Ranking is based on the Henley Passport Index, which looks at visa-free access to 227 locations. European and English-speaking countries are at the top. China is way down (64th), behind Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Afghanistan is in last place.
From a hundred in 2010, only a dozen remains: nine males and three females. Despite protection measures adopted since 2001 in cooperation with the UN, the situation has become “extremely critical”. Drought, poaching and road accidents are the main risk factors. Iran is home to at least 1,300 different animal species, 130 of which are threatened or at risk of extinction.
Card Malcolm Ranjith calls on the police to undertake a transparent inquiry; instead, they arrested the sacristan who found the device, refusing to view CCTV footage. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church held a national day of prayer today to mark a thousand days since the Easter Sunday attacks.
Arrested in 2018 following accusations by a former superior of the Missionaries of Jesus, the bishop of Jalandhar, who was put on leave of absence, always maintained his innocence. Only 39 witnesses out of 84 were called to testify in court.
For Kim’s regime, fighting the pandemic is the top priority. However, North Korea fears Chinese political and economic retaliation. The US boycott weighed on the decision since Washington is viewed by North Korea as the only negotiating partner that can end its international isolation.
Beijing and Syrian representatives sign the official entry into the Belt and Road Initiative, as a means of strengthening and relaunching bilateral relations. China has sent one million anti-Covid vaccines and Assad is boosting the axis of 'resistance'. For those in favour, it is a response to the poverty caused by the conflict. But there are those who speak of "a worser evil".
In Indonesia, pastoral work with prisoners is carried out by lay people and very few religious. The archbishop of Pontiak urged priests to stay close to Catholic prisoners, who are often involved in drug trafficking. Fr Burrows: "They seek spiritual comfort and a friend to talk to".
The election campaign for the legislative assemblies in five Indian states has begun. All eyes are on Uttar Pradesh, which with its 200 million inhabitants is crucial for the national balance. Hindu nationalist monk Yogi Adityanath, head of the outgoing local government and Modi's would-be successor for BJP leadership, is fanning the flames of resentment against Muslims. But he has to reckon with party defections.
For the pontiff's birthday she recorded the album "Fratelli tutti". She was thanked for helping to give a positive image of Catholicism in Russia. In 2013, the Holy Father had asked her to sing "only for God and to spread goodness".
Today's headlines: Pyongyang launches third missile in a fortnight, Thailand resumes negotiations with separatist groups. In Indonesia, 100 lashes to a woman for adultery in Aceh province. Uzbekistan reduces electricity supply to Afghanistan, in Iraq fresh missile attacks on American embassy.
Although the new variant is spreading and the number of infections has reached a new record since the start of the pandemic, Israel reopened its borders last Sunday. A new website explains the new entry rules, which apply to the vaccinated or recently recovered only. For Israeli PM Bennett, the new wave is an “unstoppable storm”, but “There's no place for panic”. Keeping the economy open and protecting the vulnerable are the priority.
Indebted and grappling with a severe financial crisis, Colombo tries to balance the interests of Beijing, Delhi and Washington. Affected by the pandemic, the island nation needs foreign currency to pay for its growing imports. China’s “debt trap” is an issue. Sri Lanka reaches oil deals with India.