22 July 2017
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  • 21/07/2017 - INDIA

    The figures are from the Agriculture Ministry. In 2015, another 12,602 farmers took their own lives. Among the states, Maharshtra is ranked first with 4,291 cases.

    20/07/2017 - INDIA

    Nationalists are jubilant, Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, is India’s 14th president

    The former governor of Bihar won with 66 per cent of the votes with the support of the Hindu nationalist party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A foregone conclusion, the outcome confirms the prime minister’s political acumen. The next Union elections are set for 2019. Once marginalised, Dalits are courted today given their size (16 per cent) in the electorate.

    20/07/2017 - ASIA

    Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai among most sought-after destinations in 2017 City Index

    New York is still first, but Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong are second and third for business. The top ten includes Tokyo (fifth), Beijing (seventh), and Shanghai (tenth). The younger generation prefer Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. The data comes from the Ipsos Global survey of the best cities in which to live, work and visit.

    20/07/2017 - CHINA - INDIA

    Modi’s Hindu nationalism could trigger another war, the Global Times says

    A belligerent editorial in the Chinese Communist Party newspaper clarifies Beijing's position. Tensions have reignited between China and India near the border with Bhutan, on the Doklam plateau claimed by China. The armies have been facing off for about a month. India feels still surrounded.

    19/07/2017 - IRAN – UNITED STATES

    New US sanctions angers Iran, which pledges its own sanctions

    New sanctions against the Islamic Republic are due to its support for “terrorist” groups and the Syrian regime as well as its missile programme. Some 18 entities or individuals are targeted. Washington is “deeply concerned" about Iran's "malign activities". Tehran slams the sanctions as illegal, pledges sanctions of its own against the US.

    19/07/2017 - BANGLADESH

    Authorities suspect 17 Islamist NGOs of funding to terrorism

    by Sumon Corraya

    Most of these NGOs are controlled by Jamaat-e-Islam, and are based in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. The main ones are the Bangladesh Krishi Kalyan Samity, Muslim Aid Bangladesh, Rabeta Al-Alam al-Islami, Qatar Charitable Society, Islamic Relief Agency, International Islamic Relief Organisation (IRO), Hayatul Ighachha, Revival of Islamic Heritage Society, Tawhidi Noor, and al-Muntada al-Islami.

    19/07/2017 - KOREA

    North Korea’s public executions mapped

    Executions take place on riverbanks, school grounds and in marketplaces by shooting, and in some cases, by beating to save bullets. Stealing rice, corn, copper or circulating South Korean news are the main crimes. The report is based on interviews with 375 North Korean defectors over two years.

    18/07/2017 - CHINA

    Xi Jinping wants more imports and foreign investment

    The Chinese president said that foreign firms should be able to benefit from the same treatment as Chinese companies. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Xi stood as a defender of free trade and globalisation against Donald Trump's protectionism, but foreign companies operating in China complain of obstacles they face to do business in that country.

    17/07/2017 - QATAR – GULF

    UAE behind fake news that triggered Gulf crisis

    Unnamed US intelligence officials make the claim, according to the Washington Post. The UAE has denied it, saying it “had no role whatsoever” in the affair. FIFA also denies reports that Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have called for Qatar to be stripped of the 2022 World Cup.

    17/07/2017 - INDIA

    Catholic arrested in connection with smashed crosses in Goa, but some see a cover-up

    Francis Pereira, 54, reportedly confessed that he wanted to free “trapped souls". A group of experts wonder how one man could do so much damage. The general perception is that Hindu radicals "encouraged" the incidents.

    17/07/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Church providing relief to Marawi victims

    by di Santosh Digal

    The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) and Caritas Philippines are handing out food, hygiene kits and other essential goods to 3,005 beneficiaries in 12 villages in Illigan City. Psychological support is also provided to women and children traumatised by the fighting. Five staff members and 20 volunteers, Christians and Muslims, are working on the ground.

    17/07/2017 - KOREA

    South Korea’s peace offensive

    Talks could be held in Tongilgak, a North Korean building in the Panmunjom complex inside the demilitarised zone between the two countries, which has already been used for previous meetings. South Korea proposes 21 July as the day to start the talks. The first goals are the restoration of communication hotlines between the two Koreas and an end to all the hostile activities along the fortified border.

    15/07/2017 - MALAYSIA

    Foreign workers round-up, source of concern for ASEAN lawmakers

    More than 3,300 undocumented workers were detained after Malaysia began cracking down the day after deadline for regularisation. For Cambodian lawmaker Mu Sochua, nothing can “be an excuse to further victimise the vulnerable”. Malaysia has two million documented foreign workers and another two million who are undocumented. Since the start of the year, more than 30,000 undocumented workers have been sent back to their home countries.

    15/07/2017 - IRAN

    Tehran ready for post-sanction tenders in 14 oil and gas fields

    The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) plans to offer the tenders in two or three months with minimum exploration expenditures of US$ 16 million to US$ 90 million. Western and Russian oil giants are interested. This sheds the fears of many European and non-European companies.

    14/07/2017 - CAMBODIA

    Thousands of undocumented Cambodian migrants leaving Thailand

    Since 28 June, 8,328 Cambodians have returned home. In Thailand, they could be fined up to US$ 3,000 or get five years in prison. Lack of money is the main factor pushing them to remain undocumented. Once home, returnees tend to stay or go back to Thailand without papers.

