29 July 2016
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    28/07/2016 - SYRIA

    Syrian soldiers today took the Bani Zaid neighborhood. Militants are on the run. Assad offers amnesty to those who lay down their weapons and hand themselves in to the army. The government promises fast reconstruction of hospitals and schools. Russia offers four humanitarian corridors for civilians and fighters who hand in their weapons.

    28/07/2016 - FRANCE-ISLAM

    Second terrorist who murdered Fr. Jacques Hamel identified: a 19 year old youth

    The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.

    28/07/2016 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    Protests in Seoul at the opening of foundation for "comfort women"

    The foundation is part of the historic agreement reached last year on sex slaves in Japan’s military. Tokyo is providing a billion yen to help survivors and presented a verbal apology. Students, activists and Korean Church leaders slam Japan’s refusal to admit official responsibility.

    28/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    In wake of Dhaka massacre British Council closes offices over security concerns

    by Sumon Corraya

    The language organization has to update security procedures in all schools. Smooth running of English exams guaranteed, for high schools.

    28/07/2016 - IRAN

    Presidential elections set for May 19, 2017. Risks for Rouhani

    The President is loved by Iranians that opens the relations with the international community. But the conservative fringes show the few benefits received. The Iranian economy is still blocked thanks to the US, which maintain the embargo on the use of the dollar in financial transactions.

    26/07/2016 - TURKEY - USA

    Without Fethullah Gülen extradition, Turkey-US relations in danger

    The religious leader is accused of being the mastermind behind the "failed coup". But some analysts say the coup "succeeded" because it has given Erdogan total power. Media campaign against Gülen and the United States. West's growing mistrust of Turkey.

    25/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore, 207 children abducted in 2016: fears of sexual abuse racket

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Most of the children lived in a poor neighborhood of the city. No ransom demanded: fears of possible trafficking. This month 20 disappeared, children and adolescents; the bodies of four of them were found in garbage bags and dumped in landfills.

    25/07/2016 - NEPAL

    Nepali prime minister's resignation leaves field open for Maoists

    by Christopher Sharma

    K P Sharma Oli avoids showdown in parliament ahead of opposition no confidence motion. His successor designate is Maoist leader Prachanda who is under investigation for crimes during the country’s civil war. Analysts stress the need for stable leadership to rebuild the country.

    25/07/2016 - ISRAEL – SAUDI ARABIA

    Saudi delegation meets Israeli officials in Jerusalem to discuss Iran and Palestine peace initiative

    by Joshua Lapide

    After a year, Israel and Saudi Arabia make public their talks on Mideast "challenges". Opposed to last year’s Iranian nuclear deal, the two talk about the stalled 2002 Arab peace imitative based on diplomatic relations in exchange for peace and the creation of a Palestinian state.

    24/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: Appeals and prayer for Munich and Kabul massacres. The prayer of Our Father

    At the Angelus, Pope Francis makes the pilgrims pray for the victims of terrorist attacks in Germany and Afghanistan, against the "dark security and peace prospects." "The word 'Father' is the 'secret' of the prayer of Jesus, is the key that He gives to us so we too can enter into that confidential relationship of dialogue with the Father who accompanied and supported all his life”. The Pope’s upcoming trip for World Youth Day in Krakow, from 27 July.

    23/07/2016 - CHINA

    Flood hit Xingtai inhabitants against police: silence and futile efforts to save children from flood (video)

    Rains hit northern, northeast and central China. In Xingtai (Hebei) the local government has kept silent on the victims. According to the population there were no alerts and aid is not enough.

    23/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Mymensingh, a tribal Catholic elected to Parliament

    by Sumon Corraya

    Jewel Areng is the youngest member of Parliament and is also the only Catholic. He has won in the constituency left vacant after the death of his father. His parent was Minister for Social Welfare and was well respected among Muslims. The local Church hopes the new deputy will follow his father's footsteps and work for the good of the population.

    23/07/2016 - INDONESIA

    West Java, nuns against corruption: a seminar to deepen awareness and initiatives

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    A group of 36 Franciscan Sisters of Sukabumi hold a three-day meeting. The event organized by Bhumiksara Foundation, in collaboration with the Bishops' Conference. Morality, intelligence and awareness against a "rampant" phenomenon.

    23/07/2016 - IRAQ

    Mesopotamian Marshes Unesco heritage site. Mar Sako: archeology worth more than oil

    by Joseph Mahmoud

    The Chaldean Patriarch welcomes the inclusion of three archaeological sites and four natural areas among World Heritage Sites. Part of the new sites are located in the site of the biblical Garden of Eden. Sako appeals to institutions: to protect this patrimony we need "peace and stability."

    22/07/2016 - LIBYA

    Oil exports resume from the ports of As Sidr and Ra’s Lanuf

    Oil exports are expected to bring stability to the war-torn country. The area in question is a major oil hub and can deliver up to 900,000 barrels a day.

    22/07/2016 - CHINA

    Former village chief of Wukan arrested for corruption. But people support him

    Lin Zuluan has "confessed" his misdeeds on television, but people continue to demonstrate for his release, waving red flags.

