Globe Trot 11.26

by Mindy Belz
Posted 11/26/12, 12:42 pm

Tahrir Square in Cairo, once the central site for democratic change in Egypt, has turned on President Mohamed Morsi, the movement’s leading force for change. Thousands of protestors have converged on the square since last week, protesting a constitutional declaration Morsi issued Nov. 22 granting him absolute powers and sidelining Egypt’s judiciary. Today Egyptian stocks fell 10 percent in trading.

Here’s an analysis of the presidential decree, even as reports continue to trickle in that a negotiated solution may be imminent.

The man now behind bars who made the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, which allegedly sparked outrage across the Muslim world, says he has no regrets about telling “the actual truth” about Muhammad. “I thought, before I wrote this script,” he said, “that I should burn myself in a public square to let the American people and the people of the world know this message that I believe in.”

A gloomy report on human rights in Zimbabwe shows dictator Robert Mugabe in another power grab ahead of elections next year.

Factory workers in Bangladesh are protesting today after a deadly fire over the weekend killed more than 100 garment workers. Bangladesh is the second-largest exporter of ready-made clothing, after China. The factory has produced clothing for Walmart, French discount chain Carrefour, and IKEA—and appears to have been plagued by safety violations.

In a reversal, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., indicated yesterday he may not oppose the nomination of UN Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Syrian rebels have made important tactical advances, capturing a military base outside Damascus and a hydroelectric dam. Syrians fleeing their country’s battles have escaped to—of all places—Iraq.

The Chinese have landed successfully for the first time a fighter jet on the country’s first aircraft carrier.

A dead carrier pigeon and his classified cargo have stumped Britain’s world-renowned, code-cracking intelligence network.

And did you know? France currently maintains a flock of 150 carrier pigeons as part of its 8th regiment for communications and transmission. China boasts a platoon of 50,000 birds. Sound too retro? Consider that Syrian rebels have used carrier pigeons to skirt the government’s superior GPS tracking on mobile communications. And that in the event of an electromagnetic or nuclear attack, the birds could still fly.

Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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