A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz
International | Two others taken hostage and released in war-torn area
by Mindy Belz
Posted 9/17/20, 07:23 pm
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Armed attackers in eastern Congo killed an aid worker with U.S.-based World Vision and held two others hostage on Wednesday. Their convoy came under attack as the group returned from delivering food to war-ravaged communities in North Kivu province. “Two of our staff were missing for over 18 hours but are now safely with the larger team awaiting [evacuation],” World Vision Congo director Anne-Marie Connor told Reuters.
VENEZUELA: A U.S. citizen held by Venezuelan authorities on accusations of being an American spy was not sent by the U.S. government, U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams said. On Monday, a prosecutor charged Matthew John Heath with terrorism and weapons trafficking.
A UN investigative team is charging President Nicolás Maduro and his inner circle with crimes against humanity, bringing further pressure to the socialist dictatorship.
UNITED STATES: A whistleblower complaint accuses a privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center of performing an unusual number of hysterectomies on immigrant women, including some who did not understand the reason or extent of the procedure. It also said the Georgia facility has not followed coronavirus protocols. The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security is investigating the allegations, which ICE denies.
CHINA: The U.S. government will restrict imports produced with state-sponsored forced labor in the Xinjiang autonomous region, where the Chinese government is “engaged in systemic human rights abuses” against the Uighur people and other ethnic and religious minorities, the Department of Homeland Security said. The goods include hair products, clothing, cotton, and electronics made at labor camps. “The Trump administration will not stand idly by and allow foreign companies to subject vulnerable workers to forced labor while harming American businesses that respect human rights and the rule of law,” acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Mark A. Morgan said.
JAPAN: Yoshihide Suga is Japan’s first new prime minister in almost eight years, facing the coronavirus pandemic and economic recovery among his first challenges.
MALAYSIA: A church-based learning center is bringing education to refugees and children of foreign workers normally marginalized and prohibited from attending Malaysian schools.
UNITED KINGDOM: A British child has been rescued from Syria as part of a plan to repatriate orphans or unaccompanied young people caught up in the war on Islamic State (ISIS).
AHEAD: The European Commission will present a plan to overhaul EU migration and asylum policy, given new urgency after a fire destroyed Moria Camp in Greece this week.
I’M LISTENING to a chapel address by my friend Karen Ellis, an advocate for the persecuted church and director of the Center for the Study of the Bible and Ethnicity at Reformed Theological Seminary, on the power of this pandemic pause: “God sends desolations on the earth, and we’ve got to stop and think about why.”
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.