To show respect for the dignity of our body in every moment of its existence, from conception to natural death. This is the message released by the bishops of England and Wales for the national celebration of Day for Life (29 July). The document was published on the occasion of the XXX Olympic and Paralympic Games in London and in view of the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. For the bishops sport should contribute to the genuine good of the human body because man is made in the image and likeness of God. The prelates highlight the importance of good health, the care of our body and the importance of exercise. Our bodies are worthy of the utmost care and respect not only because they are good in themselves but because they are made holy in our baptism as ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit. Hence the bishops invite us to review our life-style in order to challenge the tendency to reduce the person to his or her physical and biological components, to a commodity, an object to be bought and sold or plundered without reference to our spiritual and moral nature. Moreover, we should resist the temptation to judge ourselves against the unrealistic ideal of the ‘perfect body or ‘body image so often promoted by commercial interests and contribute to the genuine good of the human body.
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Europeans are less pessimistic about the crisis with 30% of them thinking that the crisis impact on the job market has already reached its peak and therefore the worst of the crisis is behind them. This is the outcome of a Eurobarometer survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission and published today. According to the report, eight out of ten Europeans think EU Member States should work more closely together as a result of the crisis and more than half believe the EU will emerge stronger. Eurobarometer experts noted significant differences between public opinion in the EU Member States. While over three quarters of people in Sweden, Luxembourg and Germany say the economic situation is good, less than 5% share this view in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece, where the economic crisis is most severe. To carry out this survey Eurobarometer interviewed 32,000 people in the 27 EU member states and candidate countries in May. The previous survey on the same issues by the opinion poll institute was conducted six months ago. Nevertheless, there are still many Europeans (about 70%) who believe that the situation of the European economy is rather bad or very bad.
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - The public poll that the European Commission launched to directly learn from its citizens what obstacles prevent the Unions citizenship being asserted, for instance when they travel across Europe, when they vote or stand up for elections, or when they shop online will be ending on 9th September. The poll was launched in the run-up to 2013, which has been proclaimed the European Year of Citizens. The EU Commission, explained its deputy president Viviane Reding, will use the results to draw up a report about European citizenship in 2013, which will be presented on 9th May 2013. EU citizenship, which does not replace but adds up to national citizenship, was defined by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The European Union exists because of its citizens and serves them. Its citizens expect Europe to deliver effective results, and thats what we do when we cut down roaming rates or protect the rights of crime victims better, explained Reding. Such rights are the most diverse, ranging from health to mobility across the EU and consumer protection. The EU Commission itself admits that there are still strong constraints on the assertion of rights of citizenship. The website, in all EU languages, where people can send comments, suggestions and feedback on this topic, is: http://ec.europa.eu/your-rights-your-future.
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - The crisis is still taking its toll on European companies and EU-wide employment. So, the EU Commission decided to take action today by granting 2.7 million euros to Ireland to deal with the dismissal of 592 people from Talk Talk Broadband Services and from three of its partners. Such funds come from the European Fund for adjustment to globalisation that was specifically created by the EU-27 to face the crisis of employment and has often been used in recent times. Now, the EU Commissions plan will be submitted to the EU Parliament and the EU Council that will have to take a joint decision about such allocation. Employment and Welfare Commissioner Laszlo Andor speaks of an action designed to renew these peoples professional skills so as to help them find a new job. Actually such funds, which will add up to as many allocated by Dublin, will be spent in vocational courses, education and in support of self-employment. Talk Talk decided to close down its Waterford call centre and concentrate its operations in the United Kingdom.
The investigation into the leaking of Vatican documents is going on. According to a communiqué released today by the Holy See Press Office, yesterday morning 26 July, the Holy Father received in audience the Commission of Cardinals which is undertaking the administrative investigation into the leaking of reserved information: Cardinal Julián Herranz, Cardinal Jozef Tomko and Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi. The cardinals were accompanied by Fr. Luigi Martignani O.F.M. Cap., secretary of the Commission; Examining Magistrate Piero Antonio Bonnet, and Promoter of Justice Nicola Picardi of the Tribunal of Vatican City State. The communiqué points out that the Holy Father was informed about the conclusions reached by the Commission of Cardinals, and about the progress of the criminal procedures currently underway. He thanked them for the information he had received and invited the Vatican magistrates to proceed expeditiously. The meeting was also attended by Mgr. Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State; Mgr. Georg Gänswein, private secretary to the Holy Father; Domenico Giani, director of the Vatican Gendarmerie; and Gregory Burke, communications consultant to the Secretariat of State.
It is the first time we have had to face such an emergency in Lebanon. The Syrian crisis is getting even worse than we could imagine. This was said to SIR by Najla Chahda, director of the Migrant and Refugee Centre of Caritas Lebanon, who has been working with the Syrian refugees for 14 months, helping thousands of Syrian families and hundreds of Lebanese from Bekaa Valley, who were already destitute before the crisis. Chahda, who is just back from a tour of the camps, tells us that she saw thousands of exhausted people, living in dramatic conditions. Jordan and Turkey closed their borders, so everyone is feeling to Lebanon. Unhcr estimates that in Lebanon there are officially 30,000 Syrians, but several thousands, who have arrived with the latest flows from Damascus, have not been counted yet. Conditions in the camps are truly horrible - she tells us -. The Lebanese Government gives no permissions to make the camps, so lots of refugees are forced to rent out an allotment from private Lebanese people to set up their tents. They pay about 200 dollars per tent for six months. Lots of people are fasting for the Ramadan, they do not eat and do not drink from sunrise to sunset in a very hot region. So they are dehydrated and exhausted, in very tough conditions. Many of them need help and support.