    21/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka government says at least 11 NGOs fund terrorist groups

    by Sumon Corraya

    The organizations receive money since 2012. The funds come from the Middle East countries - such as Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - and the UK. Islamist groups have opened schools, madrassas, hospitals and training centers. At least 231 associations bankrolled terrorism, with 500 thousand employees throughout the country.

    21/07/2016 - MALAYSIA - USA

    Malaysian prime minister ready to cooperate in investigation of misappropriated funds

    Najib Razak ready to "cooperate across the board" on investigations related to the controversial 1MDB fund. US authorities have seized assets for a billion dollars. A case that has "cheated" population Malaysian on a "large scale". The stolen money also used to finance the film The Wolf of Wall Street. Saudi Arabian influence in elections.

    20/07/2016 - KOREA

    S Korean bishops against THAAD anti-missile system, "the centre of a new cold war"

    In a statement signed by the presidents of the Commission for Reconciliation and the Commission for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church rejects military escalation and reiterates that peace is through dialogue and economic development in both Koreas. Pope Francis words at the Blue House are cited.

    20/07/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Church against drug use in Sri Lankan schools

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The Archdiocese of Colombo calls for broad partition in mass rally on 30 July. Drug abuse is rapidly increasing even among Catholic students. The island nation has about 45,000 heroin users as well as 200,000 cannabis users. It is a transit point for drug trafficking originating in India.

    19/07/2016 - KOREA

    Pyongyang successfully launches three ballistic missiles at sea

    The weapons have a range of 500-600 km, capable of hitting all of South Korea up to Busan. Experts concerned about the quality of the experiments on new fuels and cooling system. China criticizes Washington and Seoul deal on the new anti-missile system.

    18/07/2016 - INDIA

    Bangalore Diocese welcomes African migrants, “precious before God”

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The Diocese organised a meeting for economic and political migrants from Africa’s poorest areas and conflict zones. In order to meet their spiritual needs, large parts of the liturgy are in French. The pastoral care of migrants is "central to our Jubilee of Mercy".

    17/07/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: More important than serving are listening and welcoming guests

    Francis spoke today about Jesus’s visit to two sisters, Martha and Mary, one of whom was “busy” and the other was “contemplative”. The right attitude belongs to those who "value the most important thing, i.e. the presence of the guest, Jesus." After the Marian prayer, the pope turned his thoughts to the Nice massacre. “May God, the good Father, welcome all the victims into his peace, support the wounded and comfort the families. May he dissolve every project of terror and death, so that no one dares to spill his brother's blood.” He also greeted “the great Chinese brothers and sisters” in the square.

    15/07/2016 - KUWAIT

    Kuwait, first Gulf state to provide rights to domestic workers

    Interior Minister decree sets minimum labour standards, including wages, working hours, holiday, end-of-service benefits. Happy, human rights groups want to see legislation extended to all Gulf states.

    14/07/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Lahore: Christian foundation against the new metro line going through church land

    by Shafique Khokhar

    City’s 27 km Orange Line Metro Train project threatens 27 heritage sites, 11 of which are protected under federal law and six under provincial law. Four churches dating back to the mid-19th century would be affected, including the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection. For activist, “we [. . .] will not sit back and let anyone destroy this 2000-year-old city”.

    14/07/2016 - NEPAL

    Government crisis in Nepal after Maoists withdraw support

    Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will appear before Parliament to see if he still has the numbers to govern. Former prime minister and Maoist leader Prachanda is touted to replace him. Since the advent of democracy, Nepal has had frequent changes in government. This crisis is due to Maoists’ desire to protect their leaders from war crime investigations.

    14/07/2016 - BANGLADESH

    Dhaka massacre sinks tourism with losses in the millions of dollars

    by Sumon Corraya

    Operators and association officials confirm the wave of cancellations, including locals. For one trader, “the situation is going to get worse”. A US travel warning “will affect us for a long time.”

    14/07/2016 - INDIA

    India, Caritas at forefront in flood relief efforts

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Incessant rains have hit in the central states of Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. In recent days 24 people have died and 170 thousand others had to leave their homes. The operators of the social arm of the Church have set up field hospitals and are distributing tents and survival kits to thousands of families.


    14/07/2016 - CHINA

    China: Eight strikes a day for the first six months of the year

    The China Labour Bulletin publishes data on protests and social unrest in the world of work: an increase of 18.6% over last year, despite government attempts to stabilize the economy.


    14/07/2016 - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza reopened after 10 years

    The Israeli government declares that "the decision was made to facilitate the work of Palestinian importers and thus help the economy of the Gaza Strip".

    Editor's choices

    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.

    Fr Samir: Islamic terror in France and Germany a crisis of integration, but above all of politics

    Samir Khalil Samir

    The kidnapping and murder of a priest near Rouen (France) and the various attacks in Würzburg, Munich, Ansbach (Germany) were carried out by young people, who were indoctrinated with ease. Germany was a model for the integration of refugees. But radical Islam cannot be assimilated. It is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. There is no other road other than integration. But we must tell the truth: the Koran contains elements of war and violence. Western politicians suffer from ignorance and a loss of all moral sentiment.


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