31 August 2016
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    31/08/2016 - ASIA - VATICAN

    On the eve of the canonization and the AsiaNews symposium on Mother Teresa of Calcutta, learning from her message and experience. She overcomes the "globalization of indifference"; her work has redefined poverty: poverty is not just material, but also human, lives devoid of love. The memory of Princess Diana. Her "haste" to respond to the poor. Her work as a response to the love of Jesus Christ. Mother Teresa is the icon of mission in the twenty-first century and the example of how to be Church after Vatican II: She united contemplation of Christ, and action in the world, tradition and development. The program of our International Symposium.


    by Bernardo Cervellera

    31/08/2016 - ASIA

    Oil prices drop again


    The Iranian oil minister wants to bring Tehran's production to 4 million barrels a day. Neither OPEC nor Russia appear eager to decrease production. The dollar strengthened after President of the Federal Reserve's statement.


    30/08/2016 - UNITED STATES – INDIA

    US-India deal on military bases, against Chinese dominance in Asia


    The defence ministers of the two countries signed the agreement yesterday. Although never mentioned, China is the main target. Indian and US navies will help each other in military exercises, joint peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance. Another aim is to contain extremism in Pakistan.


    30/08/2016 - IRAN

    Tehran and Seoul launch trade in euro

    by Darius Karimian

    Thereby circumventing US sanctions that prohibit the use of the dollar in transactions with Iran. A tip for other nations. Three Korean banks have opened an office in Tehran.


    29/08/2016 - CHINA – CENTRAL ASIA

    China’s "quiet expansion" into Central Asia

    by Paul Goble

    Beijing has replaced both Russia and the United States in the strategically important region. Taking advantage of these countries’ internal weaknesses, China is seizing control of local businesses and farmland. "Chinese nationals living and working in Tajikistan have increased by 30 percent since 2015,” notes a Tajikistan expert. “Tajiks have ceased to be masters in their own country”. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    29/08/2016 - LIBYA

    Sirte freed from Daesh


    A spokesperson for Bunyan El Marsus, the western Libyan militias allied with the government of national unity, made the announcement. Daesh forces fled south. Overestimated, the strength of the Islamic state is a media-constructed myth. Now the el Sharara oil fields must be saved from possible reprisals.


    29/08/2016 - SYRIA - TURKEY

    Turkey continues offensive against "terrorists" and Kurds


    At least 25 people killed yesterday. According to Turkey, they were all "Kurdish militants" and "terrorists." Ankara and Washington increasingly distant.


    27/08/2016 - CHINA

    Rough sailing for Chinese shipyards


    Private shipbuilders face greater obstacle than their state-owned counterparts, which get government subsidies. One company plans to lay off up to 28 per cent of its workforce. Over-capacity and low demand are the main causes. Bankruptcy looms for many.


    27/08/2016 - LAOS

    Cost of living up by 30 per cent in Laos, but wages stay the same


    Most Laotians are low income, slipping into poverty. A kilo of rice has gone from 1.05 to 1.50 US dollars. The prices of beef, fish, pork, chicken and vegetables are also up. Official at the Ministry of Commerce believes the government should raise wages or impose price controls.


    27/08/2016 - MIDDLE EAST

    Middle East wars and unrest lead to lower life expectancy


    Syria is particularly affected. War shaved off six years from men’s life expectancy (from 75 in 2010 to 69 in 2013), five from women’s (from 80 to 75). Millions of people have to face the consequences of water shortages and poor hygienic conditions. Non-communicable illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease are up as well.


    27/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope's Message for Peace 2017: " Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace"


    The title of the message to be published by the end of this year is released. Non-violence is not only a moral refusal but is also a " realistic way to overcome armed conflicts." Dialogue and negotiations must be based on the common dignity of the parties and on the force of what is right. The message will slam "Third World War in pieces", and call for action against the illegal arms trade.


    26/08/2016 - INDIA

    Some 400 people remember Kandhamal, a “threat to democracy"

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The eighth anniversary of anti-Christian massacres was marked yesterday. Hindu nationalists use religion for nationalist purposes. Caste discrimination is still in force. The poor and the defenceless help radicals rule. What is needed is a break from the politics of “divide and rule”.


    26/08/2016 - NEPAL

    After 16 months some 1,400 Nepal earthquake victims receive first aid installment


    Beneficiaries in Makawanpur district, which has about 30,322 households, get about US$ 650,000, far less than the four billion dollars pledged by the international community. One reconstruction centre in lieu of 21 might further slow reconstruction.


    26/08/2016 - INDIA

    Indian bishop: The new surrogacy bill is not acceptable

    by mons. Savio Fernandes*

    Mgr Savio Fernandes talks about the proposed law the Union Cabinet unveiled yesterday. “The life of every human person is to be respected and treated with dignity from the moment of conception.” Indian  authorities want to contain the womb-for-rent industry, that each year brings in  billon of dollars and expose women's body to exploitation. “A better option to surrogacy would be to adopt a child," the prelate said. "In India, there are so many children whose parents have abandoned them.”


    26/08/2016 - CHINA-SYRIA

    Beijing will train army troops of Bashar Assad


    The training will take place in China and will deal with medical and nursing professional care. The division present in the UN Security Council is now evident in the military alliances.


    25/08/2016 - PAKISTAN

    As journalists get attacked, media workers in Pakistan ask for more protection

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Pakistan ranks as the fourth most dangerous country for journalists with 115 killings between 1990 and 2015, 28 just last year. Activists and journalists rally in support of Ary News workers whose offices were attacked two days ago.


