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

The next terrorist weapon of choice?

International | Islamic State burns acres of crops in Syria and Iraq
by Mindy Belz
Posted 6/10/19, 02:36 pm

SYRIA: It was going to be the year the farmers of eastern Syria and Iraq bounced back, but instead mysterious crop fires—some claimed by ISIS—are destroying acres of wheat and barley in large swaths visible from space. “The harvest season is still long, and we tell the soldiers of the Caliphate: you have before you millions of dunams of land planted with wheat and barley, which are owned by apostates,” read a statement published by the Islamic State’s al-Naba newsletter.

IRAQ: Massive fires near Sinjar, once the homeland to Yazidis forced out by ISIS, killed two Yazidis fighting the blazes in an area that also includes mass graves. Fire may be the terrorists’ next weapon of choice, reports Stratfor.

HONG KONG: Perhaps a million people flooded the streets over the weekend in protest of a proposed law that would allow authorities to extradite criminals to mainland China.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is out of danger, doctors said Monday, after he was shot Sunday at a Santo Domingo restaurant, in what witnesses described as an ambush. In April the United States issued a travel advisory for the Caribbean country, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, due to rising crime after a Delaware woman was violently assaulted at the resort where she was staying.

INDIA: One of seven Christians imprisoned for life in the murder of a Hindu swami has been freed following more than a decade in jail. The seven claimed their innocence in a case with hardly any credible evidence, according to observers, and an appeals process one former Indian Supreme Court justice called “deliberately delayed.”

MEXICO: A deal to avert tariffs announced Friday largely consists of concessions Mexico already had promised to make, and followed a familiar script President Donald Trump used two months ago in threatening to close the U.S.-Mexico border. “We are not distant neighbors,” said Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a rally attended in Tijuana on Saturday. “I’m not raising a clenched fist, but an open and frank hand.”

CANADA: Organ harvesting from live patients may be on the horizon as euthanasia or assisted suicide—now legal in six Western countries and seven U.S. states—gains acceptance. Two Canadian physicians and a Harvard Medical School ethicist wrote in a New England Journal of Medicine article that procuring consenting patients’ organs while they are still alive “may be ethically preferable.”

VATICAN: The archbishop who wrote a bombshell letter last summer calling on Pope Francis to resign for tolerating known sexual abusers in the church is in hiding.

UPDATES: Top North Korea adviser Kim Yong Chol resurfaced after a two-month absence, refuting news reports he had been purged or even executed. And in Sudan, arrested Sudan People's Liberation Movement–North leader Yasir Arman appears to have been deported to South Sudan, as the country’s Transitional Military Council woos international partners ahead of a June 21 summit.

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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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