08/30/2014SYRIA - PHILIPPINES Syria, Islamists attack Philippine contingent in Golan Heights: among them a priest The group of 75 peacekeepers have been blocked in the hills for few days by the al-Nusra Brigade. The rebels launched a direct attack this morning. The Military Ordinary of Manila says: "There is also a priest among the peacekeepers, sent to take care of the spiritual needs of the troops. Let us pray for all of them". Damascus (AsiaNews) - The Syrian al-Nusra Brigade rebels
have launched a direct attack against the contingent of 75 Philippine peacekeepers,
blocked by the Islamic group on the Golan Heights under the control of
Damascus. The Filippino Defense Secretary...
08/30/2014VIETNAM - KOREA - VATICAN Archbishop of Saigon: Pope Francis in Korea, a source of joy for mission The president of the Vietnamese Bishops' Conference was a delegate at the Pope’s Asian visit. He emphasizes the Pope’s openness, dialogue and attention to reality of the Church in Vietnam. The bishop praises the dynamism of the Church in Korea and the strong presence of the laity and young people in missionary work.
08/30/2014BANGLADESH Bangladesh, no let up in floods: millions of people at risk by Sumon Corraya The torrential rains that are hitting the country have devastated 19 of 64 national districts. Over 20 thousand houses under water, the authorities close schools: if the situation does not change, all of these buildings will have to be demolished. The victims helpless, while the government admits: "We are not able to help everyone."
08/29/2014RUSSIA - UKRAINE Military escalation in eastern Ukraine and the dollar-ruble oil war The United States, France and Germany slam "incursions" by Russian soldiers, threaten new sanctions. Some Baltic countries speak of a real Russian "invasion" of the Ukraine. Gazprom sells first oil shipments in rubles, even in Europe, plans to sell in yuan as well.
08/29/2014SOUTH KOREA Hundreds of people on hunger strike in Seoul over Sewol disaster After 46 days, Kim Young-oh ends his protest in hospital, asks for "help". The response was immediate: in a few hours, 250 people went on a hunger strike in his place. Meanwhile, political leaders seem unable to act. A meeting between political parties and victims' families produced nothing. Card Yeom is criticised for his appeal to stop wasting energy.
08/29/2014PAKISTAN Quetta, three journalists murdered as attacks on Pakistani press mount by Jibran Khan Last night two armed men raided the journalists offices shooting them in cold blood. The assailants fled, police searches so far prove vain. President of Catholic journalists: intimidation against those who seek to "tell the truth". The country is 158th out of 180 for freedom of the press.
08/29/2014NEPAL NGOs "force" Nepali Muslims to use contraceptives and abortion by Christopher Sharma Several Islamic leaders from the poorest areas of the country speak out against non-governmental organizations, which will only provide humanitarian aid if households adopt their methods of family planning: "This is despicable, it goes against our faith and exploits our poverty".
08/29/2014TAIWAN Taipei's largest Taoist temple bans incense: it pollutes too much Hsing Tian Kong welcomes around 6 million faithful per year. Some studies show that, in the place of worship, the partical levels are too high and threaten the health of residents. Many believe that the real fault lies with the contrary winds, which carry industrial smog over temple. Bronze braziers also removed.
08/29/2014SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS UN warns of 3 million Syrian refugees, "the world's largest humanitarian emergency" Almost half of the people forced to leave their homes since the conflict began in March 201. Lebanon is hosting the largest number of refugees, more than 1.1 million; other 6.5 million are internally displaced. The Islamic State has brought violence against civilians "to a new level" and hinders the distribution of aid.
08/28/2014NEPAL Religious festival discriminates against the poor, Hindus should learn from Pope Francis by Christopher Sharma The festival of Teej is dedicated to women and is currently underway across the country. However, people continue to struggle against hunger and poverty as well as the effects of floods and landslides in the poorest districts of the country. Activists slam waste and selfishness among the rich. An expert on Hinduism warns that this way religion is emptied of its beliefs.