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World news in brief

31 May 2019


A church in Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, is flooded

A church in Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, is flooded

Thousands displaced by floods in Paraguay

HEAVY flooding in Paraguay has forced 70,000 families to move out of their homes, as further rain threatened Asunción. The Paraguay River is growing every day, and was only 46cm away from a “disaster” level, according to government data. Reaching that point would have a “very strong impact” on Asunción residents who live on the flood plain, Nelson Perez, the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology’s deputy head, said on Sunday.


Kenya upholds ban on gay sex

THE Kenyan High Court has rejected an attempt to repeal colonial-era laws which criminalise gay sex. The ruling, published last Friday, was a setback for LGBT campaigners, who argued that the law violated the new constitution, which guarantees equality, dignity, and privacy. Justice Roselyne Aburili, one of three judges who sat for the case, said that same-sex couples who cohabited would be violating the constitution, and that there was insufficient scientific evidence that LGBT people were “born that way”. The RC Bishop Alfred Kotich told Reuters outside the court: “We cannot be another Sodom and Gomorrah.” Gerald Walterfang, from the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum, told The Guardian that he was happy with the ruling against a “destructive sexual lifestyle”, and that the case was “an attempt to sanitise what is illicit”.


Pope Francis pays tribute to murdered missionary

POPE FRANCIS called Sister Inés Nieves Sancho, a missionary murdered in the Central African Republic last week, “a woman who has given her life for Jesus in the service of the poor”. Vatican News reported that Sister Inés, of the Daughters of Jesus, was found on Monday of last week, and that there are suspicions that her death was linked to organ trafficking. Last week, Fr Landry Ibil Ikwel, an RC priest, died in Mozambique’s coastal city of Beira after being stabbed.


Malaysia to investigate disappearance of pastor

THE Malaysian government is to investigate the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, after a human-rights commission alleged that he was the victim of state forces. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, SUHAKAM, concluded in a report, published last month, that Mr Koh was abducted by state agents in February 2017. Open Doors reported that a special taskforce would be set up to investigate his disappearance. Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, said: “His family have suffered for so long and deserve to know the true facts.”


Noah’s Ark owner sues over rain damage

THE owner of a 510-foot-tall replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, in the United States, has sued its insurers for refusing to cover rain damage. Ark Encounter, a Creationist theme park, has filed a 77-page lawsuit filed in a US District Court. It says that heavy rain in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on its access road, and that its five insurance providers refused to cover more than $1 million in damages. The company is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. The ark was not damaged.

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