Image: Beyoncé and her twins (detail), via Beyoncé on Instagram.
Every Saturday, Weekly Wrap offers news items, humour, and commentary with a particular focus on faith and cultural interests.
We read dozens of international news websites and find items sometimes overlooked by Google and popular media. We’re not infallible, though, and we will miss things. Please comment below if there’s something you think we should have covered. Thanks!
Donald Trump joins Emanuel Macron for celebrations of Bastille Day in Paris. Trump, who has been critical of the French government in the past and backed Macron’s nationalist opponent in the recent Presidential elections, has been steadily rebuilding bridges. This is his third meeting with Macron in the past two months. [France 24]
Brazil proposes opening up new swathes of the Amazon to deforestation and agricultural use, to the criticism of environmental pundits. [Telesur]
US Republicans move one step closer and two steps back on passing healthcare legislation as two Republican Senators register their lack of support, reducing their predicted majority to 0 (in case of a tie, the Vice President would break it in the Republicans’ favour). Some American pundits suggest that more Senators may defect after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) offers their verdict. [TIME]
…More faith leaders have registered opposition to the healthcare bill. [ThinkProgress]
NB: In the interest of balance, Between Realities is looking for faith leaders in support of the AHCA, but ran out of energy trying to find one. If you are one or know one, please get in touch.
Infant Charlie Gard’s fate was offered another hearing on Friday 14 July, but the court has yet to revise or extend its original ruling. Multiple courts in the UK and Europe have ruled in favour of the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). GOSH doctors, who are employed by the UK’s publicly funded National Health Service, have insisted that Charlie is removed from life support, while his parents want him to receive experimental treatment which has been offered in the US and the Vatican. The infant is suffering from a debilitating condition which prevents him from seeing, hearing, or nourishment without artificial assistance. [Wikipedia]
Two UK Muslim men marry, marking what is thought to be the first Muslim gay wedding in the UK. [Telegraph]
Italy proposes issuing Schengen visas to as many as 60,000 migrants and refugees, trying to resolve an ongoing dispute with the EU in caring for large numbers of refugees who have crossed the Mediterranean fleeing African conflict zones. [Guardian]
Africa & Middle East
The conquest of Mosul by Iraqi forces nears completion. Officials hope that this is the beginning of the end for ISIS’ territorial presence in Iraq and Syria, but the city has been almost completely destroyed, including the historic mosque and leaning tower in the Old City. [AlJazeera (feature, compilation) / Military Times / BBC]
Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan commemorates the first year anniversary of a failed coup by threatening to kill detractors, further leveraging Islamism in the process. [Sky News]
(One we missed…) US craft chain Hobby Lobby agrees to forfeit a vast number of Iraqi artifacts which it illegally purchased for resale in 2010. [NY Times, 6 July]
Asia & Oceania
Recently deceased Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo is hastily cremated, but his legacy is celebrated outside China. Supporters demand the release of his wife, who is apparently still in Chinese custody. [BBC]
A Tibetan student self-immolates in India in an apparent anti-China protest. The student survived the burning but is badly injured and remains in hospital. [Al Jazeera]
Opinion & Commentary
RNS’ Summer Reading List [Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service]
Why do Westerners convert to Islam? [Akbar Ahmed, Pakistan Daily Times]
Bishop Barron and the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue [Mark Shea, Patheos]
Pop artist and American cultural icon Beyoncé borrows Marian symbolism for her first public photograph of her infant twins. [Katie Edwards, RealClearReligion]
Satire & Comedy
(One we missed last week…) Statistics reveal that Facebook arguments are a massive contributor to faith conversions. [Babylon Bee (Satire)]
Gluten-free Catholics will not be saved (referring to recent news on a Vatican crackdown on Gluten-free Eucharistic “bread”). [Eye of the Tiber (Satire)]
Saudis blame Jews for Shiites. [The Mideast Beast (Satire)]
God plays Cartesian deflection. [SMBC (Cartoon)]