    14/07/2017 - JAPAN

    Government hangs two prisoners

    Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda ordered the executions, the 18th and 19th since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in December 2012, carried out without prior notice to family and lawyers. Japan’s Catholic bishops are a leading voice against the death penalty. Amnesty International complains that one of the prisoners had asked for a retrial. The other had given up on his defence.

    14/07/2017 - INDIA

    Environmental court bans dumping of trash and bodies in the Ganges

    The ordinance applies to within 500 meters of the shore. You cannot build within 100 meters. Fines of up to 680 euros for those who break the rules. The leather-making industries in Uttar Pradesh will need to be moved. Ban on setting corpses afloat in river as per Hindus funerary tradition

    13/07/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Navy saves elephant stranded in the sea (video)

    Navy spokesman calls it a "miraculous escape". The animal tried to stay afloat with its trunk just above water. Elephants like to wade into sea waters.

    13/07/2017 - JAPAN

    Protests against Shinzo Abe in major cities

    People take to the streets in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka to protest against the anti-conspiracy legislation and demand the prime minister’s resignation. A poll for Asahi Shimbun shows that only a third of the Japanese are in favour of the government. One reason is Abe’s attempt to rewrite the Constitution along less pacifist lines ahead of the 2020 Olympics, ostensibly to prevent terrorist acts.

    13/07/2017 - MYANMAR

    Government to return 120 hectares of confiscated land to farmers

    The farmland was needed to build a hospital. Vice President Van Thio pledged a quick and transparent return. Almost 500 people in one area have been sued in land-related disputes. Land ownership is one of the most controversial issues in Myanmar. In 2015, farmers’ wrath was a key factor for Aung San Suu Kyi's party victory.

    13/07/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Card Ranjith calls for prayers and fasting after dengue kills 225 people this year

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The capital region is the most affected area. Mosquito breeding has been made worse by heavy rains. Colombo's archbishop called for “acts of fasting and penance in expiation for our weaknesses and sins."

    13/07/2017 - CHINA

    China: Djibouti home to Beijing’s first foreign military base

    The main role of the base is to support the Chinese warships used in the region in anti-piracy operations. Even the United States, France and Japan have permanent military bases in Djibouti. The former French colony is strategically located, offering access to the strait of Bab el-Mandeb connecting the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

    13/07/2017 - INDIA

    Maharashtra, another Muslim lynched in the name of "sacred cows" (Video)

    The "cow watchers" suspected that he was transporting cattle. The episode takes place a few hours after the Supreme Court ruling suspending the ban on beef. The issue of cows is fracturing Indian society.

    12/07/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Mindanao, Duterte presses for the approval of the 'Bangsamore Law'

    The goal is to create a political entity for the majority Muslim region to replace the existing Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The measure is based on the 2014 peace deal. For Mgr Orlando Quevedo, archbishop of Cotabato, autonomy is better than federalism.

    12/07/2017 - CHINA

    Hong Kong Christians seek overseas care for Liu Xiaobo

    According to Shenyang Hospital's medical report, the dissident's conditions are critical: the liver cancer is in terminal, requiring  dialysis, and resuscitation. But foreign doctors allowed to visit him on July 9 said he could still travel. Christians in Hong Kong cite  to art. 33 of the Chinese Constitution: "The country respects and protects the human rights of citizens," they demand respect for Liu Xiaobo's right to life and for his choice to seek treatment abroad.

    12/07/2017 - USA - KOREA

    Thaad shield test disintegrates missile headed for Alaska

    An Alaska-based interceptor hit a missile test launched by an Air Force Cargo plane near Hawaii. In the wake of North Korean missile tests, the United States is pushing South Korea to equip itself with Thaad. The construction of the Thaad system with the permission of former President Park Geun-hye had already begun earlier this year. But the reactions of China, Russia and, above all, the advent of the new South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, have returned the project to Seoul's parliament for debate.

    12/07/2017 - INDIA

    Supreme Court suspends ban on beef: it damages Muslims

    Judges have accepted the petition of All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee. The government will revisit the norm and may issue and exemption for buffalo meat, which accounts for almost all Indian bovine exports. 

    11/07/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Politics behind 465 executions since 2015 in Pakistan

    Justice Project Pakistan releases data for the period since the government lifted the moratorium on the death penalty. With 83 per cent, Punjab has the highest number of hangings. Crime has not declined since the death penalty was reintroduced. Death sentences are carried out "to make room" in overcrowded prisons.

    11/07/2017 - JAPAN

    A sticker to tell everyone that a wailing baby is not a nuisance

    Under the picture of a baby, the sticker says “I don’t mind wailing”. Akiko Shihara, 34, an essayist and mother of two children, is behind the idea. Everything began in 2016 when a customer in a restaurant yelled at her because her son was crying. Now many have joined the initiative across Japan.

    10/07/2017 - INDIA

    Mother Teresa's white and blue sari becomes a registered trademark

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The trademark was registered on the day the Mother of the Poor was canonised after application was made in 2013. The sari is a symbol of peace and charity all over the world. "The Cross worn on the left shoulder symbolises that for the Missionaries of Charity Jesus on the Cross is the key to the heart."

    Editor's choices

    Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization

    The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).

    Crosses broken and cemetery desecrated in Goa due to religious hatred, Mgr Neri Ferrao says

    The broken crosses were left on the side of the road. Some 28 niches, five wooden crosses, nine granite crosses, 16 graves and the big entrance cross at the Guardian Angel cemetery were damaged. At a Hindu extremist meeting, a leader said “those who eat cow should be hanged in public,” noted Sajan K George.


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