07/29/2015NEPAL Animal slaughter banned at Hindu feast of Gadhimai, goddess of power The Gadhimai Festival is held every five years and brings in millions of pilgrims from India and Nepal. In 2009, 500,000 buffaloes, goats and chickens were killed. In 2014, the number dropped after a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court banning livestock movement between the two countries. Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A temple in southern Nepal known for the mass slaughter of animals at a festival that takes place every five years has indefinitely banned animal sacrifice, this according to India’s Humane Society International.
07/27/2015NEPAL Four arrests in a case involving a 10-year-old child killed in a witchcraft sacrifice by Christopher Sharma The child’s name was Jeevan Kohar. He was playing near home and was tricked into following his murderers with a box of biscuits and the equivalent of 50 cents. His body was offered in sacrifice to Hindu gods in order to cure an 18-year-old man. The latter’s father said he feels guilty for his action. Lawyers staged a protest in front of parliament against Hindu superstitious practices, which are used to justify the murder of innocent people.
07/26/2015 VATICAN-SYRIA Pope: urgent appeal for the release of Fr. Dall'Oglio, kidnapped two years ago in Syria At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Jesuit priest, the two Orthodox bishops and all those who have been kidnapped, calling on all present to join him in the recitation of a Hail Mary. Joined by the presence of two young people, he opens registration for WYD in Krakow and registers himself as teh first pilgrim online with a tablet. Commenting on today's Gospel: "Who among us does not have his" five loaves and two fish "? If we are willing to put them in the hands of the Lord, they will be a bit more love in the world to go around".
07/24/2015CHINA Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions by Joseph Yuan This is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
07/24/2015NEPAL Non-resident Nepalis complain that the new Constitution deprives them of voting rights by Christopher Sharma The draft proposal includes social and economic rights, but not political rights. Dual citizenship and immigration from China and India are major issues. More than 500,000 Nepalis living abroad could provide capital for the development of their country of origin. The Nepali diaspora has the resources, skills and knowhow necessary to help one of the poorest countries in the world.
07/24/2015VATICAN - GREAT BRITAIN For the pope, euthanasia is what “mafiosi do. There is a problem: we get rid of this guy . . .” In his message to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for this year’s Day for Life, centred on the theme of ‘Cherishing Life and Accepting Death,’ Pope Francis said that “There is nothing progressive about solving problems by eliminating a human life." For him, “considering having a baby as a right is not a scientific achievement when the child should instead be welcomed as a gift; nor is it right to use humans as laboratory rats in order to save ostensibly others.”
07/23/2015ISRAEL - IRAN After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally by Uri Avnery This is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
07/22/2015NEPAL As new constitution sparks protests, critics say it violates religious freedom by Christopher Sharma Under a provision in the draft constitution, anyone who carries out religious conversions could be punished. For Christian clergyman, this “goes against freedom itself”. In Terai district, copies of the proposed charter were burnt. Hundreds of people are arrested and scores hurt in violent clashes with police. Regional parties want the federal nature of the state recognised right away.
07/17/2015VATICAN Vatican calls for an end to violence, corruption and pollution in mining Organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the conference ‘United with God - listen to the cry’ brought together representatives of communities affected by mining activities from Africa, Asia and America. “Investors, business people, as well as political and government leaders in countries with mines and the headquarters of multinational mining companies are responsible” for this.
07/17/2015NEPAL Kathmandu calls on foreign tourists to visit the country by Christopher Sharma Nepali government officials at the 39th session UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee call for the country to be removed from the danger list for travellers. In 2014, some 800,000 tourists visited the Himalayan nation. This year, this is expected to decline by 40 per cent. Just for summer and fall, bookings should drop by 70 per cent. For Nepal, tourism is a major source of revenue.
07/16/2015VATICAN Vatican budget still in the red with a € 25.6 million deficit for 2014 The Governorate of the Vatican City State, which is responsible for museums, the Vatican post office, commercial enterprises, etc., had instead a good year with a surplus of € 63.5 million. Net assets rose by € 939 million as a result of adjustments to count all the assets and liabilities for the 2014 fiscal year.
07/15/2015NEPAL 2016 budget allocates funds for more homes, but less for education by Christopher Sharma The authorities have allocated a total of 7.3 billion euro. Most resources will be used to rebuild the country after the April 25 earthquake. The funds for education barely reach 20% of the budget, as the government had promised. Private sector favored as are funds for the federal organization of the State as laid down by new Constitution.
07/14/2015NEPAL Witchcraft in Nepal: Two women convicted for the murder of a child by Christopher Sharma The practice of black magic is common in the Hindu community in the south of the country. To honor the gods and learn witchcraft gurus dictate the murder of children and the extraction of their fresh blood. In contrast, adults are burnt alive. Investigators suspect other crimes that go unreported.