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

Post trolls Twitter to smear Christian humanitarian

International | Reporters accuse Samaritan’s Purse vice president, Trump’s nominee for global migration post, of anti-Muslim bias on social media
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/05/18, 02:47 pm

MIGRATION: Two reporters from The Washington Post’s “new rapid I-team,” the newspaper’s effort to put together a Spotlight-type crack investigative effort, have gone after longtime Christian humanitarian Ken Isaacs, vice president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Trump administration’s candidate to become director general of the International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental agency of 169 countries based in Geneva. On Twitter, Isaacs made “disparaging remarks about Muslims and denied climate change—a driving force behind migration,” the Post reporters wrote.

With a record in heading up relief efforts dating back to the early 1990s, Isaacs has overseen disaster responses to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and the migration crisis of 2015—working via Samaritan’s Purse and during a stint with the U.S. Agency for International Development. During these crises, he worked in support of not only Christians but also Muslims, animists, and others. I’ve been in the Greek refugee centers, in Darfur and South Sudan, and in the Middle East, where Samaritan’s Purse efforts largely have centered on Muslim populations. Isaacs, in 2014 testimony before Congress, was the first to sound the alarm about the emerging Ebola epidemic in Liberia, well before World Health Organization officials acknowledged its severity. Trolling someone’s Twitter feed for dirt isn’t investigative journalism, it’s lazy journalism.

NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA: Differences between the United States and South Korea will be on display as the Winter Olympics open in Pyeongchang. North and South Korean athletes plan to march together in the opening ceremony, while U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will be on hand to highlight the rogue North’s nuclear ambitions.

South Korea is taking security precautions and conducting terror drills leading up to the games.

GERMANY: On Monday, 10,315 days after it came down, the Berlin Wall officially has been gone longer than it stood.

CAMEROON: Terrorists from Nigeria are relentlessly attacking the Christian villages of northern Cameroon, where Nigerian Christians have fled for refuge. Last month, Boko Haram militants killed four people and destroyed four churches in one Cameroon village, along with a community health center built by the area’s evangelical church. Militants also burned down 93 houses and 20 food storehouses. Let’s repeat: These attacks aren’t provoked by climate change. 

SYRIA: The shoot down of a Russian fighter jet over Idlib—downed by al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters who appear to have acquired a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS)—over the weekend is the latest big news in an ongoing aerial barrage by Russian and Syrian forces. It’s not the same as the fighting in Afrin in Syria’s northwest, where Turkish forces are engaged with U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in a two-week offensive that represents a potentially new front in the war—unless those fronts merge and Turkish and Russian forces converge on the ground.

In Idlib, three airstrikes destroyed a major hospital over the weekend, with devastating consequences. And reports of a chlorine gas attack are emerging from the town of Saraqeb, also with horrific effect. This is at least the third such gas attack reported in a month, and the Trump administration warned it would take action in the face of such attacks.

RUSSIA: More than a month’s worth of snow fell in Moscow over the weekend, and officials have called in the army to clear streets.

SUPER BOWL: ’Course we all knew Matt Damon’s turning-beer-to-water commercial during the Super Bowl was too good to be true.

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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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