01 October 2016
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    30/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Local authorities double maternal leave. Jakarta criticised the decision, claiming it violates national regulations. Provincial spokesman said the decision was taken to encourage breastfeeding and reduce malnutrition. Human rights advocates praise the measure.




    30/09/2016 - SYRIA - RUSSIA - UNITED STATES

    US-Russia talks on Syria at risk. Dozens of families flee east Aleppo


    Moscow (and Damascus) continue the bombing campaign on the eastern sector. Spokesman for the Kremlin: the United States "not constructive rhetoric." Kerry Washington responds: we are "on the verge" of breaking off negotiations. The testimonies of Aleppo families who have fled the area in the hands of the rebels. The Gulf countries are ready to provide new weapons to anti-government militias.


    30/09/2016 - YEMEN - S. ARABIA

    Saudi-led coalition air strikes cause new civilian casualties in Yemen


    At least eight civilian casualties in two separate attacks in the province of Saada, controlled by the Houthi rebels. Hopes for humanitarian truce dashed. Saudi Arabia rejects peace plans that do not provide for the complete disarmament of the Shiite movement and UN rejects demand for an independent commission on human rights violations in Yemen.


     


    29/09/2016 - SYRIA – RUSSIA – UNITED STATES

    Syrian conflict: US-Russia tensions rise as Syrian troops launch offensive in Aleppo


    Kerry threatens to break relations if Russia does not stop attacks. Moscow accuses Washington of promoting a "policy of threats and blackmail". A think tank close to the Kremlin calls for Moscow to distance itself from Damascus. In Aleppo, Syrian forces seize a rebel-held area. Militias use civilians as human shields.


    29/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Synod bears witness to Christ with love and hope amid war and violence


    In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Chaldean bishops reiterate the importance of evangelisation. Their goals include an enhanced role for the laity, deacons and married priests. Rebel priests and monks are ordered to return to their original diocese. The prelates prayed for Aleppo and Syria.


    28/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Bangladeshi writer Haq, a critic of fundamentalism, dies

    by Sumon Corraya

    Syed Shamsul Haq, who died aged 81, was one of the country’s most prolific and brilliant writers. He had been suffering from lung cancer for some time. He was the youngest recipient of the Bangla Academy Award, Bangladesh’s highest literary award. Christians remember him as "a teacher and guide."


    28/09/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA - OPEC

    OPEC gives green light to production cut. Market prices for crude oil rise


    The new limit is set between 32.5 and 33 million barrels a day. A decrease of 700 thousand barrels per day. Iranian Oil Minister: "Exceptional" decision. The price of Brent increases by 6% per share touching $ 49 a barrel. Riyadh cuts public sector wages.

     


    27/09/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Peshawar: three years after the Protestant church massacre, some still struggle to survive

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    On 22 September, prayers were held at All Saints Church for the Taliban’s victims. Some of the injured still require hospital treatment. On Saturday, a Mass was held in St John Vianney Church. Arif Aqeel was left paralysed and mute by the blasts.


    27/09/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA

    Thousands of Saudi women signed a petition calling for an end to male protection


    At least 14,000 women have joined the campaign, using their name. Many more have signed the initiative anonymously. The promoters are "very proud" of this support. Now they demand a response from authorities. But the campaign has met with resistance among some Saudi women who are in favor of protection.

     


    27/09/2016 - IRAN

    Tehran, Khamenei clips Ahmadinejad’s presidential ambitions: no to third term


    The Grand Ayatollah advises against the ultra-conservative leader’s running for president in 2017. His presence threatens to polarize the country, an "evil" for "everyone." Ahmadinejad in recent months had returned to the public arena. According to his supporters he will obey, despite himself, the dictates of the supreme leader.  They had already clashed in the past.

     


    26/09/2016 - ASIA – UNITED STATES

    US presidential election is an "unavoidable challenge" for East Asia


    Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo will follow very carefully the first US presidential debate. Clinton and Trump have different positions that find different echoes in various Asian countries. Given trade ties, the US-China relationship is not questioned, but how that might evolve raises questions. Islam and Islamic terrorism remain an unknown factor.


