07/23/2014JAPAN - MONGOLIA Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar sign deal to cut duties, agree on mediation with Pyongyang Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Elbegdorj ink free trade pact to boost bilateral trade, mostly cars and beef. The deal is also inspired by a desire to get Mongolia to help in North Korean-Japanese relations. Former Communist nation is playing an increasingly important diplomatic role. Tokyo (AsiaNews) - After North Korea and China, Mongolia is boosting diplomatic and
trade agreements with Japan, developing
a role as neutral referee in
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and
Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj signed...
07/20/2014VATICAN Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
07/19/2014UKRAINE - RUSSIA Ukraine, inquiry into downed flight hindered Despite yesterday’s statements, pro-Russian separatists restrict OSCE observers access to area. Mystery on the actual responsibility. The White House claims "Putin has the power to defuse violence but does not want to”. The Pope prays for victims and calls on all parties to the conflict "for peace and for a commitment to find negotiated solutions."
07/19/2014ITALY - ASIA 2013 sees jump in death penalty, with China, Iran and Iraq in the lead This is what emerges from the 2014 Report "The death penalty in the world" Hands Off Cain. At least 4,106 executions in the world, up from the 3,967 in 2012. Official data lacking from many countries. In China, more than 3 thousand people died at the Executioner’s hands, Iran 687 and Iraq 172.
07/18/2014VATICAN - ISLAM Christians and Muslims should work fraternally for "justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person" The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issues a message for the Muslims of the world to mark the end of Ramadan. "Despite being aware of our differences, [. . .] We perceive the importance of promoting a fruitful dialogue built upon mutual respect and friendship. Inspired by our shared values and strengthened by our sentiments of genuine fraternity, we are called to work together for justice, peace and respect for the rights and dignity of every person."
07/18/2014MALAYSIA - RUSSIA - UKRAINE Ukraine: Malaysia Airlines flight shot down, 298 deaths. Moscow and Kiev trade blame The tragedy has "deeply shocked" Malaysians still reeling from the disappearance of flight MH370. Prime Minister Najib calls for thorough investigations to clarify the dynamics. Interceptions reveal involvement of Russian separatists; Putin rejects the charges and blames the Ukrainian government which has taken over the military actions in the area. Emergency meeting of the UN.
07/13/2014VATICAN As pope makes "heartfelt appeal" for peace in the Holy Land, he notes that prayer is not "in vain" After the Angelus, Pope Francis called on those present to pray during a minute of silence. He made the same plea to local and international policy makers. Prayer helps us "not allow ourselves be overcome by evil, nor accept that violence and hatred take over from dialogue and reconciliation." The parable of the sower asks, 'How is our heart? To what ground does it look like: a road, rocky ground, or a bush? We must remember that with our words "we too are sowers". Indeed, "Our words can do so much good and so much evil; they can hurt and heal, encourage and depress." And "please, do not forget to pray for me."
07/12/2014ASIA - UNITED NATIONS More than half the world's population lives in cities India will lead the way, as the country's urban population is expected to swell by 404 million people between now and 2050. Tokyo will continue to top the mega-city list followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Osaka, and Cairo. This trend will be challenge for health care, schools, food, and housing.