Faith & Politics / Weekly Wrap

Faith & Politics Weekly Wrap – 15-21 June 2017

A selection of political articles covering major world issues, with a particular focus on religious and cultural interests.

Photo: Finsbury Park Underground station staff write a message of solidarity following the terror attack near the Finsbury Park mosque, 19 June 2017. Via the Telegraph.

Skip to section: Worldwide | Americas | Europe | Africa & Middle East | Asia | Satire & Comedy

Worldwide

A global celebration of Refugees promises hope in the face of dramatic challenges. [UNHCR]

The number of displaced persons has reached a record high. [UNHCR]

African refugees in Rome share their experiences. [National Catholic Register]

Americas

Republican Karen Handel defeats Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election (second round) in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, a disappointing loss for the Democrats. Discussion ensues as to whether the Democratic Party is finding candidates suitable to campaign in southern states, where socially conservative and openly religious candidates perform better. [MSNBC]

Europe

A record number of women are elected in the French legislative elections, as newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron’s party wins a large majority of seats. [Reuters]

The Queen’s Speech is delivered outlining the UK government’s programme for the next two years of legislative sessions, unusually preempting the yearly Queen’s Speech of 2018. It is speculated that the government is preparing for a “hard Brexit” which would dramatically curtail European influence in the UK, but it has reneged on a number of proposed economic reforms in the face of legislative pressure. The future of the government in the UK is uncertain as the ruling Conservative party is still trying to negotiate a minority government after losing seats in the snap election in May. [Telegraph]

An elderly man is killed and several others injured in an anti-Muslim terror attack in North London. The perpetrator, who was unarmed apart from his vehicle, has been taken into custody. [Guardian]

A terror attack is foiled in Brussels [Sky News] and a probable terror attack is foiled in Paris [DW].

Germany’s liberal Free Democratic Party, enjoying a rise in the polls, is putting pressure on the government on a wide range of strategic goals heading into this September’s legislative elections, in hope of a coalition with Chancellor Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union. The FDP had lost all 93 of its seats in the 2013 elections after failing to secure the required 5% of the vote. The party is particularly concerned about government surveillance powers, which have been extended in Germany and other European countries, ostensibly to help combat terrorism. [DW]

Africa & the Middle East

UN and Catholic officials report on the death toll in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where local militia opposed to the government have been brutally suppressed by the army. [NPR]

Ethiopia earns UN praise for accepting vast numbers of refugees from the region, though pressures on Ethiopia’s aid supply could cause a food shortage for 1.7 million people by the end of this month. [AfricaNews]

US drone and flight activity has intensified in Syria as tensions increase with Syrian allies such as Russia and Iran. [Atlantic]

Russia has again threatened to establish a no-fly zone in Syria west of the Euphrates. [Washington Post]

King Salman of Saudia Arabia has replaced his former heir-apparent with another, stiffening Saudi rhetoric against Iran and “Shia doctrine”. [Al Jazeera]

Debate continues in the Israeli Knesset over government “annexation” of the West Bank, with each side accusing the other of apartheid. [Jerusalem Post]

Asia

President Duterte of the Philippines announces that martial law in the Philippines is “not currently necessary”, and apologises for the declaration of martial law on Mindanao island. ISIS-affiliated militants are besieging the city of Marawi on that island. However, he has threatened to declare martial law anyway if the situation worsens, particularly if ISIS captures gains other footholds in the country. [Philippine Star] / [CNN]

Buddhists in Thailand are compelled to disclose their balance sheets, as Thailand’s military government cracks down on corruption. [Buddhist Channel]

Muslims celebrating Pakistan’s Cricket Champions’ Trophy win are arrested in the Madhya Pradesh province, amidst ongoing Hindu-Muslim tensions in the region. [Al Jazeera]

Japan debates as to whether the country, currently reliant on the missile defences of the United States, should enjoin UN nuclear disarmament talks. [Japan Times (Opinion)]

Satire and Comedy

Cows object to being used as political pawns. [The Mideast Beast (Satire)]

A US judge struggles with the dilemma of an unborn immigrant. [Eye of the Tiber (Satire)]

A feminist queen wrestles with the need to produce a male heir. [Reductress (Satire – explicit)]

Trump’s new press secretary on globalism, gay frogs. [Babylon Bee (Satire)]

“If the enemy of our enemy is our friend, our friend in this case is then our enemy, who is actually not our enemy but our friend’s enemy.” [Duffle Blog (Satire)]

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