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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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Philippine government tries to deport sister again

MANILA (UCAN/VaticanNews): Philippine authorities have again ordered the immediate deportation of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox after she was declared an “undesirable alien” by the Bureau of Immigration in a 19-page resolution released on July 19, UCAN reported on July 20.
 
Bureau spokesperson, Dana Krizia Sandoval, said the board of commissioners decided that Sister Fox’s actions were “inimical to the interest of the state.”
 

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Indian state called out for harassing Christians

Bhopal (UCAN): Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, called on the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to intervene and stop the harassment of Christians after the state of Jharkhand ordered a probe into the funding of more than 80 Christian organisations.
 

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Duterte failing the Filipino worker

MANILA (UCAN): Philippine trade union workers voiced their support for the Philippine Church’s declaration of July 17 to 19 as National Days of Fasting and Almsgiving in protest against a wave of killings and the president’s blasphemous attacks on God, as they began the People’s March for Justice, Democracy, Freedom and Just Peace, a weeklong march from the southern Tagalog region to the capital Manila.
 

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Legislating a new Philippine Muslim region

MANILA (UCAN): Mindanao is now on the “cusp of peace” Orlando Cardinal Quevedo of Cotabato, said as the Philippine congressional body drafting legislation to create a new Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao, approved a final version of the Bangsamoro Organic Law late on July 18.
 

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Myanmar farmland grabs condemned

MANDALY (UCAN): Myanmar must provide redress for illegally confiscating land and enact laws and regulations “to safeguard the rights of farmers” and other small landholders, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a July 17 report.
 
The report said that over the last 30 years the government as well as military officials have seized hundreds of thousands of acres from farmers while providing little or no compensation and that this has jeopardised their livelihoods and eroded their access to basic services.
 

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