12/19/2014MACAU - HONG KONG - CHINA Occupy effect: umbrellas banned during Xi Jinping's visit to Macau (despite the rain) by Paul Wang Hong Kong activists were expelled from the former Portuguese colony. At the Macau Ferry Pier, people opened their umbrellas to demand freedom for all Chinese political prisoners. Opponents to Occupy are up (plus 9 per cent, to 38). Some 43.1 per cent are opposed to China's electoral reform. At least 1.2 million people took part in the Occupy protest. Macau (AsiaNews) - Macau welcomed today Chinese
President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in the rain. China's president and first lady
are in the former Portuguese colony for two days to celebrate the 15th anniversary of...
12/18/2014PALESTINE - ISRAEL Palestine presents peace plan to the UN Council, Israel calls it an act of aggression by Joshua Lapide The resolution calls for a peace treaty within a year and Israel's withdrawal from the Occupied Territories by 2017. The peace plan also provides for two states within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital, plus bilateral security guarantees. US-led talks in the last 20 years have proven useless. For Avigdor Lieberman, the UN should deal with more serious things, and not go for Palestinians' "gimmicks". Without a solution, despair could engulf Palestinians.
12/17/2014CHINA China's anti-corruption campaign claims more victims China Resources' vice-president Jiang Wei is in the spotlight for lending US$ 320 million to a businessman "friend". In Jiangxi, a former senior official gets life imprisonment for getting banks to lend him money to buy 248 properties. Hu Jintao aide pledges loyalty to Xi Jinping, as does the military.
12/17/2014PALESTINE - ISRAEL UN: Palestinians call for an end to Israeli occupation despite threat of US veto by Joshua Lapide Jordan and other Arab countries back Security Council resolution that calls for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem within two years. A European Court orders the removal of Hamas from a list of terrorist organisations on "technical" grounds. International diplomacy appears to be last path to find a solution.
12/16/2014CHINA China loses US$ 1.25 trillion to tax evasion and corruption According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, illicit outflows from the mainland grew exponentially over a ten-year period. Tax evasion and corruption are the main reason. This makes China the biggest loser among 151 developing nations.
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
12/16/2014RUSSIA Moscow hikes rate to 17 per cent to halt ruble's tumble by Nina Achmatova The rise, which just fell short of 7 per cent, is the largest single increase since 1998, when Russian rates soared past 100 per cent. For many experts, the move was necessary but it will put a lid on Putin's plans to boost the Russian economy.
12/15/2014PALESTINE - ISRAEL Palestinians pushing UN to end Israeli occupation by 2016 by Joshua Lapide A draft resolution is set to be presented on Wednesday to the Security Council. Many European countries have expressed support for the recognition of a Palestinian state. Talks between Kerry, Lavrov and EU foreign ministers are designed to find a shared solution. Netanyahu's reaction is one of outrage.
12/15/2014JAPAN Tokyo: as expected, Shinzo Abe wins big The coalition led by outgoing premier won 325 seats out of 475, or two thirds of seats needed to govern unchallenged. Experts insist the outcome is less a victory for the prime minister than a defeat for the opposition whose leader lost his seat. Now the prime minister has three years to implement his "Abenomics", restart nuclear plants and redesign the armed forces.
12/14/2014VATICAN On the "Sunday of Joy", pope gives a prayer booklet, telling the faithful to "always carry it" After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis gave the crowd a pocketbook of prayers "for the various times of the day and for different situations in life". Earlier, he had blessed the "Baby Jesus" figurines for Nativity scenes brought by the children from Roman oratories. He also said, "With Jesus, joy dwells in us". He also shared the Christmas candle in solidarity with Polish faithful.
12/12/2014CHINA Xinjiang want to ban burqa: Could spark unrest The burqa, a garment worn by Muslim woman to cover themselves from head-to-toe, is considered a symbol of religious extremism by the local authorities. Authorities already said they would ban the practice of religion in government workplaces, public schools and state-owned enterprises from next year.
12/12/2014VIETNAM - CHINA South China Sea: Hanoi and Manila towards an appeal to the UN. Beijing enraged Following attempts to ease tension and meetings at government level, a new rise in tension between the two communist allies due to disputed sea waters. Beijing says that Hanoi's claim over the Spratly Islands are "illegal and invalid". China continues to claim 80% of the 3.5 million square kilometers; and calls for international arbitration to maintain "peace and stability".