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24 October 2014

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10/24/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN

Pope Francis encourages Card Zen, "the one who fights with a 'sling'"


Pope Francis encourages Card Zen,
After Pope Paul VI's beatification Mass, Hong Kong's Bishop Emeritus met Francis in the parvis. He was prepared to tell the Pope, "Holy Father, I come from the "battlefield" in Hong Kong", but "before I could speak, he laughed and said, 'Ah! Ah! This is the one who fight with a 'sling'. [. . .] He knew David defeated the Giant Goliath. He was encouraging me." Addressing students, he said that neither youth nor force would lead to victory, only God's help will.



10/24/2014 IRAQ - UNITED NATIONS

UN seeks US$ 2.2 billion dollars for displaced people in Iraq and Syria


UN seeks US$ 2.2 billion dollars for displaced people in Iraq and Syria
Some five million people need urged aid, UN says, including 1.8 million internally displaced people and 1.7 million in conflict areas. As winter approaches, the situation will get worse. An earlier fund-raiser failed to meet its target.



10/24/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE

A final push for UN recognition of Palestine


A final push for UN recognition of Palestine
A draft proposal is before the Security Council. Sweden, Great Britain and France are ready to support it; Germany, which is aligned with the United States and Israel, is not. Despite EU sanctions against the State of Israel over the settlements, Israel is set to approve 1,600 new homes. Israelis and Palestinians trade accusations over the death of a three years Jewish girl in Jerusalem as well as a five-year Palestinian girl near Ramallah.



10/24/2014 BANGLADESH

Ghulam Azam, "spiritual" leader of Bangladesh's Islamic fundamentalists, is dead

by Sumon Corraya
Ghulam Azam,
The politician died at the age of 92. He was in prison serving a 90-year sentence for crimes against humanity committed during the War of Liberation from Pakistan (1971). After the war, he launched a campaign to prevent the recognition of Bangladesh by Muslim countries.



10/24/2014 VATICAN

Pope: "Every Christian, throughout history, is tasked with building unity in the Church"


Pope:
Unity is built on the "cornerstone" that is Jesus and is made possible through the Holy Spirit. "When you constructing a building you need an architect’s ground plan. What is the ground plan for the unity of the Church?". "The hope to which we have been called: the hope of journeying towards the Lord, the hope of living in a living Church, made of living stones, with the power of the Holy Spirit".



10/24/2014 INDIA - VATICAN

Indian activist: The Pope's words on the death penalty and life in prison, a stimulus for reform

by Nirmala Carvalho
Indian activist: The Pope's words on the death penalty and life in prison, a stimulus for reform
Arun Ferreira spent four years in prison on false charges: he was tortured and learned about the terrible reality of the judicial system. He tells AsiaNews: "Francis powerfully told the truth, making it clear that life imprisonment is a death sentence in disguise. Hopefully his words will give strength to the Indian Church, which must address the issue of reform of the judicial system."



10/24/2014 PHILIPPINES

Philippines, after the Synod "we need a ministry of accompaniment" for gay and remarried


Philippines, after the Synod
The President of the Bishops Conference, Msgr. Villegas: "We need to help homosexuals to live in chastity, responding to Christ’s call to purity". But "there is no equivalence between marriage and so-called civil unions between persons of the same sex”. With regards the divorced and remarried "we cannot presume to judge and condemn".



10/24/2014 MIDDLE EAST - USA

The Islamic State "is the world's richest terrorist group"


The Islamic State
According to the United States government, the Islamic fundamentalists "earn about a million dollars a day just by selling oil". Added to this the ransoms they receive from abductions - especially of Westerners - and the racket set up in the cities under their control. The United States "wants more cooperation" from Kuwait and Qatar, but forget that it is an American company selling arms in the region.



10/24/2014 CAMBODIA

Phnom Penh, police arrest 10 activists for attempting to overthrow government


Phnom Penh, police arrest 10 activists for attempting to overthrow government
They are members of the Khmer National Liberation Front (KNLF) movement based in Denmark and branded as "terrorist" by the government. According to the charges, they set up an armed unit to overthrow the government and the prime minister. Pro human rights activists speak of spurious and unfounded arrests.



