10/24/2014IRAQ - UNITED NATIONS UN seeks US$ 2.2 billion dollars for displaced people in Iraq and Syria Some five million people need urged aid, UN says, including 1.8 million internally displaced people and 1.7 million in conflict areas. As winter approaches, the situation will get worse. An earlier fund-raiser failed to meet its target. Baghdad
(AsiaNews/Agencies) - The United Nations on Thursday launched a US$
2.2 billion appeal to assist 5.2 million people who need protection and
assistance in conflict-torn Iraq, as do those in Syria.
10/24/2014MIDDLE EAST - USA The Islamic State "is the world's richest terrorist group" According to the United States government, the Islamic fundamentalists "earn about a million dollars a day just by selling oil". Added to this the ransoms they receive from abductions - especially of Westerners - and the racket set up in the cities under their control. The United States "wants more cooperation" from Kuwait and Qatar, but forget that it is an American company selling arms in the region.
10/22/2014SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM Saudi grand mufti against Twitter as source of all evil and lies On his 'fatwa' show, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, comes out against the microblogging site, blaming it for evil as well as moral and social devastation. Users are divided: some agree with the sheikh; others comment his views with sarcasm. In Saudi Arabia, Twitter has the highest number of active users.
10/22/2014EGYPT New law to lift restrictions on church building, says Catholic Church spokesman by Giulia Mazza inviato Father Rafic Greiche talks to AsiaNews about a draft bill that would remove restrictions on building Christian places of worship. Egypt's parliament is expected to vote on the law in January and February 2015. Under the al-Sisi government Christian security and coexistence with Muslims have improved as "Egypt found itself."
10/22/2014ITALY - IRAQ Baghdad patriarch calls on Muslims to show more courage in a "common front" against terrorists by Dario Salvi Christians and Muslims must join together to defeat the Islamic State. So far, "fear has prevailed." For Mar Sako, a strong "public rejection" is needed. For Advent and Christmas, he calls for visits to the families of refugees, bringing sweets for the festivity to show closeness and solidarity. He calls for a "long term strategy" to fight bigotry.
10/22/2014EGYPT Egypt's Holy Family pilgrimage can now be openly (and safely) undertaken The Ministry of Tourism and the Coptic Church present a new tourist programme that covers all the sites visited by Joseph, Mary and Jesus during their flight from Herod's persecution. Under the Muslim Brotherhood government, the pilgrimage was stopped. Coptic businessman tells AsiaNews, "for the first time in years we" can "freely express ourselves and our faith, and build a better Egypt, everyone together, Christians and Muslims."
10/21/2014MALAYSIA Islamic authorities slam "I want to touch a dog" Hundreds of people participated in an event which, according to the organizers, wanted to help people overcome their fear of the animals considered "unclean" by Muslims. For those who touched the dogs, volunteers explained how to perform purifying ritual.
10/21/2014IRAN - IRAQ United Nations admits Tehran "meeting its commitment" on nuclear programme A report by the UN atomic energy agency confirms that the Iranian government is meeting its commitments under a 2013 interim agreement. The document could be a prelude to an historic deal ahead of the deadline of 24 November. Iraqi Prime Minister is in Tehran on an official visit to find ways to fight the Islamic State. The Vatican calls for greater involvement of Iran on the international stage.
10/20/2014VATICAN Pope: We cannot resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have had to leave their homes in a brutal way" and "in the general indifference of so many". Cardinal Pietro Parolin: international community must respond to the terrorism of the Islamic State with a negotiated solution to all the problems in the Middle East, starting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
10/20/2014PAKISTAN - ISLAM Lahore: Christian activists ask Supreme Court to deliver speedy justice for Asia Bibi by Shafique Khokhar Christian Solidarity Worldwide calls on Pakistan's highest court to guarantee her safety as well as a speedy trial to secure her release. Her conviction is evidence of the poor status of the country's justice system, plagued by bias and corruption in blasphemy cases. Michelle Chaudhry is hopeful and optimistic about an acquittal.
10/20/2014INDONESIA Jakarta, Jokowi takes office: peace, unity and development key steps of mandate by Mathias Hariyadi The 53 year old carpenter's son, a former governor of the capital, is now the 7th President of Indonesia. He intends to revive sea trade and preserve the principle of "neutrality" in foreign policy. Thousands of people celebrate the swearing in ceremony. For the first lady he remains a "simple and hardworking man."