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

Trump stands by North Korea

International | The president while in Japan goes against Bolton and other top officials
by Mindy Belz
Posted 5/27/19, 02:33 pm

NORTH KOREA: U.S. President Donald Trump, in a news conference in Japan, went against national security adviser John Bolton and other top officials, saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “is a very smart man” who has not violated UN sanctions this month or launched ballistic missiles. Here’s more on Pyongyang’s long campaign against Bolton.

AFGHANISTAN: John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” was released last week from an Indiana prison after serving 17 years for his role with al-Qaeda in mounting attacks on the United States. Despite Lindh’s early release for good behavior, his captivity, reports jihadist expert Graeme Wood, who corresponded with Lindh in prison, seems “to have converted Lindh from an al-Qaeda supporter to an Islamic State supporter.”

FRANCE: Police arrested four suspects in Friday’s parcel bomb explosion in Lyon’s city center, which injured 13 people. More than 250 people have been killed in terror attacks in France since 2015, though no one has claimed responsibility for the Lyon bombing.

EUROPE: European Parliament elections did not yield the broad anti–European Union surge predicted, but rising populism and “stupid nationalists” are angering long-time Europhiles like European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

INDIA: Voters returned to power Prime Minister Narendra Modi following results from protracted national elections, cementing Hindu nationalist rule and threatening more crackdowns on dissenters and non-Hindus.

TURKEY: The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee blocked the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey for the second year in a row, setting the stage for similar action in the U.S. House of Representatives and perhaps toughening negotiations between President Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when they meet in Ankara next month.

RUSSIA: An appeals court upheld the six-year sentence imposed on Danish builder Dennis Christensen, who was convicted in February of attending a Jehovah’s Witnesses prayer meeting . At least 186 Jehovah’s Witnesses face criminal charges for practicing their faith in Russia, all under the pretext of organizing “extremist activity.”

CHINA: U.S. diplomats can and should do more to counter a widespread crackdown on Christians and other religious groups, making religious freedom a central part of U.S.-China policy, writes Thomas Farr, the first director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

Students protesting labor conditions at Peking University are recording “farewell” videos detailing government abuse and crackdowns.

KENYA: The High Court declined to decriminalize a law making it illegal to have same-sex relations.

MEMORIAL DAY: The mixed blessing that is the Medal of Honor, and remembering the fallen soldiers who gave their lives in the wars of 9/11 in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery.

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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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