10/23/2014 VATICAN

Pope for the abolition of the death penalty, against life in prison, a "concealed death penalty"


  Pope for the abolition of the death penalty, against life in prison, a
In a speech before a delegation of the International Association of Penal Law, Francis expressed his opposition to pre-trial detention "when it abusively anticipates imprisonment before conviction". Slavery is not just "treason against humanity;" is a crime that cannot be committed "without the complicity, by commission or omission, of states." For the pontiff, "Corruption is an evil greater than sin."



10/23/2014 PAKISTAN

Lost innocence in Pakistan as sexual abuse and violence against children grows

by Shafique Khokhar - Shumaila Gill
Lost innocence in Pakistan as sexual abuse and violence against children grows
In 2013, more than 3,000 cases of sexual abuse were reported, but the extent of the problem is even greater. Among the more than 1.5 million children living on the streets, 90 per cent are victims of violence. Although Pakistan has ratified the UN convention, there are still no laws or programmes to protect children. Criminal organisations are also behind abuse and exploitation.



10/23/2014 JAPAN

For the bishop of Niigata, charity is the right tool for new evangelisation in Japan

by mons. Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi
For the bishop of Niigata, charity is the right tool for new evangelisation in Japan
After a summer of activities on behalf of Caritas Internationalis, the bishop opened the new year with a pastoral visit to his diocese. Rising number of migrants and the decline of the native population are "challenges for the pastoral ministry, which needs a greater impetus." We must "bear witness to God's love through dialogue and work" in order to reach rural communities.



10/23/2014 VATICAN

Pope: We cannot be Christian, or move forward, without the power of the Holy Spirit.


Pope: We cannot be Christian, or move forward, without the power of the Holy Spirit.
"It does us good to praise God, to enter this world of amplitude, of grandeur, generosity and love. It does us good, because then we can move forward in the great commandment - the only commandment, which is the basis of all others - love; love God and love your neighbor"



10/23/2014 VIETNAM

Saigon: with Pope Francis, Vietnam laity leads the journey of evangelisation

by Thanh Thuy
Saigon: with Pope Francis, Vietnam laity leads the journey of evangelisation
On the day dedicated to the missions, parishes in Ho Chi Minh City celebrated hundreds of baptisms. Many young couples and future brides and grooms attended courses on the family in society. A newly baptised said he wants to build a "happy family" on the model of that of Saint Joseph.



10/23/2014 IRAQ

Kurdish Video mocks ISIS, "We are beaded, dirty and filthy. We are brainless"


Kurdish Video mocks ISIS,
Clip shows bearded men, dancing, with guns as musical instruments. "We are ISIS, we milk the goat even if it's male". The parody however carries a tough political attack: "We are Isis" and "Our pockets are full of Qatari money".



10/23/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA

Hong Kong government threatens protesters, ready to use force


Hong Kong government threatens protesters, ready to use force
An anonymous source confirms that doves have "been side-lined while hawks" have gained "the upper hand," and that "a certain degree of bloodshed would be unavoidable." So far, talks have failed to produce any result.



10/23/2014 CHINA

Hunan, the return of public trials: crowd of 5 thousand "jeer" criminals


Hunan, the return of public trials: crowd of 5 thousand
The law explicitly forbids them since 1989, but they have never entirely disappeared. The 24 detainees taken to the local sports hall with signs hanging around their neck with their name and alleged crime. Analysts: "It is a throwback to the days of Mao Zedong".



10/23/2014 EGYPT

The new face of Tahrir Square: a journey through the streets of Cairo

by Giulia Mazza inviato
The new face of Tahrir Square: a journey through the streets of Cairo
Three years after the 2011 revolution, the capital still bears the marks of the revolt that shook Egypt. Chaotic traffic; crumbling buildings that flank luxury hotels; ongoing work on the square, the symbolic heartland of democracy; well-to-do Heliopolis. One Cairo resident: "We support this new government because we want to build a better country."



10/23/2014 IRAN - USA

For the first time in 35 years Boeing sells aircraft parts to Iran


For the first time in 35 years Boeing sells aircraft parts to Iran
The company said that the sale was allowed by the American government, and involves “spare parts that are for safety purposes " not new aircraft.



10/23/2014 MYANMAR

Burmese military wants to retain veto power of constitutional reforms


Burmese military wants to retain veto power of constitutional reforms
With 25% of the seats allocated to them by law, the military control the country and all modern and democratic reform in society. Issues in dispute include Art. 59 (F) which prevents Aung San Suu Kyi becoming president and Art. 436, on the military veto. The next elections scheduled for late October and early November 2015.





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