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19 January 2018

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01/18/2018 VATICAN - CHILE

Pope in Chile: This land surrounded by the driest desert knows how to put on party clothes


Pope in Chile: This land surrounded by the driest desert knows how to put on party clothes

At the final Mass of his visit to Chile, at the Campus Lobito in Iquique, Pope Francis prayed for "the integration of peoples" in an region that has know emigration and immigration. He called on people to be like servants at Cana – “they too are part of the miracle” – and take care of the poor and those who have a "watered down" life. He crowned the statue of Our Lady of Carmel (Virgen de la Tirana), patron saint of Chile, and received a crosier and a cross made of salt crystals.




01/18/2018 EGYPT – LEBANON

Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'


Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.




01/18/2018 ISRAEL – PALESTINE

Ahed Tamimi to remain in jail until the end of her trial


Ahed Tamimi to remain in jail until the end of her trial

She was charged with assault in connection with an attack against a soldier, but also with previous incidents. The video of her attack against the soldier went viral. The self-restraint of the Israeli soldier was praised, but seen as weakness by Israel’s right-wing camp. Meanwhile, security forces continue their hunt for those who murdered a rabbi. One of the suspects dies in a shootout.




01/18/2018 INDIA

Winter Cricket Cup to keep kids away from drugs in Miao diocese


Winter Cricket Cup to keep kids away from drugs in Miao diocese

Some 18 teams are involved in the sporting competition, which will last until 25 January. Organisers envisage holding the event on an annual basis. The “lack of guidance and a suppressed need to get recognised” are the main cause of drug addiction.




01/18/2018 CHINA

Sichuan is the world hub of Bitcoin mining


Sichuan is the world hub of Bitcoin mining

The province dominates bitcoin mining because of its abundant hydroelectric energy, which is perfect for energy-intensive supercomputers. Electricity in fact accounts for 60-70 per cent of plant costs. With 550 mining machines operating 24 hours, up to 2.5 Bitcoins can be mined per day, worth around US$ 6,400.




01/18/2018 THAILAND – MYANMAR

Caritas Thailand defending the rights of migrant workers


Caritas Thailand defending the rights of migrant workers

The country has one of the largest migrant population in all of Southeast Asia, some 4-5 million, plus about a million illegal migrants. A new law on undocumented workers came into effect on 1st January. Starting last June, workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos have been leaving in droves.




01/18/2018 PAKISTAN

1800 Pakistani Imams issue a 'fatwa' against suicide attacks


1800 Pakistani Imams issue a 'fatwa' against suicide attacks

The Islamic directive is contained in the book "Pakistan's Message", published by the government of Islamabad. President of Pakistan: "Building a moderate Islamic society". The kamikaze attacks are "haram" (forbidden) and violate the principles of the Koran.




01/18/2018 VATICAN - CHILE

Pope in Chile: to young people, always be "connected" to Jesus


Pope in Chile: to young people, always be

Francis reflects on the importance of always being connected online for young people today, so they don’t feel out of touch, disoriented, in a bad mood. With faith it is the same, "when we remain without this 'connection' that gives life to our dreams, the heart begins to lose strength". Call for Catholic Universities to propose a renewed humanism to today’s "liquid society", one that avoids falling into any kind of reductionism.




01/18/2018 INDIA

Tamil Nadu, five gored to death in the 'Jallikattu' bull race


Tamil Nadu, five gored to death in the 'Jallikattu' bull race

The victims were watching the sporting event. Indian bullfighting is considered the oldest sport of modern times. The bullfighters do not use weapons, unlike the Spanish bullfighters.




01/18/2018 KAZAKHSTAN

Irgiz, a bus catches fire: 52 dead


Irgiz, a bus catches fire: 52 dead

The accident occurred in the north-west of the country this morning. The victims are all of Uzbek nationality. Only five people managed to escape.




01/18/2018 KOREA

Kang Kyung-wha: we will continue to dialogue with North Korea with "clear eyes"


Kang Kyung-wha: we will continue to dialogue with North Korea with

Seoul knows Pyongyang "better than anyone" and wants to get "the best" from the meetings in progress. The two Koreas will march under a single flag and will have a joint female hockey team.




