Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

Trump lasers in on North Korea, immigration in State of the Union

International | Plus news and notes on Syria, Russia, Sudan, and more
by Mindy Belz
Posted 1/31/18, 12:56 pm

NORTH KOREA: U.S. President Donald Trump warned Americans in his first State of the Union address, “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.” Trump highlighted the story of Ji Seong-Ho, the North Korean defector who attended the speech to a joint session of Congress.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Vahid Salemi

Amid Iran’s unrest, U.S. denying Christians entry

International | More than 100 Iranian Christians previously invited to apply for U.S. asylum are now living in shelters in Austria, facing threats of deportation
by Mindy Belz
Posted 1/17/18, 01:31 pm

IRAN: The U.S. State Department is denying entry to the United States for 100 Iranian Christians invited to apply for asylum under a 27-year-old law granting persecuted religious minorities special refugee status. Nearly all are Assyrian and Armenian Christians who have families in the United States.

Read more

Getty Images/Photo by Atta Kenare/AFP

Fearing ‘cultural invasion,’ Iran to ban English in schools

International | Plus international news and notes from Syria, Sudan, Mexico, Australia, and more
by Mindy Belz
Posted 1/08/18, 01:51 pm

IRAN: Fearing “cultural invasion,” authorities banned the teaching of English in primary schools, as they continue to blame widespread protests in 80 cities on Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States. President Hassan Rouhani is calling for a lifting of the ban on social media, but Voice of America spokeswoman Anna Morris told me over the weekend all VOA broadcasts, including social media, remain blocked.

Read more