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Create jobs so Filipinos don’t have to work abroad bishop says

MANILA (UCAN): As many as 250,000 Filipinos will be affected by a total ban on the deployment of workers to Kuwait, according to a Philippine government estimate.
 
The ban, ordered by the president, Rodrigo Duterte, came following the discovery of the body of 29-year-old Joanna Daniella Demafelis in a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait. Her remains had reportedly been stored there for a year and authorities said marks on her body indicated she was strangled.
 

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Walk for the life of every person

MANILA (Agencies): Catholic bishops of the Philippines will lead this year’s Walk for Life, scheduled for February 24, to protest the spate of drug-related killings in the country, UCAN reported.
 
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila said the protest walk will also highlight other anti-life issues such as the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
 

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Relics of St. Therese welcomed in the Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): The relics of St. Therese of the Child Jesus arrived in Manila, the Philippines, on February 18 to a shower of white and red rose petals.
 
Devotees waved yellow flags as the reliquary containing the saint’s relics entered Manila’s San Fernando de Dilao parish church.
 
Father Rolando dela Cruz said that the people in his parish were honoured to have been chosen as one of the places to receive the relics.
 

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International criminal court opens probe into Philippine drug killings

MANILA (Agencies): “I welcome you and if you want to find me guilty, so be it. Find a country where they kill people with a firing squad. And I’m ready,” said the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, reacting to the announcement on February 1 that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will conduct a “preliminary examination” into killings in the Philippines linked to the government’s war on drugs.
 

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Church joins calls for Mindanao flood probe

BUTUAN CITY (UCAN): Church leaders in Mindanao have joined calls for an investigation into what caused the devastating floods that displaced thousands of families and killed at least 16 people on February 12.
 
Landslides and floods triggered by heavy rain dumped by tropical depression Sanba (Basyang) displaced at least 37,370 individuals in the southern Philippine region of Caraga.
 
The scale and speed of the flooding took many by surprise.
 

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Iglesia ni Cristo leader named special envoy for Philippine migrants

MANILA (UCAN): In what looks like payback for supporting his presidential run, Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, named Eduardo Manalo, executive minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church), special envoy for Filipino migrants’ concerns.
 
In an appointment paper dated February 13, the presidential palace in Manila announced that Manalo would hold the position from January 30, until 29 January 2019.
 

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The late dawn of a restless dream

A faith born in the shadows cast by a single candle in a tightly curtained room of a small farming village in a China emerging from the repression of the Cultural Revolution in the early 1980s, blossomed on February 4 in the chapel of the Columban Seminary in Manila, as Peter knelt before Bishop Honesto Ongtioco to be ordained a deacon, becoming a minister of the word of God that he had imbibed in the clandestine darkness of his home so many years before.
 

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Indian bishops concerned about threats to diversity

BANGALORE (CNS): “Intolerance is causing a certain amount of anxiety to us,” Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai, said at the end of the February 2 to 9 assembly of Indian bishops held in Bangalore.
 
The newly elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), expressed “anguish” over increasing threats to pluralism in the country.
 

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Pope sends condolences to Taiwan after earthquakes

VATICAN  (CNS): Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the people of Taiwan after high-magnitude earthquakes on February 6 and 7 devastated the island nation, killing at least nine people and injuring hundreds more.
In a telegramme sent by the Vatican, the pope offered “the assurance of his prayers for those who have lost their lives and for those who have been injured.” 
 

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Indian government admits rise in religious hate crimes

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): India’s pro-Hindu government presented detailed data in parliament showing a surge in religion-based violence since it came to power four years ago. The statistics, revealed on February 6, confirm a long-standing allegation by rights groups that the situation is worsening.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the coalition government, has been accused by rights groups and civil society of fanning the flames of intolerance.

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