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Mindanao on full alert after car bomb blast

Cotabato (UCAN): “There can never be peace if we continue this kind of attitude of fomenting fear among our people,” Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz, in Mindanao, said after security forces were placed on full alert in the southern Philippine region after a deadly suicide car-bomb attack in Basilan province —blamed on the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group—killed 10 people on July 31.
 
The archbishop, who was the bishop of Basilan for 14 years, said the attack makes the achievement of peace on the island elusive.
 

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Speaking out against India’s divisive politics

New Delhi (UCAN): “Some people are trying to divide the country in the name of religion, caste and creed. But we can’t sit here as mute spectators,” Mamta Banerjee, chief of Trinamool (grassroots) Congress party, told a gathering of 1,000 people in New Delhi, India, on July 31.
 
The assembly was organised on the theme, Love your neighbour, by the Indian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and called on the country’s to stop being divisive and using religion as a way of attracting votes.
 

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Pope sends funds for Yemeni refugees in South Korea

Jeju (UCAN): Pope Francis lent his support to some 500 Yemeni refugees on the southern tourist island of Jeju, South Korea, sending €10,000 ($92,000) from the papal charities though Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, the apostolic nuncio to Korea.
 
The archbishop visited the Diocese of Cheju (Jeju) from July 28 to 29 to show the pope’s solidarity with the Yemeni refugees. He said that that the diocese’s care and efforts coincide with the wishes of Pope Francis. 
 

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Lombok hit by another powerful earthquake

JAKARTA (UCAN/CNS): At least 105 people were confirmed dead as at the time of going to press, after a magnitude seven earthquake struck Indonesia’s Lombok Island on August 5 a week after it was struck a magnitude 6.4 quake that killed more than a dozen people (Sunday Examiner, August 5).
 

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Chile’s bishops cop to failures in handling sexual abuse of minors

SANTIAGO (CNS): Bishop Santiago Silva of the Military Diocese of Chile, president of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference, apologised to abuse survivors for the bishops’ failure to “react in time to the painful sexual abuse and abuse of power and authority” as the conference concluded its 116th Extraordinary Plenary Assembly on August 3 in Punta de Tralca on the Pacific Coast.
 

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Church offers to mediate Zimbabwe election dispute

CAPE TOWN (CNS): “We have offered to mediate any election disputes as well as broader concerns,” Father Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference said on August 6 after six people were killed in violence that followed a disputed presidential election.
 
Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner on July 30, but opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, disputed the result and said he will challenge it in court.
 

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Federal judge orders Trump to restore DACA

WASHINGTON (CNS: On August 3, United States district judge, John Bates, ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme (DACA), which helps young adults brought into the country illegally as minors, saying reasons calling for its demise were not justified.
 
In September 2017, US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said the administration was ending the programme through executive action claiming it was “an unconstitutional exercise of authority.”
 

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Deadly quake shakes Indonesian island

JAKARTA (SE): Catholic groups have started to collect aid for thousands of people affected by the deadly 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the popular tourist island of Lombok in Indonesia on July 29.
 
The tremor killed at least 16 people, left 355 injured and forced more than 5,100 to flee their homes, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, UCAN reported.
 
The quake also triggered landslides, cutting off hiking trails.
 

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Struggle against AIDS also a struggle against complacency

AMSTERDAM (CNS): Despite rumors of its demise, the AIDS pandemic is far from over. “We broke the conspiracy of silence, but now we face the conspiracy of complacency,” said Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), during a July 24 conversation with Catholic and other faith leaders at the biennial International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
 
The conference brought together more than 15,000 AIDS researchers and activists.
 

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Struggle against AIDS also a struggle against complacency

AMSTERDAM (CNS): Despite rumors of its demise, the AIDS pandemic is far from over. “We broke the conspiracy of silence, but now we face the conspiracy of complacency,” said Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), during a July 24 conversation with Catholic and other faith leaders at the biennial International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
 
The conference brought together more than 15,000 AIDS researchers and activists.
 

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