Pope Benedict XVI

Briefs, January 19, 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 2:52am

Holy See's first envoy to Malaysia appointed

KUALA LUMPUR - Pope Benedict has appointed the Holy See's first ambassador to Malaysia, 18 months after the two sides established diplomatic relations, Prime Minister Najib Razak said. The appointment of Archbishop Joseph Marino as the first Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia comes amid continued tensions between Christians and Muslims in the country. AFP


Suu Kyi opens arms to former foes' donations

NAYPYIDAW - Myanmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi defended her party's decision to accept donations from businessmen close to the former junta for its education fund. "Let them donate if they donate for good things," the opposition leader said. Recent donors include Air Bagan, owned by Tay Za, once described by the US Treasury as "a notorious regime henchman and arms dealer". AFP


Pakistan to release Taliban prisoners

ABU DHABI - Pakistan plans to release all its Afghan Taliban prisoners, including the group's former second-in-command, Mullah Baradar, an official said. It is the clearest signal yet that Pakistan backs reconciliation efforts. "The remaining detainees will be released subsequently," said Foreign Secretary Jalil Jilani. Reuters


Indian pilgrimage good for health, study finds

DELHI - India's Kumbh Mela festival, which sees up to 100 million people flock to take a bath in the River Ganges, is good for pilgrims' health, according to a study. Hindu devotees who attend the event report higher levels of mental and physical well-being, according to the study by researchers in India and Britain. AFP