Iran test-fires ballistic missiles on ocean targets

Source: The Holy See

Headline: Iran test-fires ballistic missiles on ocean targets

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Saturday launching anti-warship ballistic missiles at a simulated target in the Indian Ocean, state television reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

One new case of COVID-19 detected – 16 January 2021, 16 Jan

Source: Isle of Man

One new case of COVID-19 has been detected in the Isle of Man.

The individual was already in self-isolation because they are a close contact of someone who tested positive for the virus. Their period of self-isolation has been extended.

The current number of active cases of COVID-19 on the Island is 40.

Extended suspension of services to protect…, 16 Jan

Source: Isle of Man

Measures to protect some of the most vulnerable members of the community from coronavirus are to be extended to cover the length of the current circuit break.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s residential homes for older people, dementia care residential units and learning disability community homes are to remain closed to all non-essential visitors, to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission to residents and staff.

The restriction, initially introduced for seven days at the start of the lockdown, has been reviewed in the light of evidence that the virus has been circulating in the community.

Additionally, the department has extended the temporary closure of Adult Social Care day services, in line with current restrictions which require people to stay at home and avoid the mixing of households. The measure applies to older people’s day services, dementia care day services and learning disability day services across the Island. Learning disability respite care facilities will be available on a case-by-case basis, to meet assessed essential needs.  

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:

‘I know people want to visit loved ones in our residential homes and that service users miss coming to our day centres. I thank everyone for their support during the first week of the circuit break and am confident they will understand our reasons for extending the restrictions. All these decisions have been taken in the best interest of vulnerable residents and service users.  

He added:

‘Staff are exploring ways to offset disruption in these challenging times. They have made plans to maintain regular contact with clients and carers who use day services during the closure period, via phone, letter and in exceptional circumstances a home visit may be made. We look forward to welcoming visitors back into our residential homes and to seeing service users enjoy activities at our day centres again, at the earliest opportunity.’

Current restrictions will be kept under regular review and families kept informed by the Adult Social Care team. 

Kanton Uri: Leichte Entspannung auf den Urner Strassen – Stand: 15.00 Uhr

Source: Swiss Canton of Uri – news in German

16. Januar 2021

Medienmitteilung Nr. 8 / 2021

Die Wetterlage hat sich heute Samstag, 16. Januar 2021, weiter beruhigt. Am Vormittag fanden Rekognoszierungsflüge statt, um die Situation beurteilen zu können. Die Lawinengefahr ist immer noch gross.

Der folgenden Strassenabschnitte konnten heute wieder geöffnet werden:

Amsteg – Bristen (ab 06:30 Uhr)

Gurtnellen – Wassen (ab 12:00 Uhr)

Göschenen – Andermatt (ab 15:00 Uhr)

Die Strasse Seedorf – Bauen konnte heute geräumt und für den Zeitraum von 15:00 bis 17:30 Uhr für den Verkehr freigegeben werden. Ab 17:30 Uhr erfolgt eine erneute Sperrung. Am morgigen Sonntag, 17. Januar 2021, wird die Strasse, sofern es die Wetterverhältnisse zulassen, um 08:00 / 11:00 / 14:00 / 17:00 Uhr für jeweils 15 Minuten geöffnet und kann in diesen Zeitfenstern befahren werden. Die Öffnungen erfolgen unter Beobachtung der Feuerwehr Seedorf, beziehungsweise dem Betrieb Kantonsstrassen. Für Fussgänger bleibt der Durchgang bis auf weiteres gesperrt.

Die Strasse Wassen – Meien wurde von 15:00 bis 17:30 Uhr für den Verkehr freigeben. Anschliessend erfolgt eine Nachtsperrung. Eine Neubeurteilung erfolgt am Sonntagvormittag um 08:00 Uhr.

Weiterhin gesperrt bleiben (Neubeurteilung morgen Sonntagvormittag):

Hospental – Realp

Meien – Färnigen

Linthal – Urnerboden

Noch ist die Lawinengefahr im Kanton Uri nicht gebannt. Gemäss der prognostizierten Wetterentwicklung sind weitere Sperrungen nicht auszuschliessen. Allfällige Weisungen der Einsatzkräfte vor Ort sind zu befolgen.

Bleiben Sie informiert über Strassen- und Lawineninfos mit Alertswiss

Via App Alertswiss erhalten Sie die aktuellen Meldungen zu Strassensperrungen oder Lawinengefahr im Urner Kantonsgebiet. Laden Sie jetzt die App auf Ihr Handy und kommen so sicher nach Hause.

Die aktuellsten Verkehrsmeldungen der Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) finden Sie unter www.matterhorngotthardbahn.ch/de/winter.

Palestine: Statement by the Spokesperson on launching the preparations for elections

Source: European Union External Action

On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas enacted a decree-law on holding legislative, presidential and National Council elections in the coming months starting with legislative elections on 22 May.

This is a welcome development as participative, representative and accountable democratic institutions are key for Palestinian self-determination and state-building.

The EU has in the past years consistently supported and funded the work of the Central Elections Commission in order to prepare for holding free, fair and inclusive elections for all Palestinians. The EU stands ready to engage with relevant actors to support the electoral process. The EU also calls on Israeli authorities to facilitate the holding of elections across all the Palestinian territory.

