CAFOD:World Humanitarian Day 2014
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Hong Kong: Leung Chun-ying calls for protests to end
Hong Kong leader CY Leung has urged pro-democracy protesters to stop their campaign "immediately". Huge crowds continue to bring parts of the territory to a standstill. Tens of thousands of people have been blocking streets in several areas.The protesters want Beijing to give Hong Kong a free vote for its next leader, something Beijing has rejected. “Occupy Central founders had said repeatedly that if the movement is getting out of control, they would call for it to stop,” Leung said. “I’m now asking them to fulfil the promise they made to society, and stop this campaign immediately.” RK
Mossad : Online Recruitment
Israel’s infamous spy agency Mossad revamped its website last week to include a recruiting video and an online application option for those seeking employment with versions in Hebrew, English, French, Russian, Arabic and Persian. The Mossad, Hebrew for “the Institute,” is short for the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. It is the global arm of the Israeli intelligence community. Typically the institute always keeps itself obscure. In a statement announcing the launch the head of the Mossad, Tamir Pardo, said “We must continue to recruit the best people into our ranks so that the Mossad might continue to lead, defend and allow for the continued existence of the state of Israel. The Mossad’s qualitative human capital is the secret of our success.”JM
Australia : Anti-abortion Campaign
South East Australian state Victoria is getting ready to hold an election to be held on 29 November. On this occasion the issue of abortion has continued to come up. Anti abortion election leaflets are being distributed carrying a photo of the Victorian opposition spokeswoman for women, Danielle Green. The leaflets claim Green supports abortion all the way until birth.The ad also features the Victorian parliamentary crest, contains no contact details, and was not authorised by the Victorian Electoral Commission as required for election materials. Green said, “It is so dishonest and deceptive, and whoever has done it doesn’t have the courage or conviction to put their name to it.” She accused Liberal party members of being involved in the incident. The Victorian Electoral Commission is investigating who was responsible for the distribution.JM
Barack Obama: US Underestimated Islamic State
President Barack Obama conceded on Sunday (28/09) that the United States had underestimated the threat posed by Islamic State fighters in Syria, as a US-led war planes simultaneously pounded the oil sites that fund the jihad group. Obama said that former Al-Qaeda fighters driven from Iraq by US and local forces had been able to gather in Syria to form the newly dangerous Islamic State group. "I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," Obama said, referring to his director of national intelligence. Asked whether Washington had also overestimated the ability or will of Iraq's US-trained military to fight the jihadists on its own, Obama said: "That's true. That's absolutely true." RK
Afghanistan: Ashraf Ghani New President
Ashraf Ghani has been sworn in as Afghanistan's president in a ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul. The event marked the country's first democratic transfer of power -- a benchmark seen by international donors as a key legacy of the costly military and civilian intervention since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. Both Ghani and his poll rival Abdullah Abdullah claimed to have won the fraud-tainted June 14 election. Under heavy pressure from the US and UN, the two candidates eventually agreed to form a "national unity government", and Ghani was declared president. Abdullah, who was also sworn in on Monday (29/09) as chief executive, said the two leaders would work together "for a better future with trust and honesty." RK
UK: Military Action Against ISIS
Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott openly criticised parliament's decision to take military action again in the Middle East. He urges all parties to think again over air strikes in Iraq and says history is repeating itself. In his regular Sunday Mirror newspaper column, Prescott writes, "It is a regional religious dispute that we should leave to the Arab nations. Bombing is never clinical. From Dresden to Gaza, innocent people are often chalked up as 'collateral damage'. Do we as a country really want to be responsible for that again?" On Friday, at a recalled session of the Commons, MPs voted by 524 to 43 to sanction the UK air strikes, limited to Iraq, with 69 MPs not voting. A total of 23 Labour MPs, six Tories and one Lib Dem voted against UK action along with MPs from the SNP, SDLP, Green party and Respect. Rushanara Ali resigned as shadow education minister before the vote in order to abstain. JM
Catholic Divorce : Pope Revisits Punishing Rules
Before a meeting of international bishops in Rome next Sunday, hopes are high that the pope might decide to set in motion a loosening of the ban in receiving Holy Communion for the divorced. In a global community divided by headline-grabbing issues such as abortion, contraception and gay sex, divorce is far from the most inflammatory topic of conversation. But for a huge number of ordinary people it is a regular and painful reminder that their church considers them ineligible for a right it grants to almost all other Catholics – murderers included. Elio Cirimbelli(66)who did divorcee in 1987 and remarried - goes to church most Sundays, said, "It's very hard, let's put it that way, We have a church that can be a mother, but sometimes it is a mother which not does embrace but which punishes."JM
17th Asiad Game: Diversity Shines Here?
