In his ninth consistory, Francis created 21 new cardinals, three from Asia: Bishop Stephen Chow of Hong Kong, Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang (Malaysia), and Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa of Jerusalem. Tonight an ecumenical vigil will be held with young people and the heads of other Christian confessions ahead of the Synod that opens next Wednesday.
Provincial authorities in Yunnan have set up a restricted zone as of tomorrow to limit human trafficking. In Myanmar, the ruling junta slams a Chinese film on crime syndicates that paints Myanmar in a bad light. The authorities in the two countries continue to work on railways connecting China to the Indian Ocean.
Despite several agreements, farmers in Karnataka are asking the state government not to release water to Tamil Nadu due to low monsoon rainfall. The latter, however, depends heavily on the river for its agriculture, which has grown in recent years. Today, Karnataka saw protests and strikes as well several flight cancellations at Bengaluru airport. The central government has been urged to intervene.
In a message to Viet Nam’s bishops, priests and faithful, the pontiff explains the meaning of the recent step forward in diplomatic relations with Hanoi with the opening of a permanent representation of the Holy See in the country, “seeking together the best way forward for the good of the Vietnamese people and the Church.” The pope urges Vietnamese Catholics to be "good Christians and good citizens", noting that religious freedom is a way “to foster dialogue and engender hope for the country”.
Originally from Yunnan, he and his girlfriend Li Tingyu created a blog, "Not News", which documented 30,000 protests. After finding himself in the crosshairs of the authorities, he ended up behind bars for four years where he was ill-treated. Reporters without Borders kept public attention on his case.
After demonstrations by teachers suffocated by pressures of the job, the Korean government has amended the law against abuse that was used to blackmail them in an education system where competitiveness starts as early as primary schools. Union leader Hyunsu Hwang to AsiaNews: 'This is only the first step. The government must now give them the chance to defend their rights by recognising the right to strike'.