Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
China's smog blamed as eight-year-old develops lung cancer
Girl is thought to be nation's youngest sufferer
File photo: AFP/China Out
- Margaret Kathryn for Newsvine
- November 5, 2013
An eight-year-old girl has become the mainland's youngest lung cancer patient, with her illness blamed directly on environment factors.
The girl from Jiangsu lived by a busy road where she inhaled all kinds of dust and particles. These included superfine PM2.5 particles, less than 2.5 microns wide, that are considered the most dangerous component of smog.
The country's breakneck urbanisation and industrialisation has created some of the world's worst urban pollution, which is blamed for soaring rates of cancer and respiratory diseases.
In Beijing, which has suffered frequent, severe smog in recent years, deaths from lung cancer rose by 56 per cent from 2001 to 2010. A fifth of all cancer patients suffer lung cancer. It became the leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the capital and the second-biggest among women, after breast cancer, in 2010.
The World Health Organisation's "2010 Global Burden of Disease" study found that air pollution accounted for 1.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2010, including 140,000 deaths from lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Asia.
China had about 20 per cent of the world's recently diagnosed cancer patients, and that cancers of the lung, liver, stomach, oesophagus, colon, cervix, breast and nasopharynx were responsible for 80 per cent of cancer deaths in the country.