Globe Trot

Globe Trot 07.11


The London Summit on Family Planning today has just ended. Hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and attended by numerous heads of state, the summit featured speakers who received applause when they noted that Melinda Gates was in defiance of her Catholic faith by pushing global contraceptive coverage. Gates seemed to steer clear of the abortion rights agenda, with organizers instead emphasizing the role of contraceptives "to stop the need for 50 million abortions." And pro-abort groups complained about "the glaring absence of any reference to the importance of abortion in the family planning equation." The only problem for participants wanting to push a population control agenda, according to a presenter on global population trends, is that, especially in more developed countries, "women desire more children than they have." The contraceptive revolution being pushed on poor countries, in other words, perhaps isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Women are joining the Free Syrian Army, making plain among other things the prevalence of outside forces to fight President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Donning camo gear and an ammunition belt, one lady soldier said, "We are not advocates of killing and revenge, we are advocates of peace."

There's more on the sudden resignation of U.S. ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration ahead of a State Department audit that will reportedly criticize his "odd behavior"-something actually well documented before President Obama appointed him a year ago to one of the most coveted diplomatic posts in the world. In a 2009 interview, Gration suggested "giving out cookies" to Sudan president and indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir. "Kids, countries-they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement." Prediction: This report will be a foreign service CYA maneuver for embarrassment the administration should have seen coming and Gration's soft approach, which must be galling to the new U.S. Africom military command in light of growing threats from Africa-based Islamists.

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With this week's one-year anniversary of independence for South Sudan, an anonymous (but highly experienced and knowledgeable) humanitarian worker in the region has written a compelling declaration for "regime change" in Sudan: "It is a recognition that any government that kills its own citizens has no legitimacy to rule over them, as President Barack Obama recently stated about Syria. Certainly 3 million Sudanese lives over 23 years demands an equal statement to 9,000 Syrian lives over 12 months."

China has detained its newly appointed Catholic bishop of Shanghai, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, after he announced his resignation from China's Patriotic Catholic Association-the state-run church organ-at his ordination mass Saturday. Bishop Ma disappeared shortly after the ordination, failing to show up to conduct mass on Sunday.

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