In Bangladesh, the holy month of fasting and prayer began yesterday. President Hamid prayed for the well-being of the country and its imams. For a young man, Ramadan is a time to cleanse life of its negative things. The authorities uncover cases of adulterated food for iftar with thousands of mangoes seized and destroyed.
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of former rival Anwar Ibrahim, is the new deputy prime minister. Ibrahim is granted a royal pardon. Former Prime Minister Najib Razak will be called to testify before the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over the disappearance of US$ 4.5 billion from the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1Mdb). Police search six properties connected to Najib.
Pope Francis made the announcement during this morning’s consistory. Four other blessed will become saints: two Italians, one German and one Spanish-Argentinian.
China’s Foreign Ministry has denied reports that China is willing to cut trade surplus by US$ 200 billion dollars. Still, talks are "constructive".
In various parts of the country, some churches have been forcibly shut down or incorporated into the official body. Kindergartens have also been closed. Participants in a memorial service for the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake have been arrested. The government fears a religious renaissance.
The papal message is addressed directly to young people so that they can discover that "life is a mission", that Jesus "fills life with joy", and that he allows us to challenge evil, going so far as to give ourselves. People can engage in temporary missionary service so as to better serve others and not to live for their career alone, until you can "decide to make a complete gift of yourselves as missionaries".
The life of one child in ten is at risk. The worst data come from South and Southeast Asia. About 55 per cent of all stunted children are in Asia. Obesity is also high at 46 per cent.