03/05/2016 - VIETNAM
Tens of thousands of dead fish litter central coast of the country. The government has not yet given an answer to causes, but independent experts blame local steel company. An underwater pipe uncovered, it had polluted the coast for years. Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City: "Let us pray for our brothers and sisters affected by the tragedy."
by Paul N. Hung
03/05/2016 - CHINA
Web giant Baidu under scrutiny after man seeking cures for cancer diesby John Ai
A young man, suffering from synovial sarcoma, trusts “medical advice” found on most popular search engine and dies after spending hundreds of thousands of yuan. His death unleashes public ire against companies that pay to obtain "best result" in the online searches. Hospitals also under fire; now entire departments are outsourced to private health companies.
02/05/2016 - CHINA
Hainan, women and children beaten for trying to stop village demolitionby John Ai
A video posted on a national social network forces the government into rare public apology for the incident. The officials, however, insist on "zero tolerance" against illegally built structures. The video of the beating.
01/05/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: May the Holy Spirit help us to understand and to remember the words of Jesus
After the Marian prayer of the Regina Caeli Francis appeals for peace in Syria: "There is a spiral of violence in the country that continues to aggravate the already desperate humanitarian situation of the country, particularly in the city of Aleppo, and claim innocent victims, even among children, the sick and those who with great sacrifice pledged to provide assistance to others ". Economic development "must take into account human dignity and fully respect labor laws". Pedophilia "is a tragedy. We must not tolerate it, the guilty must be severely punished."
30/04/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: No one be distanced from God because of man-made obstacles!
At an extraordinary Jubilee audience, Francis returns to the theme of reconciliation, "God has never failed to offer his forgiveness to men: his mercy is felt from generation to generation." An appeal to confessors: "You are in the place of God the Father." A special Jubilee greeting for the police and the Armed Forces: "Faced with every day challenges, irradiate Christian hope, which is the certainty of the victory of love over hatred and peace over war."
29/04/2016 - CHINA
Beijing changes law on foreign NGOs, giving police sweeping powers
Until now, the Ministry of Civil Affairs handled applications and paper work. Nearly 10,000 foreign NGOs are present on the mainland. For the German ambassador, the law is too restrictive. For NGO official, it damages charitable activities.
28/04/2016 - CHINA
Xi Jinping and religions: the Party must lead “effectively” and “forcefully”by John Mok Chit Wai
John Mok Chit Wai, from Chinese University of Hong Kong, highlights President Xi’s intentions toward religions, which should have no autonomy, and submit to the party. For some, this is the beginning of a "Second Cultural Revolution" to “decimate the religions”.
28/04/2016 - CHINA - ASIA
Xi Jinping says only nations directly involved can discuss South China Sea disputes
Chinese leaders slam "foreign interference" in territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific seas. Soon the international tribunal in The Hague will decide on the dispute initiated by Manila and Hanoi. Chinese President against military escalation on the Korean peninsula.
27/04/2016 - CHINA
Harry Wu, witness to China’s Laogai, forced labor camps, has died
The dissident spent 19 years in a "re-education through labor camp". Released, he fled to the United States from where he began a decades-long battle against the laogai system. Thanks also to his commitment and his courageous witness, Beijing was forced - at least on paper - to close its slave labor camps. As a Catholic, spoke out on many occasions in defense of religious freedom in China.
26/04/2016 - CHINA
China, teen dies in his sleep: he worked 11 hours a dayby John Ai
Wang Pan was 14, but because of his family’s poverty he had had to leave school to find a job in a textile factory. The authorities opened an investigation into his death, which ends with a fine of 10 thousand yuan (1,367 euro) against his employers.
25/04/2016 - CHINA
Xi Jinping warns against "foreign infiltration" in religionsby John Ai
Speaking at high-level conference last week, China’s top leader underscores the fact that religion remains a matter of “state security” and “national unity”. Sinicisation and the party’s religious policy remain the same.
25/04/2016 - TAIWAN-CHINA
May 20, Tsai Ing-wen begins new presidency. The expectations of the Taiwaneseby Xin Yage
The winning party in the elections, the DPP, is seen as closer to young people and determined to try new paths. But the new president will also have to find a balance with mainland China. And her contribution as a woman.
25/04/2016 - HONG KONG - CHINA
Hong Kong, Christians protest against demolition of crosses
Led by Card. Joseph Zen, dozens of Christians of all denominations protested to ask Beijing to stop the destruction of Christian religious symbols. The retired bishop of the territory: "We have less freedom here too, it is our moral duty to denounce this". Xi Jinping meets religions: "You have to obey the Party, and Communist officials must be atheists and Marxist to defend ourselves against overseas infiltration ".
22/04/2016 - CHINA – EUROPE
The Silk (Rail) Road on track, directly from Wuhan to Lyon
After 16 days and 11,300 km, the first freight train reached France after crossing six time zones through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, taking half the time of sea shipping. Xi’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ is back in the spotlight, to trade with Europe, bypassing the United States.
22/04/2016 - SYRIA
At least 5,000 jihadists entered Syria from Turkey, including Chinese Uighurs
Preparations are underway for a big fight in Aleppo. Turkey allows weapons and recruits through. Saudi Arabia blocks peace talks. For people in villages near Aleppo, there is only flight.
22/04/2016 - CHINA
Xi Jinping gifts himself new title: He will lead the army in case of war
The Chinese president is already General Secretary of the Communist Party, "the nucleus of leadership", the head of two new committees on the economy and director of the Central Military Commission. From now on he is also Commander in chief of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Joint Battle Command. Such a concentration of power not seen since the death of Mao Zedong.
