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Refugees and asylum seekers

Church leaders condemn Trump ending of DACA
Reacting to the move to end DACA [and deport thousands of young Americans who arrived in the country as children], the bishops said, "Today, our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond. It is a step back from the progress that we need to make as a country." 

Faith leaders at odds over raising Rohingya issue during pope’s visit to Myanmar
The Catholic Bishop's Conference of Myanmar (CBCM) have suggested to Pope Francis not to use the term "Rohingya" when he visits Myanmar for three days in November. But other faith leaders disagree saying Pope Francis already understands the reality of Myanmar. 

Indonesia speaks up as global support for Rohingya grows
The Indonesian government has stepped up its support for ethnic Muslim Rohingya promising humanitarian aid and a new hospital in their homeland in Myanmar's Rakhine State as the military continues to torch villages while battling homegrown insurgents. 

Aung San Suu Kyi – don’t give up on her – Rudd
Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd says now is not the time to walk away from Myanmar's fragile democracy. 

Mixed welcome for Rohingyas in Bangladesh
In impoverished Bangladesh sympathy for Rohingya abounds but many Bangladeshis are increasingly suspicious of the presence of such large number of Rohingya in the country. 

Indigenous Australia

More support services for first Australians
The coalition government is to put nearly $330,000 into providing more social services for indigenous Australians in Blacktown, New South Wales. The funds will enable Marist180 to provide wrap around support for 30 families per year. The program helps young people at risk of dropping out of school by engaging families using culturally grounded techniques like yarning circles alongside case management. 

Triumphant songlines at the national museum
The shortcomings of the English language are never more apparent than when it is used to translate indigenous Australian beliefs customs and culture. How could a museum even contemplate an exhibition about something as central to 60,000-plus years of Indigenous life on this continent as “songlines” – paths of Indigenous knowledge and creation history that crisscross land, heaven and water? writes Paul Daley for The Guardian. 


India’s floods expose poor countries’ vulnerability to climate change
In West Bengal, residents say Hurricane Harvey in the US is “no comparison” to devastation for which their country left them woefully unprepared. 

The drivers of China’s green shift
China has had a bad reputation when it comes to environmental protections. But one expert argues China is leading the way in a “global green shift” through its adoption of renewable energy sources - with the alternative too dangerous for the country to consider. 

The Political Community

Timor-Leste’s Mari Alkatiri set to make a comeback as PM
Muslim politician Mari Alkatiri, who quit as prime minister 2006 after four years as the mainly Catholic nation's first parliamentary leader after its independence, is set for a dramatic return to lead the government for the next five years, writes Thomas Oro in Dili. 

Working for the dignity of displaced Delhi slum people
Lalita Devi and her family were forced to pack up their slum-dwelling belongings and move to a new location 15 years ago. They had done nothing wrong in the slum of New Delhi, the nation’s capital. But the residents were considered to be too close to an up-market residential complex housing influential people, including politicians and bureaucrats. 

Millennials rapidly losing interest in democracy
Not long ago, liberal democracy was regarded by many as not just the best form of government, but the inevitable form of government. At the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama famously called the end of history: democracy had won, everything else had failed. In 2017, that view looks naive. New research warns that democracy’s fan base is shrinking, especially among younger people. 

Human Rights

Letter from Gaza: alive due to lack of death
Gaza-born Jehad Abusalim describes the devastating effects of Israel's blockade on the daily lives of Palestinians. 

See also Israel’s minister of truth
See also Israel is turning Palestinians into Zionists

Online course teaching Sydney's Indigenous history and culture to anyone, anywhere
For 25-year-old Drew Rooke, school education on Indigenous Australia left him wanting … So Mr Rooke enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) run by the University of Sydney called Cultural Competency: Aboriginal Sydney.

Can plastic save the planet?
The world’s 40 million kilometres of roads use thousands of barrels of oil to make the bitumen that binds the various components together to make a road. An engineer in Scotland is trialling waste plastic instead of bitumen.

Helping farmers improve their livelihood
This video by the Poverty-Environment Initiative looks at efforts in Myanmar to work with small-holder farmers and help them with tools to promote more efficient farming, which in turn improves their livelihood.
Watch here  

Charity and justice – either side of a coin
This short video explains the difference between charity and justice and why society needs both.
Watch here  

Prayer for our earth
…from Laudato Si’  

Getting to know Catholic Social Teaching
For many years people have said that Catholic Social Teaching is our best kept secret, but I don’t think this is true anymore, writes Sandie Cornish.  

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Major International Catholic Social Teaching Documents

Key Principles

Human Dignity
Each person, made in the image and likeness of God, has an inalienable and transcendent human dignity which gives rise to human rights.

The Common Good
We are called to work for conditions which ensure that every person and group in society is able to meet their needs and realize their potential.

The people or groups most directly affected by a decision or policy should have a key decision making role.

We can only grow and achieve our potential in relationship with others. Solidarity encourages us to commit ourselves to the common good.