30 March 2017
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  • 29/03/2017 - ISRAEL – FRANCE

    Four French banks and the Axa insurance company finance Israeli businesses and banks involved in settlements. French NGOs call for disinvestment.




    29/03/2017 - PAKISTAN -AFGHANISTAN

    Pakistani Church: the wall with Afghanistan will not stop infiltration of terrorists

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Islamabad begins fortification of the colonial era "Durand Line". The border is not recognized by the Kabul authorities. Whole villages are located in between the two states. The blurred boundaries have facilitated the entry of militants, but also the passage of missionaries, sick and goods.


    29/03/2017 - RUSSIA – IRAN – SYRIA

    Business and Syria dominate Rouhani’s visit to Moscow


    The Iranian president met with his Russian counterpart, Putin, and Prime Minister Medvedev. The two sides signed 14 documents on political, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation. The partnership between Tehran and Moscow has had a positive impact in terms of stability and security. For Putin, Iran is “stable and reliable partner". In Iran, the presidential election looms.


    29/03/2017 - HONG KONG

    Chit Wai John Mok analyses the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive


    Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor won with 777 votes thanks to Chinese government meddling. "Beijing intervened in the ‘election’ unreservedly,” Chit Wai writes. “There will be no return to the original practice of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle.”


    29/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    Moscow, something new in youth protests

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    What is new is not Alexei Navalny, but the protests of young people. Medvedev and his jogging "shoes" fetish. Putin's nationalism losing support, partly because of the economic crisis. Russia, like the rest of the world, seeing the impoverishment of the middle class.


    28/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    A fine and 15 days in prison for Alexei Navalny. Criticism from Europe and the US


    Moscow  claims many young people were paid to take part in the demonstrations. Navalny: "More than a thousand people were arrested yesterday, but it is impossible to stop millions." For EU and the US: an "affront to democracy."


    28/03/2017 - EGYPT - ISLAM

    Secularism and citizenship: how Al Azhar could influence Arab-Islamic countries

    by Luca Galantini

    The Cairo conference studies proposals for equal rights for Christians and Muslims, and for a State separation from religion. Regional constitutions and especially the Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference Human Rights Charter need to be addressed. All this just one month before Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt.


    28/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    Carrie Lam to visit mainland bodies in Hong Kong

    by Paul Wang

    Hong Kong’s new chief executive will make a courtesy call, not a visit of gratitude for the mainland’s support. She pledged to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems". Beijing's influence is “worrisome”.


    27/03/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Prosecutors ask Seoul court to arrest former President Park Geun-hye


    If the Seoul District Court agrees with the request and issues the arrest warrant, Park will be the first former South Korean president to be arrested since 1995. The charges against her include abuse of office, bribery and leaking government documents.


    27/03/2017 - HONG KONG – CHINA

    On Carrie Lam’s first day, prosecution awaits Occupy Central leaders

    by Paul Wang

    Lam is elected chief executive with 777 votes. Viewed as Beijing candidate, she also seen as CY 2.0, heir to Leung Chun-ying (CY 1.0) who is against democratic demands. The formal transfer of power will take place on 1 July, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.


    27/03/2017 - YEMEN

    Aden, tens of thousands of people take to the streets to demand an end to the war


    Promoted by the Houthis, who occupy the capital and large areas of the north of the country. Former President Saleh also present. He called crowd to resistance. One demonstrator: "In the streets against the Saudi aggression." A criminal court close to Shiite rebels issues death sentence for Hadi in absentia.


    27/03/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta: incitement to hatred, the most common online crime in 2016


    The authorities conducted 199 investigations. The victims targeted for ethnic and religious reasons. Religious and conservative groups increasingly active as vigilantes. The case of the Christian governor is an example of this trend. 


    27/03/2017 - RUSSIA

    Dozens of anti-corruption demonstrations. Alexei Navalny arrested


    Demonstrations against corruption of Medvedev and Putin. A video about the premier’s construction empire, seen by 11 million people. Unauthorized demonstrations: at least 500 protesters arrested. Rallies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok. 


    24/03/2017 - VATICAN - EU

    Pope: Europe is not just an economy, but a way of conceiving man and a capacity for hope


    Francis spoke to the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He told them that the Old Continent is a reality based on the centrality of man, effective solidarity, openness to the world, the pursuit of peace and development, and overture to the future. He also talked about "serious migration crisis" and the populism that is the "fruit of an egotism".


    24/03/2017 - NORTH KOREA

    Women and children are the main victims of North Korea’s humanitarian emergency


    About 27.9 per cent of North Korean children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition, 4 per cent from acute malnutrition. About 23.3 per cent of women in reproductive age are also malnourished. About 31.2 per cent of pregnant women are anemic and 5 per cent of children are born underweight. Malnutrition is aggravated by poor health care and the lack of running water, sanitation and hygiene services. “The undernourishment of the people of North Korea is a very serious situation,” expert tells AsiaNews. “A whole generation has stunted growth.”


