23 June 2017
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  • 22/06/2017 - THAILAND – MYANMAR

    The camp hosts about 50,000 Myanmar citizens, mostly ethnic Karen. In two years 28 refugees took their lives and 66 attempted. For camp residents, "The situation is tragic". Suicides are caused by the lack of freedom, limited educational opportunities, uncertainty, and economic difficulties. Four in 10 deaths were from drinking weed-killer. Family problems were a factor in almost half of all cases, alcohol and substance abuses more than a third.

    22/06/2017 - INDIA

    For Bishop Menamparampil, vandalism against Catholic cathedral in Assam has hurt and raised concerns among Christians

    The cathedral is in Bongaigaon. Diocesan authorities have called for calm and organised a prayer vigil for peace and harmony. The pyx was stolen, and the tabernacle broken. For Sajan K George, the "robbery is a way to offend [Christian] religious feelings”.

    22/06/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Pigcawayan, Biff rebels free hostages. Six dead

    Attacks on military outposts at Barangay Malagakit and Barangay Simsiman. Islamist rebels repelled and fled to the marsh of Liguasan in Maguindanao. During the retreat a school building seized, 31 hostages freed. The military: The attack is not related to Marawi's siege.


    22/06/2017 - PALESTINE - EGYPT

    Cairo gives one million liters of fuel to prevent the collapse of Gaza

    The Strip now has two hours of electricity per day. The power plant will return to work in the next few hours. Last week, Hamas leaders met with Egyptian officials.

    22/06/2017 - INDIA - CHINA

    UN says India's population will overtake China in seven years

    Today, 1.3 billion people live in the Republic of India, 1.4 billion in the People's Republic of China. The United Nations report highlights a decline in fertility. The aging of the population is likely to break the social security systems.

    22/06/2017 - IRAQ

    Mosul's Al-Nouri Mosque destroyed. Isis and the United States exchange blame

    In that mosque in Baghdadi proclaimed the caliphate in 2014. Al-Abadi: It is an official declaration of defeat. " The mosque and the leaning minaret were among the oldest monuments in the city dating back to the 12th century. The old town of Mosul has been under siege. According to Isis it was destroyed by American operations.


    21/06/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Duterte warns of “religious war” in Mindanao, Church and analysts disagree

    Christians “have better guns. They are buying,” said the president. Analysts dismiss his view as baseless attempt to justify martial law. For Card Orlando Quevedo, archbishop of Cotabato, the government should “address the economic and political roots of terrorism” rather than focus on a military solution.

    21/06/2017 - CHINA

    Yulin Dog Meat Festival opens with more visitors

    Until recently, it appeared that the local government was going to ban the event. Although “subdued” with vendors allowed to put only two dogs on display, this year’s edition is drawing more visitors, thanks to the greater visibility generated by animal rights activists. Some 10-20 million dogs are butchered every year. For one local, “eating dog is just like eating fish and chicken."

    21/06/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    The Saudi king nominates 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman hereditary prince

    The decision approved by 31 (out of 34) members of the Alliance Council marks a turning point in succession. The current number two Mohammed bin Nayef was dethroned, payment for a weak policy in the context of the crisis with Qatar. The young heir mastermind behind war in Yemen and a supporter of the frontal confrontation with Iran.


    21/06/2017 - BELGIUM

    Brussels: suspect attacker killed after an explosion. No victims but a lot of fear

    An explosion shook Brussels’ central station. A witness asserts that the attacker had yelled "Allah is great" before detonating his suitcase. The episode fuels climate of fear in the heart of Europe. Islamic terrorism’s strategy of tension.


    20/06/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Movies and plays in Colombo to show the plight of refugees

    by Melani Manel Perera

    Today is World Refugee Day. Sri Lanka hosts 604 refugees in Sri Lanka with another 576 applying for recognition. The government does not guarantee the right to housing, food, education, medical care and does not provide opportunities for legal employment.

    20/06/2017 - MIDDLE EAST – EUROPE

    Terrorism and migrants: Mideast leaders blackmailing Europe

    by Luca Galantini

    Attacks in European capitals are meant to destabilise the foreign policy of countries like Great Britain, Germany, and France. Even Italy’s "neutral" position does not guarantee immunity. Dealing with immigration must be part of a long-term coexistence strategy. Working on economic and political development in countries of origin is also necessary. In ‘Caritas in Veritate’, Benedict XVI had prophetic words.

