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

The Brits discover Trump tweets

International | Plus political protests in Honduras, threats of war with North Korea, and church repairs approved in Egypt
by Mindy Belz
Posted 12/01/17, 02:40 pm

BRITAIN: The Brits went a little crazy over U.S. President Donald Trump’s retweets earlier this week of three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the controversial deputy leader of the nationalist group Britain First. Prime Minister Theresa May called the retweets “wrong,” parliamentarians demanded Trump’s state visit to the U.K. next year be canceled, and Muslim groups held press conferences on both sides of the Atlantic, calling the retweets a “defamation” of Islam. U.S. media picked up on the “anti-Muslim” charges, but two of the three videos appear to portray actual events involving ISIS-led violence. And the frenzy is feeding what had been a mostly sidelined nationalist group: Fransen won just 56 votes in her 2014 run for Parliament.

Barnabas Fund, a U.K.-based Christian charity working largely in Muslim countries, said it rejects Britain First’s “racist” ideology but called for tackling Christian persecution in Muslim countries along with Islamophobia.

In a perceptive exchange on the BBC that’s worth watching (see video below), Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam said media outlets also bear responsibility for the rise of such ultra-nationalist groups: “They get oxygen from you guys. … Every day we hear a story about Trump’s tweets, but we don’t hear a story every day about real problems in that region due to radical Islam.”

HONDURAS: Defiant protesters took to the streets as vote counts from Sunday’s presidential election appear too close to call. Challenger Salvador Nasralla looked set to lose an early lead against incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez, whose 2013 victory was marred by charges of corruption and fraudulent voting.

MEXICO: With elections seven months away and widespread concern Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador could turn Mexico into the next Venezuela, the leftist candidate still holds a comfortable lead in the polls.

NORTH KOREA: The United States pressed all countries to suspend diplomatic ties with Pyongyang and called on China to end its oil trade with the regime after Wednesday’s ballistic missile launch. Speaking at an emergency UN Security Council meeting Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that while Washington isn’t looking for a war with North Korea, “if war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday … and if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”

Malaysia’s High Court is hearing new details on the February killing of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother. Among them: Kim carried in his backpack a dozen vials of antidote for the nerve agent that killed him.

EGYPT: The government has approved the restoration and rebuilding of 21 churches in Minya governorate, a gesture that comes after a U.S. evangelical delegation’s visit with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and before an expected visit later this month by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

KENYA: How a model pastor changes the world.

WEEKEND LONG READ: A gripping picture of what it’s like to die alone in Japan, the world’s most rapidly aging society.

NEXT WEEK: Next Thursday at 7 p.m. I’ll be speaking about Christians in the Middle East and my book They Say We Are Infidels at Virginia Wesleyan University in Norfolk, Va., as part of a series on religious persecution.

To have Globe Trot delivered to your email inbox, email Mindy at

Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

Read more from this writer