Madhya Pradesh: government "encourages" radical Hindus to persecute Christians
by Nirmala Carvalho
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 TIBET - CHINA - 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 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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.
Andhra Pradesh: a new church in memory of Sister Ida, the "golden mother" of Vegavaram
by Benigna Menezes*
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 LEBANON - PALESTINE - IRAQ
Only cultural resistance can oppose brute force at work in Gaza and Mosul
by Fady Noun
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"
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 PHILIPPINES - ASIA
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.
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.
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.
Japan's factory output falls to lowest point since 2011 tsunami
After Abe government raised sales tax from 5 to 8 per cent, factory output dropped by 3.3 per cent between May and June. Although "pent-up demand ahead of the sales tax hike was bigger than expected," consumers will come back, analyst expects.
07/30/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
After another UN school hit, UNRWA spokesman says "no place is safe in Gaza"
For Peres, the military operation in Gaza had "exhausted itself". He hopes that "at the end of the day, the other side will also reach the conclusion that the biggest victory is to end the war." Hamas official hopes for Hizbollah intervention. Vatican getting involved diplomatically.
Nepal, Christians alone rush to aid of flood victims
by Christopher Sharma
The population denounce government's inaction and praise help from Church and NGOs. The authorities speak of "limited resources". 100 thousand displaced people, dozens of deaths and 10 thousand houses damaged.
07/30/2014 SYRIA - ISLAM
Gregory III: "Christians and Muslims, we are each other's best guarantors"
In his message for the end of Ramadan, the Greek-Melkite Catholic patriarch of Antioch notes that Christians and Muslims built the Arab civilisation together and pleads with "our Arab brothers to come together to save Islam" from the extremist currents that are invading it. "We must, can and want to stay together, Muslims and Christians, to build together a better world for our future generations and our common future."
Vietnam, "educational challenge" at heart of great pilgrimage to Our Lady of La Vang
by JB. Vu
30th Marian Congress will be held at the shrine, one of the most popular in all of Asia, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the country. The meeting focuses on the Year of Evangelization of Family Life, proclaimed in 2014, and the problems that plague the family in an era of economic development and urbanization.
Cambodia's last living Khmer Rouge start second trial
In order to speed up procedures, the UN Special Court has decided to split proceedings against Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, the last two leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime still alive. The crimes date back to the period 1975-1979. The verdict for the trial of crimes against humanity is expected next 7 August.
Official probe of former security chief Zhou Yongkang underway
by Wang Zhicheng
The investigation is in the hands of the Party Disciplinary Committee. For the first time since the days of Mao a member of the Politburo is being charged. Aids, secretaries and Zhou family members also under investigation. When he was minister of security, he strengthened police powers and fast-tracked arrests of dissidents, religious personalities, farmers, workers. If Xi Jinping’s fight against corruption aims to establish "rule of law", he should release those who been denouncing corruption for years and deliver justice to those who have been victims of Zhou’s violence and corruption.
07/30/2014 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines to be a "typhoon of spiritual renewal"
Manila Archbishop Card Tagle and Apostolic Nuncio Pinto talk about the confirmation of the Pope's trip to the country, 20 years after the historic World Youth Day in Manila. "Mercy and compassion" are the visit's themes. Let us show Pope Francis who we really are as Filipinos; let us get ready for God's word."
St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body a "treasure" for Indian society
by Nirmala Carvalho
The Mumbai diocese Human Life Committee headed by Msgr. Agnelo Gracias, organized a seminar to celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II. The testimony of a Catholic couple, for whom this theology "is an encouragement to live according to God's plan for the human body, which has a purpose and dignity".
07/30/2014 INDIA - USA
John Kerry in India, to "plan" first meeting between Obama and Modi
The U.S. Secretary of State visit is the first high-level summit between his administration and the new Indian government. Narendra Modi's visit to Washington will be in September. Until three months ago he could not enter the United States for "severe violations of religious freedom."
More violence in Xinjiang: police shoot and kill "dozens of terrorists"
The clash took place in Shache county, but the details are unclear. According to the government, a group of "terrorists" attacked local government offices and police station; another reported to have attacked the inhabitants of Huangdi. Authorities respond immediatly: dozens of dead, wounded and arrested.