H5N1: The avian flu

26/01/2015 EGYPT - ISLAM
More blood in Tahrir Square four years after anti-Mubarak revolution
15 people killed in clashes with police. A policeman also killed. Dozens injured and hundreds of arrests. A woman, left-wing activist, was killed the day before in Cairo. A 18 year old girl killed in Alexandria. Police accuse Islamist militants. Bomb attack in a neighborhood of the capital and the Nile delta.
17/09/2014 INDIA
For Odisha bishop, building exemplary families needs the commitment of clergy and laity
With the help of Couples for Christ (CFC), Mgr John Barwa wants to renew family life. Ministering to the family, he says, should "spread into every corner of society."
17/09/2014 VATICAN - SRI LANKA
Pope Francis approves canonisation of the Apostle of Sri Lanka
The Blessed Joseph Vaz will be a saint. Within the Church of Sri Lanka, some hope to see the canonisation ceremony take place during next January's apostolic visit by the pope.
16/09/2014 VATICAN
Pope: Its’ not enough to preach well, if you lack the closeness and compassion of the Lord when He "visits" His people
"Closeness. This is how God works. "You can preach the Word of God brilliantly: there have been many excellent preachers throughout history. But if these preachers have failed to sow hope, that sermon is useless. It is mere vanity". "May our Christian witness be a witness that brings the closeness of God to His people, that closeness that sows hope."
16/09/2014 SRI LANKA
Goodbye to Sarath Fernando, who dedicated his life to the protection of creation in Sri Lanka
The Catholic intellectual died at the age 71 from cardiac arrest. Engaged since his youth in social and political activism, he also founded a number of movements to defend farmers.
15/09/2014 INDIA
Andhra Pradesh, Msgr. Ramazzotti "inspiration and provocation for all Indian Catholics"
Great celebrations in Eluru for the opening of the year dedicated to the PIME founder. The local bishop, Msgr. Maipan, recalls his life "worthy of a saint" and urges the faithful to be "true disciples" of the founding father of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. The delivery of the crucifix to a young Indian, who is leaving for Papua New Guinea, "demonstrates the PIME vocation which is increasingly an expression of the missionary will of the local churches."
15/09/2014 CHINA - HONG KONG
Half of Chinese billionaires plans to flee their country within five years
A survey looks at people with more than $ 1.5 billion in assets and found that 47 per cent of Chinese respondents want to leave, mostly to Hong Kong and Canada. Many of the super-rich in Singapore and Britain want to do the same.
14/09/2014 VATICAN
Pope: Celebrate the Holy Cross, and think of our brothers and sisters, persecuted and killed
At the Angelus Pope Francis recalls the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: "We do not exalt just any cross, but the Cross of Jesus," where " God’s love for humanity was revealed most". The cross is not a sign of "magic": "Belief in the Cross of Jesus means following Jesus on his path”. An appeal for the Central African Republic. He returns to his prayer at Redipuglia: "War is a madness ... When will we learn this lesson?"
13/09/2014 VATICAN
Pope in Redipuglia: War is madness. This is the time to weep
At the cemetery that is the final resting place for the mortal remains of over 10 thousand victims of the First World War, Pope Francis condemns past and present wars, their destructive power, motivated by Cain’s attitude: "What does it matter to me?". The "the merchants of war perhaps have made a great deal of money, but their corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry". "... Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction ...". Present cardinals and bishops from Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, ordinary soldiers and representatives of Orthodox and Muslims in Europe. Pope Francis’ grandfather fought in the Great War on the Piave. The gift of "Light of St. Francis" to the military ordinary military in commemorations of the First World War. The full text of the papal homily.
12/09/2014 INDONESIA
Jakarta, civil society against "indirect" election of local administrators
Outgoing executive coup, which proposes a norm overturning the elections under which governors and mayors would be selected by local assemblies, not citizens. The proposal before Parliament; Civil Society launches petition for its cancellation. Motion moved by Subianto Party, defeated at the polls in the race for president.
