10/13/2015SYRIA Joy for Fr Mourad, fear for the fate of 190 Christian prisoners held by the Islamic State
Syrian Christians are happy for the clergyman’s escape after five months in jihadi captivity but greatly concerned about the fate of their co-religionists, and possible reprisals against them. In spite of repeated death threats, Fr Mourad “never signed a statement to renounce Christianity.” Damascus (AsiaNews) – For Syria’s Syriac Catholic community, this is a time of rejoicing because of Fr Jacques Mourad’s newfound freedom but also of anxiety, “great concern” and prayers for the fate of more than 190 Christian...
10/13/2015ISRAEL – PALESTINE Jerusalem, three dead and more than 20 wounded in third, “knife” intifada Violence and tension are growing. At least 21 stabbings have occurred since 3 October. In East Jerusalem, two attackers wounded passengers on a bus before they were stopped by police. With teeangers and children now involved, the trail of blood is bound to get longer.
10/13/2015THAILAND Thai military establish new body to draft constitution by Weena Kowitwanij Meechai Ruchuphan is set to chair a 20-member Constitution Drafting Committee, which has six months to write the new charter. The new body should uphold certain principles. Meanwhile, a survey for Bangkok University indicates what Thais expect from it.
10/13/2015IRAN Tehran parliament approves nuclear deal With 161 votes in favor, 59 against and 3 abstentions body ratifies the text signed with the "5 + 1". The debate is still very much alive: the Conservatives accuse President Rouhani of "selling out" the dignity of the country. US Congress still to vote on the removal of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
10/13/2015LAOS Vientiane cancels ASEAN NGO meeting Laos is slated to host next year’s ASEAN summit. Civil society organisations were set to meet on the sidelines to discuss land and minority rights as well as forced disappearances. However, mentioning issues “deemed sensitive” raises fears, NGO committee says.
10/13/2015PAKISTAN Paul Bhatti: in combating extremism and fighting for equal rights, Pakistan "is changing" Former minister and leader of APMA judges confirmation of the Supreme Court of the conviction of the murderer of Salman Taseer as positive. It confirms the "will" to combat and eliminate terrorism. The battle must encompass the monitoring Koranic schools, higher education for minorities, economic and social development. Hopes for the release of Asia Bibi.
10/13/2015INDONESIA Flores: Muslim mother blesses her son’s ordination as a Catholic priest by Mathias Hariyadi The Muslim family of Robertus B. Asiyanto joyfully participated in his ordination in Maumere. His mother laid her hands on the altar: "I'm really happy with my son’s choice". The island of Flores is one of the few predominantly Catholic areas of Indonesia.
10/13/2015MYANMAR Floods in Kayah State: 17 dead, dozens of families evacuated Heavy rains triggered a landslide that hit dozens of houses in the villages of Mawchi Taung Paw and Lokhalo. The victims were 10 men and seven women, but the toll is still provisional. Food, shelter, clothing are becoming scarce. Mawchi was once an important mining center.
10/13/2015CHINA September imports drop to under 20.4% Imports and exports drop for 11t h consecutive month. Fears for equity markets and Chinese markets. Analysts predict a massive government intervention to stem unemployment and declining purchasing power.
10/12/2015VATICAN Synod: accompanying families as Jesus did with the disciples in Emmaus Today, the work groups discussed the second part of the Instrumentum laboris. Some proposed a day of prayer and adoration for marriage and the family. Others suggested a "catechumenate as part of marriage preparation with witnesses, and not only experts. Participants mentioned Asia Bibi and Coptic martyrs. Questions about the final report and a letter by 13 cardinals to the pope were mentioned at the briefing.
10/12/2015IRAQ Iraqi air strikes kill Islamic State officials but not al-Baghdadi Rumours that the IS leader was killed have been met with denials. Eight senior IS leaders are thought however to have been killed. An IS-linked twitter account slams death reports as false. Another says that if dies, thousands like him would continue the war.
10/12/2015RUSSIA - SYRIA Not only raids, Russia strikes on diplomatic front to find a solution in Syria by Nina Achmatova Putin meets with leaders from Saudi Arabia and Emirates which has ensured that the Russian objective is "to create the conditions for finding a political compromise". Waiting for the meeting between Lavrov and UN envoy Staffan de Mistura. Experts urge the West to look to new openings with Moscow.
10/12/2015NEPAL Nepal elects Communist Sharma Oli as prime minister by Christopher Sharma He stood against outgoing Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. During his campaign, he pledged to lead the country’s reconstruction following its recent earthquake and resolve the diplomatic and economic crisis with India. India and China sent congratulations.