30 August 2016
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    30/08/2016 - SYRIA – TURKEY

    Turkey’s offensive in Syrian territory continues with more than 50 tanks still across the border. Ankara announces the killing of "25 Kurdish terrorists". Human rights activists say those killed were civilians. Erdogan and Obama are set to meet in China on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. For Saywan S. Barzani, "proxy wars" are fought in the Middle East "between different countries, behind whom one finds the Americans and the Russians".




    30/08/2016 - INDIA - VATICAN

    Director of Caritas India: Mother Teresa, the compassionate face of the Church

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    For Fr. Frederick D'Souza the nun who will be canonized next September 4, has transformed the experience of the Church. The diaconate is not only service, but sacrifice and gift of self.


    30/08/2016 - TAIWAN – VATICAN – CHINA

    Taipei in favour of talks between China and the Vatican, fears nothing


    Taiwan’s deputy foreign minister dismisses rumours that his government is concerned about an alleged rapprochement between Beijing and the Holy See. Due to the Vatican’s mission to promote universal values, which would be good for China, Taiwan is not only not opposed to, but also thinks it is positive. Taiwan’s vice president will attend Mother Teresa’s canonisation.


    30/08/2016 - VIETNAM

    Vietnamese government speeds up approval of new religious law


    A new bill was drafted in mid-August, but has not yet been released. The authorities want to approve it this year. A Buddhist leader and a Catholic praised the law at a Patriotic Front meeting. However, critics continue to slam the draft for its restrictions on the activities of religious communities.


    30/08/2016 - UNITED STATES – INDIA

    US-India deal on military bases, against Chinese dominance in Asia


    The defence ministers of the two countries signed the agreement yesterday. Although never mentioned, China is the main target. Indian and US navies will help each other in military exercises, joint peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance. Another aim is to contain extremism in Pakistan.


    30/08/2016 - CHINA

    China, the Party's new crusade against "Western lifestyles"


    The government had ordered all news organizations to avoid references to the private lives of celebrities, to their earnings or their reputation. The "entertainment" industry must follow the moral lines of the Communists. Law on the cinema sector being drafted.


    30/08/2016 - KYRGYZSTAN -CHINA

    Bishkek, car bombing at Chinese embassy: one dead and three wounded


    The vehicle broke through the gate and exploded in the courtyard. The victim is the driver of the car. The head of Chinese embassy security said that there are no injuries on the staff. According to local authorities it is a terrorist attack.


    30/08/2016 - IRAN

    Tehran and Seoul launch trade in euro

    by Darius Karimian

    Thereby circumventing US sanctions that prohibit the use of the dollar in transactions with Iran. A tip for other nations. Three Korean banks have opened an office in Tehran.


    30/08/2016 - YEMEN

    Aden, Islamic State suicide bombers target army recruits: 71 dead and 98 wounded


    The jihadist attack hit a training center for new soldiers. Yemeni authorities speak of "massacre" with "the highest number of victims" ever recorded. Analysts and experts point out that the attack shows the difficulties of the government to restore security. Government and rebels ready for a new peace initiative.

     


    29/08/2016 - EGYPT

    Cairo frees human rights lawyer Malek Adly


    He had supported the protests in April against ceding two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. He was arrested on 5 May on charges of "spreading false news" and “attempting to topple the ruling system”.


    29/08/2016 - ASIA – ITALY

    From Iraq to Prato’s Chinese, Asia helping Italian earthquake victims


    Chinese communities in Prato and Florence deliver five vans with basic supplies sent to the affected areas, whilst Rome’s Filipino community is collecting money and medicines. In a letter to President Mattarella, the Tibetan Parliament expresses thanks for "Italy’s ever-strong support for the Tibetan issue”, says will try to do its best. In Erbil, displaced Iraqis in refugee camps raise money.


