Over 100 killed; 500 missing in Indonesia Tsunami

A tsunami triggered by a 7.7 magnitude quake in Western Indonesia has killed 113 people while another 500 are missing, local authorities reports today. The powerful jolt that struck the island of Sumatra yesterday just 20 kilometers (13 miles) beneath the ocean floor was followed by at least 14 aftershocks, the largest measuring 6.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. »


Who said there was no religious freedom in China?

Who said there was no religious freedom in China?

This is how it’s done in China, ignore everything and without stretching things to any limits, get on with it. This was the message the lone meditator seemed to express as he sat in lotus style under the trees in the quiet hinterland of the Taoist temple of the Yellow Dragon. Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Common Man relaxed while children frolicked in a heady afternoon of family fun. »


China’s media warms to the moment as activists join hands to free Liu

*China's Communist Party Central Committee 15 October, 2010, started its annual closed-door meeting to map out the country's economic course for the next five years, amid increasingly fervent calls for political reform and against the continuing crackdown on human rights activists, dissidents and lawyers. Also, open letters by opposing voices and a wider press coverage* »


Bangladesh – wear what you want ladies!

*Over the years since the founding of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh the country’s secular constitution has been gradually eroded, and increasingly, a religious bias came into play. Religious-based political parties appeared. However, the general tenor of the people favoured a secular state while remaining firmly set in their Islamic faith fundamental to their daily life.* »


Afghanistan and Taliban Enter Peace Talks

The Afghan government and the Taliban have reportedly begun secret, high-level talks over ending the Afghan war. According to the Washington Post, Taliban representatives have recently met with officials from the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. At least one session was reportedly held in Dubai, even if there are differing versions of it. »


China – Liu Xiaobo, Charter 08, and the Big Prize

Liu, a literary critic, writer and political activist, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2008 for "inciting subversion against the state". In 2008, Liu and several hundred intellectuals in China issued a manifesto, Charter 08, calling for political reform and an end to one-party rule. Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has proposed Liu for a Nobel Peace Prize. »


Taiwan – Silver teapot dialogue

Silversmith Mr Chung Wei-wen is a Taiwanese working independently in the foothills above Taipei, producing silver accessories and teapots. Highly skilled and with strong demand for his artifacts, with his teapots he tries to reach into the mind of his clients with his more humanistic philosophy that pits itself against today’s profligacy and materialism. »


Silo gone Beyond

*I got the emailed news from Santiago, Chile, about noon simply saying: “Mario leave this world this night. A big and warm hug. Luis Felipe". This is my long time pal in the Humanist Movement and I was to hear that over forty of our friends were gathered in his apartment at the time of the emailing. I had not seen Silo personally since the Spain meeting around the year 2000.* »


Bangladesh – Microcredit not intended for entrepreneurs

*Those who know something about Grameen Bank will know it is a Bangladesh outfit and idea so where was that country in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post’s Business Section September 16, 2010, article “Grameen in mainland microfinance venture”? Not even a passing reference to the originator nor the proud originating country!* »


Pakistan – Floods take their toll

*Words are not enough to describe the miseries and suffering of helpless and homeless people from Gilgat to Karachi. The flood has affected more than 2 crore people in Pakistan, causing huge loss of life, loss of livestock, breaking the infrastructure, and decimating property, all due to heavy monsoon rains - Pritam Rohila, Association for Communal Harmony in Asia.* »


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