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

Hungary’s ‘soft autocrat’ visits the White House

International | The prime minister’s controls include the country’s news media
by Mindy Belz
Posted 5/13/19, 12:52 pm

HUNGARY: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will get his long-sought sit-down with President Donald Trump Monday at the White House amid growing concerns the anti-Soviet reformer increasingly is running Hungary like a “soft autocracy.” Particularly unprecedented among European Union states are Orbán’s moves to throttle press freedoms.

BURKINA FASO: A Catholic priest is among at least six people killed in the latest jihadist attack on worshippers, less than a month after ISIS-linked militants targeted a Protestant church in the north.

SOMALIA: U.S. airstrikes killed 17 ISIS-linked fighters last week.

TUNISIA: At least 70 migrants have drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Tunisia. According to the International Organization for Migration, 449 migrants have died in the Mediterranean this year in more than 25,000 attempted crossings.

SAUDI ARABIA: Two Saudi oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman suffered “significant damage” after receiving what officials called sabotage attacks. The United States issued a maritime alert following the incidents, and the Arab League has condemned them as criminal attacks, with perpetrators not yet named.

PAKISTAN: The BBC has done a deep dive on the Asia Bibi case, including a solid look at how blasphemy laws have played out. With Bibi now exiled to Canada, the lawyer who defended her case is defending other Christians accused of blasphemy against Islam. Approximately 40 Pakistanis remain on death row on similar charges, according to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.

CHINA: On the tariff war, “This is a political trade risk the economy hasn’t faced since the 1930s, and no one knows where it might end,” writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

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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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  • KK
    Posted: Sun, 07/14/2019 08:04 pm

    I think the situation in Hungary is far more complex than that. Orban is popular because he has put Hungary first when leaders before have sold off her assets and caused suicide to rise to one of Europe's highest levels and childbirth rates to plummet. Under Orban, marriage and childbirth is up, assets are being reclaimed, migrants are being restricted to those who register (and, ideally, families instead of the hordes of men who overran the borders originally), and the worldwide disapora of Hungarians is being folded back into the people. His methods may seem anti-democratic to those of us in the US, but you have to look at them in the context of Hungary's past and unique situation. It's comparing apples and oranges.