    26/09/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: from Friday on a "journey of peace" to Georgia and Azerbaijan


    A difficult journey to two countries where Catholics are a small minority. In Tbilisi, for the first time a delegation from the "intransigent" Georgian Orthodox Church will participate in a Papal liturgy. In Baku the meeting with the Sheikh of Caucasus Muslims.


    26/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka, Islamic-Christian couple: "Coexistence is possible"

    by Sumon Corraya

    Ashim Gomes, Christian, and Munira Islam, Muslim, have been married for 11 years. They have an eight year old daughter, and have chosen to baptize her. The couple speak of their joys and their sorrows at a pastoral meeting organized by the archdiocese. The major disagreements arise when both try to convince the other that their religion is the best.

     


    26/09/2016 - JORDAN

    Amman, Jordanian intellectual and journalist killed over anti-jihadist cartoon


    Nahed Hattar was gunned down at the court entrance. He was on trial after spending two weeks in jail. His assassin is a well-known local imam, and he acted to "avenge the insult to God", already known to security forces as an extremist element. Muslim intellectual: "Terrorism is genetic in most of the Arab-Muslims".


    24/09/2016 - VATICAN – FRANCE

    For pope, interreligious relations can alleviate the wounds of the Nice attack


    In his meeting victims of the terrorist attack in Nice on 14 July and their relatives, Pope Francis encouraged religious groups to entertain fraternal relations and refuse hatred. As a token of the who were killed, the pope received the gift of 86 flowers. Some secularists and environmentalists criticised the meeting. Muslim and Jewish leaders express their appreciation.


    24/09/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s Christian governor is Islamists’ "common enemy" in upcoming elections

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Campaigning for the post of Jakarta’s governor starts today. Election is set for July 2017. Outgoing Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Christian Chinese is seeking re-election. He is backed by the country’s second largest party, but opposed by radical Islamic parties because of his faith and for his fight against corruption.


    23/09/2016 - LEBANON – SYRIA

    Caritas: as poverty creates tensions between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees, there is risk of conflict


    Caritas Lebanon director Fr Paul Karam warns of great potential "social conflict" between locals and refugees. He will talk to Pope Francis about the “tragic situation”. The local Church is involved in mediation and tensions reduction. Those “who make weapons also run the war and manoeuvre it to make it go on”


    23/09/2016 - SYRIA

    Aleppo: al Nusra Front leader calls for jihadi unity ahead of decisive battle


    Mufti Al Muhaysini addresses jihadi fighters across Syria, calling for "unity, organisation and rapprochement" based on the "general fundamentals of Islam." A sworn enemy of the Islamic State, the qur‘anic judge has tried to ingratiate himself with the likes of Shia Hezbollah. However, his unifying language has not convinced any jihadi groups.


    23/09/2016 - ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM

    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)


    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    23/09/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka massacre terrorists buried after three months

    by Sumon Corraya

    None of the family members of the five bombers and cook, accused of complicity, asked for their bodies. The funeral was entrusted to a charitable organization. The coordinator of the attack remains at large as well as the financiers.

     


    22/09/2016 - LEBANON

    Christian and Muslim religious leaders pray for peace in the name of Mary in Beirut

    by Fady Noun

    Heeding Pope Francis’s call, the Lebanese Church organised a meeting for peace at the Marian shrine of Harissa. Card al-Rahi stressed the value of reconciliation. For Sunni leader, "terrorism in the name of Islam” is “a sign of the end times". Shia dignitary slammed politicians for holding the country "hostage". Courage is needed to ask for forgiveness for one’s mistakes.


    22/09/2016 - YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA

    Yemen, Saudi coalition raid hits a market killing 25 civilians


    Local witnesses speak of more than 50 injured. Riyadh’s bombs hit a crowded market. Earlier in the area, Houthi militia rebels had celebrated two years of the conquest of Sana'a. The UN says half of the 22 provinces of the country is at risk famine.

