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Japan’s child starvation

TOKYO (AsiaNews): The birth rate in Japan, which has sat below population replacement level for decades, has plunged to its lowest level since 1950 and left the under 15-year-old population at its lowest ebb since the end of World War II.

At the beginning of April this year, the number of children under 15 stood at 15.71 million, down 170,000 on the previous year.

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Can only minorities be blasphemous?

JAKARTA (SE): The Indonesian Catholic Students Association has called on police in Jakarta to process a complaint it filed against the Islamic cleric, Muhammad Rizieq Syihab.
 

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Over the moon with new president

SEOUL (UCAN): Seoul is over the moon with what was termed a landslide victory for presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, from the Democratic Party of Korea.
 
Moon gleaned 41 per cent of the popular vote, while his nearest rival, the conservative Hong Jun-pyo, could only muster 24 per cent and what was described as the centrist candidate, Ahn Cheol-soo, just 21 per cent.
 

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Naypyidaw and Vatican tie diplomatic knot

VATICAN (SE): It was announced on May 4 that the Vatican is tying the diplomatic knot with Naypyidaw at the same time that Pope Francis was meeting with the first counsellor of the Union of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, at the Sala Regia in the apostolic palace.
 

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Harassment at Easter

HANOI (UCAN): Plainclothes officials in northwest Vietnam broke into the home of a Catholic family and attempted to take a priest into custody as he was preparing to celebrate Easter Mass.
 
More than 20 men and women, who identified themselves as local officials, barged into the house where around 100 people had gathered for Mass in the town of Muong Khuong, Lao Cai province.
 

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Governor invites pope to Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA (UCAN): The governor of Hiroshima, Hidehiko Yuzaki, has asked Pope Francis to visit the atomic-bombed city and send a message of peace to the world.
 
Yuzaki made the call during the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square. Kyodo News reported that he also met with the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, to relay his hope for a visit to Hiroshima by the pope.
 

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Bomb blasts in Quaipo

MANILA (UCAN): A call to look out for suspicious looking packages and people went out from Bishop Broderick Pabillo after two bombs went off in the Quiapo district of the Philippine capital city on May 6.
 
The explosions occurred near a church and a mosque, killing two people and injuring six others.
 
A statement from the Islamic State says, “Five Shi’ites have been killed and six others injured by detonating an explosive device by the Islamic State fighters in central Manila.”
 

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The last of a Catholic nation in Asia?

HONG KONG (SE): “Some of my friends in other countries say that they are worried about the government in The Philippines,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Philippine bishops’ conference, says in his message for Easter, but while he admits he is not worried about the government, he confesses he is worried about the Filipino people.

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Courage of a woman jailed in Vietnam recognised