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by Melani Manel Perera

About 50 families have been camping in the ruined church since 23 April. Their land was occupied by the military during the civil war. The displaced people are asking for help to build 200 temporary homes and transport to get drinking water from three kilometres away. They need eight tanks, 50 toilets, street lamps to light the road, and 15 solar panels and systems to keep the water sources clean.

| 24/05/2018
| SRI LANKA

An NGO claims 12 pro-government fighters were killed. State media report only material damage. The affected area is near the Euphrates where an offensive against the Islamic State group is underway. Source in the capital tells AsiaNews that people feel safer, but “it will take a long time to heal wounds”.

| 24/05/2018
| SYRIA – UNITED STATES

Explosions began at 11 am and ended at 4 pm destroying three of four tunnels. Tunnel 1 had been abandoned years ago. The operation was videotaped, and images will be available tomorrow, when reporters reach Wonson. Critics express doubts because no nuclear expert was present and radiation levels were not measured after equipment was confiscated. The dismantling had been announced ahead of the summit between Kim and Trump, but the US president said the latter would not take place because of Pyongyang’s "hostile" behaviour.

| 24/05/2018
| NORTH KOREA

Some members of the Sangha Supreme Council are led out in handcuffs. Police raid five major temples. Investigators note that large funds were illegally transferred to outsiders. The abbot of Wat Sa Ket had 10 bank accounts, through which he funnelled 130 million baht or US$ 4 million.

| 24/05/2018
| THAILAND

The Bureau of Immigration reiterated forfeiture of her missionary visa. The nun will have to leave the country by tomorrow. Her lawyer filed an appeal with the Justice Department. The authorities accuse the nun of taking part in anti-government political rallies in the cities of Davao and Tagum.

| 24/05/2018
| PHILIPPINES

"Even here in Italy people are left without a job in order to preserve capital investments. This goes against the second commandment, so: ‘Woe to you’, Jesus warns.' "Do a little more prayer and a little more penance" for the rich, because wealth enslaves and Jesus warned that "you can not serve two masters: either you serve God or you serve riches". Francis dedicates Mass to the "noble Chinese people" who today celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan.

| 24/05/2018
| VATICAN

Zhu has been missing since 29 April after he was seized for “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble”. This is an excuse according to an activist friend. Zhu was not alone at the commemoration but he is the only one who was not released. In 2013, he challenged the "suicide" verdict of a Tianamen dissident.

| 24/05/2018
| CHINA
by Stefano Caprio

The meeting took place during celebrations for Saint Nicholas of Myra in Russia. Pope Francis and Kirill are expected in Bari. The Vatican's commitment to the great famine of the 1920s in Russia. Condemnation of Nazism and communism and efforts to avoid the Second World War. The work of Agostino Casaroli.

| 24/05/2018
| RUSSIA-VATICAN

The Shiite leader calls for protection of oil sales and for safeguarding trade. And EU countries must not ask for negotiations on the ballistic missile program or on activities in the region. The distance between Washington and Brussels remains deep. German Minister: we are following "two different paths".

| 24/05/2018
| IRAN - UNITED STATES - EU

Dushanbe sides with anti-Iranian rhetoric, accusing Tehran of having played a role in the civil war of the 1990s and of supporting militants of the banned Islamic party. Saudi investment in the country.

| 24/05/2018
| TAJIKISTAN-IRAN

The Christian religious symbol was found smashed next to the St Cajetan Chapel. The desecration took place in the village of Raia. Last year a 50-year-old was accused of desecrating more than 150 religious structures, but the charges against him were dropped and he is currently out on bail.

| 24/05/2018
| INDIA
by Bernardo Cervellera

At the general audience yesterday, Pope Francis asked for prayers for the Church in China on the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan. And he cited the "difficulties" in which the faithful live. The persecution does not overwhelm only Catholics, but also Protestants, Muslims and Buddhists. Defending religious freedom also serves the economy. The forecasts of sociologists: by 2030, China will be home to the world’s highest number of Christians.

| 24/05/2018
| CHINA-VATICAN
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