01/17/2018 INDIA

Ranchi: clergyman beaten by Hindu radicals, but most Indians are against violence


Ranchi: clergyman beaten by Hindu radicals, but most Indians are against violence

Anti-Christian violence is orchestrated by extreme right-wing nationalist groups. “What is under attack is the pluralism of Indian society!”




01/17/2018 VATICAN - CHILE

Pope in Chile: unity is not about being the same, but about reconciling diversity


Pope in Chile: unity is not about being the same, but about reconciling diversity

Francis celebrated Mass dedicated to the progress of peoples in a region where the Mapuche people still view themselves as victims of oppression and discrimination that have reduced their number. "The unity that our peoples need" comes from their recognition and solidarity. We “must abandon the notion that there are higher or lower cultures.”




01/17/2018 CHINA

Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison


Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison

The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.




01/17/2018 VIETNAM

Court in Nghệ An upholds sentence against Catholic activist Nguyễn Văn Oai


Court in Nghệ An upholds sentence against Catholic activist Nguyễn Văn Oai

A member of outlawed pro-democracy Việt Tân movement, he is also the co-founder of an association of former prisoners of conscience, and was part of a group of 14 young Catholics and Protestants arrested by the regime in 2011. Last January he was attacked and arrested on charges of violating the terms of his conviction.




01/17/2018 EGYPT

North Sinai, a young Copt killed: he had a cross tattooed on his wrist


North Sinai, a young Copt killed: he had a cross tattooed on his wrist

The killers promise to "kill more Copts". Bassem Herz Attalhah was killed under the eyes of his brother, who saved himself because his tattoo was hidden by his sleeve. Already in 2010 al Qaeda had promised to clean Sinai from Christians.




01/17/2018 VATICAN

Card Filoni celebrates the feast of Fr Paolo Manna at PIME in Rome


Card Filoni celebrates the feast of Fr Paolo Manna at PIME in Rome

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples met PIME missionaries and the Missionaries of the Immaculate. Without proclamation the mission reduces the Church's work to that of an NGO.  The mission ad gentes must be reawakened. A Missionary Month will be held in 2019.




01/17/2018 VATICAN - CHILE

Pope in Chile: the Church's mission is for everyone, avoid clericalism


Pope in Chile: the Church's mission is for everyone, avoid clericalism

Francis met Chilean bishops and priests and visited a women's prison. With the priests he returned to talk about the drama of pedophilia and in the nunciature he received a small group of victims of sexual abuse by clergy. The meeting took place in a strictly private form and no one else was present.




01/17/2018 HONG KONG-CHINA

Joshua Wong sentenced to three months in prison


Joshua Wong sentenced to three months in prison

The Occupy Central activist guilty, along with 14 others, of contempt of court for blocking clearance of a protest site. Wong may present himself in the parliamentary elections.  Beijing pushes for maximum sentence. " They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds".




01/17/2018 US-PALESTINE

The US cuts funding to UN agency for Palestinian refugees


The US cuts funding to UN agency for Palestinian refugees

65 million dollars frozen. Appeal of the commissioner general: "The most dramatic financial crisis in the history of UNWRA". UNRWA deals with refugees, particularly in Gaza. The United States is the largest donor. Tensions between Abbas and Trump after the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 




01/17/2018 MALAYSIA - EU

Kuala Lumpur, farmers protest against EU palm oil ban


Kuala Lumpur, farmers protest against EU palm oil ban

The EU intends to ban its use in biofuels by 2021 due to concerns about the environmental impact. Malaysia is the second largest producer in the world. Over 650,000 small farmers and more than 3.2 million Malaysians depend on the palm oil industry.




01/17/2018 RUSSIA

Putin: Lenin's 'relics'. Communism and its Christian origins


Putin: Lenin's 'relics'. Communism and its Christian origins

In a recent film interview, the "most orthodox" of Russian president’s tries to link early Christianity, Valaam's monasticism, communism and Lenin, as unified components of the Russian soul. The Orthodox barter: Lenin's burial for the recognition of the relics of Tsar Nicholas.




