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

Mexico shootout

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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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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  •  Jim Coad3's picture
    Jim Coad3
    Posted: Fri, 11/08/2019 12:05 pm

    The reporting has been very confusing on this story. I have read or heard on Fox News they were going to a wedding but nothing more has been said about that; that they were on a dirt road; that one car had a flat tire and then was attacked while another car went back for help, etc. Today on Fox News a lawyer and friend of some of the family said the extended family had been harrassed in the past and they had declared they would resist the cartels which led to their being targeted.  This is believable - in the city where I lived in Mexico, the leader of the taxi union and his wife were killed at their home after publickly saying he wasn't afraid of the cartel.  This article led us to the New York Times which reported the Mexican government's slant but then mentions the family's conflict with the cartels at the end of the article.  If it was mistaken identity by the cartels, why would they continue attacking the other 2 vehicles?  I was hoping World would have a more definitive article about this as you do on many topics after the dust has settled. Maybe later.  Thanks.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 11/08/2019 03:53 pm

    Re Iran’s nuclear ambitions:

    While the U.S. and Europe dither about what we should do—or even if we should do anything at all—Israel, I’m certain, has a closer eye on Iran’s progress than anyone else. 

    And quite likely has action plans for any contingency. 

    I believe Iran may not complete even one nuclear weapon, or possibly the one they complete will detonate in Iran. 

    Posted: Fri, 11/08/2019 04:34 pm

    Do you think Israel prayed for an earth quake?

    Posted: Fri, 11/08/2019 04:32 pm

    I feel bad that those people were killed, but don't think we should be responsible for people who live in a foreign country where their lives are at risk. 

    Yeah, I'm going to live next door to the cartel, but anything happens, it's Trump's fault? And he should do something about it?

  • Laura W
    Posted: Tue, 11/12/2019 06:57 am

    Shouldn't we expect our government to look after our citizens abroad, as well as the ones at home? As someone who travels frequently, I sure hope they do. Now whether or not our government should have done anything different in this particular situation, I have no idea, but it does highlight the danger.

    Posted: Fri, 11/08/2019 04:42 pm

    Wow! The world is a mess. But we continue to throw billions at foreign countries. Just look at what Pelosi wants us to send to other countries. WALLS are a good thing to keep other countries safe, BUT NOT AMERICA. 

    It would be GOOD if the American gov't shut down for a while. Tell Pelosi to go home and tend her vineyards.