22 March 2018
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  • 21/03/2018 - CHINA - UN

    The UN Human Rights Council discussed the need for NGOs to do their work for human rights without interference. Diplomat Chen Cheng tried to block the dissident's speech.

    21/03/2018 - SYRIA

    Damascus, Ghouta East rebels hit central market: 37 dead and 35 wounded

    Attacks by anti-government militias intensify. Rockets and missiles mostly affect civilians, even children. Yesterday a market capital, crowded with people busy shopping for Mother's Day was hit. Witness: "terrifying" explosion. The evacuation of civilians from Ghouta east continues.

    21/03/2018 - KOREA

    Pyongyang positive on dialogue with Seoul with confidence based on strength

    State media deny North Korea is acting under the pressure of sanctions. “Such rubbish” like from “a dog barking at the moon”. An intra-Korean summit is set for next month. US President Donald Trump will meet Kim in late May.

    21/03/2018 - CHINA – EUROPE

    Dolkun Isa: Beijing also persecutes the Uyghurs abroad

    Students and activists are targeted. The relatives of Uyghurs in exile are sent to "re-education camps". The families in China are hostage to blackmail students abroad. The world’s silence favours the Chinese government.

    21/03/2018 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lankan groups want UN Convention on the elimination of women’s discrimination implemented

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Sri Lanka ratified the Convention in 1981 but women still have to struggle for their fundamental rights. They are still paid less than men. The Human Rights Commission wants improved conditions for women working in the informal sector.

    21/03/2018 - AFGHANISTAN

    Kabul, hope and blood on Nowruz

    The ancient Zoroastrian festival marks the start of a new year. Ahead of Christian preparations for Easter, Kabul’s parish priest expresses best wishes that spring may come to society. “We can all – Christians and Muslims – benefit from the life that blooms from the death of Jesus!” he said. Likewise, there is hope for negotiations with the Taliban.

    21/03/2018 - VIETNAM

    Saigon seminarians on a pastoral visit in the footsteps of Pope Francis

    by Joseph Nguyen Truc

    Seminarians "can support the hồn tông đồ, the apostolic soul of the consecrated life, in order to become future priests capable of carrying out pastoral and social activities in the service of parish communities.” Helping the poor and migrants is one of the many challenges in the parishes of Thới Hòa and Hội Nghĩa, Phú Cường diocese. In Mỹ Tho, the healing of a woman converts 30 people to the Catholic faith.

    21/03/2018 - INDIA

    Indian bishops invite the faithful to celebrate April as ‘Dalit history month'

    by Purushottam Nayak

    The Office for Scheduled Castes/Backward Classes wants to commemorate the people who struggle for the emancipation of the former "untouchables". Applications can be submitted until 25 March.

    21/03/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: Christian life is like a plant, it does not bloom without a root, and the root is Jesus

    "The Eucharist makes us strong to gift the flowers of good works". "As it unites us to Christ, wresting us from our selfishness, Communion opens and unites us to all those who are one in Him. This is the prodigy of Communion: we become what we receive!". On August 25 and 26 Francis will travel to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families.

    21/03/2018 - MYANMAR

    Naypyitaw, President Htin Kyaw resigns

    He was the first civilian elected by the parliament to hold the office since the 1962 coup. He is a close confidant of Aung San Suu Kyi, to whom he is linked by a deep friendship. In January, Htin Kyaw launched an appeal for the modification of the militarist Constitution and for justice to all ethnic minorities.

    21/03/2018 - SAUDI ARABIA - INDONESIA

    Saudi executions continue as Indonesian migrant beheaded for (alleged) homicide

    The 53-year-old Zaini Misrin was sentenced to death. He was accused of killing his employer in 2004. During the trial, the right to defence was denied and the confession was extorted with deception. Since the rise to power of Mohammed bin Salman the number of executions have doubled.

    20/03/2018 - RUSSIA

    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    20/03/2018 - PAKISTAN

    Christian leaders and civil society groups have had enough with the abuses of the blasphemy law

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A petition is sent to the prime minister to intervene in favour of two Christian cousins ​​accused of blasphemy. The plea calls for effective measures to ensure their and their families’ safety and security. An ecumenical group is created to help persecuted Christians.

    20/03/2018 - CHINA

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    by John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.

    20/03/2018 - PHILIPPINES

    Ahead of Synod on youth, young Filipinos call for understanding of young people to preach the Gospel

    "It’s very important to be accepting and to be a listening church,” says one young person. The Synod of Bishops will focus on “faith and vocational discernment” in young people next October. Church leaders should understand the “questions, hopes, fears and wounds of young people”. A study for the Bishops’ Conference notes that 99 per cent of young Catholics consider religion important.

    20/03/2018 - INDIA

    Delhi Methodist church façade and entrance destroyed

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    According to the authorities, the cemented part was not authorized. Priest denounces not having received any notification. It had been built with church funds to facilitate the entry of elderly people. Sajan K George: "This demolition, during this holy period for the Christian community, hurts the religious feelings of the community and reinforces the growing anti-Christian sentiments and propaganda".

    20/03/2018 - SRI LANKA

    Nine years after the end of the civil war, the Vanni area is still under military occupation

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Many families are still displaced, without access to their livelihoods. The military are using illegally held land and taking advantage of women. A report by two civil society organisations calls on the government to respect UN recommendations.

