12/22/2014SYRIA Aleppo: Christmas among Christian families broken by war, praying for peace by Giorgio Istifan A young Christian from Aleppo victim of the Syrian conflict tells his story. He went from leading a normal life with a wife and daughter to one of unemployment and separation. The war has split his family; now he can see his wife and daughter only a few hours a day. Yet, the conflict has boosted his faith. For Christmas, he calls on Christians around the world to pray "for us, Christians of Syria." Aleppo
(AsiaNews) - My name is Giorgio Istifan, and I was born in Aleppo in 1975. I am
married with a young woman called Miriam, who has a degree in educational psychology.
We have a daughter, Benita, who is one year and five months old. I belong to
the Latin parish of St Francis of Assisi, in...
12/22/2014PAKISTAN Peshawar school massacre: Pakistani police arrest a group of suspects Those arrested are suspected of "aiding and abetting". For the Minister of Interior investigations are continuing "in the right direction." Intelligence sources: new attacks in the planning. Thousands of people have paid tribute to the 148 victims of the massacre at the military school, of whom 132 were children.
12/20/2014IRAQ Chaldean Patriarch: on Christmas, Christian refugees should not feel "abandoned" or "forgotten" by Joseph Mahmoud Ahead of Christmas celebrations, Mar Sako issued a message to the Christian community that fled the Islamic state. Understandably, Christians are "concerned" about the loss of homes and jobs, but they should keep the "hope for a future of "peace and coexistence" alive. His Beatitude calls on the faithful to pray to keep courage alive and expressed gratitude for the help provided so far.
12/20/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza: Israel launches airstrike in response to rocket fired from the Gaza Strip This morning Israel's Air Force carried out an airstrike, the first since a truce between Israel and Hamas was brokered last August. No casualties or damages have been reported. An Israeli military spokesman said that the "Hamas terror infrastructure" was hit. Hamas did not claim responsibility for yesterday's rocket.
12/20/2014CHINA Mongolian rights activist Hada released after 20 years Considered a prisoner of conscience by major human rights groups, he slams Chinese authorities for torturing him and for persecuting his family. He said he would "continue to fight against the oppression of the Mongolian nationality". Like Tibet and Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia has suffered for decades from the arrival of Han Chinese settlers, whose immigration is undermining local traditions and beliefs.
12/19/2014LEBANON - SYRIA Syrian refugees in Lebanon face new challenge, children "without citizenship or rights" UN agencies and NGOs warn that more and more children born in families fleeing the war are likely to remain stateless. Some 70 per cent of the 42,000 children born in Lebanon to Syrian parents since the outbreak of the conflict have not been registered. However, the figure could be far higher. Poverty and lack of identity papers aggravate the problem.
12/19/2014JAPAN With empty cradles, Japan needs to boost birth rate, govt says Shinzo Abe's government released a draft plan to halt the decline of the Japanese population. Without a higher birth rate, health care and retirement systems are no longer viable. The draft plan includes two parts, a long-term vision and a comprehensive strategy to boost births.