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Chongqing floods force mass evacuations

HONG KONG (UCAN): Father Ding Yang a parish priest in Tongnan, Chongqing, southwestern China, rushed to help people in need after a major flood swamped houses and damaged villagers’ livelihoods on July 12.
 
The country’s most populous municipality sits at the confluence of the Yangtze River and Jialing River, while the Minjiang River, Qujiang River and Wujiang River also run through it.
 

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Hopes for peace with new autonomous Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN) “Peace and harmony will be enjoyed if this new Bangsamoro government is inclusive and does not discriminate others,” said Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz in Mindanao, after Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, signed off on a law on July 26 that aims to give greater autonomy to Muslims in the southern Philippines.
 
The Bangsamoro Organic Law comes into effect four years after the government signed a peace agreement with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
 

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Duterte’s hype fizzling out with students and teachers

MANILA (Agencies): The problem with Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, is that he “lives on hype, on promises.” Fidelino Josol, a 50-year old public schoolteacher, was reported as saying in an article in La Croix on July 25.
 
She said, “I voted for him because he sounded firm and full of convictions,” but noted that Duterte’s promises “all went down the drain.”
 
The article noted that Duterte, seems to have failed to impress his “children.” 

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Peace advocate and social worker among winners of Ramon Magsaysay Awards

MANILA (UCAN): A Catholic lay worker in Timor-Leste, a psychiatrist in India, a peace advocate in the Philippines and a social worker in Vietnam are among this year’s winners of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award.
 
Carmencita Abella, president of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, said this year’s winners have been key in advancing causes to improve lives and transform societies across Asia. 
 

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Asia’s deadliest place for environmentalists

MANILA (UCAN): Some 48 environmental campaigners in the Philippines were murdered in 2017, a 71 per cent increase on the 28 killings in 2016. Most victims were tribal people trying to protect their ancestral lands from mining companies and plantation owners, according to a report, At What Cost?, from international non-government organisation, Global Witness.
 
That makes the Philippines the second most dangerous country in the world after Brazil with 57 murder cases, and Asia’s most dangerous.
 

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India’s Christians upset by calls to abolish confession

NEW DEHLI (Agencies): “This demand is absurd and it displays ignorance about the sacrament of confession,” said Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Mumbai, president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India, reacting to a proposal by the National Commission for Women, an Indian federal agency, to abolish the sacrament of confession CNS reported.
 

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Bishop calls for jade mine regulations in Myanmar

Mandalay (UCAN): Bishop Francis Daw Tang of Myitkyina, Myamar, called for an urgent improvement of jade mining regulations and protect the environment. He said there are no proper regulations or systems for properly managing soil dumps that have killed hundreds of people annually in conflict-stricken Kachin State.
 

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Bring ‘ruthless and chilling’ campaign against human trafficking—legally

The court decision came as a total shock for the two men and a woman accused of trafficking children in Angeles City to foreign sex tourists, while it is a victory for children and Philippine justice. The judge, Bernardita Gabitan-Erum of the Regional Trial Court Branch 61, Angeles City, handed down a 20-year sentence last February 2017 to each of the three convicted and levied a million peso fine on behalf f the victims. The traffickers were greedy and cheated the exploited children, Patricia and Vilma, out of two hundred pesos. This is their story.
 

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Stepping up aid to Myanmar flood victims

MANDALAY  (UCAN):  “We are getting more assessments and then delivering aid to other affected areas,” Father Paul Thar San, director of Karuna, in Hpa-an, the capital city of Kayin State, Myanmar. The area was been hit with strong monsoon winds and heavy rain since the third week of July, causing rivers to swell.
 
At least 11 people have died and more than 100,000 people have been displaced by the widespread flooding, according to the disaster management department.
 

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Human rights dying under Duterte’s rule

On July 23, the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, warned the public during his third State of the Nation address that his two-year war on drugs would become even “more chilling.” 
 
Earlier that day, a group of activists heard Mass before taking to the streets of Manila armed with banners and placards calling for an end to extrajudicial killings, rallying for “democracy, justice, and freedom,” and demanding he step down from office.
 

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