Turkey threatens to widen the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed territory
AZERBAIJAN: Dozens are dead as a border conflict with Armenia dating to 1990 has revived in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is located inside mostly Muslim Azerbaijan but is home to mostly Christian Armenians. Both countries have declared martial law and declined talks, as Armenia claims Turkey shot down one of its fighter jets.
Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of Britain’s House of Lords (and a WORLD Daniel of the Year) has made 86 trips to the region since the conflict began, and this year reported on the rise in state rhetoric targeting the Armenian population. Turkey threatens to widen the conflict, aiding Azerbaijan and this week permitting a demonstration by Azerbaijanis near the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul.
GLOBAL: Belgium’s coronavirus death toll passed 10,000, as the country continues to lead most per capita death rate lists, and COVID-19 deaths in the world topped 1 million this week.With pandemic restrictions, children are staying home from school and in some countries going to work to help support their families, forced sometimes into work that is arduous and illegal. About 1 million Brits are testing a new tracing app alerting those who’ve come in contact with the coronavirus to self-isolate.
INDIA: Amnesty International is ending human-rights monitoring in India following the freezing of bank assets and interrogation of its executives. Indian authorities are cracking down on foreign non-governmental organizations, with thousands losing licenses and a 40 percent drop in NGO-driven revenue.
LAOS: A largely unnoticed 2019 law offers potential protection to persecuted Lao evangelical Christians, now one of six groups covered in what I’m told are more like by-laws. Designed to protect freedom of communities in worship, they may not necessarily offer new protection to individual converts from Buddhism to Christianity.
CYPRUS: turned away six boats with Lebanese passengers, saying they are economic migrants, not refugees. The Trump administration appears likely to not issue a refugee cap for the coming fiscal year, due Thursday, which would leave refugee admissions frozen at zero. Last year, the president slashed the refugee cap to 18,000—from 110,000 when he took office—and with pandemic restrictions has resettled in the United States just under 11,000, adding to a swelling backlog. Refugee resettlement groups, joined this week by Bethany Christian Services, are recommending the cap be reinstated to 95,000 refugees.
FRANCE: Three-time French Open champ Serena Williams is out of the tournament—and perhaps the season—with an Achilles’ tendon injury.
TAIWAN: There’s a baby boom at the Taipei Zoo you don’t want to miss.
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