Globe Trot
A latrine in a slum in Mumbai, India
Associated Press/Photo by Rafiq Maqbool
A latrine in a slum in Mumbai, India

Globe Trot 10.08


The big debate here in India is over toilets vs. temples. India’s rural development minister, Jairam Ramesh, started it with a comment late last week that the country has more temples than toilets. The complaint was meant to emphasize the problem of public defecation and lack of sanitation, but the comparison outraged Hindu nationalist party leaders.

Other things I’m learning in India, where I’m teaching as part of an editing course under the auspices of Magazine Training International:

While Christians in the south, where I am, make up 50 percent of the population or more in some areas, in other parts of India Christian persecution is persistent and intensifying. Christians continue to live in the forests in Orissa state, some thousands in rough displacement camps ever since a 2008 massacre.

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And attacks continue. Even so, I’ve been hearing reports here of ongoing conversions of thousands to Christianity among India’s lowest caste, the Dalits.

News that’s not news: Hugo Chavez is the winner in Venezuela’s presidential election. It means another six years in office for the socialist leader who has already served as head of state for 14 years.

Why the recent setbacks in Afghanistan? Why the worrisome toll of “insider attacks” that have killed 53 coalition (mostly U.S.) forces this year and undermined the U.S. strategy to train an Afghan security force? It’s “a trust crisis,” write two experts who served in Afghanistan, “stemming from the U.S. announcement of its withdrawal by the end of 2014—regardless of mission completion.” READ THIS ARTICLE.

I profiled the work of one of the authors, U.S. Air Force Capt. Felisa "Farzana" Dyrud, during her last deployment in Afghanistan.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in Libya visited the burned-out U.S. Consulate in Benghazi for the first time on Thursday, more than three weeks after Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an attack there on Sept. 11. Pundits and forensics experts are hitting hard at the Obama administration for its lagging efforts: "It’s safe to assume we are dealing with a cold case or a situation in which some low-level Islamists will be blamed and prosecuted by the Libyan government,” said former investigator Manny Cardoza.

Five terror suspects extradited from the UK to the United States arrived over the weekend and may make appearance today in U.S. courtrooms.

As fighting in Syria continues, Barnabas Fund has an extensive report on the tragedy for Christians in Syria and the latest on the church in Aleppo.


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