25 February 2017
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  • 24/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Do not give in to the "logic of casuistry" that reduces the faith in terms of "can" or "cannot", but follow the path of Jesus, "the path from case study to truth and mercy". Jesus says, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her", but he spoke "many times with an adulteress." And in the end he said: "I do not condemn you. Sin no more. "

     




    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Christians and Muslims on a peace march from Erbil to Alqōsh


    The Chaldean Patriarch spearheads action to end violence in Iraq and the Middle East on Palm Sunday. During Lent, Nineveh towns liberated from the Islamic State will be the stations of the Cross. Some 50 families came together in Tall Usquf for Mass and the raising of a large Chaldean cross on a hill. Mar Sako calls for "conversion" among regional and world leaders. Bridges, not walls, are needed.


    23/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: do not give scandal with a double life, but converted soon


    "It would be good for all of us, each one of us, today, to consider if there is something of a double life within us: ‘But, sure, the Lord will eventually forgive everything, but I’ll keep going as I have been…’ If there is something saying, “Sure, this is not going well, I will convert, but not today: tomorrow.’ Let’s think about that. And let us profit from the Word of the Lord and consider the fact that on this point, the Lord is very strict. Scandal destroys. "

     


    23/02/2017 - IRAN - TURKEY

    Turkish u-turn fuels renewed tension between Ankara and Tehran


    Turkish President spokesman tries to downplay crisis. Turkey does not want "an escalation" of words with Iran. But Erdogan accuses Tehran of  "destabilizing” the region  irritating the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Ambassador summoned, a ready response on the Syrian arena. Israel's moves to create an Arab-Turkish in front in an anti-Iranian key.

     


    23/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Assault for Mosul airport begins


    The goal is to tear control of the airport and a nearby military base from Islamic State. Later attack to be launched on southwest sector. Increasingly critical humanitarian situation in the west. Children dying from malnutrition, at least 160 thousand people have fled the city.


    22/02/2017 - LEBANON

    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    by Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    22/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: sin has also ruined creation, but we know that God is preparing "a new earth"


    "Human pride, exploiting Creation, destroys. However, the Lord does not leave us alone and, even in this desolate picture, He offers us a new prospect of liberation, of universal salvation." For South Sudan, where "a serious food crisis is underway which condemns millions of people to death by starvation, including many children", "declarations are not enough, concrete aid is needed".

     


    22/02/2017 - TURKEY

    Ankara, imprisonment and expulsion from parliament for the Kurdish opposition party leader


    Selahattin Demirtas will have to serve five months in prison for "insulting" the nation and its institutions. The HDP number two Figen Yuksekdag, already indicted for terrorism, and expulsion from Parliament. For party colleagues there would campaign for the "No" in the constitutional referendum in April behind the repression.


    21/02/2017 - ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Israeli gets 18 months for killing a helpless Palestinian. For Peace Now, this is an “explosive situation"


    Sergeant Elor Azaria gets a light sentence. The prosecutor had requested three to five years but could have asked up to 20 years. The hearing was held at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv amid tight security with right-wing militants protesting outside. For Israeli peace activist, outside influence and a toxic atmosphere possibly swayed the decisions.


    21/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: May "holy shame" defend us from the temptations of ambition, worldliness


    "Sometimes we say it with shame we priests, we priests: 'I wish for that parish ...' - 'But the Lord is here ...' - 'But I would like that ...'. The same. Not the way of the Lord, but that road of vanity, worldliness. Even among us bishops the same happens: worldliness becomes as temptation. "

     


    21/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: it is "our duty" to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants


    "The human promotion of migrants and their families begins with their communities of origin.  That is where such promotion should be guaranteed, joined to the right of being able to emigrate, as well as the right to not be constrained to emigrate." "In the face of tragedies which take the lives of so many migrants and refugees – conflicts, persecutions, forms of abuse, violence, death – expressions of empathy and compassion cannot help but spontaneously well-up."

     


    21/02/2017 - ASIA

    Annual profits of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banks down by 62%

    by Paul Wang

    The cause is "volatile financial conditions", including the US and Brexit. The greater part of the profit comes from operations in Asia. Hang Seng in Hong Kong drop by 41%.

     


    21/02/2017 - TURKEY

    Ankara, lays off 227 magistrates. Trials begin for dozens involved in military coup


    Judges and public prosecutors removed. The number of laid off magistrates rises to 3886. They are accused of alleged links with Islamic leader Fethullah Gülen. 47 army officers on trial among them 37 members of a strike team that was supposed to kill Erdogan.

     


    20/02/2017 - ASIA – MIDDLE EAST

    World arms trade: 43 per cent goes to Asia-Oceania


    India was the world's largest importer of major arms in 2012–16, accounting for 13 per cent of global trade with Saudi Arabia ranked second. The United States, Russia, China and some European nations are the main suppliers.


    20/02/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    by Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


    20/02/2017 - LEBANON – EGYPT

    Cairo, freedom of religion and state secularism at Muslim-Christian conference in al-Azhar

    by Fady Noun

    At the initiative of the Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Sunni University will host an interfaith meeting on 27-28 February. Lay people and clergy, academic and scientific figures, Christian and Muslim leaders will be present. Lebanese President Aoun, the only Christian head of state of an Arab country, has been invited.