Qatar decides not to take part in the women’s basketball competition at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. An official with the Qatari delegation told on Thursday (25/09) that they did not get permission to wear the Islamic headscarf therefore they decided to not to go ahead with all their remaining games. The Qatari players had been asked to remove the hijab before their group game against Mongolia on Wednesday but they refused, leaving the Games organisers no option but to declare a forfeit. Under International Basketball Federation (Fiba) rules, Article 4.2.2 dictates players cannot wear “headgear, hair accessories and jewellery”. The slogan of the 17th Asiad is, ‘Diversity Shines Here.’ JM
Japanese volcano: at least 30 feared dead
More than 30 hikers were found in "cardiac arrest" near the peak of an erupting volcano in Japan. The hikers were not breathing and their hearts had stopped, reports said. Final confirmation of death in Japan always comes via a medical examination. A suffocating blanket of ash up to 20 centimetres (eight inches) deep covered a large area of the volcano, had forced up to 150 to seek refuge in mountaintop shelters at one point. Local officials believe 45 to 49 hikers sheltered overnight in cabins on the popular mountain, although details remained unclear. The mountain is popular among hikers particularly in late September as leaves turn their colours.RK
US: police officer shot
A police officer was shot in the arm late Saturday (27-09) in Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen and a heavy police response triggered riots and national outrage. St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman confirmed the shooting but declined to detail the officer's condition, saying he was en route to the scene. Local television, however, said the officer was shot in the arm. Ferguson has seen large protests take place since Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead on August 9 by a white police officer. There have been bursts of violence during weeks of protests in Ferguson, a mostly black community of 21,000, since Brown’s death. RK
Obesity: Skirt Size is a Predictor for Cancer Risk
The Department of women’s cancer at UCL University College London finds out a new fact related breast cancer after a survey on more than 90,000 women. The study holds, women who go up a skirt size every 10 years between their mid-20s and mid-60s are at 33% greater risk of developing breast cancer after the menopause.The study could be valuable in breast cancer prevention. Overall weight gain, usually measured through an increase in BMI (body mass index), was known to be a risk factor but the study, believed to be the first to look at the association between change in skirt size and breast cancer. Usha Menon, a co-author of the report, said, It needs effort to calculate the BMI from height and weight and most of us do not remember what it might have been some years ago. In that respect, skirt size as a proxy for waist circumference is easily remembered over time.” JM/div>
Hillary Clinton: $600m global female education plan announced
To face of security and access problems in the developing world, Hillary Clinton has announced a $600m (£370m) plan to encourage enrolment of girls at secondary schools worldwide. At the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative she said “We know when girls have equal access to quality education in both primary and secondary schools, cycles of poverty are broken, economies grow, glass ceilings crack and potential is unleashed.”The aim of the global female education plan is to improve quality, safety and security at schools around the world. The issue received global attention after the 2012 attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafza. RK
Protest : Slavery Exhibition Cancelled
About 200 protestors greeted the opening of Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B at the Vaults in south London by blockading both the entrance and the road leading to the building on Tuesday (24/09) evening in order to close a controversial exhibition which they called “complicit racism”.The event featuring black actors chained and in cages to depict the horror of slavery was quickly cancelled by the Barbican gallery. Its abandonment was hailed as a victory by campaigners who claimed 20,000 signatures on a protest petition. On the other hand, “according to the Barbican itself, “Exhibit B critiques the ‘human zoos’ and ethnographic displays that showed Africans as objects of scientific curiosity through the 19th and early 20th centuries.” JM
Bangladesh : Hasina under Threats
Indian intelligence has secured details on attempts by a Western intelligence agency to 'destabilise' Bangladesh by using elements of the army to bring down the elected government. Senior intelligence officials told on condition of anonymity that this western intelligence agency is cultivating some elements in the top echelon of Bangladesh army and plans to create a government of 'national consensus' after toppling Hasina.A top official in the Prime Minister's Office said, "PM Modi will raise this issue when he meets Hasina.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ask 'sister' Sheikh Hasina to be alert to threats she faces, when they meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month. JM
Latin America: killer of Venezuelan beauty queen jailed
A court in Venezuela has sentenced three men to jail sentences for the killing of Venezuelan beauty queen Monica Spear in January. Monica Spear represented Venezuela in the 2005 Miss Universe pageant. Ms Spear, 29, and her British partner, Thomas Berry, were shot dead in January in front of their five-year-old daughter during a roadside robbery. The three men were part of a larger gang which targeted motorists along a highway leading from Valencia to Puerto Cabello. They had pleaded guilty. The court said seven other people were still on trial for the crime but had denied the charges. RK
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