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

Coronavirus prevention and prayer

International | Chinese officials may be underreporting the spread of the disease
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/03/20, 03:59 pm

CHINA: As of Sunday officials reported 5,142 people infected with the coronavirus in Wuhan, the locked-down city where the outbreak began. But researchers said the rate of outbreak suggests the virus is spreading much faster than Chinese officials are reporting, and cases in Wuhan may top 75,000.

  • The Saudis will push for a cut in oil production as the global economy begins to feel the hit to travel and other restrictions for China.
  • A pastor in Shanghai has five ways to pray for those inside China amid the health emergency.

NIGERIA: U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday extended a travel ban to nationals of six new countries: Myanmar (also known as Burma), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. The executive order imposes “tailored entry restrictions” that vary from country to country but generally continue to allow nonimmigrant visas—i.e., tourist and business visas. Restrictions on all types of entry continue for citizens from Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen.

TANZANIA: The U.S. State Department has banned entry for Paul Christian Makonda, Dar es Salaam regional commissioner, for “gross violations of human rights.” Makonda in 2018 created a surveillance squad to spy on and arrest homosexuals, leading to a crackdown in a country where homosexuality is criminalized and punishable with sentences up to 30 years.

SUDAN: New leaders in Sudan (despite new U.S. travel restrictions) are pressing for a civilian, democratic state with liberties for all—a tall order coming out of 30 years of Islamic dictatorship (my report).

The four-month protest movement that toppled Sudan’s government is perhaps the unlikeliest success story of all—giving hope to organizers in Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran, as protest movements across that region have entered their fourth month.

IRAQ: President Barham Salih named Mohammed Allawi as the country’s new prime minister, ending two months of government deadlock amidst a heightened crisis with the United States and Iran. Allawi vowed to fight corruption and offered support to anti-government protesters, where he faces continued opposition.

SYRIA: The World Health Organization sounded an alarm over the drastic drop in healthcare, as fighting continues in Idlib and other parts of northern Syria—with at least 53 health facilities forced to suspend operations in January.

“What is striking about this escalation is that the enormous humanitarian needs are being largely ignored by the international media and governments,” said a WHO official.

  • The United States last week also condemned attacks on civilians it said were being carried out by “the combined forces of Russia, the Iranian regime, Hizballah, and the Assad regime.”
  • All of it makes more astounding this interview with the owner of the KFC in Idlib, where electricity comes for two hours each day and water about once a week.

CUBA: The second in command of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, Gen. Erneido Oliva, has died in Maryland.

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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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