Globe Trot 12.07

by Mindy Belz
Posted 12/07/12, 11:53 am

Typhoon Bopha has left at least 418 people dead and nearly as many missing in the southern Philippines. “Probably half of the missing could be dead by now,” Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo Uy told Reuters. On Tuesday Typhoon Bopha struck the large southern island of Mindanao, which is rarely in the direct path of tropical cyclones.

More than 2,000 people will gather in Hawaii today to mark the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which killed 2,390 service members and 49 civilians, and marked the start of U.S. entrance into World War II.

A leading Coptic group in the United States is organizing demonstrations set to begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. in front of the White House over the political crisis in Egypt. Coptic Solidarity offers a good summary of the power grab by President Mohamed Morsi and the rushed referendum he is pushing on the constitution.

Authorities in Kazakhstan released on Tuesday Makset Djabbarbergenov, the Uzbek pastor wanted on trumped-up charges of terrorism in his home country, who had been held for three months pending an extradition request. Officials took Djabbarbergenov to the airport, where he was reunited with his wife and four children and then flown to Germany for asylum. The Kazakh government cooperated with the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) to circumvent his extradition to Uzbekistan, where he faced a 15-year sentence. “We need to thank the Kazakh government—they did the right thing,” said friends in Almaty. (See “Trumped up charges” from the Oct. 6 issue of WORLD for the full story.)

There is no evidence Syrian officials are beginning to process chemical weapons, a senior U.S. Defense official told NBC. Earlier reports cited stepped up activity around chemical weapons sites

Who supplied Saddam? It may be possible to trace the source of chemical weapons used to kill thousands of Iraqi Kurds in 1988, even to the factory. Experts suspect that the Soviet Union supplied the chemicals Saddam Hussein wanted.

Tensions are mounting in Iraq between forces loyal to the central government in Baghdad and peshmerga loyal to the semiautonomous Kurdish government in the north—perhaps a consequence of the sudden U.S. pullout and lack of ongoing strategic agreement. Another, more pressing consequence: the current inability to stop the flow of arms from Iran to Syria via Iraqi airspace. 

I’m looking at: violence and oppression of Christians in Kenya as a result of Somalian refugees and the influx of al Shabaab militants there.

And: remembering these words of prayer from Mohamed Dan Amariya, a pastor in northern Nigeria: “… for the salvation of these people Boko Haram, Al Shabaab in Somalia, and al-Qaeda all over the world, Taliban and all these fanatics wherever they are. As you bestowed your mercy on Paul when he was killing believers, you met him on the road to Damascus and you changed him. Instead of a destroyer he became a preacher. That’s what we pray for these Muslim fanatics today. Have mercy over them. …”

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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