08/30/2015VATICAN For pope, the blessed martyr Flavianus Michael Malke can bring “consolation” to persecuted Mideast Christians During the Angelus, Pope Francis mentioned yesterday’s beatification in Harissa (Lebanon) of the bishop killed during the Armenian-Syriac Genocide (1915), appealing to the international community to "do something" to end violence and abuses against religious freedom. He also urged the faithful to pray for the migrants who died trying to reach Europe, with a minute of silence observed for the 71 victims who suffocated to death in a lorry on their way to Vienna. “With external attitudes, one cannot call oneself a Christian unless one changes one’s heart,” he said. “The border between good and evil does not run outside of us but within us, in our consciousness." Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Speaking to pilgrims in St Peter's Square after the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis expressed hope that the beatification of Flavianus Michael Malke (Flavyānus Mikhayil Malké), a martyred Syrian Catholic bishop, might bring...
08/29/2015IRAN - CHINA Tehran and Beijing to develop closer ties, work on Arak nuclear reactor project China will play a leading role in redesigning the Arak heavy-water reactor to reduce its plutonium output from 10 kg to less than 1kg. It might also help Iran build two small, 100 megawatts nuclear reactors. China, Iran and the US are set to meet in mid-September at the International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference.
08/29/2015IRAQ Baghdad patriarch calls for a government of "national emergency" to save Iraq by Joseph Mahmoud In a letter to Iraq’s highest authorities, Mar Sako calls for a government that represents all of the country’s components. He notes that reforms currently discussed should be wisely vetted before they are approved. Politicians should possess “high integrity and professionalism”. Ethnic and sectarian militias should be incorporated into the regular police and armed forces.
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.