Two years ago, the earth shook in Nepal. Almost 9.000 people have been killed, more than 600.000 houses collapsed. Reconstruction is stalling, as David Booker, Nepal country officer for Caritas International, reports.

Without the 'really big station'

Pope Francis at the Military Air Terminal of Don Muang Airport © Gregorio Borgia

The Pope is in Bangkok. The fact that this will be a visit to the margins and to a completely different culture is reflected in a kind of shy curiosity: It’s good that he’s here – hopefully he won’t be too obvious.

Who do you blame for the escalation?? There are the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been threatening Israel for years with their terrorist attacks, be it suicide attacks, be it rocket attacks, be it threats to the borders in the form in which we are seeing it now.

Pope Francis has called for more humanity in prisons. It pained him that detention centers were often places of "violence and illegality," he said Thursday at the Vatican.

At the end of September, the German cabinet plans to present the key points of its energy concept. The focus is on the question of a possible extension of the operating lives of nuclear power plants. The President of the Central Committee of German Catholics, Alois Gluck, pleads in our site interview firmly in favor of not extending its operating life.

Interviewer: Mr. Gluck, the black-yellow federal government calls nuclear energy a "bridging technology". As a bridge to the regenerative age, an extension of the nuclear power plant lifetimes is needed. What is your position on lifetime extension??

Alois Gluck: In any case, we must get serious about bridging technology And if we take this seriously, then the question of extending the operating life of nuclear power plants must be measured against its impact on the implementation and enforceability of renewable energies. Last year, the plenary assembly of the Central Committee adopted a very comprehensive declaration on environmental policy, which argues quite strongly for not extending the operating life. The most important thing is m.E., that an overall concept is presented. First of all, it is positive that, contrary to many efforts, it has not now been decided in advance to extend the operating lives of nuclear power plants. A real verdict is only possible in an overall view of the possible energy sources and the necessary networking. For this reason, nuclear energy must not be treated in isolation from the extension of operating lives. That would be a serious breach of the principle of sustainability.

Don't just be an institution

Bishop Peter Kohlgraf (m.) © Harald Oppitz (KNA) What path will the Catholic Church take in the future?? According to Bishop Peter Kohlgraf of Mainz, it should transform itself more from an institution steeped in tradition to a place for experiencing faith.

"If Christianity is only an institution, a reservoir of grand theories, then it cannot be avoided that people turn their backs on the church and Christianity, that it gradually becomes uninteresting," Kohlgraf said over the weekend at an ordination ceremony, according to a statement from the diocese. "We can no longer build our being Christians and churches on traditions alone," Kohlgraf stressed.

The bishop of Mainz directed attention to experiences of faith: "Someone must have experiences in faith, he must experience how beautiful it can be to believe in God, how good it is to belong to a faith community, then he will be interested in faith, then he will remain a Christian."

Christmas mass at the vatican

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Due to the pandemic, only about 200 instead of the usual 7,000.200 instead of the usual 7,000 visitors. In addition, the service was moved forward two hours because of the closing time in Italy.

Nearly a quarter of all death row inmates in the U.S. are incarcerated in California. On presidential election day, state also decides whether to abolish death penalty. Criticism comes from the inmates themselves.

Death penalty under scrutiny in many US states. Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon and most recently Connecticut have abolished the death penalty. Coinciding with the presidential election on 6. Voters in California will now also decide on an end to executions in November. Against the will of many death row inmates, who are in favor of preserving the sentence.

Nearly a quarter of all death row inmates in the U.S. are incarcerated in California. More than 700 people sentenced to death sit in the notorious San Quentin prison on San Francisco Bay. Death sentences, however, have been carried out in only 13 cases since the penalty was reinstated in 1977. The background to this is the lengthy appeal process and the dispute over execution methods.

Pope Francis stands at the window and prays the Angelus © Evandro Inetti/ZUMA Wire

At the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis called for a peaceful resolution to the clashes in Ethiopia. He asked for help and support for those affected by the hurricane in Central America.

The liberalization of trade and agricultural policy in many cases violates the human right to adequate food enshrined in international law. This is the conclusion of a study on the impact of rice market liberalization on small farmers in three countries. In association with partners in the Global Ecumenical Action Alliance and FIAN, "Brot fur die Welt" presented this study on the occasion of World Food Day in Berlin.

More than half of the 854 million undernourished people worldwide are smallholders, the study said. "This is a scandal," stressed Kottnik, who opened the "Worldwide Table Fellowship" campaign of "Bread for the World" in Berlin. The signature campaign aims to urge the federal government to work to strengthen rural development and protect smallholder farmers. Kottnik appealed to German consumers to buy more fair trade products.

Small farmers are not up to modern economic principles