Globe Trot: Israeli PM dissolves government, readies for elections

by Mindy Belz
Posted 12/03/14, 10:15 am

ISRAEL:Saying he won’t “tolerate opposition from within the government,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two key cabinet ministers, a move that dissolves his coalition government and sets the stage for new elections early next year.

SYRIA: The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in the Damascus suburb of Jobar has been part of Jewish life in Syria for centuries—and a Sunni Muslim is working with an Israeli army officer to save it.

UN: With a “funding crisis,” the UN World Food Program suspends food aid to 1.7 million Syrian refugees.

TURKEY: In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled Turkish officials cannot discriminate against Alevi houses of worship. The ruling overturns a government policy of not paying the electricity bills of cemevi (houses of worship for the Islamic minority sect) in Istanbul—while doing so for mosques, churches, and synagogues.

NATIONAL SECURITY: Sen. John McCain, the next chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, condemned with barely even faint praise the likely selection of Ashton Carter as the next Secretary of Defense: “I don’t see any difficulty—except that he understands he is the last man standing and he’ll have no influence on decisions affecting national security. … That’s all centered in the White House.”

ISIS is watching U.S. military personnel—and their families—via social media.

GERMANY: Employer to employee emails after hours “crosses a sacrosanct line in Germany between work and leisure,” said German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles, who is reportedly calling for an “anti-stress regulation” to ban them. There’s a lesson here: The German unemployment rate may appear low (like ours, about 5 percent), but part-time employment has risen 43 percent as employers find government regulations too onerous to hire full-time workers.

BANGLADESH is where large ships go to die, and barefoot workers earning about $2 a day drag steel cables weighing over 10,000 pounds to winch them apart. Watch this video.

KENYA: In another attack, Somali militants have killed 39 stone quarry workers, all Christians pulled from their sleep and shot.

… a group of about 50 heavily armed people walked into their camp next to the quarry at 12.30am as the men were sleeping, and fired warning shots.Nderitu said when he heard the shooting he ran and hid in a trench, from where he could hear his colleagues being asked to recite the Shahada, an Islamic creed declaring oneness with God. Then gunshots followed. He said he rose from hiding two hours later when he was sure there was no more movement. He said the bodies of his colleagues were in two rows and that nearly all had been shot in the back of the head.

AFGHANISTAN: More details emerge in the Taliban attack on Saturday that killed  five in Kabul—a South African, his two children and two Afghan Christians.

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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