Displaying items by tag: Global

Friday, 30 July 2021 09:59

Global: ‘Pegasus Project’

Journalists and activists are under constant risk in too many parts of the world. Recently the extent and all-consuming nature of the threats was revealed when new technology was discovered. An Israeli company invented spyware that can do everything from extracting data to inconspicuously recording live audio and video. They insist their technology is intended for use against criminals and terrorists. But the Pegasus Project shows that it has been used by some governments to target journalists, activists, and political opponents. Journalist Khadija Ismayilova led the investigations which exposed Danske Bank moving suspicious cash to launder Azerbaijan’s international image. US$230 billion in dirty money was funnelled through the bank’s accounts in twelve years. Yet full accountability for the apparent anti-money laundering failures has been impossible to achieve – until this week. The European Commission has proposed an anti-money laundering agency, which could be a much-needed gamechanger.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 15 July 2021 22:20

Global: gender-based violence

In South Africa a woman is killed every four hours: ‘Our bodies are crime scenes’. Ornate advertising posters of men accused or convicted of murdering women cover the walls of Argentina’s capital. The word FEMICIDA -woman killer- screams out in large black letters under each name. The posters, and thousands of protesters outside Argentina’s Supreme Court in February, reveal the rage over rampant levels of violence against women. In Turkey’s cities last year thousands rallied, demanding the government does not withdraw from a landmark treaty to prevent and combat violence against women. Globally, trends of female journalists being threatened with physical violence, rape, kidnapping. and other abuses are rising. In Spain’s strawberry fields, migrant women face abuse from bosses who routinely sexually harass and exploit them, when they are attempting to support themselves and their families back home. Also see

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 02 July 2021 09:30

Czech Republic, USA, UK: uncommon tornadoes

On 25 June five people were killed and hundreds injured as a tornado wreaked havoc in the Czech Republic, with tennis-ball-sized hailstones hitting several villages in South Moravia. In the village of Luzice 120 houses were destroyed or damaged, roofs ripped off, windows blown out, cars overturned and debris scattered through the streets. Eight people were hospitalised after a tornado hit Chicago suburbs and damaged over 130 homes. In England a tornado that hit Barking left the area looking as if a bomb had gone off. Houses were seriously damaged, walls knocked down, and cars destroyed. Flash flooding caused trees and debris to be blown around the streets. There were also flash floods in Somerset.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 17 June 2021 21:15

Fight against global corruption

On 10 June a bipartisan group of members of the US Congress launched a caucus against foreign corruption and kleptocracy at a virtual kickoff event. The new caucus will focus on fighting global corruption and kleptocracy (authoritarian governance model in which foreign officials use corruption to maintain their power and grow their influence in countries). Transparency International said this caucus is a clear recognition of the importance of combating global corruption by leaders, which has increased since the pandemic. Corruption, including stolen and misappropriated relief funding, harsh crackdowns on pandemic reporting in the media, and attempts to appropriate or dismantle democratic and rule-of-law institutions, robs all those in need of urgent aid.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 11 June 2021 09:25

Global: Covid in animals

Neela, an Asiatic lion, died on 3 June at a zoo in Chennai after showing Covid symptoms. Eight other lions also tested positive; they have been quarantined, given antibiotics, and are under observation by veterinary teams. There have been other coronavirus cases reported in animals, including two white tiger cubs dying in Pakistan and lions testing positive in Spain. Many countries have reported infections in farmed mink. There is also evidence that mink have passed the virus back to humans in a mutated form. Meanwhile Russia has started vaccinating animals against coronavirus after registering the world's first animal-specific jab in March. Several regions have now started vaccinations at veterinary clinics. Interest has been shown in the Carnivak-Cov vaccine by the EU, Argentina, South Korea and Japan. Another vaccine is being developed by a US pharmaceutical company.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 11 June 2021 09:23

Global: crime sting

It took $120,000, and a reduced prison sentence, for a smartphone developer to collaborate with the FBI and Australian police in 2018 and kick-start Operation Trojan Shield. Three years later, the investigation involving 9,000 law enforcement officers from 17 countries saw authorities monitor 27 million messages from 12,000 devices in 100 countries and track the activities of over 300 organised crime groups. To date, there have been over 800 arrests and over eight tons of cocaine seized, 22 tons of cannabis, two tons of synthetic drugs, 250 guns, 55 luxury vehicles, and over $48 million. More arrests and seizures are expected. The ‘confidential human source’ had created a new hardened encrypted phone with a bespoke app called ANOM to organise drug deals and hits on rivals, and launder illicit earnings without detection. However, the criminals did not realise that all their messages were being monitored.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 27 May 2021 21:50

Christian persecution

Across Nigeria 1,470 Christians have been murdered and 2,200 abducted since January. The most recent offence was in Kaduna State when eight Christians were killed and a church was burned down. Pray for an end to such attacks by Fulani Muslim herdsmen and jihadists. In Burkina Faso jihadists ambushed a baptism and killed 15 of the Christians. Al-Qaeda and IS have been growing in West Africa since January. Pray for God's peace for the many who are living in fear and protection over those who ran away. In India’s Rajasthan state 15 radical Hindu nationalists carrying swords, sickles, and a gun attacked the family of a pastor after they all refused to renounce their Christian faith. The assailants killed the pastor’s 52-year-old father. Pray for God to strengthen and encourage church planters and house churches in different Hindu-dominant villages. Armenian Christian gravestones are used to build roads in Azerbaijan as they seek to eradicate evidence of Armenian culture and identity.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 27 May 2021 20:32

Communism - global threat?

Communism was Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ answer to corruption and greed. They vowed it would eliminate ‘the exploitation of one part of society by the other’ to create a utopian paradise on earth. In reality however, it was what Richard Wurmbrand (who spent fourteen years in prisons for his faith) called the ‘principal enemy.’ After being ransomed out of Romania and arriving in the West, Richard spoke about Communism’s effects on Christians and Christianity: ‘I cannot agree with evangelists and mission directors when they say today’s principal enemy is the materialism of the West. Today the principal enemy is Communism. Capitalism might have its evils, but it gives to the church the liberty to work for the salvation of souls. Communism uproots religion. The missionary energies must be concentrated upon the Communist lands.’ He wrote this in 1969, but Communism still continues to threaten and oppress God’s people globally.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 27 May 2021 20:28

Global: day of the Christian martyrs

29 June is traditionally regarded as the date on which the Apostle Paul was beheaded on the Appian Way in Rome. Join Christians around the world who will take time on that day to honor the legacy of those who, like Paul, gave their lives to advance the gospel. This year, Voice of the Martyrs is honoring the legacy of Rocio Pino, from Colombia. On 6 March 2011, Rocio was shot to death in retaliation for her witness for Christ to guerrilla fighters in Colombia.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 20 May 2021 21:40

Number of IDPs at record high

Intense storms and violence forced 40.5 million people to become displaced within their countries last year, despite strict restrictions on movement globally to halt Covid spreading. Conflicts and natural disasters forced one person every second to flee within their own country in 2020, pushing up the number of people living in internal displacement camps. The number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) was more than double the 26 million people who fled across borders as refugees. Three-quarters of the people who fled were victims of extreme weather. Intense cyclones, monsoon rains and floods hit highly-exposed and densely-populated areas in Asia and the Pacific, while the Atlantic hurricane season ‘was the most active on record’. Extended rainy seasons across the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa uprooted millions more. Experts say climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of such extreme weather events. Norwegian Refugee Council chief Jan Egeland described the report’s findings as ‘shocking’.

Published in Worldwide