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Rejoicing at release of Catholic girl in Pakistan

ROME (AsiaNews): “I am very happy for my daughter’s liberation,” Misrek Masih, the father of an 11-year-old Catholic girl who is suffering from Down’s Syndrome and has been detained by police on charges of blasphemy for desecration of an Islamic holy book, said when she was released on bail on September 7.

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Cardinal Shan remembered as a moral legacy to Taiwan

KAOHSIUNG (AsiaNews): “There are people who push you to look ahead, to be positive and proactive, not to surrender to obstacles. Shan Kuo-hsi was one of these people,” Archbishop Hong Shanchuan said at a Mass for the late cardinal and former archbishop of Kaohsiung in Taiwan on August 23 at Holy Family parish.

Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi died on August 22 at the age of 88 after a long battle with cancer.

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South Korea about-face on morning after pill

Seoul (UCAN): The South Korean government cancelled a plan to offer morning after pills over-the-counter despite indicating in June it would reform existing laws to permit their sale without prescription.

In an August 29 announcement, Kim Won-jong, the director for medical policy at the Ministry of Health, confirmed that the legislation would remain unchanged.

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Protagonist in Pakistan blasphemy case arrested for planting evidence

ISLAMABAD (SE): The case against Rimsha Masih, a Christian Pakistani girl who is currently being held in prison on blasphemy charges and believed to be only 11-years-old, as well as suffering from Down’s Syndrome, took an unexpected turn when an iman, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, was arrested and charged with concocting evidence and desecrating the Qu’ran.

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Call to remove all bias from school syllabus

LAHORE (SE): “There are 55 chapters containing hate passages against Hindus, India and Christians, insulting remarks against minority religions and distorted historical facts,” a seminar on Biases in the Textbooks and Education Policy organised by the National Commission for Justice and Peace in Lahore, Pakistan, on August 30, was told.

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Taiwan loses its 
oldest bishop

TAIPEI (UCAN) : The oldest bishop in Taiwan, 97-year-old Bishop Paul Cheng Shih-kuang, died on August 23 at the Veterans Hospital in Taichung City.

Born in Shanxi province on the mainland in 1915, he was the oldest bishop in Taiwan and was ordained a priest in 1943.

In 1960, he became the auxiliary in Taipei and in 1966 was appointed archbishop of Tainan until his retirement in 1990.

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Taiwan mourns Cardinal Shan as a great man with the common touch

TAIPEI (SE): Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi died in Gengxin Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, of multiple organ failure at the age of 88 on August 22 after a six-year battle with lung cancer.

Mourned across the his adopted homeland of Taiwan, his picture appeared on the front page of major newspapers on the following day and tributes were paid to what the media described as a simple man of the ordinary people.

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Down’s Syndrome child in prison for blasphemy

KARACHI/RIMINI (SE): The arrest and imprisonment of Rimsha Masih, a young Christian girl suffering from Down’s Syndrome for desecration of a holy book in Islamabad, Pakistan, has caused both fear among other Christians in the area and sparked a strong call from minority rights’ advocates for reason to prevail over prejudice.

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China forcibly returns Myanmese refugees to hostile areas

NEW YORK (SE): In a mysterious deal worked out between the Kachin Independent Organisation (KIO) in the Union of Myanmar and authorities in the province of Yunnan, China, up to 1,000 Myanmese refugees sheltering on the Chinese side of the border from the civil war in the Kachin state have been forcibly repatriated since August 19.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a press release on August 24 that a further 4,000 are in imminent danger of being forced to follow.

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Asian students reflect on Internet preoccupation

TAICHUNG (AsiaNews): The Association of Chinese Catholic University Students held its annual meeting from August 10 to 15 at Providence University, in Taichung, Taiwan, on the theme, You are written in my love.

The annual meeting looks at issues of social importance, connected with the right of every Christian community on the island to make a journey of faith.

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