12/09/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
Occupy Central ready for a lavish democracy "banquet" in Hong Kong
The "courses" include peaceful acts of civil disobedience to be held on an almost weekly basis. The first one will entail a 500-metre-long black banner to express Hongkongers' ire at Beijing's offer of universal suffrage. Chinese scholar warns that Beijing might restrict the territory's freedom. Catholic Church backs the student strike.
12/09/2014 ISLAM - CAMEROON
Poverty, fanaticism and a desire for revenge drive Boko Haram in Cameroon
Islamic terrorism is gaining ground not only in Nigeria. Young Cameroonians are leaving their families for a holy war. Westerners, but also local politicians are their target. Peaceful coexistence between faiths and ethnic groups is at risk.
11/09/2014 US-IRAQ-ISLAM
Obama calls Saudi King before his speech against the Islamic state
An expansion of air raids in Iraq and in Syria; checks on the financing and recruitment of IS militiamen; aid to refugees. There is also a program to train and arm anti-Assad rebels.
Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza
The group points to attacks against three UN-run schools. Yesterday, the Israeli military announced its own investigation. The UN says both Israel and Hamas violated humanitarian principles.
11/09/2014 PAKISTAN
Church helping Pakistan floods victims
A day of prayer for survivors will be held tomorrow. The bishop of Islamabad/Rawalpindi visited a Christian colony still waiting for aid. Punjab is the most affected province with 257 dead, 461 injured, more than 1,500 houses damaged and 1,337 villages flooded.
11/09/2014 TIBET - CHINA
Beijing plays at Buddhist theology claiming exclusive right to recognise the Dalai Lama
The current Tibetan leader has suggested that, with his death, the line of Dalai Lamas might come to an end. Angered, China's angry atheist, Communist government, noted that "The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government, which has hundreds of years of history." It plans to do the same for the next one.
10/09/2014 MYANMAR
Burmese activists: Despite promises, in 2014, a growing number of political prisoners
President Thein Sein had promised the release of all prisoners of conscience by the end of 2013. In reality, the number has increased and is expected to grow even in these last months of the year. There are currently 122 people on trial for crimes of a "political" nature. In August, 28 new trials, five prisoners tortured in prison.
10/09/2014 VATICAN
Pope: Church teaches that mercy is to share with those in need
The example of Mother Teresa, who brought the dying home and "gave them a dignified farewell”. May God "instill courage" in the Christians of the Middle East "in the fight against the forces of evil and to open the eyes of those who are blinded by evil, so they may soon see the light of truth and repent for their mistakes". Thanks to "Mare Nostrum".
10/09/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
Card. Zen: With Occupy Central we may have provoked the Emperor’s ire
The democratic movement is not a threat to the Territory’s survival. Beijing’s "three slaps in the face" of the local population. "When the imperialists attack, they only do damage, but when it is our fellow Chinese who want to enslave us, then our heart is wounded. There is no other option for those who do not want to be enslaved except resistance". The reflections of the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.
10/09/2014 SYRIA
Syrian Christians main victims of fighting among anti-Assad Islamists
In Ram Hamdan, a suicide bomber kills the leader of Ahrar al-Sham and 40 other people, including senior commanders of the extremist movement. Fingers point at the Islamic State, which in the past has carried out similar attacks against the rival group. Al Nusra forces encircle the Greek Orthodox stronghold of Mhardeh with the goal of seizing its government military base.
Uri Avnery: The danger of the Islamic State and of Israeli Messianic Zionism
The lack of agreement for peace in the Holy Land has fueled the rise of Arab Islamist forces. A conflict of nationalist leanings has become sectarian war; Zionist secular forces have taken on a religious and fundamentalist leaning. The Islamist movement is a response to the desire for revenge in the Muslim world. Below, we publish an editorial by Uri Avnery, a former Israeli parliamentarian, writer and peace activist. (From Gush Shalom)
Afghanistan, kidnapped Indian Jesuit "is alive and safe"
This is according to the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj, who adds that New Delhi is "working for his release". Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, SJ, was kidnapped last June.
