23 October 2017
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  • 23/10/2017 - ASIA – CHINA

    In China at least 60 million children have not been registered out of fear of the fines imposed by population control authorities. Non-registration does not allow children to attend school or receive social services. Unregistered people can become victim of human trafficking and organised crime.


    Tillerson: A Riyadh-Baghdad axis aimed at Tehran

    The US Secretary of State is in Riyadh to counter Iran’s "Malign behavior". Shia militias that fought the Islamic State group must surrender their weapons or join the army. For Washington, the partnership between King Salman and Prime Minister Abadi is fundamental to Iraq’s rebirth.

    23/10/2017 - SYRIA - RUSSIA - USA

    Moscow: The US campaign against Isis has erased Raqqa 'from the face of the earth'

    The Syrian city suffered the same fate as Dresden at the end of World War II. UN investigation speaks of "shocking loss" of human lives among civilians. Washington replies: risk of collateral damage minimized. At least 270,000 displaced people, it will take months for their return.

    23/10/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Marawi, Manila declares the end of battle with jihadists

    Military operations ended in the night. The soldiers tried to convince the guerrillas to surrender, without success. About 40 corpses found in two buildings and a mosque near Lake Lanao, possible mass suicide. The fighting resulted in the deaths of at least 1,131 people, including 919 militants and 165 of soldiers and policemen. 1,780 hostages released.

    23/10/2017 - JAPAN

    'Super-Majority' for Shinzo Abe. The end of the pacifist constitution is closer

    The premier’s coalition wins 312 seats out of 465. Divided Democrats took only 54 and 49. Snap election called over Korean crisis. Abe wants to change Article 9 of the Constitution with which Japan rejects war.

    21/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Cardinal Filoni: World Mission Day is not a question for only priests and religious

    "The Christian faith is born precisely because, as Saint Matthew says in Chapter 28, Jesus gave the last commandment, the last mandate to his disciples: Thus go, baptise, and make disciples.” The number of Catholics in the world is up, but their proportion is down. The number of bishops is up, as are permanent deacons, but that of priests and religious is down.

    21/10/2017 - INDONESIA

    Beaches, diving, culture: Jakarta to boost tourism

    Indonesia has the world’s second longest coastline. In 2014, maritime tourism generated only US$ 1 billion in revenue. The government now wants to bring that to US$ 4 billion by 2019. The goal is to go beyond Bali, and promote nature and cruise ships in ten other seaside areas.

    21/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    For Bishop You, the Gospel can overcome the obsession of competition and the decline in births

    For the bishop of Daejeon, the country’s low birth rate is the result of constant focus on careers. Physical labour is denigrated; only white-collar jobs are appreciated. Families teach to outperform others. "We love the Lord by loving our brothers and sisters."

    20/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Seoul to restart the construction of two nuclear plants

    The recommendations of an official commission have been made public. Unexpectedly, a majority favours nuclear energy. Moon had pledged to scrap nuclear power. The country relies on nuclear power for a third of its electricity, which will be phased out gradually over a 60-year period.

    20/10/2017 - CHINA

    The first electric locomotive 'made in China' on Serbian railway tracks

    The Chinese manufacturer, Crrc, is expanding its presence in the European market. The new locomotive meets all the standards and technical requirements of the old continent.

    20/10/2017 - CHINA

    Applause for Xi Jinping, the 'savior of China' and (perhaps) the world

    by Wang Zhicheng

    A Tencent game for those who applaud most at video of Xi's speech at the Party Congress. The public praise of cadres. Greetings from countries around the world interested in the "Belt and Road Initiative".

    20/10/2017 - THAILAND

    Reforming Thai Buddhism to counter scandals

    The image of the religion has been affected by sexual and financial scandals. Closer checks have been imposed on the finances of thousands of temples. Senior monks now exert tough discipline. Donations and sales of sacred objects in temples have been prohibited. The “inappropriate use of social media" has also been banned. Some 35 monasteries and 29 individuals are under investigations. Relations between monks and the state have become rocky.

    20/10/2017 - YEMEN

    Education for 4.5 million children at risk in Yemen

    Some 1,600 schools have been destroyed or damaged, whilst another 170 have been used for military purposes or shelters for displaced people. One school in ten has been closed. About three quarters of teachers have not been paid in a year. Without education, children could become child soldiers or child brides.

    20/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: to overcome the current social order model, transform it from within

    Inequality and exploitation "are not a fatality nor a historical constant," but depend on human action and economic rules. The call to “eliminate the pressures of public and private lobbyists that defend sectoral interests" and that "political action is truly in the service of the human person, the common good and respect for nature".

    20/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Erbil and Baghdad propose tentative dialogue, crux of referendum

    The regional authorities open to talks with the central government according to Constitution and in a perspective of partnership. An Iraqi court orders the arrest of Kurdish President Kosrat Rasul. First frictions within political leadership in Erbil after the "cataclysm" that led to the loss of territories occupied after the US invasion.

    19/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    A declining birthrate threatens the economies of South Korea and Japan

    Steps taken so far have failed. Ministers from the two countries met today in Seoul to discuss the issue. An aging population weighs heavily on the economy, shrinking the labour force and driving up welfare costs. Economics is the main issue.

    19/10/2017 - SOUTHEAST ASIA

    Beijing becoming a major weapons supplier in Southeast Asia

    China won a US$ 148 million contract to supply the Thai military with 49 tanks. Malaysia has bought 18 frigates for coastal defense. Indonesia has obtained Chinese-made radar and command systems. China is Myanmar’s largest arms supplier.

