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Japanese bishops call for end to nuclear power

TOKYO (SE): During October, the Japanese bishops published a 290-page technical, ethical and theological call for the abolition of nuclear power generation.

Under the title of the Abolition of Nuclear Power: An Appeal from the Catholic Church in Japan, it was prepared by an editorial committee from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan headed by Father Ichiro Mitsunobu sj.

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Sharia in Aceh discriminates

JAKARTA (UCAN): Aceh in Indonesia is one of only two places in Asia where Sharia-based bylaws are enforced, but complaints say that they are discriminating, with punishments only being handed out to the poor and weak, while officials or wealthy business people are never being seen to be punished.

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Web around Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

HONG KONG (SE): A petition sponsored by the American Centre for Law and Justice calling for the release of Asia Bibi (Asia Noreen), a Catholic mother of five who has been sitting on Pakistan’s death row since 2010 on charges under the nation’s controversial blasphemy law, has to date collected 540,000 signatures.

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Empowering young Asians in making own choices

HONG KONG (SE): The 15th CHOICE Asian Conference was held in Hong Kong from October 12 to 16 with people from nine regions descending on the city to share their experiences in journeying with young working people.

The CHOICE organisation sets out to empower young people to make good and independent decisions in life. In Hong Kong, it runs weekend camps under the name of Hong Kong Choosing Growth and has been running for 16 years.

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Interfaith concepts of mercy

TOKYO (UCAN): The Interreligious Dialogue Committee in Japan organised a three-way sharing in mid-October among the Christian, Buddhist and Shinto traditions on the varying concepts of mercy that inspire their people.

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Where has the Haiyan relief money gone?

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines has called for an audit of funds received by the government for victims of Typhoon Haiyan which devastated the central Philippines in 2013.

Father Edu Gariguez, the secretary of the Social Action Secretariat, said people need to see what the government has done in the three years since the devastation.

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Around the traps

Archives on Argentine dictatorship to be opened

VATICAN (SE): The Vatican has completed the cataloguing and digitising of the archival material of the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina, the apostolic nunciature in Buenos Aires and the Vatican Secretariat of State in regard to the Argentine Military Dictatorship Period (1976 to 1983).

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In the crosshairs at the crossroads

COLOMBO (UCAN): Banners appeared in the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka, reading Are bullets the only gift the government has for Tamils? and Such killings destroy reconciliation after two Tamil students from Jaffna University found themselves caught in the crosshairs of police guns at the crossroads at Kulappidi Junction on October 20.

Five police were arrested and remanded until November 4.

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Vatican and Vietnam continue meetings

VATICAN (SE): A delegation from the Holy See, headed by the undersecretary of state, Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, met with a delegation from Vietnam, led by Bui Thanh Son, the permanent deputy minister of foreign affairs, at the Vatican from October 24 to 26 with a view to establishing full diplomatic relations.

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Sweet taste of Mindanao peace talks turns sour

MANILA (SE): Peace talks between the Philippine government and representatives from the National Democratic Front of the Communist Party of The Philippines that began on an upbeat note on August 22 this year, soured significantly during the second round, which got under way on October 8 in Oslo, Norway.

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