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Cold, coup, Koh, and COVID-19 trial

Winter weather turns disastrous in many parts of the world


Snow covers the Acropolis in Athens on Tuesday. Associated Press/Photo by Antonis Nikolopoulos/Eurokinissi

Cold, coup, Koh, and COVID-19 trial

MEXICO looks like Canada, and the winter storm that devastated the Texas power grid has caused blackouts in northern Mexico and cut natural gas exports south of the border by 25 percent.

GREECE: Thousands of homes in northern Athens are also without power as heavy snow has blanketed the Acropolis and halted COVID-19 vaccinations.

SYRIA: Snow across the Middle East has grounded warplanes in Syria and left at least two Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley dead. Much of the region lacks power and heat, and temperatures hover between 20 and 30 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why you can’t cry in Damascus when it snows.

MYANMAR: A record number of protesters have turned out today in opposition to a Feb. 1 military takeover, determined not to back down despite the threats. In Karen state to the north, the army has continued attacks on ethnic minorities, dropping overnight mortar rounds (according to a report from Free Burma Rangers), blocking aid, and forcing more than 5,000 people to flee their homes.

MALAYSIA: It’s been four years since the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh outside Kuala Lumpur, and family members report little progress as they await a trial date for a civil suit filed in the case.

GUINEA has declared a new Ebola epidemic.

UNITED STATES: Fallout overseas continues after Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) released a report last week finding extensive evidence of sexual misconduct—including sexual assault—by the global apologist who died last year.

Its U.K. ministry offshoot, Zacharias Trust, announced it was severing all ties with RZIM and changing its name. The Trust also runs the Zacharias-founded Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. HarperCollins announced it was pulling all of Zacharias’ books. In Australia, former RZIM head Dan Paterson said he regrets he didn’t “push harder against the tides of submissive loyalty to demand better answers earlier.” Several RZIM leaders overseas severed ties with the organization after an initial report confirmed sexual misconduct allegations in December. Overseas RZIM continues to operate Wellspring International.

BRITAIN: A London hospital will host the world’s first “human challenge trials,” which pay healthy volunteers to be infected with COVID-19 as a way to measure the long-term effectiveness of treatments and recovery.

FRANCE: French experts are combing the country’s forests for centuries-old oaks to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral spire.

LENTEN devotional starting today here.


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.

@MindyBelz

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