05/07/2015ISRAEL - PALESTINE Right wing and with a narrow majority: Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new Israeli government With a last-minute agreement the Prime Minister has cobbled together the future executive. The coalition (61 seats out of 120) will include Naftali Bennett, who is against the Palestinian state and favors settlements. The Palestinians slam it as a "government of war". Lieberman rules out support because "it is not nationalist enough ". Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached a last-minute agreement to form the next coalition government. The agreement for the creation of a new executive, signed...
05/07/2015NEPAL Earthquake in Nepal, at least 1,000 foreigners missing by Christopher Sharma The authorities do not have reliable data on foreign nationals living in the country at the time of the quake. Out of over 7,700 victims, 57 are foreign. Rasuwa district official: "We can not say how many tourists have died or disappeared. It may take weeks".
05/06/2015PHILIPPINES Filipino Church blames secularism for fundamentalism, calls for an end to shedding blood in the name of God by Socrates B. Villegas* The president of the Filipino bishops' conference, Mgr Villegas, sends a message to the dioceses of his country, which is “large enough an archipelago for Christians and Muslims,” and where “we have managed to live [. . .] side by side” [. . .]. For him, “It is not enough to beam at news of Pope Francis”. People have to understand his call for peace and tolerance. Those who kill in the name of God commit blasphemy and should be disavowed.
05/06/2015VIETNAM – VATICAN Saigon Redemptorists to follow Francis and renew the mission for the poor and marginalised by Nguyen Hung The congregation, present in Vietnam since 1921, has welcomed its new superior, who will be in office from 2015 to 2019. Fr Joseph Nguyen Ngoc Bich told AsiaNews that his focus will be on children, seniors and war veterans. The social ministry will reflect the Gospel message. Can Gio Parish welcomes its new pastor.
05/06/2015VATICAN Pope: Christian marriage, "image" of "indissoluble" love of Christ for his Church The sacrament of marriage is "a great act of faith and love", and also "courage" and has a "missionary dimension". "We must seriously ask ourselves: Do we, as believers and pastors really accept this unbreakable bond of the history of Christ and the Church with the history of marriage and of the human family?".
05/06/2015KYRGYZSTAN Kyrgyzstan’s economic crisis pushes up suicide rate A study shows that the suicide rate in the Central Asian country jumped from 550 in 2000 to around 700. The global economic crisis is blamed for the increase. Apostolic Administrator Mgr Nikolaus Messmer agrees with the findings. The problem is especially serious among teenagers.
05/06/2015MYANMAR Peace plan at risk as three ethnic groups threaten to quit talks The decision comes after repeated government army attacks. Military operations complicate the already "fragile" peace talks. Naypyidaw government pressuring other groups to exclude "rebel" movements. New conflict between the Burmese and Kachin leaders.
05/06/2015NEPAL UN: Epidemic emergency in Nepal, 1.7 million children at risk by Christopher Sharma The alarm is linked at the approach of the monsoon season. Tens of thousands of people are still living outdoors, exposed to rain and bad weather. Measles, which is highly contagious, is what most concerns international agencies and the World Health Organisation.
05/06/2015INDONESIA - ISLAM Aceh, new pro-sharia rules: males and females separated at school by Mathias Hariyadi Since yesterday the regency has imposed a division between the sexes in educational institutions. The measure relates to schools, colleges and universities. Travel by motorcycle between people of different sexes banned, unless there is a marital relationship. Shopkeepers banned from displaying mannequins in the window.
05/06/2015TUNISIA - ISLAM Huge security measures as hundreds of Jews make Djerba pilgrimage. Representatives from France, Italy and Britain are expected to visit the Ghriba synagogue, the oldest in Africa. Tunisia refutes Netanyahu’s claim of a "concrete terrorist threat". The country wants to reboot tourism, brought to a halt by the Arab Spring uprisings and attacks by terrorists.
05/05/2015PHILIPPINES For missionary in Mindanao, MILF-government agreement is not perfect, but it is better than nothing In recent months, the Filipino Congress has been discussing the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is the cornerstone of an agreement between the government and Islamic separatist groups. For Fr D'Ambra, “It is a small step toward peace, but divisions among Muslims are a source of concern". Meanwhile, Abdul Basit Usman, a known Islamic terrorist sought since 2002, was killed yesterday.
05/05/2015PAKISTAN Pakistan’s religious minorities included in school textbooks by Shafique Khokhar History courses for grade 8, 10 and 11 students will contain references to the role Christians, Hindus and Sikhs played in building the country after independence. The successful changes to the curriculum is the work of the Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association (PMTA). Excerpts from the first speech to the country’s Constituent Assembly by Pakistan founder Ali Jinnah, with references to freedom of religion and equality between citizens, will be included as well.