08/29/2014SYRIA - UNITED NATIONS UN warns of 3 million Syrian refugees, "the world's largest humanitarian emergency" Almost half of the people forced to leave their homes since the conflict began in March 201. Lebanon is hosting the largest number of refugees, more than 1.1 million; other 6.5 million are internally displaced. The Islamic State has brought violence against civilians "to a new level" and hinders the distribution of aid. Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The
number of people displaced by the Syrian crisis has exceeded three
million and the massive humanitarian emergency this has provoked is
likely to worsen in the near future. This is according to...
08/29/2014PAKISTAN Quetta, three journalists murdered as attacks on Pakistani press mount by Jibran Khan Last night two armed men raided the journalists offices shooting them in cold blood. The assailants fled, police searches so far prove vain. President of Catholic journalists: intimidation against those who seek to "tell the truth". The country is 158th out of 180 for freedom of the press.
08/29/2014NEPAL NGOs "force" Nepali Muslims to use contraceptives and abortion by Christopher Sharma Several Islamic leaders from the poorest areas of the country speak out against non-governmental organizations, which will only provide humanitarian aid if households adopt their methods of family planning: "This is despicable, it goes against our faith and exploits our poverty".
08/29/2014TAIWAN Taipei's largest Taoist temple bans incense: it pollutes too much Hsing Tian Kong welcomes around 6 million faithful per year. Some studies show that, in the place of worship, the partical levels are too high and threaten the health of residents. Many believe that the real fault lies with the contrary winds, which carry industrial smog over temple. Bronze braziers also removed.
08/28/2014NEPAL Religious festival discriminates against the poor, Hindus should learn from Pope Francis by Christopher Sharma The festival of Teej is dedicated to women and is currently underway across the country. However, people continue to struggle against hunger and poverty as well as the effects of floods and landslides in the poorest districts of the country. Activists slam waste and selfishness among the rich. An expert on Hinduism warns that this way religion is emptied of its beliefs.
08/28/2014IRAQ - ISLAM The barbaric cruelty of the Caliphate puts Islam to the test by Samir Khalil Samir The bloodthirsty and dramatic violence of the Islamic State has met with lukewarm condemnation but above all the silence of the Muslim world. The causes: an education system that rejects critical thought in preference of memorization; a religion that paralyzes reason and intelligence (as Muslims themselves state). The hideous cruelty of the former Isis goes against the Koran and the life of Muhammad. But are the humus in which the violence "in the name of God" appears justified. Islam needs to be profoundly renewed through a radical transformation of the educational method.
08/28/2014INDIA Uttar Pradesh: Hindu radicals "reconvert" Christians, turn church into a temple dedicated to Shiva by Nirmala Carvalho Fundamentalists tore down the building's cross. Celebrating a "purification" ceremony, they put up a large portrait of Shiva. Tribals had converted to Christianity in 1995. For local Hindu leader, "It is not about conversion. They realised their mistake, came back and we welcomed them." A saddened Card Gracias reiterates the Christian mission in favour of the marginalised, whilst Sajan George warns, "violence against minorities goes unpunished in the state".
08/28/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Netanyahu declares Gaza war a "victory” as criticism mounts in Israel The Prime Minister hails the seven week conflict a success, because Hamas was "hit hard" and their requests have been denied. Analysts and members of the extreme right disavow government proclamations. No victory, tourism industry at its knees, risk of recession and reduced security.
08/27/2014ISRAEL - PALESTINE Gaza's fragile truce holding against an uncertain future peace Hamas hails the Egyptian-brokered truce as a "victory of the resistance". Indirect talks are set in Cairo for next month to address "fundamental" issues like the disarmament of militias. Prof Sabella speaks calls the agreement an "excellent step forward" for "Two peoples, two states". For Israeli political scientist, the fragile truce is the harbinger of an uncertain future.