01/16/2018 ISRAEL

For Israel’s Catholic leaders, society’s welfare cannot come at the expense of expellable migrants


 For Israel’s Catholic leaders, society’s welfare cannot come at the expense of expellable migrants

The religious leaders call for "more humane solutions". Indifference towards the suffering of those who flee dictatorships and wars is not acceptable. God urges us to treat "resident aliens" among us as “native- born".




01/16/2018 BANGLADESH – MYANMAR

Rohingya to be repatriated within two years


Rohingya to be repatriated within two years

The agreement involves 156,000 refugees who fled in 2016 and 2017. Myanmar will take back 1,500 Rohingya per week. To do so, it is building a temporary camp for 30,000 people.




01/16/2018 VATICAN – CHILE

Pope in Chile: The Beatitudes are a 'new day' for those who continue to look to the future


Pope in Chile: The Beatitudes are a 'new day' for those who continue to look to the future

In his first mass, Francis said that Jesus “shakes us out of that negativity, that sense of resignation that makes us think we can have a better life if we escape from our problems” through consumerism. Peace is sown by reaching out to those who face difficulties, those who have not been treated as people.




01/16/2018 SRI LANKA

Sri Lankan Catholics and Anglicans to mark 2018 as the Year of the Good Shepherd and the Year of Youth


Sri Lankan Catholics and Anglicans to mark 2018 as the Year of the Good Shepherd and the Year of Youth

The ceremonies took place on Saturday and Sunday. The Catholics also brought to a close the Year dedicated to Saint Joseph Vaz. During the Anglican ceremony, Rev Priyantha Wijegoonewardene took office as the new general secretary of the Ceylon Bible Society.




01/16/2018 PAKISTAN

‘I don’t want to be next’: children protest following Zainab’s rape and murder (Photos)


‘I don’t want to be next’: children protest following Zainab’s rape and murder (Photos)

The Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation organised a rally in Lahore. Sexual violence against minors is a scourge in Pakistan. A series of proposals is presented to protect defenceless children.




01/16/2018 VATICAN - CHILE

Pope in Chile: the future depends on ability to listen to the voice of the people


Pope in Chile: the future depends on ability to listen to the voice of the people

Francis, on arriving in Santiago, meets with the authorities of the country states that "it is not possible to settle for what has already been achieved in the past and stop to enjoy it so that this situation leads us to disavow that many of our brothers still suffer from injustice that they call us all". The request for forgiveness for the "irreparable damage caused to children by ministers of the Church".




01/16/2018 CHINA

Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang held by police for two and a half years


Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang held by police for two and a half years

He is the only prisoner whose fate remains unknown. The prison in Tianjin won’t let his wife and lawyers see him. In the past, Wang defended Falun Gong members and farmers displaced from their land. Torture and phoney confessions are routine.




01/16/2018 INDIA

Madhya Pradesh, Hindu prayers in Catholic schools: a nationalist leader arrested (Video)


Madhya Pradesh, Hindu prayers in Catholic schools: a nationalist leader arrested (Video)

Upadhesh Rana is the head of the Vishwa Sanathan Sangh. The St. Mary Post Graduate College defended by more than 500 policemen. The St. Paul Convent School in the district of Ratlam attacked and vandalized by members of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena.




01/16/2018 ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Extended detention for Ahed Tamimi, the teenager who slapped a soldier


Extended detention for Ahed Tamimi, the teenager who slapped a soldier

It is the fourth time that her detention has been extended. She had become famous with a viral video in which she smacked a soldier. The lawyer: the rights of the child are being violated.




01/16/2018 PHILIPPINES

Mount Mayon eruption: Alert level 3 and 15 thousand displaced


Mount Mayon eruption: Alert level 3 and 15 thousand displaced

There are five alert levels. In the event of an alert four, forced evacuations planned in view of a "possible dangerous eruption". The red zone extended to seven kilometers radius from the crater. 2,462 meters high, Mount Mayon is popular with climbers and tourists. Over the past 500 years, the volcano has erupted 50 times. In 1814, it killed 1,200 people and buried the city of Cagsawa.






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