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

Gaza border deaths mar U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem

International | Hundreds more injured as Israeli Defense Forces deploy snipers at security fence
by Mindy Belz
Posted 5/14/18, 11:16 am

ISRAEL: Before the ceremony marking the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem took place Monday, Israeli Defense Forces killed at least 41 people in clashes at the Gaza border. As 35,000 Palestinians joined protests, the IDF posted footage showing violent demonstrations, including three terrorists attempting to place an explosive device near the security fence at Rafah. Health officials in Gaza say 900 people have been injured, including 450 with live bullets, as the IDF has deployed snipers to fire on those breaching the fence.

With President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisers on hand for the Jerusalem handover, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney lashed out at the decision to allow Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, to pray at the event. Romney called Jeffress—who has labeled Mormonism a heresy and said Jews can’t be saved—a “religious bigot.”

CHINA: Police officers in Chengdu detained Pastor Wang Yi and members of Early Rain Covenant Church over the weekend as they prepared to gather for a memorial service commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake. They were all released within 24 hours, but 200 members of the church were detained—a widespread crackdown on one of the most influential house church movements and part of the Xi Jinping regime’s growing efforts against Christians. (Story today at

INDONESIA: Coordinated suicide bombings struck three churches on Sunday in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, and were followed Monday by attacks on police headquarters. The church attacks, which killed at least 13 people, were carried out by members of one family who were among hundreds of Indonesians returning from Syria. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

FRANCE: The suspect in a Saturday knife attack in Paris that killed one man and injured four others was a French citizen born in Chechnya, and also radicalized as part of Islamic State.

If you aren’t listening to Caliphate, the podcast from New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi following ISIS recruits, you should be.

AMERICAS: The White House decision on Friday to end temporary protected status, or TPS, for 57,000 Hondurans living in the United States underscores how President Donald Trump’s immigration policy is reshaping America. About 1 million people residing legally in the United States have had their status revoked.

IRAQ: Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has taken a surprise lead in Iraq’s election held Sunday, signaling the next government will likely be a coalition led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Seen primarily as a foe of the United States, al-Sadr is seen in Baghdad as a crusader against rampant government corruption, organizing Friday demonstrations and demanding reform. He also surprised critics with an unexpected visit to Saudi Arabia late last year, and has been critical of Iranian influence in Iraq.

NIGERIA: The only Christian among 110 girls taken by Boko Haram in Dapchi in February, 15-year-old Leah Sharibu, is the last captive and is still held for her refusal to convert to Islam: “The students said they were calling her Ladi and they gave her a hijab to wear, but she refused.”

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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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  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Tue, 05/15/2018 08:48 pm

    I cannot find the exact Jeffress quotes.  According to Romney's own unsourced quote of Jeffress, Jeffress did not say that Jews cannot be saved.  He said, "You can’t be saved by being a Jew," which is true.  As to Jeffress's statements about Mormonism and Islam--well, they are true, too, although hopefully next time he will be more tactful.  I can understand why Romney is taking Jeffress's statements personally.