22/04/2016 - CHINA
Anhui teacher mobbed by eight students for scolding boy (video)
21/04/2016 - CHINA
Hundreds of students with cancer and leukemia in school built on contaminated landby Wang Zhicheng
The school stands next to the site of three former pesticide plants. Groundwater and soil pollution levels are way above the safety limit. The authorities tried to hush up the problem. Government and business interests tend to protect polluting companies.
21/04/2016 - ASIA
Reporters Without Borders: Asia lacks press freedomby Paul Eckert
North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos are at the bottom of the ranking of 180 countries studied. Concerns regarding the "totalitarian vision" of Xi Jinping and his grip on freedom in Hong Kong. In almost all the countries of East and Southeast Asia, the media are controlled directly or indirectly by the government. Even the Korean and Japanese democracies are worsening, previously considered of models of freedom.
20/04/2016 - CHINA
Beijing launches "Arctic route" to unite the Pacific and Atlantic
The government plan is to prevent maritime traits being exclusively under the control of Western nations, saving time and money. Ships flying the Chinese flag "invited" to study this alternative, made possible by melting ice.
19/04/2016 - CHINA
Woman dies buried alive in Henan after her church is demolished by the government
Ding Cuimei and her husband, underground pastor Li Jiangong, tried to stop bulldozers. A member of the demolition team said, “Bury them alive for me. I will be responsible for their lives.” Whilst the clergyman was able to escape death, his wife did not. Police arrest the two members of the demolition team but has not revealed any details about the case.
18/04/2016 - CHINA
Chinese man to transcribe the Bible to fight Internet addiction
Li Yinming posted his idea on social media, then left them. He plans to use the time he saves to transcribe the sacred text in three years and give it to his daughter for her 18th birthday. His campaign has attracted more than 60 people.
17/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE
Pope Francis brings three Syrian refugee families home to the Vatican
They arrived with the pontiff from Lesbos. They join the two families already living inside the Vatican. Pope alights first from the plane bringing him back to Rome to shake hands with each of them. The reception and the maintenance of three families will be borne by the Vatican. The initial hospitality - said Father Lombardi - will be guaranteed by the Community of Sant'Egidio.
17/04/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: Our life is safe in Christ’s hands, we no longer need fear
At the Regina Caeli Francis stresses the importance of listening, as followers, to Christ's words: "An engaging not superficial, listening, to enable a true mutual knowledge". After the Marian prayer, the Pope thanks people for their prayers for his recent visit to Lesbos with Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Hieronymus: "The unity in the charity of all the disciples of the Lord". The Pope speaks of a young Muslim man whose wife was slain by terrorists because she was a Christian: "She was a martyr, and he was crying so much." A prayer for the victims of the earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.
16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE
Pope calls on Europe to be a land of welcome, says migrants are not numbers but faces
Meeting the people of Lesbos, Francis expresses "admiration" for the Greek people who - despite difficulties - welcomes those who suffer: "God will reward this generosity, like that of other surrounding nations, which from the first moments have received with great availability many forced migrants. " The people's "concerns are legitimate," but we must never forget that in front of us we have people who are suffering. A common prayer.
16/04/2016 - CHINA
Baoding Catholics call for safe return of missing Father Yangby Victoria Ma
Father Yang, who belonged to the Church community not recognized by the Chinese government, went with his coach and a few lay Catholics who were sitting for the same driving test, but he“disappeared” at the Number 3 Driving Test Venue in Dingxing county of Baoding area, between 12 noon and 12:30 pm as his mobile phone was powered off, local sources of Baoding said.
16/04/2016 - VATICAN - GREECE - ORTHODOX
Migrant crisis, the "worst humanitarian disaster since the Second World War"
Francis, Bartholomew and Jerome sign a lengthy joint declaration on the situation of refugees. "World opinion can not ignore the colossal humanitarian crisis created by the spread of violence and armed conflict, the persecution and displacement of religious and ethnic minorities, and the uprooting of families from their homes, in violation of their human dignity and their fundamental human rights and freedoms". Renewed commitment to Christian unity, an appeal for the end of the war in the Middle East. The full text of the declaration.
16/04/2016 - GREECE - VATICAN
Pope to refugees in Lesbos: You are not alone, I plead with the world for a solution
Along with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus, Francis visits the large Moria refugee camp on the Greek island. Moving, painful but also much joy, especially from the young people. Many throw themselves at the Pope’s feet to tell stories of pain and suffering. The pope: "Do not lose hope." Special thanks to the Greek people who "despite their own suffering" opened hearts and homes to those fleeing from pain.
15/04/2016 - CHINA
Stripped of his license, Pu Zhiqiang no longer able to practice law
The lawyer got three years in jail for posting subversive messages online, but his work for human rights is the main reason for his conviction. For a Hong Kong lawyer, Pu’s treatment is a “warning to others”, but it is not likely to work because many young lawyers “want to take on human rights cases”.
14/04/2016 - HONG KONG
Nepali diplomat tells Hong Kong to set up detention camps for asylum seekers
Nepal’s consul-general backs plans by local politician for camps to discourage economic migrants. In all, 300 Nepalis have sought asylum in Hong Kong, a few after the civil war. For diplomat, “Maybe some of them are fake”.
14/04/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: The Holy Spirit accomplishes things, not so-called fidelity to the law
Commenting on Phillip’s evangelization of Ethiopia, Francis stresses the importance of openness to the Spirit: "Philip, one of the Apostles, was busy as all bishops are, and this day surely he had his plan to work". But the Spirit tells him to leave what he was planning to go to Ethiopia "and he obeyed."
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