Uri Avnery: The danger of the Islamic State and of Israeli Messianic Zionism
The lack of agreement for peace in the Holy Land has fueled the rise of Arab Islamist forces. A conflict of nationalist leanings has become sectarian war; Zionist secular forces have taken on a religious and fundamentalist leaning. The Islamist movement is a response to the desire for revenge in the Muslim world. Below, we publish an editorial by Uri Avnery, a former Israeli parliamentarian, writer and peace activist. (From Gush Shalom)
09/09/2014 ASIA
World Bank: global employment crisis
At least 100 million people are unemployed in G20 countries with an additional 447 million working poor. Persistent slow growth will dampen employment prospects, with real wages stagnating or dropping. An extra 600 million jobs are needed worldwide by the year 2030 just to cope with the expanding population.
08/09/2014 CHINA
China, a record for exports. But domestic market languishes
Official government figures released today show a 9.4% growth in exports for the month of August. But imports yield 2.4 percentage points, the stagnant housing market weighs on the stabilization of domestic consumption. The "iPhone" factor which will give an important stimulus to the Chinese economy for the rest of 2014.
08/09/2014 CHINA
China, a record for exports. But domestic market languishes
Official government figures released today show a 9.4% growth in exports for the month of August. But imports yield 2.4 percentage points, the stagnant housing market weighs on the stabilization of domestic consumption. The "iPhone" factor which will give an important stimulus to the Chinese economy for the rest of 2014.
08/09/2014 INDIA
Mary's example "to heal ethnic and religious divisions in India"
In Mumbai, more than 50,000 people were expected for the celebration of the Nativity of the Virgin. The city's archbishop, Card Oswald Gracias, noted that on this date the Church in India also celebrates the Day of Girl Child. Too often, girls are "defenceless, their existence threatened by female foeticide and infanticide." He also called for a prayer for "the children of Mary who suffer intense atrocities in Iraq and Syria."
08/09/2014 VIETNAM - VATICAN
Vatican and Vietnam meet again to improve bilateral relations and the life of Catholics
The fifth meeting of the Joint Working Group will be held on 10 and 11 September in Hanoi. Full diplomatic relations and the issue of respect for religious freedom, which is severely restricted, will be discussed.
06/09/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
Ukraine crisis, Minsk cease-fire holds
Yesterday's agreement includes the release of "hostages" and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the battlefields of the East, by both factions. Today the first shipment of humanitarian aid should enter the Dombass. Separatist leader: "This truce doesn't mean that our course for secession is over."
06/09/2014 MIDDLE EAST
NATO coalition against the Islamic Army, but with many "ifs" and "buts"
The project will be presented to the UN at the end of September. The group excludes cooperation with Syria and Iran, as well as sending troops to Iraq. Urgent need to block funding of Islamists and share information about westerners who have joined the jihad. Discovery of a mass grave in Sulaiman Bek.
05/09/2014 VIETNAM
Club dedicated to Card Van Thuan, a messenger of hope, founded in Hanoi
The new group is set up to promote the Vietnamese cardinal's works and message of hope. He is expected to be beatified soon. Held in the capital in the presence of Redemptorist Fathers, the first meeting focused on the "challenges" young people face to become "human". Nothing is known about the authorities' attitudes towards the club. In the past, the government and the party tried to obscure the memory of the cardinal, a hero of the faith.
05/09/2014 INDIA
For Card Gracias, Mother Teresa represents hope for peace in Iraq, Ukraine and the world
On the day marking the liturgical memory of the Blessed of Kolkata, AsiaNews publishes a reflection by the archbishop of Mumbai. "Through Jesus," the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, "revealed His tenderness and personal love for the poorest of the poor."
05/09/2014 ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
Donations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
04/09/2014 BANGLADESH
Ganguly,-pray-for-his-beatification-32066.html">Thousands of Bangladeshis remember Mgr ">Ganguly, pray for his beatification
Tuesday marked the 37th anniversary of the death of Dhaka's first Bangladeshi bishop. For a young Catholic, he is "a guide to follow in life." Already a Servant of God, he is undergoing the process of canonisation process.
04/09/2014 TIBET - CHINA
Tibet, living Buddha left "unrecognizable" from torture after arrest during 2008 protests
Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, a much loved and highly respected lama from the Tibetan Buddhist community, is in serious condition, weak and emaciated. The first religious leader to go to jail after the riots of March 2008, he was sentenced to eight years in prison thanks to a confession extorted by violence.
