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Human dignity and an unpleasant truth

My Family’s Slave is a personal story written by Pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist, Alex Tizon, who died last March.
 
Tizon grew up in the United States of America (US) where he migrated with his family in the 1960s. He was four-years-old at the time.
 
He left behind a moving and conscience-searing story about his yaya, the family domestic worker, who cared for him and worked her whole life for the Tizon family.








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Who remembers what the pope said?

The Philippines seems to be off the international comment agenda of late. Even Pope Francis seems to have forgotten about its existence since his triumphant Palm Sunday-like entrance into Manila in 2015.
 
Papal condolences have been sent to France, Egypt and England on more than one occasion in recent days, but after a catastrophe in a Manila resort, a besieged city and declaration of martial law, as well as a kidnapped priest and people, some in The Philippines must be wondering what more they have to do to do to rate a papal mention.








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An on air Get out of jail free pass

HONG KONG (SE): The old Monopoly game offered a Get Out of Jail Free pass to the odd lucky player, but in real life prisons in Hong Kong no such privilege is available to those securely locked behind bars. They are there for the duration.
 
However, at least for foreign prisoners in the city some respite is offered every Sunday night when Bruce Aitken hunkers down behind the microphone at AM 1044 Metro Plus.
 








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Imprisoning children a risk to the nation

There are some haunting images from the past when children as young as six-years-old were put in jail behind bars in cells mixed with adults where they were abused by paedophiles. 

They are mostly hungry children guilty of begging for a bit of food in the street to survive, but then jailed as criminals. But some members of the congress want them back in jail and have introduced a bill to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 to 12, and even as young as nine. It is a return to the penal code of the 1930s. 








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Ex-Catholics are becoming younger

WASHINGTON (SE): “Young Catholics are leaving the faith at an early age—sometimes before the age of 10—and their reasons are deeper than being bored at Mass,” Mark Gray, a senior research associate at the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University (CARA), says in a new report published in conjunction with two national studies done in the United States of America by the centre.

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The road of the young in search of Love

I was in the elevator of a shopping mall when two university students walked in. As the elevator door closed, one girl gave her phone to the other and said, “Here, this is the girl.”

“But she’s okay looking,” replied the other girl, “why did Ben decide to dump her?” The girl took back her phone and shrugged, “I don’t know, John said it is maybe because she was getting too fat.”








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Good and bad news on plant species

I made my first visit to Kew Gardens in London in the early 1980s. It is a beautiful and highly scientific place and in May this year, it produced an extraordinarily important report on The State of the World’s Plants.

The good news is that the staff now believe that there are 390,000 species of plants on earth. The director of science at Kew Gardens, Kathy Willis, spoke to Damian Carrington of The Guardian about the importance of plants for humans.








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Solutions are found in a peaceful mind

HONG KONG (SE): After taking part in a spiritual education programme at the Caritas Wu Cheng-chung Secondary School, many students have discovered the value of having a peaceful mind.

Its power in helping them to cope with the many problems they face has been discovered through a spiritual education programme that is runs on campus.

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The Tiger Boy with his rosary

A true story about a little boy with an extraordinary faith in the motherly love of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose influence has been serving the Lord
through the Church for over a century

 

Tak was born into a Catholic family in 1914 (the Year of the Tiger) in a small village in southern China. Tragically, both his parents died before his fifth birthday and his uncle took him into his family.








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Tweaking Church teaching with Chinese characteristics

CHONGQING (UCAN): A conference was held in July this year involving the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China at which each seminary on the mainland was required to present a paper explaining how the recommendations of the Central Disciplinary Committee of the Communist Party, published subsequent to its inspection of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, are being implemented.

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