    25/08/2016 - INDIA

    Delhi wants to ban surrogacy

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    24/08/2016 - INDONESIA

    Jakarta introduces tax amnesty to repatriate assets held abroad

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Under new rules, Joko Widodo will forgive wealthy tax evaders on condition they bring their assets back to Indonesia and declare them to the authorities. Otherwise, they will be fined. As the rich wonder, accountants prep for extra work.


    24/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope cancels audience: Sorrow for earthquake victims in Italy


    Francis speaks to the pilgrims gathered in the square: "I express my great sorrow and closeness to all the people present in the places struck by the quake, to all the people who have lost loved ones and to those who still feel shock, fear and terror”. The Pope invites those present to recite the Sorrowful Mysteries. The tremors that devastated the Rieti area, were felt worst in Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto. 21 are confirmed dead, but many are still missing.


    24/08/2016 - INDIA

    Varanasi, as Ganges overflows, the dead cremated on rooftops


    Rains fall relentlessly for over two months. In Uttar Pradesh they have killed 40 people and forced at least another 100 thousand to flee their homes. For Hindus, a funeral rite on the banks of the sacred river frees the body from the cycle of rebirth.


    23/08/2016 - SRI LANKA

    Military not returning land to 9,000 civil war displaced people in Jaffna

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The refugees live in precarious conditions in 43 refugee camps. Military leaders justify the decision on national security. IDPs claim the army built Buddhist temples on their land, when most of them are Hindu or Catholic. Government IDP figures do not coincide with those of activists.


    23/08/2016 - CAMBODIA

    Cambodia, political instability hits textile sector: down 30%


    The alarm raised by Ly Tek Heng head of the Textile Manufacturing Association in Cambodia (GMAC). Since early this year 70 companies have closed. Investors smuggle capital to Vietnam, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The Ministry of Trade reassures: "In 2016, exports rose by 39%".


    23/08/2016 - INDIA

    Curfew in Kashmir: Children get to school thanks to volunteers


    The curfew has been in place for almost two months. The protests between separatists and security forces killed at least 60 people. Volunteers working in private homes, in mosques and reception rooms, after several couples have decided to postpone their wedding.


    22/08/2016 - PAKISTAN

    Catholic hospital in Sialkot provides free treatment to tuberculosis patients (Video)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    The Bethania Hospital is run by the Archdiocese of Lahore. Physicians also fight stigma associated with the disease through counselling and outreach to locals. Each year, 70,000 people die of TB in Pakistan.


    21/08/2016 - VATICAN

    Pope: The door of God's mercy is always wide open. For everyone!


    The goal, says Pope Francis before the Angelus prayer, "is Jesus himself. He leads us into fellowship with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. But why is this door is narrow? It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive, but because it asks us to restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with a humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of his forgiveness. " An appeal for peace "in dear Turkey ".

     


    20/08/2016 - MYANMAR - CHINA

    Dams and diplomatic relations: Aung San Suu Kyi in China


    The Burmese State Minister is in Beijing from August 17. Yesterday she met with President Xi Jinping. China ready to play "a constructive role in promoting the peace process in Myanmar". Talks also on Myitsone dam project and $ 3.6 billion suspended in 2011 after strong protests.


    20/08/2016 - RUSSIA

    Russian hotels ready to provide "Halal" rooms for Muslims

    by Nina Achmatova

    The project in conjunction with the Russian Council of Muftis which says the demand for products that comply with Islamic norms is growing. The rooms will have a translated copy of the Quran, a prayer rug and an indication of Mecca.


    17/08/2016 - CHINA

    Hong Kong and Shenzhen bourses linked, but markets do not rejoice


    Together they represent the second largest financial centre in the world with a market capitalisation of 7,400 billion dollars. A year after it was announced, the regulatory and supervisory authorities give the green light, but investors need time and trust to recover from the shock caused by Shanghai in August 2015.


    13/08/2016 - INDONESIA

    Save Sumatra elephant from extinction


    On the occasion of the World Elephant Day, celebrated yesterday, the authorities publish the last census of mammals living on the island. Decline of 39% from 2007. Ministry spokesman: "In addition to poaching, elephants are suffering from bad sanitary conditions. We have much work to do".


    13/08/2016 - RUSSIA

    Putin dismisses historic presidential chief of staff. Reshuffles at the highest levels

    by Nina Achmatova

    Serghei Ivanov - historical ally of the head of the Kremlin - was removed from office after more than four years of service, replaced by a young and efficient bureaucrat. According to Putin experts he is replacing the old circle of power, made of comrades and friends, with young and faithful executors to strengthen his personal leadership.


    12/08/2016 - SAUDI ARABIA - UNITED STATES

    Washington approves US$ 1.5 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia


    The contract includes 130 tanks, other weapons and military assistance. Riyadh vows to fight Islamic State but uses its weapons mostly against its rivals in the region. Only ten Saudi fighters are involved in the anti-Daesh coalition, but one hundred are used in Yemen against Houthi Shias. For French diplomat, through money flows and arms sales the West has created its own enemy.






    Editor's choices

    BANGLADESH
    "I, a Muslim who converted to Christianity, rejected by family and society"

    Ismail Jaffar

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Anil Gomes (not his real name for security reasons) explains that he converted to Christianity after reading a passage from the New Testament. Since then he has lost every job. His body shows the wounds from assaults and murder attempts. "I cannot maintain my family. Pray for me".


    CHINA - VATICAN
    Rethinking China-Vatican accords (with a touch of irony)

    Il prete eremita del Nord (华北的山人神父)

    There are various discrepancies in discussions on relations between China and the Holy See. Despite the fact that there is still no public agreement, many commentators hotly discuss it as if it were common gossip. Even the bishops are often reduced to mere puppets; the lack of mutual trust between the two parties; the Taiwan issue: these are some of the problems outlined by the informed author, who calls himself "the hermit priest of the North" and is a very famous priest-blogger in China.


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