Philippine Church calls for fair, ethical Covid-19 vaccination

Source: The Holy See

Headline: Philippine Church calls for fair, ethical Covid-19 vaccination

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are calling on the government to ensure that the planned Covid-19 vaccination programme is accessible to all, with vaccine produced in line with ethical principles and which is administered respecting each person’s choices.

ASIA/SYRIA – Relatives of former IS fighters are returning to Raqqa

Source: Agenzia Fides – MIL OSI

Headline: ASIA/SYRIA – Relatives of former IS fighters are returning to Raqqa

Raqqa – The Kurdish Alliance of Democratic Forces of Syria, which controls northeast Syria, has ordered the release of about 400 families of former Islamic State militants from the Al Hol prison camp and their return to the city of Raqqa, a city that for a long time, during the years of conflict, was the main stronghold of Daesh in Syria. The release of families of Syrian IS members was motivated by the overcrowding of the camp, in which living conditions are becoming increasingly unbearable and where serious acts of violence occur again and again. Most of the relatives released from the Al Hol prison camp are widows and children of jihadists who were killed during the long conflict.

AFRICA/ALGERIA – Archbishop of Algiers: “We are a Church dedicated to encounter and brotherhood”

Source: Agenzia Fides – MIL OSI

Headline: AFRICA/ALGERIA – Archbishop of Algiers: “We are a Church dedicated to encounter and brotherhood”

Algiers – “The Church of Algeria dates back to the 2nd century, with its martyrs and Saint Augustine. It is a church that lives with and for its mostly Muslim fellow men. In the footsteps of Archbishop Henri Teissier, it will continue to be a Church of encounter, at the service of brotherhood with and for all. As I wrote in our diocesan magazine, “Rencontres”, December 8th was the day on which our brother Henri’s body returned to the land he loved and served, a great sign of brotherhood in the sky of Oran almost exactly two years after the beatification of our nineteen martyrs”, said Mgr. Paul Desfarges, Archbishop of Algiers, in an interview with Agenzia Fides about the Church in Algeria, the death of Archbishop Henri Teissier and the celebration of the second anniversary of the beatification of the 19 martyrs of Algeria . This is how the Archbishop recalls Mgr. Teissier: “He was a brother to me. He opened and paved a way and we will continue down the same path. Bishop Jean-Paul Vesco described him in the newspaper “La Croix” as “the twentieth blessed”. He could have been with the other 19 during the wave of violence that devastated Algeria and killed them. But he was allowed to continue to accompany his church through the difficulties and help her to remain firm in the faith, in the sign of forgiveness and peace, connected with the people with whom she had a terrible fate. Days full of emotions showed the brotherhood that connects the two Mediterranean coasts from Lyon to Algiers via Marseille. In these moments everyone could hear and experience the happiness of the Beatitudes. The kingdom of a brotherhood was felt that transcends any culture and religion and is really universal”.

NEWS ANALYSIS – For a “new economy”: tax havens must be abolished

Source: Agenzia Fides – MIL OSI

Headline: NEWS ANALYSIS – For a “new economy”: tax havens must be abolished

Rome – “The abolition of tax havens is an absolute priority as they are an inequality tool that the weakest countries always pay for. In 2013, the Credit Suisse bank released a chart known as the ‘Pyramid of Inequality’, showing that 91.7 % of the world’s population only had access to 17% of the wealth this year, while 0.7% of the population reached 41%. This picture, which already seems pretty merciless, has actually become an almost benevolent representation, because from 2013 until today Inequality between rich and poor, between those who do not pay taxes and those who are harassed is actually widening. It is therefore clear how necessary a fiscal pact is: it would redistribute wealth and create a system of putting money back into circulation. We always hear that there is a lack of resources, but the reality is that there is an estimated $ 21,000 to $ 36,000 billion hidden in tax havens. A solid fiscal policy based on progressive taxation would make it possible to put all this wealth back into circulation and use it for the production of common goods”.This is what Nicoletta Dentico, expert in international cooperation and global health explains to Agenzia Fides, offering a reflection on the strategies and meaures to be taken to build the “new economy” promoted by the “The Economy of Francesco” initiative. [ – continues]

AFRICA/IVORY COAST – Church media work in times of Covid

Source: Agenzia Fides – MIL OSI

Headline: AFRICA/IVORY COAST – Church media work in times of Covid

Abidjan – The first ordinary session of the Episcopal Social Media Commission of 2021 met in Yamoussoukro from January 11th to 14th. About a dozen communication officers from the dioceses and employees of the local church media emphasized the negative effects of the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic on media work. The focus of the conference was the future of the two most important Catholic media, the Catholic radio station RNC, and television of the Catholic Church of the Ivory Coast, Ecclésia TV. “We discussed the management of our facilities since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic and asked ourselves: what have we achieved, what have we achieved so far, what alternatives have we found so that our radios, our televisions, our newspapers and magazines work?”, said to Fides Fr. Augustin Obrou, National Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for social media. Questions that, according to Fr. Obrou, were answered in the innovations brought about by a restructuring of the programs and editorial offices, as the media today must offer a new way to carry out their mission in times of pandemic and to be close to the faithful to maintain. For this reason, programs have been expanded above all, which enable dialogue with the faithful and listening, and programs with the transmission of masses and moments of prayer have been added. At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the Episcopal Media Commission, Bishop Raymond Ahoua of Grand-Bassam, saidon January 14th: “I think everyone should preserve our identity and pursue specific goals. We are not in competition with other media and therefore we must remain calm”.