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

Missionary pilot dies carrying COVID-19 supplies

International | Plus, the continuing effects of the coronavirus on the rest of the world
by Mindy Belz
Posted 5/14/20, 05:28 pm

INDONESIA: Missionary pilot Joyce Lin, 40, died on Tuesday when her plane crashed en route to delivering COVID-19 rapid test kits and other supplies to a clinic in the Papua highlands. Mission Aviation Fellowship has been supplying remote villages where symptoms suggest the virus is spreading, and Lin was on her way to Mamit in the country’s easternmost province when she radioed with an emergency and her Kodiak aircraft descended into Papua’s Lake Sentani. There were no other passengers on board due to coronavirus flight restrictions, MAF spokesman Brad Hoagland told Christianity Today, and the group has not had a fatal accident in 23 years.

RUSSIA: President Vladimir Putin, just months off vanquishing mortal foes to extend his rule, is confronting a growing coronavirus threat. Russia has overtaken the U.K. to move into second place behind the United States in the number of cases—with Putin’s government grappling with an outbreak in the Kremlin, a high percentage of hospitalizations in a broken system where doctors are going unpaid, and deficient equipment. On Tuesday, a defective ventilator burst into flames, killing five COVID-19 patients.

AFGHANISTAN: Gunmen stormed a maternity hospital in Kabul on Tuesday, killing 24, including two newborns, and triggering a battle with security forces that lasted hours. “In my more than 20-year career I have not witnessed such a horrific, brutal act,” said Dr. Hassan Kamel of the attack, which took place only hours after a suicide bomb at a funeral in Nangarhar killed 32. Doctors Without Borders opened the 55-bed maternity unit inside Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in 2014, delivering more than 5,000 babies a year and offering critical care treatment in a country with one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates. ISIS claimed responsibility for the funeral attack, and experts believe it also was behind the Kabul shooting, though no group has claimed it.

The Taliban condemned both attacks, earning praise from U.S. officials. But longtime Taliban expert Thomas Joscelyn explained why the U.S. partnership with the Taliban in the February U.S. withdrawal agreement won’t lead to peace.

SUDAN has rejected Ethiopia’s proposal to begin filling Renaissance Dam Lake, putting on hold any further negotiations for the completion of Ethiopia’s controversial $6 billion Blue Nile dam project.

AFRICA: World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley cautioned that disruptions in the global supply chain already caused by COVID-19 could double the number of people on the brink of starvation in 2020. “We could be facing multiple famines of Biblical proportions within a short few months,” the former governor of South Carolina warned. “You can go a few weeks exposed to a disease, but you can’t go two weeks without food.”

UNITED STATES: Coronavirus testing in the United States lags behind more than a dozen other countries in the number per confirmed case, an indicator of a country’s scale. Public health experts said at least 3.5 million or more tests a week are necessary to reopen the country safely. The United States is now conducting 300,000 tests a day, or just over 2 million a week, according to President Donald Trump.

Countering the viral video Plandemic and other propaganda requires a checklist of skills most news consumers can master in an age of division and misinformation.

GLOBAL: The good news is the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases has started to level off on a global basis. The bad news, displayed in this infographic, is that it’s now largely rising in the poorest parts of the world lacking healthcare resources. That’s why I’ve argued here and here this week for Marshall Plan–type attention. Left to ravage parts of Asia, Africa, and South America heading into their winter months, the coronavirus may gain force to again ravage the Northern Hemisphere during its winter. In their battle also lies ours.

I’M READING Global Transmission, Global Mission, an e-book overview by Operation World on the implications of the coronavirus for the global church. Take a look and send thoughts.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Fri, 05/15/2020 10:09 am

    "Countering the viral video Plandemic and other propaganda requires a checklist of skills most news consumers can master in an age of division and misinformation." 

    I haven't checked out Plandemic enough to know about it, one way or the other, but I would never use PolitiFact as a tool to check my source. All you have to do is read about General Flynn to realize this is a propaganda arm of the left where they try to convince you that unmasking Flynn was somehow normal and legal. They did not understand that having a president spy on a new forming administration was a serious violation of law. They presented the allegations against Flynn in a biased light giving the appearance that there was truth in the Russian Collusion hoax that was in fact an attempted coup d'eta.  Yes, the leftist elite may try to convince you to research using biased tools of the godless left, but you are a fool if you oblige them. 

  • WRA
    Posted: Fri, 05/15/2020 07:26 am

    Thank you Mindy. Praying for you and your ministry to our family and thousands more. May the Lord once again use the spirit of the Marshall Plan.


  • MTJanet
    Posted: Fri, 05/15/2020 01:26 pm

    I don't know about opening the country safely, but thank the Lord I live in MT where we aren't even forced to mask except at Costco.  What I truly believe is each state should be able to decide for itself (or even by county) when it is safe to open.  Having MT follow the same guidelines as NYC would subject us to conditions that have no basis in public health.  We have been open for more than two weeks and are doing extremely well.  Only 19 active cases in our state - just no reason to be living behind closed doors.  Of course, I am not addressing the needs of those who are vulnerable and need to take a different strategy for themselves.  Also, until a vaccine is provided, we are all going to be at risk.  What then?  Stay at home for two years and starve?  I don't believe the "public health experts" who are addressing the nation as a whole - we need a more common sense approach.  

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 05/15/2020 07:00 pm

    The savage Kabul maternity ward attack, which the Taliban condemned, points out something important our negotiators in Afghanistan need to keep in mind:

    No one, no group, in Afghanistan controls or speaks for more than a fraction of the violent Islamists in that country. Any agreement we make to bring peace will only succeed to the extent the group we're talking to controls other groups' actions.    And any one radical group or person claiming to speak for others is probably deluded or lying.  

    Our best course is to leave that miserable country and quit losing lives there.