Hezbollah’s decision to enter Syria’s civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad threatens to widen the conflict. Yesterday rebels threatened to “chase Hezbollah to hell” and fired rocks into Lebanon, Hezbollah’s heartland, hitting Beirut for the first time in the two-year uprising.
Meanwhile, Russia and the United States appear serious about peace talks regarding Syria, but the EU yesterday allowed an arms embargo to lapse, meaning France and the UK may again push more weapons into the hands of jihadi rebels.
France’s central bank chief offers a clear assessment of what ails the eurozone.In his annual report he argues that needed economic growth cannot be “sustained artificially by public spending” but requires “a profound change in public policy.” Government spending in France is running at 55 percent of GDP.
Militants shot and killed a volunteer in Peshawar, Pakistan, who was going door to door to give oral anti-polio drops to children. Global health workers have launched major campaigns in Pakistan, one of the world’s last vestiges of the crippling disease, to vaccinate a quarter-million children there. This year militants have killed over two dozen health workers involved in the eradication effort.
Authorities in western Myanmar (also known as Burma) plan to revive a two-child limit on Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists and comes with accusations of ethnic cleansing.
Germany has spent nearly $2 billion on electric car research and development, but is far from convincing German drivers to go green. With a government goal of 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020, Germans so far have opted to purchase only 7,000.
Fellow WORLD writer Thomas Kidd has just returned from Britain, where a new analysis of census data shows that less than half of all Brits will identify as Christians within the next decade. Still, Kidd found, “The observable facts are not promising, but there are certainly pockets of flourishing Christianity in Britain.” One is Christian immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
Today is G. K. Chesterton’s birthday. One favorite Chesterton chestnut (Orthodoxy, 1908):
It might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. … It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.