04/09/2014 IRAQ
For Baghdad patriarch, Christians (and other minorities) risk extinction, calls for pluralism and unity against Islamism
Mar Sako warns that the displaced are increasingly suffering, at risk of "genocide" and deprived of "religious, human, moral and national values." The international community and the Iraqi government must fight extremism. Christians also need to put aside the desire to emigrate and continue to be "leaven" of the earth. The struggle against the political use of religion starts with education.
03/09/2014 IRAQ - UN
Ban Ki-moon: "World outraged" by Steven Sotloff beheading
"A second message to America" video released yesterday condemning US air raids on Islamic Army and showing execution by beheading of the journalist. Sotloff’s mother had sent a message asking Abu Bakra al-Baghdadi to save her son's life. Threats of another decapitation. Analysts see use of "media war" as a sign of weakness.
02/09/2014 VATICAN
Pope: Christian identity is not "academic degrees", but being moved by the Holy Spirit
"If we Christians do not fully understand the things of the Spirit, if we do not give or offer witness then we no identity". "Often, so often, we find among our faithful, simple old women who perhaps didn’t even finish elementary school, but who can speak to us of things better than any theologian, because they have the Spirit of Christ".
02/09/2014 PHILIPPINES
Filipino bishops: Social media a tool to prepare for encounter with Pope Francis
A Catholic youth movement with the support of the Bishops' Conference, has organized a meeting to improve the use of new technologies ahead of the Pope’s visit to the country. The invitation to use social as "an instrument of mission and a means to encounter others”. The digital world is full of "wounded" people in search of "salvation and hope."
01/09/2014 INDONESIA
Medan: Catholic doctors and students on retreat, to strengthen cooperation and friendship
The theme of the 19th edition of the meeting is "Enhancing unity through solidarity." The event was attended by at least 80 people, including students and teachers. Local priests also present. Lectures and seminars accompanied by prayer and reflection. A Catholic University initiative that reinforces "cooperation and mutual relations."
30/08/2014 BANGLADESH
Bangladesh, no let up in floods: millions of people at risk
The torrential rains that are hitting the country have devastated 19 of 64 national districts. Over 20 thousand houses under water, the authorities close schools: if the situation does not change, all of these buildings will have to be demolished. The victims helpless, while the government admits: "We are not able to help everyone."
Damascus ready to collaborate with US and UN to stop Islamic State
The United Nations reports that after seizing Mosul militants killed hundreds of Shia inmates from Badoush prison. In addition, they carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, kidnappings, human trafficking, enslavement and sexual violence.
25/08/2014 INDIA
Orissa, six years on from pogrom "faith in the crucified Christ never abandons us"
The Indian State,scene of terrible anti-Christian persecution in 2008, today holds a Day of Remembrance in memory of the victims and to demand justice from the government. The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar tells AsiaNews: "The testimony of victims has produced fertile seeds, which nourish faith and vocations." Card. Gracias: "The suffering of Christians in India, offered for peace in Iraq".
24/08/2014 VATICAN
Pope appeals for peace in Ukraine. Peter's blind faith and hearts of "rock" or "sand"
At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls situation of conflict that create "so much suffering among the civilian population". A bishop writes a letter to the pope, "describing this pain." As for Peter, Jesus expects a "reliable", faith on which to build the Church. "What is your faith like? We should all find the answer in our hearts. What does the Lord find in our hearts? A stable heart like stone, or a heart like sand, that is incredulous, doubtful, suspicious?". He makes the pilgrims repeat Peter's profession three times: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God."
22/08/2014 INDIA
India, film on assassination of Indira Gandhi barred from release
According to the critics the film "glorifies" the murderers of the renowned Indian Prime Minister and could trigger a "law and order situation". The film tells the story of Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards, who apparently killed her in 1984 to avenge the massacre of Sikhs in the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
22/08/2014 MALAYSIA
Kuala Lumpur, nation mourns over victims of Flight MH17 shot down in Ukraine
Today, the first 20 bodies arrived at the airport in the capital. 43 Malaysians died in the air disaster, 15 of them crew members. Highest authorities present, flags at half-mast and for the first time a national day of mourning declared for civilian casualties. Malaysia Airlines' condolence to family members.
