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WORLD Radio Rewind

WORLD Radio - WORLD Radio Rewind

WORLD Radio news coverage highlights from the week of September 6, 2021

LEIGH JONES: This is WORLD Radio Rewind: a 10-minute review of some of our news coverage and features from the past week on WORLD Radio. I’m managing editor Leigh Jones.

First up: Belarus. It’s been a little over a year since Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a disputed presidential election. Despite an organized opposition movement and pressure from the West, the man known as Europe’s last dictator remains in power. On Tuesday’s program, European Correspondent Jenny Lind Schmitt reported on how the country is faring.

JENNY LIND SCHMITT, REPORTER: Churches are also caught in the middle of the turmoil, with members often disagreeing on how best to interact with Lukashenko’s regime. But preaching about things the Bible is clear on—opposition to cruelty, corruption, and injustice—is now enough to get pastors in trouble. Michael Cherenkov works with Mission Eurasia overseeing field ministries and pastors in Belarus.

CHERENKOV: It is an extremely difficult time for the whole nation and especially for evangelical churches. They are not silent. They speak out. They speak against this corruption and injustice. And that’s why they’re in danger actually.

At New Life Church in Minsk, pastors were particularly outspoken against the post-election violence. In February, the government seized their building. Since then the congregation has gathered in the parking lot. Still, the church has had many new worshippers join, precisely because it has shown bravery in the face of government intimidation.

CHERENKOV: Some of my friends are jailed, some are persecuted, some are fined many times. And that’s the price they agreed to pay. Not because they support any political parties, but because they are faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ…That’s not a political agenda, that’s a gospel agenda.

After the disputed election, some churches organized cross-denominational, peaceful prayer gatherings. In response, Lukashenko banned public prayer.

CHERENKOV: Some of my friends were jailed or beaten severely just for praying publicly on the streets of Minsk. So It is a kind of a spiritual battle I would say. Because if this dictator believes that this prayer activity is dangerous to him and his dictatorship, then that means that it’s more than politics. It's a spiritual battle.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jenny Lind Schmitt.

LJ: Our next three stories are all related to 9/11. It’s been 20 years since terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. On Wednesday’s program, Mary Reichard talked to The Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano about the war on terror.

MARY REICHARD: Many analysts say terrorism has metasticized and is more global than it ever was. So I want to begin by asking you about that. Has the terror threat changed since September 11th, 2001?

JAMES CARAFANO: Well, actually, if you would have called me 30 days ago, I would have given you a completely different answer. So if you think about the President's quote where he says, terrorists with global reach, and and i think that's right, that is what really concerns us. I mean, look, we're not going to get rid of evil in the world. But what we don't want is, is somebody to have the capacity to do a global campaign, and to have people across the globe, always worried about whether they're going to be safe in their beds at night. And and you say, Well, we've been at this for 20 years, how could you argue in the last 30 days, we're less safe than we were 20 years ago.  And what happened in the last 30 days, as everybody knows, is we walked away from Afghanistan. And when we did that, the Taliban came back in. And the Taliban have a couple of key relationships. One is with a group called the Haqqani Network, which is a terrorist criminal organization that spans Afghanistan, Pakistan. And the other of course is al-Qaeda. The leadership has been hiding out in Iran, they're going to go back to Afghanistan, they're basically going to put the band back together, and that they will be every bit as dangerous as before.

Retired Lt. Colonel James Carafano with The Heritage Foundation has been our guest. Colonel, thanks so much!

CARAFANO: Hey, thanks for having me.

LJ: Next up, grief and healing. On Wednesday’s program, senior correspondent Kim Henderson told the story of a woman whose husband died at Ground Zero.

KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: On September 9th, 2001, Bruce Van Hine was heading to his shift as a firefighter with the City of New York. His wife Ann remembers he pulled her aside before he walked out the door.

VAN HINE: He said to me, “I'm so blessed” . . .

She didn’t know it then, but that would be the last time Ann ever saw the man she’d been married to for 21 years.

Two days later Ann was listening to her car radio when news broke that hijackers had crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center. Bruce Van Hine was in Special Operations Command—firefighters trained for confined space, biochemical, and high angle rescue. She had no doubt he’d gone into the towers.

That was a hard night, but Ann says a verse kept running through her head.

VAN HINE: You know, sorrow lasts for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And I held on to that. As a matter of fact, that first night, I did not lay down to sleep until the sun rose, because I had to see there was another day.

As a widow, Ann watched her daughters graduate from high school and college. Get married. Have children.

And for 15 years, Ann has volunteered at the 9/11 Tribute Center, now Tribute Museum.

VAN HINE: . . . teaching about the symbolism and the timeline of that day. But the main part is me sharing my personal story.

A personal story that includes both the sorrows and blessings that came along with 9/11.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson.

LJ: And finally, we end today with a report on our national intelligence infrastructure. After 9/11, just about everyone agreed the United States needed to change the way it gathers, shares, and acts on information about potential threats. On Thursday’s program, Sarah Schweinsberg reported on the reforms adopted in 2004.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: David Shedd is the former acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He says after 9/11, intelligence agencies realized they had to shift from dealing with a large, static power like the Soviet Union to dealing with nimble terrorists who lived anywhere and could strike anytime.

SHEDD: You were trying to find the next plot, that next plot could be carried out by a few individuals...it could be hidden somewhere in a place that would be very hard to find.

Shedd says over the last two decades, the reforms have largely worked. We haven’t had another large scale act of terrorism on American soil.

But the changes aren’t perfect. Kristen Patel at Syracuse University says bureaucracy remains a problem. And when every agency has a seat at the table, it creates confusion about who’s in charge.

PATEL: It's kind of a decision by committee as opposed to a more streamlined approach...the process is more painful.

Intelligence experts say the threats to the United States have also changed in the last decade. And American agencies have to continue to evolve to meet new challenges.

Brad Bowman studies U.S. defense strategy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He says terrorists and international crime organizations now have access to technology that makes it difficult to intercept their communications.

BOWMAN: And so if you have terrorist leaders who can communicate with cells around the world...and we can't detect those conversations, or understand what's being said, that's really kind of a horrible nightmare.

And with the Taliban back in power, the stakes are just as high as they were in 2001. Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

LJ: That’s it for this edition of WORLD Radio Rewind.

We’ve posted links to each of the stories we highlighted today in our transcript. You can find that on our website.

Next week, vaccine mandates. We’ll tell you how reaction to President Biden’s executive order is playing out. And Election Day in California. We’ll find out how the vaccine controversy might affect the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

For the latest news, features, and commentary from WORLD News Group, visit wng.org. For WORLD Radio, I’m Managing Editor Leigh Jones.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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