    20/06/2017 - USA - KOREA

    US student dies on return from Pyongyang. Trump attacks Kim's brutality. Moon deplores death

    No trace of the botulism indicated by North Korea as the reason for his release "for humanitarian reasons". US doctors hypothesize brain damage due to the abuse of psycho-drugs during detention. Otto Warmbier was no longer able to hear, speak or react to external stimulus. The US president reacts and calls for the release of three more American citizens detained in North Korea. South Korean President calls on North to respect the most elementary human rights as a condition for peace building.


    20/06/2017 - UN

    UN refugee record hit in 2016: 65.6 million

    Today is the World Refugee Day. Data released yesterday by UNHCR. About 40.3 million internally displaced persons; 22.5 Refugees; 2.8 million asylum seekers. Nearly 84% of the burden of hospitality is supported by poor countries, despite the focus on migrant crises in Europe.


    19/06/2017 - VIETNAM

    Vietnam’s economic policies harm development, environment and people

    by Nguyen Van

    Farmlands loss and pollution are growing. Expropriations cause great social instability. Government cracks down on protests. The Catholic community stands by the victims of the Formosa disaster. Clergymen and parishioners in Thuận Nghĩa call for an end to threats against the spirituality and property of people in Song Ngọc.

    19/06/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka, a 'monastic ordination of trees' to protect plants and the environment

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The ceremony at the place where a sugar factory is planned. Buddhist rituals were attended by 1,500 people, as well as monks, environmentalists and politicians. The motto is "Every animal is sacred, every tree is sacred". The trees lined with the orange tunic of the monks.


    17/06/2017 - INDIA

    Delhi partially backpedals on beef ban, says it’s “ready to review” the law

    Justice minister is open to less stringent rules. The issue is now before Supreme Court, which will hear the matter on 11 July. For Minister Prasad, the “government does not intend to bring in any law that would in any manner interfere with the eating habits of any community.” Meanwhile, trade in buffalo meat collapses by 90 per cent.

    17/06/2017 - NEPAL

    Local elections postponed in a province on Indian border as threats of interference loom

    by Christopher Sharma

    Poll is now set for September. The Rastriya Janata Party has threatened violent opposition if their demands are not heeded. Other parties and ordinary citizens protest the postponement. Some fear Indian interference against the country’s secular constitution.

    16/06/2017 - CHINA

    Wu Xiaohui, the latest billionaire victim of Beijing’s anti-graft campaign

    Over the past few months, more than 40 officials and executives have been detained as part of a vast operation to end collusion between regulators, family members of the ruling elite and tycoons. The authorities “need to ensure stability ahead of the 19th National Congress,” said Zhuang Deshui, of Peking University.

    16/06/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Moon's style is conquering everyone, with record approval ratings for the new president

    Moon is paying his own personal expenses. He has asked his security detail to keep a low profile. He has broken with the protocol on official occasions by bringing ordinary citizens to the fore. He occasionally leaves the presidential office in sleeves with a cup of coffee for a walk with his aides. He lets himself be photographed with others and signs autographs to children. In a month, he has already met journalists three times. He is battling corruption and working for civil rights. As he wins over his country, he is getting ready for international challenges, renewing the dialogue with North Korea and exercising greater independence vis-à-vis the United States.

    16/06/2017 - INDIA

    Mumbai, school of the Islamic preacher who 'inspired' Dhaka massacre closed

    The institute is located in Mazgaon's central district and hosts 135 students. Zakir Naik is the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation, banned five years ago. He is one of the best-known exponents of the radical positions of Salaf Islam. 

    15/06/2017 - JAPAN

    Shinzo Abe's anti-terrorism legislation sparks protests over civil liberties restrictions

    After three attempts, the Japanese diet approves controversial bill. For the government, the new legislation is needed to ratify the UN treaty aimed at global organised crime and prevent terrorism at the 2020 Olympics. Critics argue that the law restricts freedom and civil rights and has nothing to do with crime or terrorism.

