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Will Catholics swing for same-sex marriage?

SYDNEY (SE): As Australia prepares for a postal survey on attitudes towards same-sex marriage, a poll commissioned by the Equality Campaign conducted by Jim Reed from Newgate Research claims that more than half of the country’s Catholics are likely vote in favour of it.
 
The poll discovered that approximately 66 per cent of the overall population is inclined to express a favourable opinion on the question, but among those who adhere to a religion only 58 per cent said they would favour the idea.
 

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Asian face for Asian Youth Day

HONG KONG (SE): Young people from the Hong Kong that had travelled to Indonesia for the Seventh Asian Youth Day in Yogyakarta, which ran from July 30 to August 6, reflected that the experience was a great introduction for them to the wide variety of cultures hosted by the Asian continent and the importance of loving God’s creation.
 

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Blurring the trail to the drug lords

JAKARTA (UCAN): Amnesty International claims that the number of suspected drug traffickers killed by authorities in Indonesia has increased significantly since last year as a result of a shoot-on-sight policy. 
 
Bramantya Basuki said on August 15 following the recent fatal shooting of two suspected drug traffickers, “A total of 61 Indonesians and foreigners have been shot dead by law enforcement officers since January this year. Last year, there were 13 suspected drug traffickers killed.” 
 

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History teaches but who learns?

DAVAO (UCAN): “If rationality still matters in this beleaguered Republic of The Philippines, how have we, as a people, shifted once more to supporting a rising authoritarianism?” Brother Karl Gaspar, a veteran of the resistance to the bloody regime orchestrated by former president, Ferdinand Marcos, asks.
 

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Bishop speaks on spike in drug killings

MANILA (SE): Between August 15 and 18 headlines in daily newspapers told the stories of the previous night’s work of the dreaded drug squads in Manila, proclaiming, “21 deaths in nine hours,” then the following day the number went up and on the third day rose again.
 
While some papers glorified the bloodshed, others reported it in a bland and neutral way, leaving it to their op-ed pieces to condemn while others were outright hostile.
 

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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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