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Arrests in Instagram baby-selling ring case

JAKARTA (UCAN): Police in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, have made four arrests after breaking up an alleged baby-selling ring run from an Instagram account.
The account claimed to be linked to the Family Welfare Institute and a Facebook group called the Child Care Foundation, according to local media reports.
 
The account holder identified himself as “AP” and said he was a 29-year-old man helping find solutions to family problems.
 

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Helping hands extended to Sulawesi after quake

JAKARTA (CNS/SE): Catholic aid agencies were among those working to assess the needs and get relief to the island of Sulawesi after an earthquake and tsunami left more than 1,400 people dead.
 
Among those killed were 34 Christian students trapped while attending a Bible class. Fifty-two other students remained missing in Jono Oge village, according to a report of the ucanews.com.
 

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United Nations initiative on Myanmar atrocities an important step

Mandalay (UCAN): The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution on September 27 that creates an independent, international body to help prepare case files for future criminal proceedings against perpetrators of atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
 
The UNHRC’s 47 members voted in favour of the resolution, 37 to 3 with seven abstentions. China, the Philippines and Burundi voted against the resolution, which was drafted by the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
 

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Anger over maids for sale ads in Singapore

JAKARTA (UCAN): Advocates campaigning for migrant worker rights have voiced outrage after an advert was recently posted on Carousell, a Singapore-based online marketplace showing the profiles of several female domestic workers believed to be Indonesian. Some profiles were even marked “sold.”
 
Nusron Wahid, head of an Indonesian government agency dealing with the placement and protection of migrant workers, told reporters on September 18 that an official letter had been sent to the Singaporean government demanding thorough investigation.

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Japan-Korea anti-nuclear pilgrimage

SEOUL (UCAN): Bishops and activists from Japan and South Korea took part the Japan-Korea Anti-Nuclear Peace Pilgrimage, calling for an end to nuclear energy.
 
The pilgrimage, which began 2012, was held in Korea from September 13 to 16 and organised by the Korean bishops’ committee for ecology and environment.
 

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New law puts squeeze on Christians in Nepal

KATHMANDU (UCAN): The enactment of new legislation criminalising religious conversion in Nepal has sparked a heightened sense of fear and insecurity among Christian minorities.
The Civil and Criminal Codes, which came into effect on August 17 to replace the General Code that was in place for 165 years, comprise a set of laws guiding civil and legal proceedings, including restrictions on religious conversion, in the Hindu-majority nation.
 

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Appeal to Catholics to protect Indonesian diversity

JAKARTA (UCAN): Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, paid his first visit as head-of-state to the headquarters of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia in Jakarta, on August 24, to improve ties and to stress the need for religious institutions to preserve and maintain diversity within the nation.
 
The conference’s chairperson, Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, and its secretary-general, Bishop Antonius Subianto Bunjamin of Bandung in West Java, as well as eight other bishops, welcomed the president.

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Calls for accountability over Myanmar atrocities

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Accountability is essential for genuine reconciliation between all ethnic groups and is a prerequisite for regional security and stability,” United Nations (UN) secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, said, as he called for accountability over the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar which he described as one of the world’s worst humanitarian and human rights crises.
 

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Myanmar accused of blocking humanitarian aid

MANDALAY (UCAN): “Depriving civilians of aid in an attempt to overcome an ethnic army is a perverse, unlawful and ineffective strategy,” Matthew Smith, chief executive of Fortify Rights, said on August 30. 
 
“All parties to this war have a duty to protect civilians and that includes by ensuring access to adequate aid,” he said.
 

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Korean peace-sharing forum

SEOUL (SE): The Third Korean Peninsula Peace-sharing Forum was held at the Catholic University of Seoul on September 1 under the topic, Human Dignity and Peace, Paving the Way for the Korean Peninsula
 

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