08/29/2015RUSSIA The Cossacks of Saint Petersburg deny involvement in the removal of a bas-relief depicting Mephistopheles by Nina Achmatova According to the head of the group, a letter claiming responsibility is the act of agent provocateurs. Initially blamed on religious motives, the latter is still shrouded in doubt. For the Orthodox Church, it is understandable. Moscow (AsiaNews) – The Cossacks of Saint Petersburg have denied responsibility for the removal from the facade of a historic building of a century-old bas-relief depicting Mephistopheles. The action has raised a storm among ordinary Russians and...
08/28/2015KYRGYZSTAN - CHINA Chinese-funded project gives Kyrgyzstan its first independent power transmission line Construction on the Datka-Kemin power transmission line began at the Kemin substation in 2012. A Chinese company built the US$ 390 million project. Before, Kyrgyzstan relied on other countries for energy, now it “will not only meet the needs of the country, but it will also export electricity,” the president said.
08/28/2015SYRIA – EUROPEAN UNION Migrants found suffocated to death in a lorry in Austria were from Syria A girl aged between one and two years old was among the victims. Four people – three Bulgarians and an Afghan – have been arrested in connection with the case. Most of those fleeing to Europe are from Syria and Afghanistan. Two boats with 500 people sink off the coast of Libya.
08/28/2015INDONESIA - EAST TIMOR Jakarta and Dili to settle territorial disputes before the end of the year The two governments have agreed in principle to boost trade and technical cooperation as well. Maritime disputes should be settled by the end of the year. Border posts are opened to facilitate cultural exchanges. Following its agreement with the Holy See, the latest steps will further Timor Leste’s foreign policy.
08/28/2015NEPAL Minority parties quit last session of Constituent Assembly by Christopher Sharma Madhese and Tharu representatives reject proposed administrative divisions adopted by the big parties. Under a revised version, the constitution’s final draft would include a seventh province. Since it became a secular state in 2007, Nepal has not yet adopted a final constitution.
08/28/2015KAZAKHSTAN Agreement on a new international nuclear bank signed in Kazakhstan The bank will curb nuclear proliferation by countries like Iran. It will be built in the Ulba metallurgical plant (eastern Kazakhstan) with a transit agreement with the Russian Federation. Kazakh President Nazarbayev first made the proposal in 2009. The member countries must meet strict IAEA rules. Programmes towards food sustainability using nuclear and related biotechnologies are in the works.
08/28/2015VATICAN - IRAQ Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees by Bernardo Cervellera The Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
08/28/2015CHINA Christian lawyer arrested over his involvement against cross removals in Zhejiang Zhang Kai has been in police custody since Tuesday. He has led the legal fight to defend Christian rights in the province. His law firm of Beijing issued a note of protest against his detention. In recent days, scores of clergymen have been detained and interrogated. Government censorship against activists and religions is tightening.
08/27/2015YEMEN – SAUDI ARABIA Human Rights Watch slams Saudi-led coalition for using cluster bombs in Yemen Between April and July, the Saudis carried out at least seven attacks in which they employed such weapons with devastating effect. HRW calls for a stop to their use, urging the parties to the conflict to sign the treaty banning them. Meanwhile, joint Arab League regional force has been postponed under Saudi pressure.
08/27/2015SRI LANKA Defence seminar to focus on global threats by Melani Manel Perera Titled ‘National Security in the Context of Emerging Global Threats,’ the event will be held in Colombo on 1-2 September. Some 350 delegates are expected from 66 countries. The ambassadors of China and Pakistan will address the seminar. The Army chief claims the military has achieved high levels of professionalism since the end of the civil war.