07/29/2015CHINA Gao Yu’s health deteriorates; 'I don’t want to die here', Brother says her heart disease is life-threatening and any delays to treatment could cost her life. Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A recent hospital check showed the health condition of China's jailed veteran journalist Gao Yu has deteriorated yet again, with the normally spirited journalist saying she did not want to die in jail, said her...
07/28/2015SRI LANKA Injustice is still the lot of many Sri Lanka’s war widows by Melani Manel Perera Although the country’s civil war ended many years ago, the legacy of the bloody conflict between the government and Tamil rebels is still felt. Refugees are still forced to move as the government seizes their lands. The latest trend has been to use farmland for tourist development. The net effect of the situation is that refugee children have easy access to drugs but no access to education. After 100 days in power, “we expected something better” from President Sirisena.
07/28/2015PHILIPPINES Climate advocates hit Aquino for ‘dirty’ energy dependence During Aquino’s term, his administration approved the operation of 27 coal plant projects, and 118 coal mining permits, with 15 more coal plant projects still in pipeline. Based on this, it is projected that the Philippines will be 70 percent dependent on coal by 2030.
07/28/2015SAUDI ARABIA Second Saudi execution after Ramadan The man executed was a hashish trafficker. No executions took place during the holy month. In the first seven months of 2015, the Saudi kingdom carried out 104 executions. In 2014, 84 took place.
07/28/2015CAMBODIA Cambodia’s new NGO law is an opportunity to “promote clarity” The country’s Senate passed a Law on Associations and Non-Government Organisations that imposes restrictions on the activity of 5,000 NGOs. Activists fear the government will gag them during the 2018 parliamentary elections. Associations have come to play an important role in the country’s life following the end of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge dictatorship. Today, the challenge is to monitor results and plans.
07/28/2015INDIA The cold-blooded killing of a Christian “Maoist” couple brings back fears of pogrom in Kandhamal by Nirmala Carvalho The bodies have not been found. Bloodstains and pieces of clothing were found at the site where they were last seen. Two members of the country’s largest paramilitary group are suspected. The victims come from the same village as seven Christians sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, which sparked the anti-Christian pogrom of 2008.
07/28/2015LIBYA Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam sentenced to death in absentia A court in Tripoli sentenced the son of the former dictator. The latter was not present because he is held by a militia group in the city of Zintan that does not recognize the authorities in Tripoli and has refused to hand him over. With Saif al-Islam, the death penalty was also imposed on the former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senousi, and former Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi.
07/28/2015CHINA-HONG KONG China shares continue to fall, despite the assurances of the government After the big crash yesterday (-8.5%), the Shanghai stock market lost 1% today; Shenzhen 1.3%. At least 900 companies have withdrawn from trading after losing 10%. The central bank of China promised to inject 50 billion yuan in the money market, but the production figures do not favour optimism.
07/27/2015JAPAN Battle over peace “reopens old wounds that never healed” Fr Domenico Vitali, a Jesuit, has been in Japan for more than half a century. He spoke to AsiaNews about Japan’s ongoing debate over constitutional reform. For him,” It is not about being in favour or against war, but about arguments heard before the Second World War” based on nationalist rhetoric and honour. Even within the Church, “various groups have split to take different positions”.