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01 August 2014

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08/01/2014 TAIWAN

Gas explosion in Kaohsiung: 24 dead

by Xin Yage
Gas explosion in Kaohsiung: 24 dead
There are also 270 wounded. Streets ripped apart, with huge craters, cars and people thrown into the air by the explosion. The dead include four firefighters. An eyewitness account.



08/01/2014 BANGLADESH

Tensions high in Boldipukur: Mission threatened

by Nozrul Islam
Tensions high in Boldipukur: Mission threatened
Unknown assailants warn the parish to withdraw the complaint filed after the attack on the church and the convent. The violence was not over money or an attack "in hatred of the faith." "It is likely - say local sources - that it was an attempt to intimidate nuns and priests and convince them to close a legal dispute over land ownership"



08/01/2014 INDONESIA

Indonesian Muslims slate the "Caliphate" and ISIS: We need peace and coexistence

by Mathias Hariyadi
Indonesian Muslims slate the
A video posted on YouTube by an unknown Indonesian Islamic guerrilla calls the "brothers and sisters" of Southeast Asia to join the Islamic State in Iraq and fight for the creation of a Muslim caliphate. In recent days, hundreds of people gathered to invoke “holy war." Moderate Islamic leader: "Only a fool would make such a choice, we strongly condemn these senseless actions."



08/01/2014 NORTH KOREA - CHINA

Pyongyang excommunicates China: a decadent and unprincipled country


Pyongyang excommunicates China: a decadent and unprincipled country
An editorial in the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper is the latest step in the cooling of bilateral relations. The Kim regime displeased at Xi Jinping’s decision to visit South Korea first. A source on the border: "If things go wrong, so much the better for us. Government will stop trade with China and the plunder of our natural resources .Ordinary people have never benefited from these relations".



08/01/2014 INDONESIA

Moluccas, fresh fears of Muslim-Christian clashes: 4 dead, dozens of homes ablaze

by Mathias Hariyadi
Moluccas, fresh fears of Muslim-Christian clashes: 4 dead, dozens of homes ablaze
In Ambon, security forces intervene in riot gear. The fear is that this is a flashback of the violence that, until 2002, divided Islamists and Protestant Christians, causing thousands of innocent deaths.



07/31/2014 TIBET - CHINA - NEPAL

Thousands of people attend 14th Shamar Rinpoche's cremation in Nepal


  Thousands of people attend 14th Shamar Rinpoche's cremation in Nepal
Despite pressure from Beijing, the Nepali government allows the funeral to take place, granting the deceased his last wishes. Kathmandu's initial refusal was due to fear of possible anti-China protests from the Tibetan community in exile, which however did not occur.



07/31/2014 RUSSIA - UNITED STATES

For Orthodox Church, Moscow can do what it wants in state-religion relations


  For Orthodox Church, Moscow can do what it wants in state-religion relations
Speaking about the US State Department report on international religious freedom, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, said "We have the right to create our model."



07/31/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE

With nearly 1,400 dead in Gaza, Netanyahu pledges to destroy every tunnel


With nearly 1,400 dead in Gaza, Netanyahu pledges to destroy every tunnel
As more rockets land in Israel today, operations continue in Gaza. Talks in Egypt about a possible truce produce little results. Re-opening the Eretz crossing to connect Gaza to the West Bank is one of the goals. The Pentagon releases new ammunitions to Israel, which has called up 86,000 reservists.



07/31/2014 INDIA

Andhra Pradesh: a new church in memory of Sister Ida, the "golden mother" of Vegavaram

by Benigna Menezes*
Andhra Pradesh: a new church in memory of Sister Ida, the
The diocese of Vijayawada inaugurated the place of worship, which is dedicated to Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, in the village of Chainatalanarva. Fr Raju, Sister Ida's "adoptive son", is the local parish priest. The nun spent 63 years in the service of children and lepers in India where she was among the first missionaries of the Immaculate to arrive.



07/31/2014 LIBYA - PHILIPPINES

Tripoli priest calls for the repatriation of Filipino workers whose lives are risk


Tripoli priest calls for the repatriation of Filipino workers whose lives are risk
Filipinos, who number 13,000, are targeted by Islamic extremists. For the parish priest at Mary Immaculate Church, they should be considered "war refugees", and be "evacuated by ship". Two religious congregations recall nuns in Libya because it "is risky to stay here."



07/31/2014 LEBANON - PALESTINE - IRAQ

Only cultural resistance can oppose brute force at work in Gaza and Mosul

by Fady Noun
Only cultural resistance can oppose brute force at work in Gaza and Mosul
Against brute force we really only have the reaffirmation of what makes us strong, namely our fierce attachment to the happy acceptance, full of life, of others - with its joys and pains - and resistance to all forms of fundamentalism, be it Sunni, Shia or Jewish.



07/31/2014 SOUTH KOREA

Korea, discovered corpse "not the Sewol owner"


Korea, discovered corpse
Announced by a group of parliamentarians who visited the forensic laboratory for the autopsy and identification of the body (found in June) and recognized (in July) as belonging to Yoo Byung-eun. Doubts about fingerprints and the stature of the body. Experts: "Science cannot explain everything, but of course the authorities have handled the case badly." 57% of Koreans "do not trust" the government.



07/31/2014 INDIA

Madhya Pradesh: government "encourages" radical Hindus to persecute Christians

by Nirmala Carvalho
Madhya Pradesh: government
Reported to AsiaNews by Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). In June and July there have been numerous attacks against the minority. In all cases the extremists are using the weapon of the "anti-conversion law" to threaten the faithful and Christian religious leaders.



07/31/2014 PHILIPPINES - ASIA

Two Chinese activists and Pakistani Foundation among “Asian Nobel” winners


Two Chinese activists and Pakistani Foundation among “Asian Nobel” winners
The Foundation, which assigns the Magsaysay Award, the most famous of the continent, has announced the 2014 winners: a Chinese journalist who challenges abuse of power, an environmental activist and a group of industrialists who promote women’s education in Pakistan. An Indonesian anthropologist, the director of the National Museum of Afghanistan and a Filipino teacher who works with the tribals also awarded.



07/31/2014 CHINA

Xinjiang in lock down following riots


Xinjiang in lock down following riots
The catalyst that sparked the violence in the province, which killed dozens of people, is still unknown. Military patrol streets and authorities shut down communications with the outside world. Formal charges of "separatism" against Ilham Tohti, a scholar who defends the Uyghur minority.



07/31/2014 ASIA

Alarm over malaria in Southeast Asia: drug-resistant parasites found


Alarm over malaria in Southeast Asia: drug-resistant parasites found
This was revealed by a British study, which urges "radical action" to prevent further spread. The parasites do not respond to artemisinins, the most powerful active ingredient used in treatment. The area most at risk is at the border between Cambodia and Thailand.





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