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

U.S. gathers data on refugees

International | Homeland Security to collect information via UN, as U.S. refugee admissions drop
by Mindy Belz
Posted 8/22/19, 12:59 pm

UNITED STATES: The Department of Homeland Security has begun collecting biometric information on every refugee referred for resettlement in the United States—and may hold onto it indefinitely—even though the Trump administration has floated plans to zero out refugee admissions in the coming fiscal year.

VENEZUELA: Now-deceased dictator Hugo Chávez secured Cuba’s intervention to create a security and surveillance apparatus embedded in Venezuela’s military—securing absolute power for current President Nicolás Maduro.

“The most important mission for the intelligence service once was to neutralize any threat to democracy,” Raúl Salazar, a former defense minister under Chávez who opposes Maduro, told Reuters. “Now, with Cuba in charge, the government uses it to stay in power.”

SRI LANKA: At least 176 children lost one or both parents in the Easter Sunday church bombings. Of the three churches targeted by Islamic extremists, two held services for the first time on July 21—three months after the bombings that killed more than 250 people.

NEPAL: Will new regulations cutting the number of Mount Everest permits actually reduce the traffic jam that led to 11 deaths this climbing season?

ATLANTIC: For the first time in more than 20 years, August may pass without the formation of a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. Only the third named storm of the season has begun in the North Atlantic—after more than a month of no named storms—and it appears likely to remain offshore.

YEMEN: The last thing Yemen needs is another civil war—as clashes between separatists and government forces in the south rage inside a larger conflict between Saudi and Iranian proxies.

HONG KONG: Students from at least 10 universities and 100 secondary schools have joined street protests and threatened to join a class boycott next month if the government fails to squelch the controversial extradition bill that has ignited 11 straight weeks of pro-democracy protests.

I’M WATCHING: Ford Quarterman is a gringo from Georgia who’s gathered 200,000 subscribers on YouTube by showing what’s so great about Mexicans and living south of the border. A favorite: when he does Tex-Mex in his hometown of Toccoa.

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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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