    20/02/2017 - IRAQ

    Mosul, army offensive to liberate the west from Islamic State continues


    The second day of fighting to oust the jihadists from the western sector, the last IS stronghold in the country. Prime Minister al-Abadi says priority is to free the civilian population "from oppression". The militiamen have sown bombs and mines in the ground to stop the advance. UN warns there are civilians trapped in the conflict.


     


    19/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Christians have "a duty" to do justice, but "it is forbidden to" seek revenge


    Jesus asks his disciples to suffer the bad, in fact, he asked them to react, however not with another evil, but with good. A prayer for the victims of violence in the Central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular child soldiers, and those affected by the attacks in Pakistan and Iraq.


    18/02/2017 - IRAN

    Iran discovers huge oil and gas fields. Target of 50 billion in profits for 2018


    According to head of NIOC a dozen new fields with a total reserve of 30 billion barrels has been found. 128 thousand billion cubic meters of natural gas discovered. Oil Minister: daily exports of 2.8 million barrels, equivalent to pre-sanctions period. 


    17/02/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    First woman to head Saudi stock exchange


    NCB Capital Co. CEO Sarah Al Suhaimi gets to run the Mideast’s largest bourse. For Saudi women, thanks to their foreign education, the financial sector provides greater space for their social and professional development.


    17/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Unity in Diversity, where there is no dialogue there is violence


    Visiting the University of Roma Tre, Francis answers questions from students. The fundamental importance of dialogue, the search for "truth, goodness and beauty"; unity that needs differences; integration and "respect" as a response to the fear of the migrant, "but each country has to see what number it can accommodate. It's true: you cannot welcome [migrants] if there are no possibilities[for them]".


    17/02/2017 - YEMEN - GULF

    Yemen, battle for hegemony between Saudi Arabia and the UAE a source of death and destruction


    Fighting between rival factions supported by Saudi Arab and UAE intensifies in the province of Aden to the south of Taez. Allies against the Shiite Houthi rebels, are actually waging a bloody fight and civilians are paying the price. The desire for independence of the people, ready to fight against any invader.

     


    16/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: “inclusion enriches every community and society”


    Francis met with a delegation of athletes from Special Olympics, a global organisation present in 170 countries dedicated to sports for youth and adults with mental disabilities. " Sport also helps us to spread a culture of encounter and solidarity,” said the pontiff. “Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome.”


    16/02/2017 - UNITED KINGDOM – SAUDI ARABIA

    Arms sales to Saudi Arabia and victims in Yemen put London on trial


    The High Court has started a review of arms sale to Saudi Arabia that allegedly led to civilian casualties in Yemen. A growing number of UK lawmakers are calling for a review of the contract. For 62 per cent of Britons, arms sales to the Saudis is "unacceptable".


    16/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: we must keep the peace, but it is not easy because war begins in the human heart


    "Within each of us is that seed of original sin, that is, the spirit of Cain which – for envy, jealousy, greed, and the desire to dominate – leads to war ". " give us the grace to say: ‘War is finished, crying. War is finished in my heart; war is finished in my family; war is finished in my neighborhood; war is finished in my workplace; war is finished in the world.’ In this way shall the dove, rainbow, and Covenant be strengthened".

     


    15/02/2017 - SYRIA

    As fighting intensifies in Southern Syria, Jordan gets ready to intervene


    The city of Dara'a is the scene of fierce fighting between Syria’s regular army and armed rebels. An intervention by Jordan seems a possibility. Jihadis want to “liberate” the country. Meanwhile, discussions centre on a possible Sunni zone from Dara'a to Deir Ez Zor.


    15/02/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Hope is "certain", based on the fact that God is right here with all of us


    It is “an extraordinary gift of which we are called to make ourselves “channels” for all, with humility and simplicity". "We are invited to boast of the abundance of grace of which we are pervaded in Jesus Christ, through faith" and "our greatest pride is to have God as a Father who has no preference, who excludes no one, but who opens his home to all human beings, beginning with the last and most distant".


     


    15/02/2017 - LEBANON - VATICAN

    Perfect harmony between the Holy See and the Order of Malta, loyalty and fidelity to Pope Francis

    by Fady Noun

    Behind the resignation of the Grand Master, the false invocation of a papal order. A commission of five people named to shed light on the affair. The exception of "sovereignty" raised by former Grand Master inadmissible. The reform promoted by Francis in line with the renewal of the Church.

     


    15/02/2017 - TURKEY

    Ankara, continues purges: 600 activists and pro-Kurdish politicians arrested


    Several political activists arrested accused of alleged links to the PKK, which Ankara considers a terrorist group. Mayors of towns with a Kurdish majority relieved of their duties. HDP leaders: arrests aim to weaken the opposition ahead of the referendum on the presidential system.


    14/02/2017 - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

    First self-driving hover-taxi successfully tested in Dubai


    The vehicle should become operational by July. Built by the Chinese EHANG company, it can fly for 30 minutes at 100 km per hour at an altitude of 300 metres.






    Editor's choices

    LEBANON
    Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions

    Fady Noun

    The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.


    EGYPT - ISLAM
    Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.


     


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