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

Governments teeter in Iran and Iraq

International | Protests and violence mark a weekend of unrest in the neighboring nations
by Mindy Belz
Posted 1/13/20, 02:33 pm

IRAN: Iranians took to the streets declaring “death to this rule” (more here) and calling for the prosecution of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after its leaders admitted to downing Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752. Police deny using live ammunition against protesters, but video footage suggested live fire.

IRAQ: Gunmen killed the prominent leader of one of the Iranian-backed militias set up under Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Karbala, hours after two well-known journalists covering uprisings also were assassinated. Protests continue in the southern strongholds of Shiite clerics against the Shia-led government in Baghdad and its ties to Tehran.

  • Western news coverage in the aftermath of the Soleimani strike has tended to undersell the Quds Force commander’s brutality and oversell U.S. responsibility for everything that happens in the region— a worthwhile read from Shadi Hamid.
  • At Al-Assad Air Base, U.S. troops took cover in bunkers as 11 surface-to-air missiles from Iran headed their way Wednesday. Lacking anti-missile protection at the base, “I started singing to my daughters in my head,” said Staff Sgt. Akeem Ferguson.

NIGERIA: Armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 13 Christians in Plateau state on Wednesday, the same day four students were kidnapped from a Catholic seminary in Kaduna state.

HAITI still struggles 10 years after a devastating earthquake killed an estimated 220,000 people.

AUSTRALIA: The Sydney Opera House sails projected photos of firefighters battling three months of record wildfires.

SYRIA: Just nominated for Oscars are two documentaries, For Sama and The Cave, set in Syrian hospitals where staff continued to work under siege. This investigation showed how Russia was behind the bombings.

CHINA: Gifting a country a new parliament building may seem extravagant, but the $140 million project in Zimbabwe is a tiny portion of China’s $270 billion in “diplomacy spending” since 2000. The map and data compiled by researchers show Chinese investment centers on Africa and Asia but also extends to Latin America.

AFRICA: The promise and perils of Africa since independence, in maps.

Sign up to receive Globe Trot via email.

Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

Read more from this writer