International | The unlikely ascension of Britain’s new prime minister
by Mindy Belz
Posted 7/25/19, 01:12 pm
BRITAIN: The Conservative Party has named the Bertie Wooster of British culture, Boris Johnson, the country’s new prime minister. Pledging to take the U.K. out of the European Union—as former Prime Minister Theresa May was unable to do—by the statutory deadline of Oct. 31, Johnson has ascended to head of government through an unlikely path resembling U.S. President Donald Trump: a journalism star with a divergent past (he was born in New York), a foul mouth, and a history of marital infidelity (twice married and living with his girlfriend pending a divorce). Yet Johnson has run disciplined political campaigns to 10 Downing Street, taking aim at the burden of EU bureaucracy and capitalizing on widespread discontent over the economy and Britain’s growing immigrant population (roundup here).
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Scientists racing to develop Ebola treatments are answering an ongoing outbreak with an unprecedented study: More than 500 participants are taking experimental drugs, nearly 170,000 people have been vaccinated, and more than 270 genomes from the sick have been sampled.
UGANDA: President Yoweri Museveni told Africa’s Catholics, “I am very glad that spiritually Africa is doing much better than other continents. The other continents are in deep spiritual crisis.” Since 1969, church membership in Africa has more than quadrupled, and this week marks the 50th anniversary of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, which the president opened in Kampala.
TUNISIA: The world’s oldest sitting president, Beji Caid Essebsi, has died at 92. Essebsi won Tunisia’s first free elections in 2014 after the country was the first to launch the Arab Spring uprising.
SYRIA: About 30,000 civilians trapped at Rukban Camp are being denied basic humanitarian aid, including food—barely 10 miles from one of two main U.S. bases in Syria.
EGYPT: A leading Coptic group is taking issue with a speech delivered by author Joel Rosenberg at last week’s U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.
NORTH KOREA test-fired two new short-range ballistic missiles, its first missile test since leader Kim Jong Un met President Donald Trump and agreed to revive denuclearization talks last month.
CHINA is still persecuting the Early Rain Covenant Church, with its leaders in detention, members under surveillance, and several members seeking asylum elsewhere. Yet a new book from academic publisher Routledge goes to great—and misleading—lengths to discredit the church leadership and its missionary support network (including misleading and inaccurate characterization of WORLD’s coverage).
PORTUGAL is battling wildfires as Europe endures an unprecedented heat wave. Thursday in Paris, where the Tour de France is set to finish on Sunday, temperatures reached an all-time high of 108.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
NORWAY: Why oh why are Nordic countries so happy?
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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.