27 July 2016
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    27/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN

    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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - IRAN - ARMENIA

    Qara Kelisa, the feast of St Thaddeus of the Armenians in the oldest church in the world (photos)


    Located in northwestern Iran, on the border with Azerbaijan and Turkey, the monastery was built, according to tradition, in 68 AD after the martyrdom of the Apostle of Christ. Hundreds of Armenians from Iran and Armenia gather each July to baptise their children, as well as eat and sing together.


    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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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.


    26/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, nine Islamic militants killed by police

    by Sumon Corraya

    The "Storm 26" operation lasted about an hour. It involves special forces, police and anti-terrorism agents. Yesterday evening the police were attacked by grenades by militants shouting "Allahu Akbar" and returned fire in a blitz. It is the first anti-terrorist operation since Dhaka massacre.


    26/07/2016 - JAPAN

    "Euthanasia for Disabled": 19 disabled persons killed by 26-year old Japanese


    The murderer, Satoshi Uematsu, had worked in the center that houses 150 disabled. He had written to parliament seeking euthanasia for the disabled who can not "be active in society." He turned himself in to the police with a bag full of knives still dirty with blood.


    25/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, 207 children abducted in 2016: fears of sexual abuse racket

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Most of the children lived in a poor neighborhood of the city. No ransom demanded: fears of possible trafficking. This month 20 disappeared, children and adolescents; the bodies of four of them were found in garbage bags and dumped in landfills.


    25/07/2016 - JAPAN

    "Rent a friend": New boom of increasingly lonely Japanese society


    Boom in number of people who pay out 1000 yuan per hour for conversation with a stranger. The "ossan" men between 45 and 55 years, are paid to listen to people and their problems, which can not be told to friends and family. A psychologist: "The Japanese have a hard time finding someone to confide in."


    25/07/2016 - INDIA - WYD

    Msgr. D'Souza, the Church and the world need the young


    The talents of young people, their energy, their creativity and their leadership are needed. The "challenges" to be "joyful proclaimers" of the love of God and the Gospel, defenders of human life, promoting sustainable development, future leaders of ecclesial and social life and bearers of ethical values, capable of transforming the world.


    25/07/2016 - POLAND - VATICAN - WYD

    Saint John Paul II and Sister Faustina, "angels" of WYD youth


    Krakow is full of images of the two saints closely linked to Divine Mercy. Young people "want to learn more" about them: long queues of children and young people at info points - Poles and non - explain the life and works of the “champions of the faith". President Duda gave five days of leave to soldiers under 35: "This is a time when should only think of peace." And the Pope on Twitter: "It will be a pilgrimage of faith and fraternity".


    25/07/2016 - VIETNAM

    WYD far from Krakow: faith is “reborn” among Vietnamese youth

    by Thanh Thúy

    Thousands of young people who would have liked to have travelled to Krakow for WYD could not do so for economic reasons. Yet, they are committed to praying for the pope and putting into practice his message of mercy. Many students join charities and save money to donate to the poor.  Young people need to become “protagonists” in the life of the Church.


    25/07/2016 - LEBANON

    A patriarch on the borders

    by Fady Noun

    Patriarch al-Rahi’s visit to Qaa shows the sense of joint responsibility of Christian Churches in the Middle East. Careerism remains a temptation. The laity involved in politics is incoherent.


    25/07/2016 - NEPAL

    Nepali prime minister's resignation leaves field open for Maoists

    by Christopher Sharma

    K P Sharma Oli avoids showdown in parliament ahead of opposition no confidence motion. His successor designate is Maoist leader Prachanda who is under investigation for crimes during the country’s civil war. Analysts stress the need for stable leadership to rebuild the country.


    25/07/2016 - POLAND – VATICAN – WYD

    WYD in Krakow, a “bridge of love and closeness for the Catholics in mainland China”

    by Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    A small informal delegation from Taiwan came to Poland to meet with mainland Chinese Catholics.  For its members, “it is very difficult for us to show our love and support to our brothers and sisters” in the mainland. Teresa Wang, from Kaohsiung’s Rosary Cathedral wants to work with disabled people in the mainland, “But political tensions between Beijing and Taipei make this wish almost impossible." An appeal is made to bishops not to forget religious freedom in Asia.


    25/07/2016 - ISRAEL – SAUDI ARABIA

    Saudi delegation meets Israeli officials in Jerusalem to discuss Iran and Palestine peace initiative

    by Joshua Lapide

    After a year, Israel and Saudi Arabia make public their talks on Mideast "challenges". Opposed to last year’s Iranian nuclear deal, the two talk about the stalled 2002 Arab peace imitative based on diplomatic relations in exchange for peace and the creation of a Palestinian state.






    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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