Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

A possible ‘humanitarian catastrophe’

International | Uprooted Syrians face record cold and snow
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/11/20, 10:32 am

SYRIA: Snow and sub-zero temperatures threaten 600,000 newly displaced Syrians fleeing fighting and trapped in northern Syria at the Turkish border. More than 200,000 Syrians have been forced from their homes in just the past week—in what aid groups warn could be a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

CHINA: Church families are coping with the novel coronavirus by tending the sick, evangelizing the dying, and preaching via videoconference to quarantined areas. The death toll surged past 1,000 in mainland China, overtaking global fatalities in the SARS epidemic in 2002 and 2003, though global health officials believe the outbreak may be stabilizing.

  • Drones are part of China’s sophisticated Orwellian playbook, warning people from the air to wear masks or go home.
  • Each night, Wuhan residents, now in week three of a lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, chant “Jiayou” to one another across the apartment canyons. Listen here and here. The phrase, literally “Add oil,” is an expression meaning “Keep up the fight.”

UKRAINE: The disparity between Ukraine’s outdated weapons and Russia’s up-to-the minute convoys in eastern Ukraine is the forgotten centerpiece in impeachment proceedings that stemmed from President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold $400 million in military aid. A number of commenters on my column point out the hold was temporary, to which I argue: As we are seeing in northern Syria, such short-term decisions may be long-term detrimental because they break trust with allies and cost credibility for the United States.

EUROPE: Storm Ciara left at least five people dead across Western Europe and tens of thousands without power in France. The jet stream created by the storm led to the fastest subsonic journey on record from New York to London.

SOUTH KOREA: Behind Parasite’s Oscar wins is Korean heiress turned media mogul Miky Lee, whose $4.1 billion entertainment empire propelled filmmakers like Bong Joon Ho, who won best director honors along with his film’s best picture award.

GERMANY: That traffic jam in Berlin was actually a man pulling a little red wagon packed with 99 smartphones.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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