03/12/2016 - EGYPT
Egypt’s parliament recently approved the bill that is now waiting for President al-Sisi’s signature. It imposes sentences of up to five years in prison and fines up to a US$ 650,000. According to critics, the law’s restrictions will have a devastating impact.
by Loula Lahham
03/12/2016 - CHINA – UNITED STATES – TAIWAN
Tsai Ing-wen’s call to Trump irritates Beijing
The two presidents congratulate each other, talk about close economic, political and security relations between Taiwan and the United States. This has not happened in almost 40 years. The “US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call," wonders Trump. Speculation is ripe about possible shifts in US policy towards Beijing.
03/12/2016 - INDIA
Open Letter from a Christian leader to Prime Minister Modi asking him to restore a cash-based economyby Sajan K George
Sajan K George writes to the head of the Indian government warning him about the dangers of withdrawing 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes. The elimination of cash affects the whole economy, creating problems for the social system and agricultural production. Action should be taken before Christmas.
02/12/2016 - NEPAL
Poverty, emigration, the main causes of AIDS in Nepal with the sick discriminated at school and in societyby Christopher Sharma
Each year, more than a thousand cases are recorded in the Himalayan country, mostly due to unprotected sex. Migrants are infected abroad, in India and the Middle East. HIV-positive children are denied the right to an education.
02/12/2016 - NORTH KOREA
Pyongyang slams new UN sanctions, whose effective application is doubted
The UN hopes to deprive North Korea of about US$ 700 million a year in export revenues. For North Korean authorities, this is another violation by the US-controlled United Nations. Pyongyang tells Trump that it is a nuclear power.
02/12/2016 - IRAN - USA
US Senate approves the extension of sanctions against Tehran
Iran Sanctions Act provides for the extension to 10 years of sanctions. The text approved by 99 votes in favor, 0 votes against. Previously, the Chamber had given the green light to the law. It now needs the signature of outgoing President Obama. The point people of the future Trump administration, include the head of the CIA, ready to cancel the international agreement. Approval in Israel.
01/12/2016 - SYRIA - UN
UN: Aleppo east, "one giant graveyard”, humanitarian corridors needed
The UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs appeals to those who can "influence" the tide. The urgent need "to protect civilians" on the run "and ensure" access to the area under siege. " Opposition sources define Aleppo "one giant graveyard " as Assad's troops begin the "showdown".
01/12/2016 - ASIA
OPEC agree to reduce crude oil production for the first time in eight years
The agreement was reached in Vienna. The Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut daily oil production of 1.2 million barrels. Even Russia, not in OPEC, will remove 300 thousand barrels from the market. Thefinal agreement possible thanks to the agreement between the Iranians and Saudis.
30/11/2016 - NEPAL
Nepali authorities “bow” to illegal investment by an Indian guruby Christopher Sharma
Baba Ramdev has invested 1.5 billion rupees (almost US$ 14 million) through an NGO she heads. Nepali laws establish tight controls on foreign funds, and the guru did not have the right permits. His popularity is being used to re-establish a Hindu confessional state.
30/11/2016 - MYANMAR
Kachin activists call for an end to the war and to illegal arrests
The Joint Strategy Team (JST), which has provided humanitarian assistance in Kachin state since 2011, calls for an end to the fighting between government and rebel forces. The number of casualties is unknown but thousands of displaced people have sought refuge in China. People are in a dire situation but the military have blocked humanitarian aid.
29/11/2016 - TURKMENISTAN – AFGHANISTAN
First 85 kilometres of the TAT railway inaugurated
The project seeks to link Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. With a US$ 2 billion price tag, it is expected to increase international economic cooperation.
29/11/2016 - JAPAN
Avian flu outbreak in Japan, 330,000 chickens and ducks culled
The virus was found on farms in two prefectures, but other cases might still be discovered elsewhere. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immediately gave orders to implement health provisions as required in such circumstances.
29/11/2016 - INDIA
"Day of Rage" against rupees recall brings tens of thousands to streets
The protest was mostly peaceful. Opposition parties have called upon the population to protest the recall of the most used banknote. Premier asks party colleagues to show their bank statements to dispel doubts of complicity.
28/11/2016 - VIETNAM
Pollution emergency destroys tourism in central Vietnamby Tran Vinh
In some areas affected by the Formosa Plastics Group scandal, revenues are down by 90 per cent with thousands of jobs lost. Fishermen, small businesses and local artisans are especially at risk. Locals want the authorities to help people. Instead, they only reassure locals that the water is clean.
28/11/2016 - VATICAN
Pope says normative system to protect nature is "essential"
Speaking to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Francis returns to highlight how "the he submission of politics to a technology and an economy which seek profit" is demonstrated by the failure or delay in implementing the agreements on environmental protection or the "continued wars of domination camouflaged by righteous claims".