    29/08/2016 - CHINA – CENTRAL ASIA

    China’s "quiet expansion" into Central Asia

    by Paul Goble

    Beijing has replaced both Russia and the United States in the strategically important region. Taking advantage of these countries’ internal weaknesses, China is seizing control of local businesses and farmland. "Chinese nationals living and working in Tajikistan have increased by 30 percent since 2015,” notes a Tajikistan expert. “Tajiks have ceased to be masters in their own country”. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    29/08/2016 - LIBYA

    Sirte freed from Daesh


    A spokesperson for Bunyan El Marsus, the western Libyan militias allied with the government of national unity, made the announcement. Daesh forces fled south. Overestimated, the strength of the Islamic state is a media-constructed myth. Now the el Sharara oil fields must be saved from possible reprisals.


    29/08/2016 - NEPAL

    A new Indian priest for the Nepali Church: I chose to serve God here

    by Christopher Sharma

    Fr. B. Rajasekaran is a Jesuit who has worked for 14 years in the Himalayan country. He was ordained in the presence of many faithful, including more than 200 Hindus. The latter lined up to receive the blessing of the new priest. Apostolic Vicar: "It is my hope that vocations will grow in Nepal".


    29/08/2016 - BANGLADESH

    "I, a Muslim who converted to Christianity, rejected by family and society"

    by Ismail Jaffar

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Anil Gomes (not his real name for security reasons) explains that he converted to Christianity after reading a passage from the New Testament. Since then he has lost every job. His body shows the wounds from assaults and murder attempts. "I cannot maintain my family. Pray for me".


    29/08/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Rethinking China-Vatican accords (with a touch of irony)

    by Il prete eremita del Nord (华北的山人神父)

    There are various discrepancies in discussions on relations between China and the Holy See. Despite the fact that there is still no public agreement, many commentators hotly discuss it as if it were common gossip. Even the bishops are often reduced to mere puppets; the lack of mutual trust between the two parties; the Taiwan issue: these are some of the problems outlined by the informed author, who calls himself "the hermit priest of the North" and is a very famous priest-blogger in China.


    29/08/2016 - SYRIA - TURKEY

    Turkey continues offensive against "terrorists" and Kurds


    At least 25 people killed yesterday. According to Turkey, they were all "Kurdish militants" and "terrorists." Ankara and Washington increasingly distant.


    29/08/2016 - INDIA

    Modi: Mother Teresa's sainthood source of pride for India. Protest of a radical Hindu leader

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Indian Prime Minister sends a delegation to the ceremony which will be held September 4 at the Vatican. The leader of a radical nationalist branch states that the canonization "is a problem" because "it will generate more conversions." Christian leaders: "These statements do not surprise us."


    29/08/2016 - INDONESIA

    A 17 year old "inspired by attack on Fr. Jacques" tries to murder priest

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Yesterday Ivan Armadi Hasugian tried to detonate a bomb in the church of St. Joseph in Medan. When the bomb failed to explode, the young man attacked Fr. Albert Pandiangan armed with ax and knife. The priest suffered a light wound to left arm. In atssailant's backpacka note found reading: "There is no God but Allah”.


    28/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope tells earthquake victims “I hope to come to see you as soon as possible"


    At the Angelus, Pope Francis expresses his closeness to the families affected by the earthquake in Latium, Marches, and Umbria. He plans to visit to bring "in person the comfort of the faith, the embrace of a father and a brother, and the support of Christian hope." As “pride, careerism, vanity, and ostentation are the cause of many evils”, it is better to choose “free giving instead of opportunist calculation to get a reward.” Canteens for the poor “spread the culture of free giving”. The World Day of Prayer for the care of Creation is set for 1 September "together with our Orthodox brothers and other ecclesial communities."


    27/08/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Mastermind of Dhaka bar massacre of foreigners is killed

    by Sumon Corraya

    After arriving in Bangaldesh from Canada in 2013, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury disappeared without leaving a trace. Two other unknown terrorists died in this morning’s raid. The planner of the cafe massacre in the capital created a new branch of the Islamist group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.


