Gunmen Kill 2 Journalists in the Philippines

THE SCOTSMAN, June 20 — Husband-and-wife radio commentators who contributed reports to the Union of Catholic Asian News were shot and killed by two gunmen in the Philippines, The Scotsman reported.

George Vigo and his wife, Mazel, were on their way home late on June 19 when two gunmen on a motorcycle shot them, said Danny Reyes, police chief in Kidapawan City on Mindanao. The Philippines is the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist in terms of the number of killings, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

“They died on the way to the hospital from several bullet wounds in the head and body,” Reyes told reporters, adding the local police were trying to determine if the murders were related to their work at a local radio station. “It’s too difficult to speculate on who was behind the attack and the motive for the murder.”

Vigo had previously told friends he was getting death threats from an unspecified group. Joe Torres, a spokesman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, said the Vigos were the 43rd and the 44th journalists to be murdered since 2001.

Nuns Serve Children in Afghanistan

ASIANEWS, June 16 — Three nuns have responded to Pope John Paul II’s plea to save Afghan children by setting up the Association for Kabul Children, AsiaNews reported.

For the last 1½ years, the three sisters, from Pakistan and Poland, have been working with children with mental disabilities in Kabul. Each morning, Sister Ela, a Polish nun from the Franciscan Order of Mary, and Sisters Janila and Erasia, from the Dominican Missionaries of Saint Catherine, wait for their children to arrive. Among the group are seven children with special needs, boys and girls whose age ranges from 6 to 10, mostly affected by cerebral palsy.

“We are like a school. Parents bring their children around 7 a.m. and we start our therapy,” Sister Ela said. “Each one suffers from a different problem. After some playing we start the actual treatment. The more advanced learn to write — not so much phrases, but a few letters. We teach the others how to go to the bathroom or how to eat on their own. Some instead need physiotherapy to learn basic movements.

“Our neighbors know about our religion and they respect and help us,” Sister Ela said. “More importantly, many people have expressed their gratitude for our work. Our center is the only one in the city that works with mentally-disabled children.”

India Suspends Doctors Over Sex Tests and Abortions

REUTERS, June 15 —Eleven government doctors in India’s western state of Rajasthan have been suspended on suspicion of carrying out sex determination tests and aborting female babies, reported Reuters.

The move comes after an undercover television report into abortions of unborn girls, which exposed doctors carrying out sex determination tests and convincing mothers to abort their children if it was female. A joint study carried out by researchers in India and Canada recently suggested that half-a-million unborn girls may be aborted in India every year.

Officials say states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Gujurat, and Himachal Pradesh, and cities like Chandigarh have heavily skewed sex ratios. Even middle class parts of the capital, New Delhi, have far more boys than girls.

In Rajasthan, there are 922 females to every 1,000 males, but officials say in states like Punjab and Haryana, the sex ratio could be as low as 500 or 600 females to 1,000 males.