Tiananmen, 15 years later

30/01/2015
27 soldiers and police die in four Islamic State attacks in Egypt
A military hostel and the headquarters of the newspaper al-Ahram Al-Arish destroyed; car bomb in Rafah; an attempt to blow up a power station in Port Said. For now, the Suez Canal remains safe. The attacks reveal a high level of coordination.
28/01/2015
Shanghai government calls for more children or the city will collapse
By the end of the year, a third of all residents will be 60 and over. Forgetting 35 years of the country's violent one-child policy, an official with the Family Development Bureau blames women who choose a career over family for the problem. The existing hukou system of family registration, which penalises migrant workers, comes in for criticism.
20/01/2015
Dhaka, Islamic State extremists arrested. Authorities on high alert
Four members of the terrorist group arrested, including the alleged "IS coordinator" in the country. Tension and concern over the "very concrete" possibility of an attack "to expand the influence of transnational movement."
15/01/2015
Pope: freedom of expression is a fundamental right, but faiths have the right not to be ridiculed
During his meeting with journalists on the plane to the Philippines, Francis called "killing in the name of God" an "aberration". Speaking about a possible attack against him, he said he feared more for the safety of people who come to meet him than for himself; instead, he faces risk with "a good dose of unawareness." In June or July, he is expected to issue an encyclical on the environment. In the Philippines, "The crux of the message will be the poor," especially in support for the victims of typhoon Yolanda.
08/01/2015
From Erbil to Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan between autonomist ambitions and Islamist dangers
Travelling in the region highlights ancient divisions, hiding new contradictions. A place that is undergoing major economic and social development to free itself from Baghdad has to guard against extremist infiltration. Police checkpoints are a reminder that, a few tens of kilometres away, lies the threat of the Islamic State.
08/01/2015
Pope celebrates Mass for Paris attack victims
Yesterday's attack "brings to mind so much cruelty - human cruelty - so much terrorism, both isolated [incidents of] terrorism and of state terrorism," the pope said, adding, "of how much cruelty is man capable!" Hence, "We pray, in this Mass, for the victims of this cruelty - so many of them - and we pray also for the perpetrators of such cruelty, that the Lord might change their heart."
08/01/2015
Food and drug safety in China is 'grim', government admits
Stronger oversight required if China's Food and Drug administration is to improve the safety, with more on-site inspections, random tests and unannounced visits.
08/01/2015
From Erbil to Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan between autonomist ambitions and Islamist dangers
Travelling in the region highlights ancient divisions, hiding new contradictions. A place that is undergoing major economic and social development to free itself from Baghdad has to guard against extremist infiltration. Police checkpoints are a reminder that, a few tens of kilometres away, lies the threat of the Islamic State.
08/01/2015
School and work: the problems of the young refugees of Mosul
The war is drying up Kurdistan's budget: it must pay for the soldiers, the weapons, the police checks on the roads. Between war and new economic and social problems (oil prices, new refugees) it risks a crisis. And the young people, refugees and non-refugees, are struggling to find work. In the schools Kurdish is spoken, while the children of Mosul speak Arabic. People who evoke the most compassion are the elderly: nothing to do all day, a different climate from that to which they were accustomed, their existence turned upside down...
07/01/2015
The children of Mosul and the future: the "five-star" refugee camp
In the garden of the parish of Mar Elia beside the tents there are containers that serve as classrooms for the children and as a library. Another serves as a room for sewing. A children's choir. Fr. Douglas: "Taking care of refugees does not just mean thinking about eating, drinking, medicines, injections, vaccinations ... The displaced persons need to do something and to cultivate hope."
07/01/2015
Laos to build Don Sahong dam (thanks to Chinese help)
The Laotian government officially announces the construction of the dam. Once completed, it will likely affect the lives of at least 60 million people, damaging crops and ecosystems.
07/01/2015
Sri Lankans to vote in the "most important" election in the country's history
Some 15 million registered voters will cast their ballot tomorrow to pick a new president. The outgoing president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is running for a third term. A former ally, who has a good chance of winning, is running against him. Still, many fear fraud and violence. Christians call for a change of system.
07/01/2015
Female suicide bomber blows herself up in a police station near the Blue Mosque
One agent was killed and another was seriously injured. It is the second attack carried out in the city in roughly a week. Regarding the bomber, who died in the explosion, nothing is yet known, and there are no claims, but the finger is being pointed at a group from the extreme left.
07/01/2015
Pope: mothers are not adequately appreciated or helped in society, sometimes even in the Church
Mothers "are not adequately appreciated in their central role in society. On the contrary, the availability of mothers to sacrifice themselves for their children is often used to 'save' on social spending". Pontiff told Golden Circus performers that they are "creators of beauty" that the world "needs". For him, "Humanity thinks, feels, does, but today it greatly needs beauty. Let us not forget this!"