     


    21/09/2016 - SYRIA

    For Caritas, Syria has become a football field where big powers use the innocent as a ball

    by Sandra Awad*

    Fighters are destroying infrastructure, factories and buildings with their "big shoes". Displaced people, food shortages, education, migration, abandoned seniors and children playing at war are the consequences of the conflict. More than aid, people just want peace. The spokeswoman of the Catholic charity sends a letter for International Day of Peace.


    21/09/2016 - SYRIA - RUSSIA - USA

    Russia: The aid convoy "burned", not "hit" by a raid


    United States, Red Cross and militias accuse Moscow and Syria.  Russia claims it is yet another publicity stunt by Al Nusra Front. Kerry and Lavrov grapple to save the truce. Ban Ki-moon accuses all sides, but especially the Syrian government

     


    20/09/2016 - IRAQ

    Erbil: to rebellious priests and monks, the Chaldean Church responds with unity, says Patriarch Sako


    The upcoming Chaldean synod will focus on a new bishop for the Diocese of San Diego, liturgy renewal, help for Mosul refugees, and beatification of Chaldean martyrs. For the Chaldean primate, “closer and more effective action among bishops” and a united position on the country’s political future and the role of Christians are needed.


    20/09/2016 - PHILIPPINES

    For Card Quevedo, terrorism has no God, a new evangelisation is needed


    The Archbishop of Cotabato, in the heart of the predominantly Muslim Mindanao, condemns the actions of Abu Sayyaf, calling its members “practical atheists” who have “inadequate knowledge” of their own religion. Many Christians also “do not know the Bible very well”. They say they know “Christ and his teachings” but show “a stark dichotomy between belief and practice”.


    20/09/2016 - JORDAN

    Jordan holds legislative elections. Muslim Brotherhood also running


    4.1 million eligible voters out of a total of 6.6 million inhabitants. They will have to choose between 1,252 candidates, for a total of 130 seats. Highest abstention figure yet, around 42%. Experts predict Islamic Action Front will win 20 seats and become the leading opposition party.

     


    20/09/2016 - USA - AFHGHANISTAN

    Suspect New York and New Jersey bombings is Afghan-American


    Rahami Ahmad Khan, 28, of Elizabeth (New Jersey), was arrested yesterday in Linden after a shoot-out with police. Known for his kindness, he radically changed  after a trip to Afghanistan. His family felt marginalized "because Muslim". Fears for the presence of terrorist cells.


    19/09/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Christians visit a Shia place of worship in Lahore (VIDEO)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    A group of Christians and local activists meet at the Karbla Gamay Shah, a Shia ceremonial hall, to send a clear message to extremists that “we are not divided." They received a warm welcome from Shias, who are preparing to celebrate the most important day of the holy month of Muharram.


    19/09/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Jerusalem: Palestinian wounds two policemen, Israeli police shoot him


    One of the two officers was seriously injured. Author of the assault a Palestinian of about 20, hospitalized in critical condition. After three weeks of relative calm, there have been six attacks in four days. September 21 face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.






    Editor's choices

    ASIANEWS SYMPOSIUM
    Mother Teresa, Mercy for Asia and for the world (VIDEO)



    We publish the video recordings of the presentations made at the international symposium organised by AsiaNews on 2 September. In order of appearance: Fr Ferruccio Brambillasca, PIME Superior General; Card Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide; Sr Mary Prema, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity; Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, postulator of the Cause of Mother Teresa; Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai; Fr John A. Worthley, on the influence of Mother Teresa in China; a witness to the influence of Mother Teresa in the Islamic world; and Mgr Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia.


    CHINA-VATICAN
    Beijing issues new, harsh draft regulations on religious activities

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Fines of up to 200 thousand yuan (27 thousand euro) for "illegal religious activities" by Catholic or other members of underground communities. "Illegal activities" include "dependence from abroad" (such as the relationship with the Vatican). The regulations preach non-discrimination, but party members are forbidden to practice their religion, even in private. Strict control of buildings, statues, crosses. Clampdown on the internet. It could be the end of the underground community.
     


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