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Words don’t come easy

HONG KONG (SE): The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was announced as the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace for 2017 by the Nobel Committee in Oslo on October 6.
 
What grew out of a small group of people in Melbourne, Australia, some 10 years ago, has now mushroomed into a coalition of non-government organisations in over 100 countries.
 

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Marawi cathedral can be a sign of hope

MANILA (UCAN): Caritas Philippines has launched an appeal for the restoration of the destroyed St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi, which was the first building to be attacked by the Maute Group when its militia took over the city on May 23 this year.
 
Father Edwin Gariguez, the secretary of Caritas in Manila, is placing a high importance on the restoration of the cathedral, as it is an important Catholic symbol in the predominately Muslim city on the southern island of Mindanao.
 

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Indian bishops issue guidelines to deal with sex abuse

NEW DEHLI (UCAN): The Catholic Bishops Conference of India released its Guidelines to Deal with Sexual Harassment at the Workplace, the first such initiative, in New Delhi on September 14. The Council for Women of the bishops’ conference framed the guidelines.
 
Apart from Church institutions, all dioceses, parishes and religious congregations are to institute complaints committees to which a case of sexual harassment can be reported.
 

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Goodwill gesture gone wrong

ROME (SE): A bishop in Spain issued a public apology after a parish priest allowed the local Hindu community to carry an image of the Hindu god with an elephant head, Ganesh, in a procession at the church.
 
The priest who allowed the procession to take place subsequently offered his resignation as the vicar general of the diocese. It was accepted.
 
On August 20, the Hindu community of Ceuta and Melilla, two autonomous Spanish communities located on the coast of North Africa, visited the church of Our Lady of Africa.

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Qatar moves to protect migrant workers

DOHA (AsiaNews): Qatar passed a law on August 22 attributing industrial rights to migrant workers, including domestic staff, stipulating a maximum 10-hour day, monthly payment of salary, a whole day off each week and a three-week vacation each year.
 
At the termination of employment or contract, three weeks salary is to be paid for each year of service completed. It also prohibits the employment of anyone over 60 or under 18.
 

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A centenary encyclical from Partriarch of Moscow

MOSCOW (AsiaNews): Patriarch Kirill of Moscow published an encyclical on the occasion of the centenary of the formation of the Moscow Council of 1917 and 1918 which reestablished the Russian Patriarchate 200 years after it had been abolished by the tsar, Peter the Great.
 
He said that it is significant to remember that the Moscow Council restored the patriarchate during the days of the Russian Revolution, which led to its potential never being fully comprehended.
 

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A jittery Guam prays for peace

AGANA (SE): People in Guam began organising prayer gatherings and vigils for peace in the light of a threat from the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un, to launch a nuclear warhead, which in all probability would be aimed at the tiny unincorporated territory of the United States of America (US), before August 15.
 

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Summer camps without bombs

ALEPPO (SE): The summer months in northern Iraq this year saw a special treat for some 860 young people who took up the offer to take part in two months of activities held by the Church in Aleppo.
 
For many of the younger ones it was not only the first time to have the freedom to join such a camp, but their first summer without the sound of bombs exploding in the background.
 

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Hiroshima with a difference

HIROSHIMA (SE): As the president of the United States of America (US), Donald Trump, and his countepart from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un, talked big bang theories, the sombre tone of the Peace Bell and the hush of the minute’s silence at the epicentre in the Peace Park in Hiroshima at 8.15am on August 6, exactly 72 years after the first atomic bomb exploded over the city, took on a greater significance.
 

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Why is world silent on Ukraine?

VATICAN (SE): “On both human and Christian levels, love for truth with which the apostles entrusted us prohibits us from accepting the silence which has fallen on the conflict in Ukraine and on the suffering which has befallen tens of thousands of people,” Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, from the Vatican Congregation of Eastern Churches, said during a visit to Kiev on July 7.
 

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