The Pope in Brasil

Drought in Syria could bring hunger to 6.5 million people
According to the United Nations, rainfall since September has been less than half the long-term average, reducing wheat yields. This comes at a time when food parcels to Syrian families were cut by 20 per cent because of a drop in donors' contribution.
09/04/2014 SRI LANKA
Government gives back rice fields occupied by the military to 29 Tamil families
Sri Lanka security forces had taken over the area during the country's civil war. Now internally displaced families will be able to farm 98 acres in Vellamullivaikkal East, an area in northern Sri Lanka largely inhabited by Tamils.
South China Sea, Bishop of Manila: U.S. attitude worsens situation
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, auxiliary of the capital, intervenes in territorial disputes and attacks the United States for "meddling" in the dispute. The prelate calls for a frank and open dialogue between China and the Philippines, to reach an agreement that averts the use of violence. Meanwhile, Indonesia strengthens its military against Chinese maneuvers.
Manus refugees, a social tragedy that hangs over Papua New Guinea's head
Australia assuages its conscience by handing over financial aid, which local Churches say is really "complicity in trafficking in human beings”. However, Papua New Guinea is not able to provide these people a decent future. Sending them home means killing them and it is impossible to move them for now. A tragedy that involves us all.
08/04/2014 SRI LANKA
Card Ranjith calls on faithful to respond to Mary's call to confess, convert our hearts
Next Friday, Sri Lanka will celebrate a Festival of Forgiveness following the initiative launched by Pope Francis in late March. Even the archbishop of Colombo, who is the president of the Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka, will perform the sacrament of Confession.
Italian diplomat arrested in the Philippines for 'child trafficking' faces life in prison
Italy's Foreign Ministry has already suspended Daniel Bosio, 46, from his duties as Italian ambassador to Turkmenistan. During a holiday in the Philippines, he was arrested in the company of three children. A complaint by a local NGO proves crucial in the affair. Speaking to AsiaNews, sources talk about a "murky" case in which the Italian official showed poor judgment. Now he is waiting for the investigation to take its course.
08/04/2014 PHILIPPINES
Filipino Bishops call for respect for the Supreme Court, but reiterate life's sacredness
The highest court in the land rules in favour of the Reproductive Health Act, but nullifies some of its provisions, thus acknowledging the principle of conscientious objection. The law bans therapeutic abortion but encourages couples to have no more than two children. For its part, the Catholic Church will continue "to uphold the sacredness of human life [. . .] from conception to natural death."
08/04/2014 CHINA
China, on the feast of the dead, authorities block the commemoration of Tiananmen victims
Qingming is the "day of the ancestors" in which the tombs of the dead are swept clean in a sign of devotion and care. But the government blocks the relatives of the victims of June 4, those of dissidents and even those who want to commemorate the "controversial " heroes of the Communist Revolution .
08/04/2014 SYRIA - INDIA - EGYPT
For Indian Jesuit, the murder of Fr Frans is a loss for Muslims in Syria
Fr Bimal Kerketta, a priest who runs a school in Minya (Egypt) tells AsiaNews about his friendship with the Jesuit clergyman killed yesterday in Homs. "He was killed in the monastery garden," a fellow Jesuit in Homs says.
Missing plane: signals "compatible" with black box picked up. Thousands pray in Kuala Lumpur
This morning an Australian ship picked up a new signal, which follows the repeated sightings of Chinese vessels at the weekend. But it is a race against time because the electronic device will soon stop sending signals. Yesterday in the Malaysian capital at least 4 thousand people prayed for passengers on board flight MH370: "Not a ceremony for the dead”.
07/04/2014 INDIA
India, 2014 general election begins
Today the north-eastern Assam and Tripura vote; tribal majority and home to tea plantations. There are 7.6 million registered voters, out of a total of 814 million across the country. The voting will close on May 12. For the first time in the history of the nation, the people will have “None of the above" option.