International | A gang war may have led to the LeBarón family deaths
by Mindy Belz
Posted 11/07/19, 10:20 am
MEXICO: A shootout between rival gangs may have precipitated the brutal attack on Mormons in Sonora that killed nine members of the LeBarón family, a group of dual Mexican and American citizens.
IRAN: President Hassan Rouhani announced his regime would begin injecting gas into the 1,044 centrifuges at the Fordow underground nuclear facility, an open violation of the Iran nuclear deal. The news prompted nuclear watchdogs, whose scrutiny Iran has evaded, to gather Wednesday in Vienna.
Using third-party military groups at a fraction of the cost spent by others in the Middle East, Iran “has tipped the balance” to create an effective military advantage over the United States and its allies, according to a new report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
BURKINA FASO: Extremist attacks targeting Christians and other locals have displaced half a million people and threaten to spiral out of control.
SAUDI ARABIA: State-owned oil company Aramco plans an initial public offering this month that will likely be the world’s largest ever, designed to turbocharge Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic reform agenda by raising billions to build non-energy industries. Saudi Aramco is the world’s most profitable company, with profits roughly equal to Apple, Google, and Facebook combined.
UKRAINE: On the eastern border, the five-year fight with Russia continues to take a toll on civilians (and Christian aid workers like Teresa Filmon), roiled further by questions about U.S. policy.
UNITED STATES: My deep dive on the U.S. Agency for International Development’s rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Syria found a bureaucratic process that wasn’t getting aid to locals as mandated by Congress. But ProPublica’s deep dive blames a Christian bias from Vice President Mike Pence for redirecting aid to Christian and Yazidi victims of genocide. It’s a revealing piece on the extent of entrenched bureaucracy, quoting unnamed former USAID and Obama officials. I’ll venture some are with Chemonics—the $1.5 billion for-profit government contractor running 60 percent of the contracts in Iraq—and never mentioned in the story.
Becket Law this month will launch a Religious Freedom Index tracking trends in American religious freedom.
CHINA: The Bookworm, a bookstore at the center of expat literary life in Beijing, is closing.
NOTE: No Globe Trot next week as I travel overseas but look for the next one on Nov. 18.
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