12/22/2014 MYANMAR - CHINA
Growing illegal tiger and wild cat trade from Myanmar to China
A recent report shows a spike in trade near the Burmese town of Mong La. In the past eight years, the number of shops selling animal part products has jumped more than threefold. About 80 per cent of the parts are from tigers, which is on the endangered species list. Only 5 per cent the population is left compared to a century ago.
12/22/2014 ASIA - OPEC
Oil price war aimed at non-OPEC countries
The United States, Mexico, Russia, and Norway are among the countries targeted. Non-OPEC countries are blamed for an overproduction of 2 million barrels a day. Prices are expected to go up again in the second half of 2015.
12/22/2014 CHINA - HONG KONG
Chen Zuoer pushing for new security law in Hong Kong (after Occupy)
by Paul Wang
The former deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office wants a law that curbs free speech to block further protests and a possible repeat of the Occupy Central movement. In 2003, the Hong Kong government drafted security legislation that met with strong popular opposition.
Indonesian Islamists threaten Christmas celebrations
by Mathias Hariyadi
For the past few years, the Christian festivity has become an excuse for violence and targeted attacks. Among Muslims, moderates defend Christmas whilst fundamentalists view it as "haram", sinful. Whilst Jakarta Governor sets up a tree, President Jokowi travels to Papua for the celebration. Meanwhile, members of the Yasmin Church prepare to celebrate the event outdoor.
For Mgr Dabre, India should ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of all citizens
by Thomas Dabre *
In a country with different cultures, religions, and states, "cultural nationalism" is wrong. The same is true for attempts to impose the Hindu majority's culture, sacred books, festivities and even terminology on believers of other religions. Christians do not practice forced conversions, but uphold the right to change religion as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Aleppo: Christmas among Christian families broken by war, praying for peace
by Giorgio Istifan
A young Christian from Aleppo victim of the Syrian conflict tells his story. He went from leading a normal life with a wife and daughter to one of unemployment and separation. The war has split his family; now he can see his wife and daughter only a few hours a day. Yet, the conflict has boosted his faith. For Christmas, he calls on Christians around the world to pray "for us, Christians of Syria."
12/22/2014 MONGOLIA - KOREA
"We are few Christians, but God's love makes everything possible," says Mongolia's first deacon
by Pietro Kim Jaedok
Joseph Enkh-Baatar was ordained deacon in Daejeon, South Korea, on 10 December. In an interview with AsiaNews, he talked about the challenges of his future priestly life in the country with the world's youngest Church, looked at the difficulties of proclaiming the Gospel in a society where unfettered capitalism coexists with animist traditions, and described the many problems that await him. Yet, he is full of hope. "I want to become a priest who never loses sight of his centre, which is Jesus Christ, so that I can carry out my mission."
Peshawar school massacre: Pakistani police arrest a group of suspects
Those arrested are suspected of "aiding and abetting". For the Minister of Interior investigations are continuing "in the right direction." Intelligence sources: new attacks in the planning. Thousands of people have paid tribute to the 148 victims of the massacre at the military school, of whom 132 were children.