The announcement says that Francis will go to Baghdad, the plain of Ur, which is linked to the memory of Abraham, to the cities of Erbil and Mosul as well as Qaraqosh in the plain of Nineveh. Francis will thus make the visit that John Paul II was unable to make.

| 07/12/2020
| VATICAN

The pontiff will visit the Arab country from 5 to 8 March 2021. For the visit’s general coordinator, this is “confirmation of the country’s greater stability”. His presence in Mosul will help heal the wounds caused by jihadist madness. The highlight will be in Ur of the Chaldees “because for us Christians, Muslims and Jews, Abraham is the prophet of all religions”.

 

| 07/12/2020
| IRAQ – VATICAN

Military sales reached US$ 361 billion in 2019. Four Chinese companies are in the top 25, three in the top 10. The US accounts for 61 per cent of the market; China for 16 per cent. The modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army is driving China’s military industry. Russian production is decreasing whilst those from the Middle East is increasing.

| 07/12/2020
| ASIA
by Sumon Corraya

The students damaged the statue, whilst the teachers covered their escape. Islamists fear the political impact of "Mujib Borsho" (the year of Mujib) celebrations, marking the first centennial of the birth of the nation's founder. "Bangladesh is non-communal state,” one observer said.

 

| 07/12/2020
| BANGLADESH

The grand ayatollah is said to have transferred his powers to his son Mojtaba due to serious health issues. The decision paves the way for the succession, but sources in the Islamic Republic deny it. According to some, the story is aimed at destabilising the regime at a time of intense tensions with Israel and the United States.

| 07/12/2020
| IRAN
by Mathias Hariyadi

1.2 million doses with a further 1.8 million to be delivered in a month. President Jokowi: In December we will produce 15 million vaccines alone; 30 million in January. Awaiting go ahead form National Food and Medicines Agency before start of vaccination campaign. Contagions and deaths on the rise.

| 07/12/2020
| INDONESIA
by Vladimir Rozanskij

Russia is the first country in the world to initiate mass procedures, along with China and Great Britain. Scepticism over "shortcuts" taken to speed up vaccine production. About 70% of Russians do not believe it necessary to get vaccinated. Over 7,000 soldiers have already been vaccinated: they will be the first to transport the frozen doses of the vaccine to the streets of Russia.

| 07/12/2020
| RUSSIA

The Maronite patriarch criticises the "suspicious" slowness of the judiciary in investigating the causes and perpetrators of the double explosion at Beirut port. He also criticizes the "intentional lack" of reference to the nation as an entity during the last conference of donor countries. Renewed appeal for the formation of the government.

| 07/12/2020
| LEBANON

Those arrested, including two district councillors, shouted slogans and displayed independence banners. Acts in support of secession are punished by Beijing's security law. The bank accounts of Ted Hui, a former Democrat MP who is seeking refuge in Great Britain, are frozen.

| 07/12/2020
| HONG KONG - CHINA
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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”