Death toll in Mali grows
International | Plus, China closes another church and other international news and notes
by Mindy Belz
Posted 3/27/19, 02:30 pm
MALI: The death toll in an attack on the village of Ogossagou in central Mopti has risen to more than 160, according to local sources, in what appears to be Muslim-on-Muslim violence. Despite the deployment of a multinational stabilization force late last year, Mali remains the epicenter for jihadists in the Sahel.
ALGERIA: The army’s chief officer has been joined by a leading coalition ally in calling for ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is 82 and incapacitated by a stroke, to step down. The demand for regime change culminates weeks of protests similar to ones Bouteflika has seen before. With 20 years in office, he successfully weathered the first of the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011, instituting government reforms and extending food subsidies while also countering growing al-Qaeda-linked groups.
CHINA: Authorities in Beijing have closed one of the most prominent unregistered churches in the capital, Shouwang Church, the second such church to become ensnared in recent months in the Xi Jinping regime’s wider crackdown on Christians.
NEW ZEALAND: Ahmed Bhamji, a prominent Muslim leader who chairs the Auckland mosque where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke following the Christchurch terror attack, accused Israel of funding and supporting the alleged white supremacist shooter, Brenton Tarrant. “I will not mince my words,” Bhamji told a rally attended by thousands and livestreamed on Facebook. “I stand here and I say that I have a very, very strong suspicion that there is some group behind him, and I am not afraid to say that I feel that the Mossad is behind this.”
The youngest victim in the March 15 attack on two mosques, a 2-year-old son of an Indonesian artist, has been released while his father and dozens of others continue to recover in hospitals.
POLAND has resisted European Union quotas on migrants—but issued more first-time residence permits to non-EU citizens than any other EU nation. In 2017, 86 percent of those permits went to Ukrainians, who are mostly Christians and help with Poland’s labor shortfall.
GERMANY: Is NATO dying?
INDIA: “India stands tall as a space power!” declared Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his country became only the fourth country in the world to shoot down a low-orbit satellite with a missile.
GEORGIA: The city courthouse in Tblisi has a vending machine selling copies of the Georgian Constitution and other legal documents.
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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.