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Aquino blocks Australian off-load

MANILA (UCAN): “There is no agreement,” the president of The Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, told the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Manila on October 27 in regard to an offer of AUD150 million ($825 million) to resettle permanently refugees and asylum seekers currently in Australian cold storage on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and the tiny island state of Nauru.

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Plea to APEC to empower the poor not use them

MANILA (SE): The president of the bishops’ conference of the host nation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Manila from November 18 to 19, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, called on global leaders to concentrate on formulating policies that can empower the poor and the marginalised.

Archbishop Villegas said that in the face of rising income gaps in most parts of Asia, APEC should roll out inclusive reforms that would improve the living conditions of the poor.

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Human trafficking alert

HONG KONG (SE): The Philippine embassy in Beijing issued an advisory notice on November 1 warning Filipinos, especially migrant workers, to beware of people offering jobs in mainland China.

It especially warns against jobs in the domestic sector, as nannies or as private tutors in the mainland, pointing out that such employment is illegal and can lead to much trouble, and even prosecution by the authorities.

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Power of prayer resonates 
around the world

HONG KONG (SE): “The day of prayer has given a breath of encouragement and hope to the entire Syrian population, of all creeds, in these uncertain days,” Archbishop Mario Zenari, the apostolic nuncio to Syria, said from Damascus on September 9.

He told AsiaNews that both Muslims and Christians all over the country were united in praying for peace, with churches and mosques all reporting crowds of people gathering to respond to the call of Pope Francis to pray for peace on September 7.

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Bad year for religious freedom in Asia

 

ROME (UCAN): A new report released on October 17 in Rome by Aid to the Church in Need on the religious freedom of minority groups in Asia says that persecution of Christians has continued or worsened in many countries in Asia during the past 12 months.

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