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World news in brief

by
09 April 2021

ALAMY

Dry passage: rescue workers help residents evacuate Dili, East Timor, on Easter Day, after torrential rains caused severe flooding from the region to Flores island in eastern Indonesia. More than 150 people have died, dozens more are missing, and thousands of homes are submerged

Dry passage: rescue workers help residents evacuate Dili, East Timor, on Easter Day, after torrential rains caused severe flooding from the region to ...

Bishop Love quits Episcopal Church for ACNA

THE former Bishop of Albany, the Rt Revd William Love, who resigned in February while facing disciplinary action over his ban on same-sex marriage in the diocese (News, 30 October 2020), has announced that he is leaving the Episcopal Church in the United States to join the conservative Anglican Church in North America. His secession was agreed last week by the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, the Most Revd Michael Curry, who said: “I met with my Council of Advice and, with their advice and consent, granted Bishop Love’s request.”

 

Charity calls for release of Vietnamese prisoners

THE charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has called again for the release of a Vietnamese pastor, Nguyen Trung Ton, on the third anniversary (Tuesday) of his trial. He was among six men accused in 2018 of “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the government” under Article 79 of the Vietnamese penal code, which carries a maximum penalty of capital punishment (News, 6 April 2018). Trung Ton and three others are still in prison, including a Buddhist and lawyer, Nguyen Bac Truyen, who was sentenced to 11 years. The founding president of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, said: “Over many years, Nguyen Trung Ton and Nguyen Bac Truyen have been harassed, threatened, and imprisoned simply for supporting and defending some of the most vulnerable people in Vietnam, including religious and ethnic minorities.”

 

Debt costs poor countries more than social provision

THE 25 most impoverished countries in the world spent a higher proportion of government expenditure on servicing debt in 2019 than they did on education, health, and social protection combined, a new report from UNICEF, Covid-19 and the Looming Debt Crisis, released on Thursday, suggests. It calls for debt-service relief and restructuring to enable countries to bounce back from the pandemic. “The personal and public costs are enormous, leaving children, their communities, and their countries with little hope for sustainable economic and social development,” the chief executive of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, said.

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