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No lowering of age of criminal liability

MANILA (UCAN): A decision by the lower house of the congress in Manila to overrule a bill proposing that the age of criminal liability for young people be lowered from the current 15 to as young as nine has been welcomed by rights advocates, prison chaplaincies and social workers.
 
“What is needed is to implement and strengthen the current law in dealing with children in conflict with the law,” Rodolfo Diamante, the secretary of the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, said on May 29.
 

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Thomas Aquinas and the roots of Catholic social teaching

HONG KONG (SE): Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun urged people to uphold the core values of Hong Kong and talk the truth based on Church traditions during an open talk marking the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of students and all universities.

The function was organised by the Caritas Institute of Higher Education and the chaplaincy of the Caritas Bianchi College of Careers on March 7.

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Religious join Women’s March in Washington

WASHINGTON (SE): The large crowds that gathered on January 21, the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America (US), was originally billed as a protest by feminists against the anti-woman policies and attitudes of the new man in the While House.

But controversy quickly broke out and a week prior to the event the registration of what had described itself as a pro-life group, taken as being anti-abortion, was rejected by the organisers as being anti-feminist.

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Execution seems okay by president

JAKARTA (SE): Following his debut appearance at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held in Vientiane, Laos, on September 5 and 6, the president of The Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, made his first visit as head of state to Indonesia.

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Pakistan’s shame to be heard in Supreme Court

LAHORE (SE): A young Catholic woman, Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws in 2010, has had a date set for her appeal to be heard in the Supreme Court in mid-October.

The British Pakistani Christian Association reported that Bibi has been held in prison since June 2009 when blasphemy allegations were made against her. It added that she had been gang raped over the blasphemy accusations and her children targeted.

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Indentured labour is the way in Sugar Bowl

BACOLOD (SE): Nanay Lani holds up her pay slip, a small piece of paper more akin to a debt notice that the kind proprietor of your neighbourhood sari-sari store hands you to point out that you have run out of credit.

She receives one from the hacienda supervisor every 15 days, usually showing her take-home pay will be less than a hundred pesos ($17) in cash for her toil as farmworker among the sugarcane.

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What’s the cover up in mass executions?

HONG KONG (SE): As Indonesian government guns were aimed at 14 people found guilty of drug related crimes and their lifeless bodies slumped to the ground at midnight on July 28, Father Antonius Benny Susetyo was asking what the drive to execute aims to cover up.

The secretary of the Setara Institute for Democracy in Jakarta pointed to testimony given by Fredi Budiman, who fell before the guns at the hour where this life morphed into the next.

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Looking for Sri Lanka’s missing droves

COLOMBO (UCAN): The resistance of the government of Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes committed during the 1983 to 2009 conflict between the army and the Tigers of Tamil Eelam has sown doubt and cynicism about a new office set up to investigate the fate of missing persons.

Father P. Jebaratnam, from Jaffna, which was heavily affected during the civil war, said that the office is necessary, but questioned its genuineness, based on past experiences.

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Duterte declares open season on journalists

MANILA (UCAN): “You are not exempted from assassination if you are a son of a bitch,” president-elect, Roderigo Duterte, said on May 31 in response to a question from the media about a confrère murdered in Manila a few days previously.

The Philippines is already listed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, as the numbers killed over past years keeps it in the top 20 of the deadliest countries for those who pen the news.

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A call for unity on the Tiananmen anniversary

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): In response to a decision taken by the Hong Kong Federation of Students not to take part in the annual memorial candlelight vigil for those who died at Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989, the former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, said that unity and cooperation must be cherished in order to achieve anything realistic.

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