Globe Trot
A refugee sits at the camp in Maban County, South Sudan.
AFP/Getty Images/Photo by Giulio Petrocco
A refugee sits at the camp in Maban County, South Sudan.

Globe Trot: South Sudan camp, Iraqi Shiites killed, Iran sanctions, Zero Dark Thirty


Tensions are growing in Maban County, South Sudan—an area we’ve focused on that has a rich heritage of Christian ministry and has since mid-2011 attracted more than 44,000 displaced people to a makeshift camp following fighting between Sudanese forces and South Sudan armies. Here’s a great place to follow the ongoing work among the displaced up close.

Yesterday, attackers killed at least 32 Iraqi Shiites returning from a pilgrimage to Karbala, where Imam Hussein ibn Ali, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad, is buried. The pilgrimages were banned under Saddam Hussein and have become bombing targets since: 27 were killed in 2010, 52 in 2011, and 53 in 2012.

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The sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera will put the Qatar-based network in more than 40 million American homes, and net Current TV owner and former Vice President Al Gore an estimated $100 million. The deal confirms a show business reality: “It can be a lot easier to profit from a channel than to come up with must-see TV for viewers.”

A rare, up-close look at the effects of Western sanctions on Iran—and years of government mismanagement of the economy under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—from factory workers and shopkeepers: “Our country is facing an economic disaster.”

French actor Gérard Depardieu is “pleased” with his new Russian passport—and now actress Brigitte Bardot is threatening to join him in exile unless France halts the scheduled euthanasia of two sick circus elephants.

Zero Dark Thirty, which opens today in many U.S. theaters, is right to imply that enhanced interrogation techniques worked but inaccurate in its depiction of them, said CIA veterans Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and its Clandestine Service (in other words, he knows).

The scandal of silence: Thank you, John Stonestreet and Breakpoint, for highlighting attacks on Christians in the Middle East and northern Africa.

And to go with you into the weekend, a word from my friend Kunle Awosiyan at the Nigerian Tribune: “One advice for friends this year: Learn a skill, drop certificate, pursue vocation but not qualification. The son of lion survives because of its wrestling skill, the cheetah survives for being an athlete, the monkey survives for its jumping skill, even the ant is very good in building colonies. They all lack paper qualifications yet they excel. What skills do you have, brother?”


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