Beijing 2008: The Olympicsof suspicion and silence

Bangkok, opposition wants to block February 2 vote
Anti-government campaign mounts to prevent return to the polls. Stadium used by MPs and parties to submit nominations surrounded. Prime Minister calls for respect for "democratic system". Some demonstrators want to cancel the principle of "one person, one vote" to prevent another Shinawatra victory.
Tokyo offers ASEAN 20 billion to halt Beijing’s hegemony
The funding was announced today at the ASEAN summit in Tokyo. The loan will be used mainly to develop the Mekong River region. The 10 ASEAN members send a signal to China and sign a joint declaration on freedom of movement and trade in the East China Sea .
For Seoul archbishop, the 'Joy of the Gospel' is a tool in the fight against poverty in Korea
Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation touches "the whole of Korean society, not just Catholics". Now the Church must reflect and join the pope in the fight against the "structural causes of poverty" and social exclusion.
Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out leaves hospital
Six-year-old Bin-Bin spent almost four months in treatment at a Shenzhen hospital during which prosthetic eyes were implanted. Before going home, he left his toys "so that other children coming here for treatment can share" them." He is due back in six months for another operation that will allow him to capture images and detect what is in front of him.
Salafists to support new constitution spare the country "more anarchy"
The al-Nur Party will call on its followers to vote 'yes' in the constitutional referendum of January 2014. The move goes against the positions taken by other Islamist parties. For Salafist leader Makhyoun, the priority is to restore stability to the country. The Muslim Brotherhood instead is going back to the streets against the interim government and the new constitution.
India salutes Nelson Mandela , "an apostle of non-violence like Mahatma Gandhi "
Catholic priests and human rights activists pay tribute to the South African leader as "an ideal and an icon to follow." Mandela wanted not only to "end the segregation of blacks ," but also that " all his people lived , walked and worked together." And this is what India should do to try to "fight the caste system, violence of a religious nature and social exclusion ."
Thai king marks birthday with call for peace and solidarity amid protest truce
Today, Thailand celebrates the 86th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej . The monarch addresses the nation and invites the people to preserve "the public interest, stability and security." The anti-government protests promise to continue after festivities. AsiaNews sources : intellectuals, government, military and religious leaders want a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
Nuncio in Damascus: Fate of Orthodox nuns kidnapped by Islamists still uncertain
Msgr . Zenari tells AsiaNews: "There are no reports of the religious of St. Thecla in Maaloula , in the continuing clashes between the army and rebels ." Navi Pillay , UN High Commissioner for Human Rights : "Assad also guilty of war crimes ."
Kim Jong-un's uncle removed in Pyongyang's latest purge
Jang Song-thaek, the regime's eminence grise who handled the transition of power after the death of Kim Jong-il, was removed from his post at the National Defence Commission. A major powerbroker in the regime, he is married to the sister of the deceased 'dear leader' and acted as his nephew's guardian. The latter now appears to be on his way to emancipation.