangladesh, Rabeta Al-Alam al-Islami, Qatar Charitable Society, Islamic Relief Agency, International Islamic Relief Organisation (IRO), Hayatul Ighachha, Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, Tawhidi Noor, and al-Muntada al-Islami.

    19/07/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Punjab, 16-year-old Christian boy accused of blasphemy, police denies access to parents

    Shahzad Masih worked as a sweeper at the Shahmim Riaz Hospital, Gujrat District. His accuser, Ishtiaq Qadri, is a member of Tehreek-e-Tuhafaz, an Islamist extremist party. Death threats have forced his family to flee. Now the boy could die.

    19/07/2017 - KOREA

    North Korea’s public executions mapped

    Executions take place on riverbanks, school grounds and in marketplaces by shooting, and in some cases, by beating to save bullets. Stealing rice, corn, copper or circulating South Korean news are the main crimes. The report is based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors over two years.

    19/07/2017 - THAILAND

    Court hands out 21 guilty verdicts in Rohingya crisis

    Sentences were expected this morning. A general is among the 103 defendants. Charges include human trafficking, kidnapping, and murder.

    19/07/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Marawi bishop against Duterte: no to the extension of martial law

    Bishop Edwin de la Peña comes out against the government, which wants to extend the state of emergency and martial law. For the bishop, the latter was needed at the beginning, but now it is no longer necessary. In all, more than 465,000 people have been evacuated. The Church is playing a leading role in providing humanitarian aid. Caritas set aside another 200,000 dollars.

    19/07/2017 - CHINA - TIBET

    Gansu: Beijing forces Tibetans to wave the Chinese flag

    The incident occurred at a summer festival that opens the region's picnic season. In the past, Tibetans had refused to obey and the authorities had sent soldiers disguised as Tibetans to carry the Chinese flag.

    18/07/2017 - RUSSIA

    “Evil cannot dominate forever,” says Kirill in Valaam, “good eventually overcomes” it

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Moscow patriarch visits the monastery on Lake Ladoga. Under Soviet rule, the complex was all but ruins by the 1960s.  “[M]onastic life itself now resumes with unexpected vigour”. Vladimir Putin was present at the event.

    18/07/2017 - TURKEY

    More human rights activists arrested in Turkey, including Amnesty International's Turkey director

    A Turkish court has remanded into custody six militants, including İdil Eser, in what Amnesty International calls a "travesty of justice". Two trainers, a Swedish and a German, have also been detained. They were charged with "committing a crime in the name of a terror organisation without being a member”, namely the Gülen movement.

    18/07/2017 - IRAN

    President Rouhani's brother released on multi-million-dollar bail

    Hossein Ferydoun was arrested yesterday for "financial issues". His initial bail of US$ 13 million was reduced to US$ 9.3 million. The inquiry remains ongoing and he could still end up in jail again. The struggle between the judiciary (backed by the Guardians of the Revolution) and Rouhani gets worse.

    18/07/2017 - INDIA

    Pentecostal clergyman killed in Punjab. For Bishop Mulakkal, it is an attack on Christians

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Sultan Masih was the pastor of the Temple of God Church. He was gunned down whilst talking on his mobile. For the bishop of Jalandhar, "This attack against Christians has deeply wounded the whole community". The victim's family blocks motorway. A “lynching culture” prevails across the country, says Sajan K George.

    18/07/2017 - SRI LANKA

    For Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Buddhism will be dominant in constitution, but minorities ask not to be ignored

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Discussions are underway in Sri Lanka over changes to the 1978 constitution. Ranil Wikremasinghe tried to reassure some 70 Buddhist monks who made serious threats. For Anglican clergyman, “The ideal would be to separate state and religion." For Muslim leader in Colombo, “it is political drama”.

    Editor's choices

    Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization

    The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).

    Crosses broken and cemetery desecrated in Goa due to religious hatred, Mgr Neri Ferrao says

    The broken crosses were left on the side of the road. Some 28 niches, five wooden crosses, nine granite crosses, 16 graves and the big entrance cross at the Guardian Angel cemetery were damaged. At a Hindu extremist meeting, a leader said “those who eat cow should be hanged in public,” noted Sajan K George.


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