    27/08/2016 - CHINA

    Rough sailing for Chinese shipyards


    Private shipbuilders face greater obstacle than their state-owned counterparts, which get government subsidies. One company plans to lay off up to 28 per cent of its workforce. Over-capacity and low demand are the main causes. Bankruptcy looms for many.


    27/08/2016 - LAOS

    Cost of living up by 30 per cent in Laos, but wages stay the same


    Most Laotians are low income, slipping into poverty. A kilo of rice has gone from 1.05 to 1.50 US dollars. The prices of beef, fish, pork, chicken and vegetables are also up. Official at the Ministry of Commerce believes the government should raise wages or impose price controls.


    27/08/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Archdiocese of Lahore gets a record five new priests

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The ordination ceremony took place yesterday in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in the presence of hundreds of people. This year 18 priests have already been ordained in Pakistan. The rise of terrorism, beginning with the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States, "increased the local vocations."


    27/08/2016 - MIDDLE EAST

    Middle East wars and unrest lead to lower life expectancy


    Syria is particularly affected. War shaved off six years from men’s life expectancy (from 75 in 2010 to 69 in 2013), five from women’s (from 80 to 75). Millions of people have to face the consequences of water shortages and poor hygienic conditions. Non-communicable illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease are up as well.


    27/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope's Message for Peace 2017: " Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace"


    The title of the message to be published by the end of this year is released. Non-violence is not only a moral refusal but is also a " realistic way to overcome armed conflicts." Dialogue and negotiations must be based on the common dignity of the parties and on the force of what is right. The message will slam "Third World War in pieces", and call for action against the illegal arms trade.


    26/08/2016 - ITALY – INDIA – VATICAN

    Fr Gheddo: My meetings with Mother Teresa

    by Piero Gheddo

    The great missionary and journalist remembers his visits to the Mother since 1964. Mother Teresa will be canonised on 4 September. She set up a home for the dying in Kolkata and one for abandoned children. The first missionary Vigil was a procession of faith in a society marked by protests and violence. She proclaimed life as a gift and said abortion was murder. Mother Teresa was moderate and prayed at night. She slept on a mat. The 1977 Andhra Pradesh floods killed 100,000 and caused tens of thousands of refugees. Mother Teresa will be remembered for her work for the Church and around the world.


    26/08/2016 - INDIA

    Some 400 people remember Kandhamal, a “threat to democracy"

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The eighth anniversary of anti-Christian massacres was marked yesterday. Hindu nationalists use religion for nationalist purposes. Caste discrimination is still in force. The poor and the defenceless help radicals rule. What is needed is a break from the politics of “divide and rule”.


    26/08/2016 - SRI LANKA - VATICAN

    Celebrating the canonisation of Mother Teresa in Sri Lanka, far from Rome

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The Missionaries of Charity in the Asian country will not be in Rome for the ceremony on 4 September. They will remain with “our beloved poor”. For this moment, they “have prepared several activities of meeting and prayer”. It will be “a time of joy”.


    26/08/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    Filipino bishops call for an end to unpunished murders, demand justice and unity


    President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign has led to a bloodbath with no respect for the law and democracy. Unpunished, police and vigilantes have killed more than 2,000 alleged drug dealers. “We must not give up,” said the president of the Bishops’ Conference. God will hear the “prayer for healing of the nation”. For religious superiors, “Evil prospers where good men are silent”.






    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    In China-Holy See talks, silence shrouds future of underground priests

    Zhao Nanxiong

    Later this year, all priests must register to receive a certificate that allows them to exercise their ministry. But the request has to go through the Patriotic Association, whose statutes are "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine. Many priests, official and unofficial, now face an enormous dilemma.


    IRAQ
    Alqosh, despite the Islamic State, the Church celebrates the first communion of one hundred children



    On the feast day of the Assumption the whole community attended the function, celebrated by Mar Sako. For the patriarchal vicar, this is an historic moment for the frontier town long threatened by jihadists. The Chaldean primate calls on children to "contribute to the community." In Kirkuk His Beatitude opened a grotto dedicated to Our Lady.


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