    24/03/2017 - CHINA

    A "green necklace" of trees against air pollution in Beijing


    Hebei Province plans to use wetlands around the capital. The latter however suffers from water shortages. Beijing’s pollution crisis could be tackled by closing a significant number of steel factories in the region, but powerful interests and state enterprises have opposed such a move.


    24/03/2017 - VATICAN - GREAT BRITAIN - ISLAM

    London attack: The Pope's pain and that of a young Muslim



    23/03/2017 - THAILAND

    Bangkok wants a new “clean” abbot for the Phra Dhammakaya temple


    The current abbot has been accused of embezzlement and illegal construction. The authorities have tried repeatedly to arrest him, but without success. The National Office of Buddhism wants an outsider picked as the temple’s new spiritual guide.


    23/03/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Sewol disaster: ferry recovery begins


    The vessel capsized about 3 years ago because of overcrowding and poor maintenance. 304 people, mostly students who were participating in a trip, were killed. The operations will last eight days; the cost is $ 72 million.


    22/03/2017 - NORTH KOREA

    Seven in ten North Koreans malnourished, UN agency says


    Some 18 million people, including 1.3 million children under five, are affected. Average daily food rations are around 300 grams, lower than UN recommendation of 600. UN agency calls for fresh international action.


    22/03/2017 - INDIA

    The Ganges is a "living being." Raghuvanshi: historic decision, pulls wool from eyes of Hindu nationalists


    The High Court of Uttarakhand equates the waters of the sacred river for Hindus to a human being. The goal is to reduce the pollution caused by industrialization and urbanization. Indian activist: "The Hindu radicals use pollution to come to power." The courts must also take action for Dalits who live on the river banks.


    22/03/2017 - JAPAN

    25% of Japanese people have considered suicide


    The numbers are growing. A sense of hopelessness seems to be spreading across the nation. Last year there were over 21 thousand suicides. The investigation conducted by the Ministry of Health. The questionnaire does not ask the "why" one decides to commit suicide.


    22/03/2017 - NEPAL

    Nepali Catholics call for peaceful participation in local elections

    by Christopher Sharma

    The first local elections in 19 years have raised great expectations but also generated a lot of tension. Madhesi parties are protesting, demanding changes to the constitution before the vote. Encouraged by victories in India, Nepal’s Hindu monarchists want to restore a Hindu monarchy. The government defends the country’s secular nature.


    22/03/2017 - BANGLADESH – MALAYSIA

    Thousands of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Malaysia send remittances home

    by Sumon Corraya

    About half a million migrants from the South Asian country live in Malaysia, many undocumented and working illegally. Those who find honest work are an "economic blessing" for their families. Uzzal Roy and Mohoshin Islam are two such migrants who made it.


    22/03/2017 - MIDDLE EAST - UNITED STATES

    Washington and London prohibit and tablets and pc on flights from Africa and the Middle East


    The measure will enter into force on 25 March and does not have a end date. Threats from the Yemeni al Qaeda cell behind the ban, ready for new attacks. Experts and analysts raise doubts about its real effectiveness.


    22/03/2017 - NORTH KOREA

    Pyongyang missile test fails


    It was launched from the east coast of the country. The missile exploded seconds after launch. The South Korean military is still trying to confirm details. US: "We continue to closely monitor the actions of North Korea."


    21/03/2017 - HONG KONG

    Election Committee to pick Hong Kong’s next chief executive on 26 March


    An elite group of 1,194 individuals will choose one of three candidates for a city of 7.3 million. Beijing-backed Carrie Lam and pan-democratic John Tsang are leading. Fearing any disorders, police has an evacuation plan for the authorities. The Justice and Peace Commission is opposed to the selection system, calling the electoral law an illusion of democracy. The Chinese government controls the outcome and protects the interests of privileged groups.


    21/03/2017 - ASIA-USA

    Forbes: China second largest number of billionaires, Asian women prevail among the "self-made"


    319 Chinese billionaires. 18th richest in the world an Asian. Among the female billionaires who built their wealth, a Vietnamese. 13% of most billionaires in the world: the most significant increase in 31 years.


    21/03/2017 - ASIA

    The happiest countries in the world: Norway in first place, China ranked 79th despite economic growth


    The ranking takes into account the gross domestic product per person, life expectancy, social welfare, freedom and perception of corruption. Well Australia and New Zealand, Cambodia is the saddest Asian country. Disappointment for India, to 122th place.


    21/03/2017 - IRAQ

    Mosul government advance continues, over 180 thousand civilians flee the western area


    Most of the displaced have found their home in the refugee camps or in shelters set up in recent weeks. Worried about the fate of those trapped in the Old City. UN sources: No food, water, electricity, and medicine. Up to 320 thousand people ready to flee. About 2 thousand jihadists of the Islamic State still operating in the area.


    21/03/2017 - NORTH KOREA-RUSSIA

    North Korean migrant slaves in Russia. This is how Pyongyang tackles crisis


    North Korean workers must first study Russian language and history. They are employed on minimum wages (maximum $ 100). 70% paid to the state as "loyalty fee." Slaves also in the Gulf and Europe. The UN report: up to 20 hours of work per day; one or two days off per month.






    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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