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Priest complains he cannot go to jail

JEJU (UCAN): The District Court in Jeju, South Korea, found Father Bartholomew Mun Jung-hyun guilty on February 23 of obstructing police in the execution of their duties in a standoff near aimed at preventing the construction site of a military base on Jeju island.

Father Mun received an eight-month suspended sentence, but requested the court to allow him to do the time behind bars.

His sentence is suspended for two years.

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Counteracting the economic and political blues

SEOUL (SE): How to counteract the economic and political blues? 

Well, according to the results of a survey carried out by the Hankyoreh Social Policy Research Institute and the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs, released in the Republic of Korea in February this year, getting deeper into politics may provide the cure.

A report published in the Hankyoreh News on February 14 says that in the 20 to 40 age bracket, there is hope in the future.

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Centenarian Franciscan mourned in Taiyuan

TAIYUAN (Agencies) : “His life of dedication to serving the Lord is a true model for us all, as priests, men and women religious and laity,” Bishop Paolo Meng Ningyou, from Taiyuan, said in describing Father Mattia Leopoldo Guo Ji Fen, a 100-year-old Franciscan, who died on February 15.

We must imitate his fidelity to Christ, his zeal for spreading the love of God and the great sense of service to people,” the bishop continued.

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Church calls for unity and peace in run up to Timor Leste elections

Dili (UCAN): The Church in Dili, Timor Leste, has called for people to turn their backs on violence and ensure that presidential elections, scheduled for March 17, are carried out peacefully.

To get its message of peace across, it recently held a five-kilometre walk and is currently conducting 111 days of prayer meetings.

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South Korean president presses China not to return North Korean

Seoul (UCAN): “They are not criminals,” said South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, commenting on North Korean refugees in China.

“The right thing for China to do is to handle them based on international humanitarian norms,” he stressed.

Lee pressed China not to repatriate them back to North Korea in the future.

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Islamabad is rejecting anti-Christian sentiment in honouring two missionaries

KARACHI (SE): “I see the award as a public statement by the government of Pakistan that it rejects the current stream of anti-Christian feeling being pushed by Islamic fundamentalists and extremists in the country,” Father Robert McCulloch told the Sunday Examiner after learning from the governor of the Sindh, Ishrat ul Ibad Khan, on February 14 that he is to be one of the recipients of the Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam Award for 2012, the highest civilian honour that can be granted to a non-Pakistani national.

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Kidnapping of aid workers hampering Pakistan relief programmes

Lahore (UCAN): “The security of visiting Caritas partners, including officials and journalists, has been our top concern,” said Amjad Gulzar, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan. 

Seven foreign aid workers—four in January alone—have been kidnapped in the last six months by Islamist militants hampering relief efforts in flood-affected parts of the country.

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Resignation over Olympic sponsorship lauded

NEW DELHI (UCAN): Survivors of the 1984 gas leak from the Union Carbide-owned factory in Bhopal, India, have hailed a decision to resign in protest by watchdog commissioner, Meredith Alexander, from the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012.

The body is assigned to monitor the environmental sustainability levels of this year’s London Olympic Games.

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Distrust still simmers beneath peace overtures in Myanmar

MYITKYINA (UCAN): Since an outbreak of fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) shattered a 17-year-old ceasefire agreement in June last year, tens of thousands of villagers in the ethnic region have been forced to flee their homes and seek tenuous shelter in makeshift camps near the country’s border with China.








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Taiwan’s Catholic president leaves the way open for better Church relations

HONG KONG (SE): Ma Ying-jeou won a second term at the fifth direct election for president of Taiwan on January 14.

Defying predictions of a close result, he came in with a margin of 800,000 votes, taking 51.6 per cent of the estimated 6.89 million cast.

Prior to 1996, the president of Taiwan was appointed by the parliament.

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