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Cardinal calls for digital detox

MAKATI (SE): “Some people are proposing a digital detox… I don’t know how to do it. But they say, through silence, return to reflection and prayer life,” said Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the archbishop of Manila on January 19, CBCPNews reported.
 

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Southern Asia’s year of worshipping dangerously

Of course, it is almost impossible to get past the ongoing visceral horror of the plight of Myanmar’s ethnic Muslim Rohingya people; over 650,000 of them brutally forced from their homes onto the margins of existence into crowded, inadequate, life-threatening refugee camps.
 








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Court denies appeal of rights advocate

VINH (UCAN): People’s Court of Nghe An province in north-central Vietnam, has been criticised for upholding the five-year prison sentence of jailed Catholic rights advocate, Nguyen Van Oai, who was arrested in January last year.
 
The appeals court upheld the prison term on January 15, plus four years’ probation on the charge of resisting security officers and violating the terms of probation from an earlier conviction that saw Nguyen imprisoned from 2013-2015 for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government. 
 

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Kachin’s bishops meet Myanmar military chief

MANDALAY (UCAN): Four Kachin bishops met for an hour and 45 minutes with Myanmar’s military chief, Min Aung Hlaing, to discuss prospects for peace in the country’s north, where intense fighting has erupted in recent months between ethnic armed groups and Myanmar’s military in Kachin and Shan states.
 

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Churches in Pakistan reopened after outcry

ISLAMABAD (UCAN): Six Christian churches in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have been allowed to reopen some two weeks after their forced closure over alleged security threats, minority representatives said.
 
The house churches are located in the city of Abbottabad, where Al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden, was found and killed in a raid by United States (US) Navy SEAL commandos in 2011.
 

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Respected former editor of UCAN dead at 85

COLOMBO (UCAN): Hector Welgampola, executive editor of UCAN from 1987 until he retired in December 2001, died on January 6 in Brisbane, Australia. He was 85-years-old.
 
The Sri-Lankan journalist was editor of the country’s two Colombo-based Catholic weeklies, the English-language Messenger and Sinhalese-language Gnanartha Pradeepaya (Lamp of Wisdom). He was also a senior columnist for the Daily Mirror and Sunday Times.
 

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Fury over mass killing of Rohingya by Myanmar military

DHAKA (UCAN): The military of the Union of Myanmar admitted for the first time that its soldiers, along with Buddhist villagers were responsible for the murder of 10 alleged Muslim terrorists at Inn Din village in Rakhine last September during a counter-insurgency operation.
 
A statement issued on January 10 said, “Villagers and members of the security forces have confessed that they committed murder.”
 

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Philippine police re-launch drug war

Manila (UCAN): Church leaders in the Philippines warned of more killings after the national police announced the re-launching the government’s controversial anti-narcotics war.
 
Human rights groups say that the deadly drug war of the president, Rodrigo Duterte, has claimed the lives of at least 13,000 people since it began in 2016.
 

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Illegal logging and dams as Laos grapples with its own green monsters

Vientiane (UCAN): Attapeu, a province in the southeast of Laos, is not a place that draws much attention. But a recent illegal logging incident in which a convoy of 27 trucks tried to cross into Vietnam, shone a light on the problem.
 
Illegal logging has been a major problem in the country for years so the scheme itself was far from unexpected. But the consequences were. 
 

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