06/02/2015VATICAN Pope coming to Sarajevo to support interfaith dialogue and peaceful coexistence In a video message, Francis stresses "Peace be with you" as the motto for his 6 June visit. "I encourage Catholics to be witnesses to their fellow citizens of the faith and love of God, working for a society that makes ways towards peace in brotherhood and in mutual cooperation.” Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In a video message to the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina ahead of his visit to Sarajevo, Pope Francis said that he hopes his visit will support interfaith dialogue between and among Christians and Muslims, encourage peaceful coexistence for all of the...
06/02/2015CHINA Passenger ship sinks in the Yangtze with more than 440 people missing The Dongfangzhixing left Nanjing for Chongqing. Near the Jianli section (Hubei Province), it capsized for reasons still unknown, perhaps a tornado. Out of 458 people on board, only 13 have been rescued, including the ship’s captain and chief engineer who were detained by the police for questioning.
06/02/2015SOUTH KOREA – CHINA Seoul and Beijing sign "historic" free trade agreement The Free Trade agreement cuts tariffs by 90 per cent over the coming 20 years. Greater access to China’s markets could create more than 50,000 jobs in South Korea. In a letter to her Chinese counterpart, South Korea’s president calls that the agreement a “historic milestone” in relations between the two countries.
06/01/2015INDIA After claiming 1,700 victims deadly heat wave ends in India by Nirmala Carvalho Pre-monsoon rains are expected by the end of this week. Varanasi Priest speaks of "human tragedy", which mainly hit the poorest in the country. Because of the high temperatures, many are too weak to work and also risk of starvation.
06/01/2015KYRGYZSTAN Government plans to test imams on Islam to fight terrorism According to Kyrgyz authorities, 70 per cent of the country’s imams lack a formal and thorough religious education. For imams, such a restrictive policy has political objectives. Clerics not loyal to the president are expected to be removed in a country where 90 per cent of the population is Muslim. The country has 2,362 mosques and 75 madrassas.
06/01/2015CHINA Beijing bans smoking in public places In China about 300 million people smoke, and each year one million die from tobacco-related diseases. Cigarettes can cost less than a dollar a pack, and smoking is considered almost like breathing. Offenders now will be fined, named and shamed on a government website.
06/01/2015TURKEY Erdogan’s campaign centred on Islam and nationalism As head of state, he is constitutionally barred from party politics. However, he is holding rally after rally appealing to conservative Muslim voters. A video from the ruling party released to commemorate the conquest culminates with the Muslim call to prayer being recited from a minaret at Saint Sophia, which is now a museum.
06/01/2015HONG KONG – CHINA Hong Kong’s pan-democrats united against Beijing’s reforms After a long meeting with representatives from mainland China, Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers announced they would veto plans for political reform that fails to grant real universal suffrage. The vote is expected in June.
06/01/2015VATICAN Pope: "The path of our redemption is a road of many failures," but in the end love conquers all "The prophets, the men of God who spoke to the people, who have not been heard, who have been discarded, will be his glory." "If each one of us does an examination of conscience, we will see how many times, how many times the prophets have been cast aside. How many times we have said to Jesus: ‘Go away’, how many times we wanted to save ourselves, how many times we thought we were the just ones".
06/01/2015VIETNAM - US - CHINA Washington showers millions on Hanoi to buy military vessels and counter China Ash Carter, head of the Pentagon, announces the dispatch of a first tranche of 18 million euro. It is the second trip to Asia in a few months, confirming Washington’s interest in the Asia-Pacific region. Strategic partnership being considered between the US and Vietnam, once great rivals.