    19/10/2017 - EU-ISRAEL-PALESTINE

    European countries: Israel must reimburse seizures and destruction of humanitarian material

    The letter, signed by eight countries, is an unprecedented move in relations with Israel. Israel's coercive measures on schools and against international assistance cause suffering to Palestinians. More than one million euros in European funding lost.

    19/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarch Appeal: People Before Oil, No More Conflict

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    In a letter to the President of the Republic, Sako urges "cooperation" between Iraqi leaders. The goal is to create a "modern and strong civilian" nation, capable of initiating economic, social and cultural reforms. The Iraqi army  takes a large portion of Nineveh and Diyala from the Kurds. Fears for Teleskof and Alqosh.

    18/10/2017 - EU - PAKISTAN

    EU: grave concern for human rights in Pakistan

    The Council of the Europe publishes the report on "Human Rights and Democracy in the World in 2016". Weak judicial system, lack of education, violence against women, discrimination of minorities, presence of terrorism. This morning an attack on a police convoy.

    18/10/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Marawi liberated after five months of clashes

    The Islamist occupation lasted 148 days. More than 1,000 people killed, mostly rebels. Marawi's operations cost 5 billion pesos (about 95 million euros). Fears of terrorist infiltrations in Mindanao Island.

    18/10/2017 - RUSSIA

    Putin's campaign towards new elections

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    The president has not yet announced his candidacy. He could do it in December. Rumours of an alternative plan, that Putin would be ready to appoint his successor: Aleksej Djumin. Meanwhile new governors arrive and there may also be new ministers.

    17/10/2017 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta’s new governor causes controversy using pejorative term

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Using a derogatory term for ethnic Chinese, he sparks outrage among Indonesians in order to instigate a new wave of "social differentiation". Anies Baswedan is backed by the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Gerindra, a nationalist party. Sectarian divisions and religion played a decisive role in his victory against his rival.

    17/10/2017 - CHINA

    On eve of Congress, the Party controls everything: dissidents, climate, economics

    by Wang Zhicheng

    At least 14 activists, bloggers, democracy artists arrested or "traveling". Security stepped up at Beijing Metro Stations. Steel mills, chemical factories and construction industry closed down to reduce pollution. Economic data manipulated by the government in the name of stability.

    17/10/2017 - NORTH KOREA - EU

    European Union issues new sanctions against North Korea. Former official: the regime may end in a year

    Ban on sale of refined crude oil and the renewal of visas for foreign workers. Sanctions at historical levels. In the past, Pyongyang evaded them thanks to China. Now the regime is also facing internal struggles and likely to disintegrate.

    17/10/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Teknaf, boat carrying Rohingya capsizes leaving 12 dead

    by Sumon Corraya

    In September, 60 refugees drowned in these waters, another 30 in October. More than half a million Rohingya have entered Bangladesh to escape the violence. Only this week about 50,000 have crossed the border. The Catholic Church's commitment to refugees.

    16/10/2017 - KYRGYZSTAN

    Outgoing President Atambaev’s favourite candidate wins election

    These are the first elections since streets protests in 2005 and 2010. Early results give Sooronbai Jeenbekov 54.46 per cent of the vote. His rival Omurbek Babanov is at 34.2 per cent. Opinion polls had predicted a tighter race. The last days of the campaign were heated. The new president inherits a complex situation dominated by relations with Kazakhstan, the economy and security.

    16/10/2017 - CHINA

    Party Congress: opening and menu set

    The meeting will start at 9 am on 18 October in a ceremony televised live. Delegates will have a buffet with eight hot dishes and eight cold dishes, as well as rice, bread and noodles; no sea cucumbers or prawns this time in accordance with the frugality preached by Xi Jinping.

    16/10/2017 - BANGLADESH

    The late Fr Benjamin Costa, a well-known educator, is mourned in Dhaka

    by Sumon Corraya

    More than 3,000 people attended his funeral. The priest was involved in education for 35 years. He founded the country’s first Catholic university. Prime Minister Hasina and former students praise him.

    16/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope tells FAO to use love and solidarity against war and climate change that cause migration

    During his visit to the UN agency, Francis spoke about how food security can affect human mobility. To overcome conflicts good will, dialogue, and disarmament are needed. "There is a re-emergence of the nonchalance towards the delicate balances of ecosystems, the presumption of being able to manipulate and control the planet’s limited resources, and greed for profit,” he said. “’I am hungry, I am a stranger, I am naked, sick, confined in a refugee camp’. It is a request for justice, not a plea or an emergency call.”

    Editor's choices

    Papal letter for the 100th anniversary of Maximum Illud on the activity of missionaries in the world

    Pope Francis plans an Extraordinary Missionary Month for October 2019 to awaken the commitment of the missio ad gentes and transform ordinary pastoral outreach along missionary lines. The goal is to move away from tiredness, formalism and self-preservation. From Benedict XV's missio ad gentes to Vatican II, from Pope John Paul II to Evangelical Gaudium, this is the Church’s “essential task”,

    Wang Zuoan: Pope Francis is sincere, but he has to submit to two conditions

    Li Yuan

    In an interview with Commercial Radio, the director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs reiterated the urgency of cutting relations with Taiwan and not interfere in China's domestic affairs, including religion. Fang Xinyao and Ma Yinglin, two bishops present at the party congress, heap praise on Xi Jinping's speech. Others warn against “fake pastors but real slaves”. An underground Catholic expresses his fears.


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