22/08/2014 INDIA
Kerala: Syro-Malabar bishops to allow Catholic cremation
The decision is partly due to shrinking burial space. The Synod calls on the faithful to continue "offering" prayers for the dearly departed, whilst using public crematoriums for the last rites.
22/08/2014 PHILIPPINES
More than 30 churches and chapels re-open in areas affected by typhoon Yolanda
Caritas Manila led the rebuilding project. "The people were really happy and others became emotional that after some months, their churches were rebuilt again".
For the United States, the Islamic State is the "biggest threat" and must be fought in Syria
The US Defence Secretary and the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff make statements to that effect. However, many observers fear that the American public will not support further military action in Iraq and Syria. A growing number of militants are joining the army of the Islamic State from at least 50 countries.
21/08/2014 INDONESIA - ISLAM
Borobudur, Islamists target Indonesia’s most important Buddhist temple
The complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, risks being destroyed like the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Authorities strengthen security measures. Citizens invited to participate in the defense of "cultural heritage". President Yudhoyono declares jihadist violence "humiliating" for Islam.
21/08/2014 CHINA
Churches and crosses demolished: lawyers challenge Zhejiang government in defense of religious freedom
The faithful of the Salvation Church in Pingyang (Wenzhou) were violently harassed by police and thugs in an attempt to defend the cross of their church. Lawyers say this violates the Chinese Constitution. The government of Wenzhou defends itself: only a tiny fraction of the buildings were destroyed churches. But Protestant pastors accuse it of persecution.
20/08/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists
The cardinal makes a short one-day stop in Erbil accompanied by civil and religious leaders. He will meet with Kurdish President Barzani and visit the archbishop's see. The trip will focus on the fate of Christians fleeing jihadists and the possible use of force to repel the Islamist threat. The issue of relations with Islam and interfaith dialogue will also be discussed.
20/08/2014 NEPAL
Floods leave 200 people dead and 10,000 families homeless
For residents, this is the worst environmental disaster in 70 years. At present, 400 people are missing with hundreds injured. Some 30,000 homes have been flooded, 5,000 damaged. In Bardia District, there is no drinking water. The carcasses of dead animals are causing fear of disease. The Catholic Church and Caritas are providing aid.
19/08/2014 MYANMAR
Kachin Bishops urge "sustainable" solution to conflict, "peace is possible" in Myanmar
The bishops of Banmaw, Myitkyina and Lashio revived the project of a "true federalism" that respects "ethnic groups, cultures and resources." They denounce human trafficking and the drug problem that has affected young people. Glimmers of a national ceasefire talks between the government and ethnic militias.
19/08/2014 UKRAINE - RUSSIA
Moscow-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church calls for Crimea's return to Kyiv
A Church spokesman spoke out to this effect days after Onufry's enthronement as the new metropolitan. Meanwhile the Russian patriarch continues his silence on Russia's takeover of the Crimea, but is loud in his attacks against the '"aggressiveness" of the Uniate Church.
19/08/2014 CHINA
To stop corruption, the party must act within the limits of the constitution
Popular sovereignty, public opinion, and an independent judiciary as brakes on the absolute power of the Party are dreams "worth having", the great statesman writes. The charter is legitimate on paper but its spirit died in the Tiananmen Square bloodbath. Courtesy of Radio Free Asia.
18/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
A "Joseon-style" portrait to celebrate the Pope's visit to Korea
A group of 7 artists has made two copies and a portrait of Francis using Korean traditional techniques. The original was gifted to the Pope after Mass in Myeongdong, the copies will go to the Seosomun Martyrs Shrine.
18/08/2014 HONK KONG - CHINA
Pro-Beijing activists take to Hong Kong streets to protest against the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement
Tens of thousands of people march to denounce the "threat" posed by democracy activists. Among the demonstrators, there were many "tourists" from mainland China and people paid to protest. For others, employers' pressures "convinced" them to take part in the event. For the leaders of the pro-democracy Occupy Central movement, the struggle continues.