28/11/2016 - SOUTH KOREA
Park close to impeachment after large-scale demonstrations bring together 2 million people
Opposition parties plan to present a motion in parliament in two-days time. Demonstrations take place in different South Korean cities. In Seoul alone, some 1.5 million people come together.
28/11/2016 - BANGLADESH
Gazipur, Catholic church burgled. Fear among the faithfulby Sumon Corraya
27/11/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: Advent, the contrast between our daily routine and the sudden coming of the Lord
In the first Angelus of Advent, Pope Francis said that "the Lord’s visit with humanity", at Christmas, also takes place "every day" and will occur when "He will come in glory to judge the living and the dead." "The Gospel does not want to frighten us, but for us to widen our horizons". "... Our Lady help us to not consider ourselves owners of our lives, not to resist when the Lord comes to change it".
26/11/2016 - VATICAN
Pope on economy of religious institutes: fidelity to charism and discernment
In a message to 1000 general economists from institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, Pope Francis asks them to rethink their economic strategies never putting profits first rather fidelity to their charisma and self-giving. Reviewing their works, collaborating with other institutes and with the local Church, to implement a "responsible austerity". "The hypocrisy of consecrated persons who live like the rich - he said - hurts the consciences of the faithful and damages the Church".
26/11/2016 - CUBA - VATICAN
Fidel Castro, father of the Cuban revolution, has died
His body will be cremated today. He led the island for 50 years. In 2008 he passed the presidency to his brother Raul. He attempted to export the Marxist revolution to Latin America and Africa. Some economic and social achievements at home, along with a heavy oppression of human rights. The disappearance of myth after the fall of the USSR. The Catholic Church and the Popes, catalysts of a transformation on the island nation.
26/11/2016 - INDONESIA
Jakarta stops national school exams: it costs too much and everyone copiesby Mathias Hariyadi
Middle and high school students spend months preparing for the Ujian Nasional. Too many cases of corruption and the disparity between the level of candidates from region to region.
26/11/2016 - INDIA
Manmohan Singh: Rupees recall a failure, legalized theft
After more than two weeks, the situation for the poor and the middle class is worsening. Long queues at ATMs remain, protests and clashes have caused 70 deaths. Bankers caught stealing money suspended. Opposition parties propose the "day of rage".
25/11/2016 - CHINA
No fresh or live fish in Beijing might signal fresh food safety scandals
Supermarket fish tanks are emptied. The China Food and Drug Administration plans inspections to check food safety. Food poisoning and safety issues boost fears among ordinary Chinese.
25/11/2016 - UZBEKISTAN
Interim President Mirziyaev frees two major political opponents
Individuals were deemed “troublesome” by the previous government. After two months in office, interim President Shavkat Mirziyaev seems more "moderate" than his predecessor, Islam Karimov.
25/11/2016 - LAOS
Vientiane planning a new dam on the Mekong. Criticism from activists and neighboring countries
The 912 megawatt Pak Beng hydroelectric plant would be the third managed by Vietiane, that aims to become the "battery of Asia." Mekong River Commission impeached, for facilitating Laos in the two previous projects: "This time we will ensure a more thorough review of the project". One of the richest ecosystems in the world at risk.
25/11/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Israel fires: 80 thousand people evacuated. Netanyahu blames terrorism
The city of Haifa in the north engulfed. Drought and strong winds in the region have fed the fires. The flames also lapping Jerusalem and part of the West Bank. At least 130 people hospitalized, most for intoxication. Police have opened an investigation, Shin Bet also involved. For Mahmoud Abbas Israel is exploiting the fires to blame Palestinians.
24/11/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE - UN
UN: Israeli expansionism and divisions among Palestinians a danger to the Middle East
Speaking to the Security Council Nickolay Mladenov describes an "increasingly worrying and dangerous situation" "Immobility" of the international community is costing "human lives and suffering." Israel raises an expansion project in east Jerusalem which includes the construction of 500 new homes.
23/11/2016 - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winterby Bernardo Cervellera
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
23/11/2016 - IRAQ
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return homeby P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
22/11/2016 - SRI LANKA
Hundreds of displaced people still without a home after blasts rocketed the Salawa army baseby Melani Manel Perera
In June, a huge fire damaged more than 2,000 homes. The owners of those with minor damages, about half of the total, were able to go home. The others still live in houses rented by the government. The authorities have paid for the houses but not for tools and furniture. Damage assessments undervalue losses. Many of those who lost their jobs as a result of the fire are still unemployed.
22/11/2016 - SOUTH KOREA
One million South Koreans demand resignation of President Park Geun-hye
During the fourth weekend of protests, the South Korean people continue to crowd the streets of the capital. The presidential office rejects the prosecutors accusations, who say Park is an "accomplice" and "suspect".
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