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

Not all conditions met in Afghanistan agreement

International | Base closures and prisoner releases occur while Taliban attacks escalate
by Mindy Belz
Posted 7/16/20, 05:07 pm

AFGHANISTAN: The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that it has closed five military bases and reduced the size of its troops stationed in the region to 8,600 as part of an agreement reached with the Taliban in February. The Afghan government, which was not a part of the talks leading to the agreement, has begun phased release of Taliban prisoners under pressure from the Trump administration.

While the deal is “conditions based” on a reduction in violence, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Taliban attacks are escalating. The Taliban launched attacks in more than 20 provinces in the past two weeks, and an attack on Monday killed at least 11 Afghan intelligence officers and wounded 60 people in Samangan.

BRAZIL: President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to test positive for the coronavirus, after an initial diagnosis on July 6. Bolsonaro said he is not experiencing symptoms and is taking the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine at the recommendation of a military doctor. Brazil is the second-worst-hit country in the world after the United States, which continues this week to see record-setting daily highs for new cases.

INDIA: Officials are reimposing lockdowns in Bangalore, Bihare, and other areas hard-hit by the coronavirus, as confirmed cases near 1 million. Nearly a dozen states are trying localized lockdowns called “containment zones.”

BANGLADESH: Prolonged seasonal flooding has forced more than 1 million people from their homes in the delta nation of 160 million.

SUDAN: In a series of legislative reforms, the country abolished its apostasy law, which carried the death penalty for leaving Islam. Other changes grant women the ability to travel abroad with their children without consent from a male relative and decriminalize alcohol consumed by non-Muslims.

GLOBAL: The world will be home to 8.8 billion people in 2100, 2 billion fewer than current UN projections, shaped by declining fertility rates and aging populations. The number of children under age 5 is forecast to decline by more than 40 percent by 2100, while the number of people over age 80 will more than quadruple.

BELGIUM: Sidelined in work and social life by COVID-19, Polish emigre Luiza Chrzanowska turned her traveling choir into a walking ensemble singing for locked-in nursing home residents in Brussels.

I’M WATCHING Flannery, due out via virtual cinema on Friday.

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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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  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 07/16/2020 10:49 pm

    Question:  who has made the forecast that world population in 2100 will be 2 Billion lower than what the UN projects?

    Posted: Sat, 07/18/2020 01:23 am

    Good question! The link goes to Al Jazeera, which claims such a conclusion in a "study led by an international team of researchers, published in The Lancet on Wednesday." Mm-hm. A search for a Lancet article that proclaims such a forecast? Disappointment. Since when is Al Jazeera a credible news source for "biblically objective journalism"? 

  • RC
    Posted: Sat, 07/18/2020 09:08 am

    The issue is not the reliability of who published an article (be it Lancet or Al Jazeer, not that theses sources should be trusted) the question is who did the study and how did they do it. The fact that World reported this does not mean World agrees with it, only that it was done and they are reporting it.   

    If you are going to judge the reliability of the claim, go to the source and investigate it.  Search on this title: “Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: a forecasting analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study”.  The research was done by the IHME. They are at the University of Washington in Seattle.

    Actually, I have been doing a little researching and there are more and more organizations claiming the world population is shrinking.  Some think this shrinkage will be accelerating. It is a matter of grave concern!       

    Posted: Sat, 07/18/2020 11:52 am

    RC, thank you for the corrective. I was wrong to flame out like I did.

    I did the search on the title as you suggested, read the abstract of the study, and did the math. Now I understand where the "2 billion" came from. Thanks again.