French president Nicolas Sarkozy is in a fight for his political survival after being defeated by Socialist candidate François Hollande in the first round of voting. Think Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul in an October first round. The May 6 runoff could see Sarkozy go the way of 10 other euro leaders driven from office by their handling of Europe's debt crisis (and for Sarkozy, the war in Afghanistan). Hollande promises to raise taxes on the wealthy, temper austerity measures, and increase social spending. What's not to love?
Afghan and U.S. negotiators finalized a strategic partnership agreement on the U.S. role in Afghanistan after American forces withdraw from the country at the end of 2014. Ahead of withdrawal, the Pentagon is looking to put smaller teams in place alongside Afghan units. Also: Afghanistan's church "a smoldering wick."
The South Sudan army (SPLA) withdrew from Heglig oilfields just north of its border on Friday in response to international pressure. The SPLA was ordered into the strategic area in response to continued aerial bombardments of South Sudan oilfields and civilian areas-including what I call ethnic cleansing of the border areas where largely Christian populations have been forced from their homes. For an up close view, read Jamie Dean's cover story in the current issue of WORLD. And this from South Sudan's vice president:
To watch: The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans begins its leadership conference at a South London church today through Friday. A good place to keep up with events is Kendall Harmon's TitusOneNine blog. The group, formed by Bible-believing Anglicans worldwide following GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) held in Jerusalem in 2008, meets in the shadow of the maneuvering over who will be the next archbishop of Canterbury.
I'm looking into: America's "catastrophic" approach to the rise of the Boko Haram threat in Nigeria, with the State Department labeling serial bombings, targeted killings, and attacks on Christian sites as rooted in "social inequities."
Editor's Note: Globe Trot is a summary of international news compiled and summarized by WORLD editor Mindy Belz. It's intended to be a swift read, a distillation of significant events-some in the headlines, some not. For nearly 20 years these topics have been Mindy's daily bread, first as WORLD's international editor and now as its editor.
Mindy writes, "Some like to say the world is flat, or the world is in chaos and awaits the next new global order. At WORLD we like to say with the psalmist that 'the earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.' And we aren't bashful to assert with many experts that we don't live in a post-American era, but on the ripe side of an age where the assertion of U.S. strength has led to widespread freedom, unimagined global prosperity, and the absence of war among the world's great powers. Not because America is preeminently great but because Americans-since their country's founding in the 18th century-have relied broadly on principles that all men are created equal and all their works and lives can be conducted for God's glory and thereby benefit people everywhere. This energizes our global engagement every day, for as one early colonist put it, 'The very wheelbarrow is to be with respect looked upon.'"