09/01/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
As the threat of a "Russian invasion" rises, the danger of war looms larger
NATO's "evidence" raises eyebrows, just days before its summit in Wales, which should decide troop and weapon systems deployment in eastern Europe. Mikhail Khodorkovsky wonders why Russia does not admit to having combat troops in Ukraine. The EU gives an ultimatum ahead of new economic sanctions. US senators urge the president to send weapons to Kyiv. The situation appears to be reaching a "point of no return".
09/01/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ - SYRIA
Islamic State threatens coexistence even among Muslims
Jihadist militias are increasingly sectarian in their actions. Attacking shared religious symbols, like the tomb of Jonah and the shrine of Saint George in Mosul, means destroying cultural, historical and social bridges. Conflict is not only inter-confessional but is also increasingly intra-confessional within Islam, between Sunnis and Shiites.
Nepalese Premier: New Constitution will protect minority rights and state secularism
by Christopher Sharma
Sushil Koirala speaks at an event of the Nepal Trust Office, the government agency which lists and controls the assets belonging to the former royal family. The words of the premier weaken the Hindu pro-monarchist movements. Jesuit priest: "Democracy will be stronger when all religions are respected."
09/01/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
For Occupy Central, a new era of civil disobedience begins in favour of democracy in Hong Kong
The local pro-democracy movement is dismayed by Beijing's intransigence on the issue of universal suffrage for the former British colony. The Chinese proposal turns the existing Election Committee, whose members and size remain the same, into a nominating committee to pick "two or three" candidates for the election to the post of chief executive. Under the new rules, "The chief executive must be a person who loves the country and loves Hong Kong" whilst Hong Kong will continue to enjoy a "high degree" but not "full autonomy". By contrast, critics insist that Hong Kongers are "more than ready to have democracy. We are not living in North Korea."
09/01/2014 MACAU - CHINA
Macau's Fernando Chui re-elected uncontested, without popular vote
The chief executive won a new mandate with 96 per cent of the vote, cast by a group of 400 people chosen by Beijing. After the election, he refused to comment on the landslide victory, thanked his supporters "for the chance to serve the Macau public". Pro-democracy activists call on the "government to [. . .] launch political reform".
Islamabad: police clash with anti-government protesters, army ready to intervene
Army calls for a "peaceful" solution to the crisis. The opposition, led by Imran Khan, seeks to force the prime minister to resign. Three die and hundreds injured, including children, in clashes over the weekend. State TV stormed by protesters. Military on alert. Senior members of the opposition party criticize use of violence.
Medan: Catholic doctors and students on retreat, to strengthen cooperation and friendship
by Mathias Hariyadi
The theme of the 19th edition of the meeting is "Enhancing unity through solidarity." The event was attended by at least 80 people, including students and teachers. Local priests also present. Lectures and seminars accompanied by prayer and reflection. A Catholic University initiative that reinforces "cooperation and mutual relations."
09/01/2014 HONG KONG - CHINA
Hong Kong, Beijing excludes democracy: Senior Chinese official heckled
MPs and activists interrupt the speech of Li Fei, deputy Secretary General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, and accuse the government of the territory of having "broken their promises." Mainland China excludes "a political future" for those who want freedom in the Territory.
Pope: Conform to Christ and not this world, and follow His path
At the Sunday Angelus Pope Francis warns against becoming "worldly" and "tasteless salt”. "Watered down Christians" are like watered down wine, "you do not know whether it is wine or water". Read the Gospel every day. Gospel, Eucharist, prayer help us to safeguard the newness of Jesus. Tomorrow World Day for Safeguarding Creation.