    20/03/2018 - CHINA

    Xi Jinping to NPC: socialism with Chinese characteristics alone can save the country

    by Wang Zhicheng

    Closing the National People's Congress, the president's address, full of rhetoric, speaks of a "great struggle, great project, great cause, and great dream" as a way to achieve progress and stability, development and attention to the person. Just one condition: to submit and obey the Party leadership. Li Keqiang asks the US not to act "emotionally" in launching a possible trade war. The promotion of Xia Baolong, the mastermind behind the campaign to destroy crosses and churches in Zhejiang.

    20/03/2018 - THAILAND-LAOS

    Bangkok, life imprisonment for Laotian drug lord 'Mr. X'

    He was the head of a smuggling network that produced the drug in the "Golden Triangle", where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. The Laotian route to the south is increasingly used by traffickers trying to reach Thailand, Malaysia and even Australia and Japan, where profits soar.

    20/03/2018 - SYRIA - TURKEY

    Hundreds of thousands flee Afrin as rebels sack the city

    Shops, homes, military and government facilities subject to raids and expropriations. The Turkish president announces the continuation of the offensive, Kobane is the final goal. At least 200 thousand civilians have left the area in recent weeks; nearly 300 victims, including 43 children. The deafening silence of the United States and Europe.

    20/03/2018 - KOREA-US

    South Korea and the US to hold 'low profile' military exercises

    "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle" will start on March 23rd and April 1st. Kim Jong-un had expressed "understanding" for the "routine" of the exercises, to visiting South Korean officials. South Korean expert: possible exchange currency for negotiations

    19/03/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope Francis confers episcopal ordination to three new nuncios, tells them prayer is their first task

    The new prelates are Mgr Waldemar Stanisław Sommertag, nuncio to Nicaragua; Mgr Alfred Xuereb, nuncio to Korea and Mongolia; and Mgr José Avelino Bettencourt, nuncio to Armenia and Georgia. The Pope emphasised that a bishop’s mission is “the good of men in things that concern God", adding emphatically, “not for business, not for politics, not for other things."

    19/03/2018 - RUSSIA

    Putin IV, 'the Terrible', has won

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Although the tally is not yet final, Tsar Putin leads with 76.6 per cent of the vote. The "Crimea" effect and the division among liberals contributed to his success. Patriarch Kirill blessed Putin’s victory.

    19/03/2018 - IRAQ

    For the archbishop of Kirkuk, young Christians and Muslims are the engine to rebuild Iraq

    The new generation is the true foundation on which to rebuild after years of divisions, violence and extremism, says Mgr Yousif Thoma Mirkis who met 700 university students from Mosul, lodged in Kirkuk during the Islamic State rule. Two young men from Mosul, one Christian and one Muslim, shot a video telling the story of a friendship that is stronger than the jihadi madness.

    19/03/2018 - VATICAN

    Pope: Escaping from the 'poisoned' logic of 'but it's always been that way'

    The pre-Synodal meeting is open, with over 300 young people from all continents, Catholic, Christians and non-believers. A Synod that "wants to be not only a Synod on the 'young and' for 'young people, but also a Synod' of 'young people and' with 'young people". "Too often we talk about young people without questioning you". Anticipation from the new book-interview: "" To understand a young person - you can read it - today you have to understand it in movement, you can’t stand still and expect to be on their wave length”.

    19/03/2018 - PAKISTAN

    Catholics to work with police as Easter security threat level raised

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Special steps are announced for Easter celebrations. Police will train volunteers before Good Friday. The Church has long called for the implementation of a court ruling to train special police task force to protect Catholic places of worship.

    19/03/2018 - INDIA

    Franciscan missionary: rural despair supplies sexual exploitation

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Sexually exploited women and girls do not come out of nothing. They do not choose to become prostitutes; they are tricked into it. Poor areas are vulnerable to traffickers who “dress up their evil as benevolence. “[T]here is always greed, always vulnerability and always deception” as well as a place of “origin – a location”. For the nun, “where I work, I am almost alone. And there are so many like me.”

    19/03/2018 - AUSTRALIA – MYANMAR

    Aung San Suu Kyi visits ASEAN summit, makes state visit to Australia amid controversy

    The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been criticised for her alleged silence over the growing humanitarian crisis in Rakhine state. The emergency was at the centre of talks among ASEAN members at the three-day summit (16-18 March) in Sydney. To resolve it, she is seeking ASEAN’s and Australia’s assistance.

    19/03/2018 - CHINA

    Enter Liu He, the man behind economic reform

    by Wang Zhicheng

    The personal friend and economic advisor to Xi Jinping was named vice-premier. He will be joined by Han Zhen, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua. He is the person who pushes most for economic reforms and for a change in the Chinese development model. The nomination of Yi Gang as governor of the People's Bank of China was also appreciated.


    19/03/2018 - VIETNAM

    Hundreds of Vietnamese nuns in the USA to complete their studies

    by J.B. An Dang

    Private organizations, even foreign ones, can participate in the educational system of the country. So far, the government has never granted permits to private organizations affiliated to the Church. In some cases, nuns can manage nurseries and childcare centers in large cities, if local authorities turn a blind eye.

    Editor's choices

    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.


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