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Around the Traps

Catholic Church bombed in Cairo

CAIRO (AsiaNews): A bomb exploded in a Catholic Church of Egypt on December 11 prompting strong condemnation from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the organisation of Arab parliaments and Egyptian political parties, as well as Arab and foreign embassies in Cairo.

The University of Al Azhar, the leading Sunni authority, cancelled celebrations for the birth of the prophet, Muhammad, which were scheduled for that day.

Twenty-five people died on the spot and others were injured.


Drug testing on campus

MANILA (SE): Manila is introducing compulsory drug testing for students at all college campuses as part of the push from the current administration against drugs.

However, Bishop Broderick Pabillo warned that the programme is wide open to the abuse of authority and corruption.

The auxiliary bishop of Manila said the weakness of the programme is in its administration, explaining, “People in power might use this drug testing scheme to milk the students or make money out of it.”

He said the plan will be implemented in the next academic year.


Miss Universe supports youth

MANILA (UCAN): The reigning Miss Universe from The Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, has donated some personal items to Caritas Manila in support of its programme for the poor this Christmas.

“We are all doing this out of pure love and good faith,” the 2015 international beauty queen told Luis Cardinal Tagle on December 12.

“The country is going in the right direction and of course the Miss Universe competition is here next year, so we feel like we want to give back as much as we can,” she said.

Wurtzbach donated personal items, including branded shoes, handbags and gowns that will be sold to support a youth education programme.


Priest an Outstanding Filipino

MANILA (UCAN): Father Anton Pascual, the director of Caritas Manila, was among those who received an Outstanding
Filipino Award from the president, Rodrigo Duterte, on December 12.

Donated by the Junior Chamber International, the prize recognises visionaries who have steered their respective institutions and companies in a manner that changes people’s lives.

“We see this in Father Pascual, a man who serves God by serving his people,” Duterte said, adding that he continues to enrich his priestly vocation as a respected community leader in providing affordable health care, accessible loans and self-improvement programmes for the poor and marginalised.


Pray for mothers

QUEZON CITY (SE): “Let us pray for the mothers of all those who have died from extrajudicial killings… let us pray for these mothers today,” Father Ben Beltran said on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“Every child is precious to his mother. Let us pray for these mothers who cry for justice… for those suspected only with no evidence but also killed,” CBCP News quote him as saying.

He stressed the need to pray for those who cry out for justice, like the mothers of those who died at the hands of police and hitmen riding-in-tandem killing on mere suspicion.


Hanoi building on disputed islands

HANOI (AsiaNews): Vietnam is doing dredging and construction work around some disputed islands in the South China Sea. 

New satellite images taken by Planet Lab, a United States of America company, date back to November 30 last year and show construction work on a new facility in Ladd Reef, a small island in the Spratly where Hanoi already has a lighthouse.

Hanoi has declined comment.

Hanoi is also building several airstrips and military hangars on several disputed islands, accumulating territory before a code of conduct is signed.


Year of the Parish

MALAYBALAY (SE): The directors and coordinators from 72 dioceses of the Diocesan Basic Ecclesial Community in The Philippines gathered to launch the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities on November 30.

The Ecclesial movements will promote a series of activities and events aimed at developing healthy infrastructure and spirit in parishes across the country.


Peace not absence of war


KATHMANDU (SE): All these facts remind us that peace is not just an absence of war. It must be backed up by solid economic and social development

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