08/27/2014CHINA - HONG KONG Beijing prepared to crack down on Hong Kong's democracy movement by Wang Zhicheng Local representatives to the National People's Congress defend Beijing's position. Hong Kong's chief executive threatens to strip foreign residents of their voting rights, insisting that Beijing does not have to follow "international standards" for democracy. Beijing
- Beijing is "well prepared" to deal with emergencies in Hong Kong, once its proposal
for democratic reform are made public over the weekend.
The Occupy Central movement
has vowed to block the Central district with
a large sit-in if the Chinese proposal does
08/26/2014IRAQ - SYRIA - UNITED STATES Damascus ready to collaborate with US and UN to stop Islamic State The United Nations reports that after seizing Mosul militants killed hundreds of Shia inmates from Badoush prison. In addition, they carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, kidnappings, human trafficking, enslavement and sexual violence.
08/26/2014RUSSIA-UKRAINE Putin and Poroshenko meet in Minsk No one expresses hopes for an end to growing tensions. Russia wants to send a new aid convoy to the rebel regions and calls for the cooperation of the Red Cross and the Kiev government. Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine. Date for next elections set for October 26.
08/26/2014VIETNAM Hanoi resorts to traffic charges to jail dissidents Three activists on trial on charges of having "incited" public disorder and causing a “serious obstruction to traffic". Those on trial include a popular blogger, critic of China, and a Buddhist faithful. They face up to seven years in jail. Pro human rights groups accuse Vietnam of not respecting its international obligations.
08/26/2014INDIA Mumbai's Jewish center re-opens after 2008 terrorist attack by Nirmala Carvalho Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his wife Rivky and 4 other people died in the attack: the small Moshe, their son, survived thanks to his Indian nanny. Today the structure has been restored: "This project is a seed of light and hope, reminding us how we can survive even in the most terrible of the challenges. Evil will not prevail".
08/25/2014INDONESIA - ISLAM In Jakarta, Muslim leaders explain Islamic fundamentalism to Christians by Royani Lim An initiative promoted by the Bishops' Conference was attended by bishops, priests, nuns as well as lay Catholics and Protestants. Speakers included experts in counter-terrorism and scholars of religion and society. Social injustice, poverty and propaganda feed extremism. We need moderate Muslim figures in the foreground, like former President "Gus Dur".
08/25/2014BANGLADESH Bangladesh, targeted attacks and social injustices behind the "disappearance" of Hindus by Sumon Corraya In 1947 the Hindus in the then East Pakistan were 28% of the population, they are now below 8.5% and continue to decline day by day. The Prime Minister Hasina launched an appeal in favor of a multi-religious country in which all citizens are equal, but experts argue: "They have no protection and no justice, so they flee".
08/25/2014IRAQ Patriarch of Baghdad: While politicians argue, Iraqi Christians continue to suffer and die by Joseph Mahmoud Visiting refugee camps in Erbil and Dohok, Mar Sako speaks of a situation "beyond all imagination". He appeals to the international community and the Muslim world "that have not yet understood the gravity of the situation." The militiamen kidnap a Christian girl of three years, two men die from hunger. Baghdad and Tehran work on a joint plan of action.
08/25/2014CHINA Xinjiang, 8 executions held: Tiananmen attackers also killed The Chinese government has revealed the identity of 7 terrorists killed for crimes that range from terrorist attacks to having watched online video on religious extremism. Uyghur dissident: "Clearly politically motivated executions to weaken the spirit of the province".
08/25/2014INDIA Orissa, six years on from pogrom "faith in the crucified Christ never abandons us" by Nirmala Carvalho The Indian State,scene of terrible anti-Christian persecution in 2008, today holds a Day of Remembrance in memory of the victims and to demand justice from the government. The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar tells AsiaNews: "The testimony of victims has produced fertile seeds, which nourish faith and vocations." Card. Gracias: "The suffering of Christians in India, offered for peace in Iraq".
08/25/2014VATICAN-CHINA The Sistine Chapel choir will not sing in Beijing by Paul Wang The papal choir will sing in Macau, Hong Kong and Taipei. The "cultural diplomacy" at work and of interest to both China and the Vatican, even though it may bring few results. In stand-by an exhibition of objects from the Vatican Museums. Plans for an exhibit of documents on relations between the papacy and imperial China.
08/24/2014VATICAN Pope appeals for peace in Ukraine. Peter's blind faith and hearts of "rock" or "sand" At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls situation of conflict that create "so much suffering among the civilian population". A bishop writes a letter to the pope, "describing this pain." As for Peter, Jesus expects a "reliable", faith on which to build the Church. "What is your faith like? We should all find the answer in our hearts. What does the Lord find in our hearts? A stable heart like stone, or a heart like sand, that is incredulous, doubtful, suspicious?". He makes the pilgrims repeat Peter's profession three times: "You are Christ, the Son of the living God."