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Hiroshima with a difference

HIROSHIMA (SE): As the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, and his countepart from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un, talked big bang theories, the sombre tone of the Peace Bell and the hush of the minute’s silence at the epicentre in the Peace Park in Hiroshima at 8.15am on August 6, exactly 72 years after the first atomic bomb exploded over the city, took on a greater significance.
 

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Duterte promises to bomb schools

MANILA (UCAN): A threat from the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to bomb a tribal school in the southern part of the country, which he accused of giving children subversive ideas, has provoked a hostile reaction.
 
Even the threat of bombing a school is described as an act of barbarism and a war crime under international law, but this did not deter the rampaging president, whose disdain for the law was evident during his State of the Nation Address on July 24.
 

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New experiences at Asian Youth Day

YOGYAKARTA (SE): The seventh Asian Youth Day, which ran in Yogyakarta in Indonesia from August 2 to 6, received around 2,000 international visitors, most of whom arrived on July 30 to participate in a three-day live-in programme with local families prior to the main event getting under way.
 

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Cardinal Tong at peace prayer meet in Kyoto

KYOTO (SE): Two days after stepping down as bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon travelled to Kyoto in Japan as a representative of Pope Francis at the 30th annual Prayer Meeting on Mount Hiei, a gathering that brings people from all religions together to pray and work for peace.
 
Cardinal Tong read a letter from Pope Francis, which opened with the words, “It is my pleasure to send my cordial greetings to you and to the distinguished representatives of the different religious traditions.”
 

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Japanese warrior for refugees mourned

TOKYO (UCAN): Michiko Inukai, a nationally-known Catholic author who supported refugees in Japan and abroad, died on July 24 due to advanced age. She was 96.
 
Inukai was a granddaughter of the prime minister, Tsuyoshi Inukai, whose assassination by young naval officers in 1932 marked the end of effective civilian control of the Japanese government until after World War II.
 

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A first for Thailand

BANGKOK (SE): Ordinations to the priesthood in Thailand may be rare enough, but over the weekend of July 8 and 9 there was a first for the Church in the Land of Smiles when Reverend John Phong Phan Wongarsa was ordained a priest under the title of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in his home parish of the Holy Family in Ban Nong Khu.
 

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Myanmar shuns United Nations mission

MANDALAY (UCAN): Naypyidaw has denied visas to three members of a United Nations (UN) fact finding mission charged with an investigation into human rights violations against the Muslim Rohingya minority people by security forces in the Union of Myanmar.
 
Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho, from of Pyay in the troubled Rakhine State, said that when he read the news it was hard for him to believe it.
 

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Missionaries honoured in Taiwan

TAIPEI (UCAN): Taiwan has granted citizenship to two missionaries from the United States of America, Father Alan Doyle and Sister Mary Paul Watts, in recognition of their contribution to society.
 
“I am a genuine Taiwanese,” 80-year-old Father Doyle said on July 9 as he received his identity card.
 
Father Doyle has lived in Taiwan for 53 years and worked in the area of the preservation and development of the Hoklo language, often referred to as Taiwanese, during his more then half a century on the island.

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Double execution in Japan

TOKYO (AsiaNews): Japan hanged two men on July 14, the more high profile of who was 61-year-old Masakatsu Nishikawa, who had been convicted of multiple murder but was seeking a retrial.
 
Nishikawa had been convicted of killing four female bar managers in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture, in 1991. The second one to dangle on the rope was 34-year-old Koichi Sumida, who was sentenced to death in February 2013 by the Okayama District Court for killing his 27-year-old former colleague, Misa Kato, a temporary staff, on 30 September 2011.
 

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