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

Trump and his generals

International | Plus, Tiananmen Square vigils go on after all and other international news and notes
by Mindy Belz
Posted 6/04/20, 04:11 pm

UNITED STATES: Controversy has only grown over the Trump administration’s violent clearing of protesters near the White House ahead of the President Donald Trump’s somber walk Monday evening to St. John’s Church to pose for a photo holding a Bible. On Tuesday, the president signed an executive order dramatically raising international religious freedom as a priority in U.S. foreign policy, but Monday’s events overshadowed it.

  • Underscoring their significance, Gen. James Mattis—a 44-year Marine Corps veteran who resigned as Trump’s secretary of defense over disagreements with Syria policy—has spoken out, saying he is “angry and appalled” and “we must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
  • Trump, tweeting in response, said, “Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General.”
  • Two currently serving generals, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley and Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, each issued a memorandum this week stipulating the military’s oath to the Constitution—and that National Guard units operate “under the authority of state governors.”
  • Away from (and Wednesday night, inside) Washington, peaceful protests and racial reconciliation have abounded in the wake of protests followed by violence over George Floyd’s death in police custody, and the church is a place for healing.
  • Here’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 snapshot.

HONG KONG: Residents on Thursday evening marked the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre with a socially distanced candlelight vigil in Victoria Park—despite Chinese orders banning the annual event. Thousands also crowded streets after being shut out of the park. That decision comes in the wake of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s crackdown on the once-autonomous territory.

The United States’ stripping Hong Kong of its special economic status also will hurt the businesses and people of Hong Kong.

IRAN has released U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, who Iranian authorities had detained for nearly two years.

AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded an investigation that includes high-level talks with the U.S. State Department after an Australian television crew was assaulted while riot police and National Guard units cleared Lafayette Park in Washington on Monday night.

GREECE: Demonstrators hurled firebombs at the U.S. Embassy in Athens during protests on Wednesday over George Floyd’s death. At the same time, thousands knelt in London’s Trafalgar Square, as demonstrators in Stockholm defied a COVID-19 ban on large gatherings to do likewise.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Health officials declared a new Ebola outbreak in a city that last saw the virus in 2018. Congo has battled 10 previous outbreaks since the disease was first discovered in 1976.

NIGERIA: Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria pastor Emmanuel Bileya and his wife, Juliana, were killed while farming. They leave behind eight children and “a congregation full of believers.”

SPACE: The research is the main thing aboard the International Space Station, but astronauts are still talking about their historic ride to get there.

I’M READING The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish.

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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: Thu, 06/04/2020 06:10 pm

    Anything to hit at Trump. Mindy you are the worst! 

  • NBrooks
    Posted: Fri, 06/05/2020 10:43 am

    "Controversy has only grown over the Trump administration’s VIOLENT clearing of protesters near the White House..."


    No wonder the controversy is growing - you choose to call what they did "violent." I usually don't see such an untruth in World.

  • family8plus6sofar
    Posted: Fri, 06/05/2020 08:41 pm

    I suggest you check out Mike Huckabee's accurate reporting of the actual incident/s concerning the President's actions, or in this case non actions, about "clearing the protesters" before he went across the street to the church. 

    Shame on you World Magazine for believing the MSM instead of checking it out for yourselves! 

    Posted: Sat, 06/06/2020 11:11 am

    Thank you for the link to a good fact-checking source.

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Mon, 06/08/2020 11:38 am

    Mindy, I was about to aim an arrow at you for doing everything in your power to exonerate Trump while maintaining a factual stance in reporting the news about the photo-op...until I read what World's readership wrote attacking you. You wrote, "somber walk" to a church--that's complimentary. You also wrote, " On Tuesday, the president signed an executive order dramatically raising international religious freedom as a priority in U.S. foreign policy, but Monday’s events overshadowed it." Since the subject of the article is Trump's walk, the half sentence about an executive order is genuinely off-topic. It seems to me the purpose for its inclusion is to again, compliment Trump. And yet, the readers who responded are excoriating you for saying that the White House "violently" cleared the pathway. I'm just wondering what World has become? Do you actively seek the Far Right to support your magazine? I am astounded that the majority of folk (actually very few by name) who write in to you represent such a radical right position. I'm just wondering if World is happy with this situation? Please don't get overly influenced by them.

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Mon, 06/08/2020 11:45 am

    I find it hard to believe that a president who is incapable of peacefully receiving contrary political opinions from formerly trusted colleagues could possibly care about religious freedoms in other parts of the world.