07/13/2014VATICAN As pope makes "heartfelt appeal" for peace in the Holy Land, he notes that prayer is not "in vain" After the Angelus, Pope Francis called on those present to pray during a minute of silence. He made the same plea to local and international policy makers. Prayer helps us "not allow ourselves be overcome by evil, nor accept that violence and hatred take over from dialogue and reconciliation." The parable of the sower asks, 'How is our heart? To what ground does it look like: a road, rocky ground, or a bush? We must remember that with our words "we too are sowers". Indeed, "Our words can do so much good and so much evil; they can hurt and heal, encourage and depress." And "please, do not forget to pray for me." Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis today
proposed a "heartfelt appeal [. . .] for
peace in the Holy Land" and
a minute of silence after praying
the Angelus together with the pilgrims
gathered in St Peter's Square.
First, the pope called on those
present but also "those who have political
responsibilities at local and international levels" to
07/12/2014IRAQ As Kurdish militias seize two oil installations, al-Sistani calls for peace and unity Oilfields in Kirkuk and Bai Hassan are seized. Although they have an output capacity of 450,000 barrels per day, they had not been producing significant quantities since March. Baghdad calls for their return and threatens retaliation. Kurdish bloc withdraws support for the central government. Grand ayatollah calls for unity and understanding for people regardless of faith or political belief.
07/12/2014ASIA - UNITED NATIONS More than half the world's population lives in cities India will lead the way, as the country's urban population is expected to swell by 404 million people between now and 2050. Tokyo will continue to top the mega-city list followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Osaka, and Cairo. This trend will be challenge for health care, schools, food, and housing.
07/12/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Netanyahu says international pressure will not stop Israel by Joshua Lapide According to Al Quds Brigades, Israeli Special Forces and its fighters clashed overnight. Palestinian death toll rise to 121 since the start of military operations. "Once again, Palestinian civilians are caught between Hamas' irresponsibility and Israel's tough response," Ban Ki-Moon said.
07/12/2014CHINA Xinjiang: Muslim students forced to eat during Ramadan Teachers note who does not eat or drink, threatening students with expulsion from university or no diplomas. Many students fast in secret. People using the internet to spread "religious extremist violent terror video" get sentences ranging from 15 years to life. Uygur spokesperson says Beijing is afraid of losing its information monopoly.
07/12/2014MALAYSIA For Sepang Muslim MP, Catholic rights violated in Allah controversy Mohamed Hanipa Maidin demands justice for ‘The Herald’ and Malaysia’s Christian community, which has been under attack for some time. The decision to turn down a request for leave to appeal is against the Constitution because the case touches the public interest and raises an important constitutional question. Wondering about the “actual meaning of religious freedom" in Malaysia, he reiterated that Catholics did not violate any rule or principle.
07/11/2014INDIA New Indian government's first budget geared towards growth In his first budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wants to expand economic activity. Particular focus is on infrastructure, which should in turn boost economic growth, reduce inflation and allow the Reserve Bank of India to lower interest rates, further stimulating investment and consumption.
07/11/2014VATICAN Tourism can contribute to "integral human development" In his message for World Tourism Day, the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant notes that tourism can be an instrument of progress, provided that its benefits reach all sectors of the host society. "It is also essential that these benefits follow ethical criteria that are, above all, respectful to people both at a community level and to each person, and avoid a purely economic conception of society".
07/11/2014CHINA Bao Tong: Xi Jinping hunting "tigers", but must not muzzle public discourse on corruption by Bao Tong The arrest of former vice president of the Central Military Commission and other senior officials has sparked heated debate. President Xi seen as a bulwark in the fight against corruption. In reality, the system is organized and widespread, while activists and citizens are relegated to the margins. The analysis of Bao Tong, a former collaborator of Zhao Ziyang, who spent years in prison and under house arrest for having sided against the Tiananmen massacre.
07/11/2014HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong by Bernardo Cervellera A wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.
07/11/2014BANGLADESH 12 Muslims arrested from group that attacked the church of Boldipukur by Sumon Corraya The robbers were after documents pertaining to land ownership. Not the first attempt to steal the deeds. The parishioners are mostly tribal, very poor and poorly educated and often Muslims try to take over their lands. During the attack, three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape.