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Globe Trot: John Kerry heads to Nigeria

The secretary of state’s visit coincides with ongoing controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s troubling ties to the African nation

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NIGERIA: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry begins a visit to Nigeria tomorrow, amid ongoing reports of entanglements involving Hillary Clinton in Nigeria during her State Department tenure. Kerry plans to meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of northern states, including those that have adopted Sharia law.

According to human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe, Nigeria and its allies continue to drag their feet in rescuing the Chibok schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram. Further, Ogebe writes in an email today:

“Sadly, we have confirmed our concerns that Nigeria’s government is trying to keep Amina—the recently escaped Chibok schoolgirl—as a Muslim. Her mother has protested the forced Islamization of her daughter even after her courageous flight to freedom from Boko Haram. Amina remains in the government’s hands in spite of protests by her community.”

Don’t miss my WORLD colleague and Washington bureau chief J.C. Derrick on C-SPAN on Wednesday to discuss Hillary Clinton’s troubling ties to Nigeria.

SOUTH SUDAN: Opposition leader and former Vice President Riek Machar, whose allied forces have forced thousands to be made homeless, fled South Sudan Friday for the Democratic Republic of Congo—with help from the UN.

BRAZIL: Long-distance runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino were awarded Olympic medals for sportsmanship—presented only 17 times in Olympic history—for their conduct in assisting each other to the finish line after the two collided in the 5,000-meter race.

Per capita medal tallies put the medals race in a new light.

TURKEY: A suicide bombing carried out by a child and orchestrated by ISIS killed at least 54 people—22 of them children—in Gaziantep, a popular area for tourists.

SYRIA: On Saturday, Omran Daqneesh’s 10-year-old brother Ali died of wounds sustained in the same airstrike that destroyed the family’s residence and made 5-year-old Omran’s face headline news around the world.

Children are everyday casualties in Syria’s civil war.

According to studies, including one by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Russian airstrikes in Syria have passed a grisly milestone, killing more civilians than ISIS.

Last month’s video of a Syrian rebel, attached to Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zinki, apparently beheading a child should raise questions about what the United States is actually trying to achieve with its proxy war in Syria—and what it’s willing to tolerate to achieve it.

Zinki was not “U.S.-backed” at the time of the beheading, but the rebel group was until last August part of a joint operations room in Turkey that reportedly included the CIA, and was negotiating with the United States to restore its funding even on the eve of the beheading.

MIDDLE EARTH: Were the sorrowful songs of the dwarves of Middle Earth drawn from the laments of the Jews? Likely, and Nazi Germany apparently suspected so, asking J.R.R. Tolkien whether he was Aryan prior to the Lord of the Rings trilogy’s publication in Germany:

“But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.”

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, Afghanistan, 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.



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