    15/06/2017 - NORTH KOREA - UNITED STATES

    Pyongyang: Otto Warmbier released “on humanitarian grounds”

    The student had been in coma since March 2016, after getting botulism. He was repatriated following a decision of a North Korean court.  In prison, he was “terrorised and brutalised”, his family said.  His release came after a flurry of secret diplomatic contacts.

    15/06/2017 - CHINA – PAKISTAN

    As young Chinese 'preachers' are killed by the Islamic State in Pakistan, Global Times warns students of the dangers of converting to Christianity

    Two young people, aged 24 and 26, were abducted and killed in Quetta (Baluchistan). They belonged to a South Korea-based missionary community. Their death has generated fears that Sino-Pakistani friendship might be in jeopardy. A newspaper close the Chinese Communist Party warns of the danger of being used as "missionaries" and "spies".

    15/06/2017 - ISLAM-MIDDLE EAST

    Terrorism and migrants: A much needed discussion between Muslims and Christians (Part One)

    by Samir Khalil Samir

    There are good relations between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. The difficulties were born and nurtured by Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabite Islam, as well as with the Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt. Sunnism of this ilk are similar to al Qaeda and Daesh. The contribution of Christians to Arab culture involves modernity, education, the role of women in society. Arabic culture unites Christians and Muslims in the East.

    14/06/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Filipino military promises “not to bomb” mosques

    Muslim religious leaders are urged to dissuade Maute fighters from using places of worship as military posts. Four of the city’s 96 neighbourhoods remain in Islamist hands. The Islamic State group posts a video showing the execution of six Christians.

    14/06/2017 - MALAYSIA

    Malaysian activists against the death sentence imposed on nine Filipino Islamic militants

    The defendants were involved in a violent Islamist incursion in Sabah in 2013. The ruling of the Kota Kinabalu High Court was overturned. For human rights activist, the severity of the incident "should never be sufficient to justify the imposition of an unjust sentence, especially the death penalty.” The Philippines Foreign Affairs department said the "death sentence is still not final”.

    14/06/2017 - CHINA

    Some 70 per cent of companies still violating pollution regulations in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei

    After two months of government inspections in 28 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, some 13,785 companies (70.6 per cent) have failed to meet emissions standards or lack pollution control equipment.  Particulate matter should have been reduced in the smoggy region by 25 per cent this year over 2012 levels, but the target has not been met. One third of the deaths in the region are related to pollution.

    14/06/2017 - BANGLADESH

    As landslides kill 144 in southeastern Bangladesh, Card D'Rozario prays for victims

    by Sumon Corraya

    The districts of Rangamati, Bandarban, Chittagong and Cox's Bazaar are the hardest hit with the heaviest death toll in Rangamati. The poor live in the hills, in homes built haphazardly. Parish priest in Bandarban calls for help.

    14/06/2017 - QATAR - GULF - USA - EU

    Europe’s absence and America’s interests in crisis between Riyadh and Doha

    by Luca Galantini

    The stand-off between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is generating a wave of tension in the Middle East. And among Sunnis and Shiites for primacy in Islam. Riyadh’s aggressive policy supported by Trump for economic reasons. Brussels incapable of favoring the recognition of political, social and religious pluralism.

    Editor's choices

    Vatican and Russian orthodox scholars debate history and Ostpolitik

    Vladimir Rozanskij

    The conference begins tomorrow and continues until June 21. Joint work was blocked in 2002 over allegations of "proselytism" against the Russian Catholic Church. Change of climate after the meeting between Francis and Kirill in Havana in 2016. Russians prefer to talk about common mission to the world rather than unity of the united Church in the first 10 centuries.


    The “strength of the Church is within the small churches”, says Laos’s first cardinal

    Weena Kowitwanij

    On 21 May, Pope Francis announced his nomination, a surprise for Laos’s 50,000- strong Catholic community. It is a “baby Church” that experiences the first proclamation and is turned towards Tribals and animists. "Some of the most serious problems are the shortage of personnel and the quality of education,” the prelate said. "Some people think that being a cardinal is an honour,” but for Mgr Mangkhanekhoun it means advising the pope on how to “solve problems.”


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