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

U.S. to collect immigrants’ social media data

International | Plus Kurdistan’s independence vote, women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, and more international news
by Mindy Belz
Posted 9/27/17, 01:07 pm

UNITED STATES: The Department of Homeland Security has published a new regulation calling for collection of social media information on all immigrants, including permanent residents and naturalized citizens. This is the same department with an acting secretary, a careerist from the Bush and Obama administrations, who decided Chad should be on the list of countries whose citizens are banned from traveling to the United States. Chad, far from perfect, is one of the leading U.S. partners in Africa on counterterrorism, sending soldiers to the Nigerian border, among other things, to fight Boko Haram.

Here’s a compelling read on why the basic premise of the new travel ban lacks merit. I know there are counterarguments, and I would love to hear them, particularly on vetting procedures. So far the Trump administration has produced no specifics and issued no new rules adjusting allegedly faulty vetting procedures.

IRAQ: Turkey has announced a flight ban and threatens to block oil exports, while Baghdad threatens to close airports after Kurdistan’s independence referendum won overwhelming support. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has introduced a resolution in support of a Kurdish state.

  • In the ancient Christian city of Alqosh, Assyrians are divided, but many say they face a better future as part of a Kurdish state after Iraqi forces failed to protect them from ISIS and Kurdish peshmerga stepped into the gap.
  • Read for yourself the U.S. Senate’s amended HR 390, passed last week after stubborn delays. The amended bill, in my view, dilutes efforts to direct rebuilding funds to the organizations and communities best able to help Iraqi Christians and Yazidis.

SAUDI ARABIA: The kingdom yesterday agreed to let women drive, a victory for activists who’ve long used the prohibition as a symbol of oppression.

MEXICO: For 12,000 people displaced by last week’s earthquake, trying to hold on to shelter while showing up to receive needed aid is a nightmare.

INDONESIA: Warnings of a volcanic eruption on the tourist island of Bali have sparked an exodus of about 100,000 people.

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

Read more Globe Trot Sign up for the Globe Trot email
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.

Read more from this writer