Commemorating the end of the grisliest conflict
International | Gridlock in Gloucestershire, world leaders in Paris, and protests in Poland mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I
by Mindy Belz
Posted 11/12/18, 01:10 pm
EUROPE: There was gridlock in Gloucestershire, England, as hundreds jammed the village of Slimbridge to view the “ghost soldiers” of World War I guarding graves of the fallen. In Paris ahead of this Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day), world leaders gathered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I, when guns were silenced at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. With 16 million civilian and military deaths, the five-year conflict remains the grisliest of modern times. French President Emmanuel Macron told the centenary attendees:
“Old demons are reawakening, ready to sow chaos and death. History sometimes threatens to repeat its tragic patterns and undermine the legacy of peace we thought we had sealed with the blood of our ancestors.”
POLAND: Political leaders joined a centenary-march-turned-protest gathering of more than 250,000 people in Warsaw. The turnout included organizers from nationalist groups, sparking debate over whether the ruling Law and Justice Party tacitly encourages groups with roots in fascist movements.
BULGARIA: A second and final reading of a law restricting religious freedom is scheduled to take place Friday. The proposed legislation grants Eastern Orthodox and Muslims the exclusive right to train clergy and operate religious schools. It also restricts legal status to groups with more than 300 adherents, which can meet only in designated buildings. The proposed restrictions arose only last month, and Baptist leaders organized a peaceful protest over the weekend outside government buildings in Sofia. “This is a quick issue with far-reaching effects that caught our leaders there by surprise,” Baptist World Alliance General Secretary Elijah Brown told me Monday.
BANGLADESH: Rohingya refugees say they are terrified of returning to Myanmar, also known as Burma, as the UN and Myanmar military leaders—held responsible for the expulsion of at least 700,000 Rohingya from Rakhine state—begin a controversial repatriation program.
SOMALIA: The death toll in Friday’s car bomb blast in Mogadishu has climbed to more than 50.
SCOTLAND may become the first country in the world to include LBGTI curriculum in state schools.
WORLD IN DATA: The world faces a “baby bust” as half the countries around the globe now report declining and insufficient fertility rates.
MY WEEK: On Thursday, I will moderate an esteemed panel on “Protecting and Upholding American Ideals” as part of the National Immigration Forum’s Leading the Way: An American Approach to Immigration, an all-day event in Washington.
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