South Africans prepare to mark Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on Thursday, as the country’s first post-apartheid head of state remains hospitalized (since June 8) in critical condition.
In Syria, breakdown continues as gunmen loyal to President Bashar al Assad shot dead at least six mediators sent to try to reconcile warring sectarian groups in Homs province. In the north, al Qaeda-linked al Nusra Front fighters continue to wage war against other rebel groups: They attacked a Kurdish patrol, but the Kurds say they killed eight al Nusra Front militants.
Insightful reports from the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin on targeted attacks on Christians in Upper Egypt following President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster and on the “rule of law” in Pakistan when it comes to prosecuting Christians on blasphemy charges. In the case of Ruma Masih, a Christian woman now hunted in the U.K. on trumped-up charges, it will be worth watching whether British authorities cooperate with Pakistan’s militant clerics:
This case shows how police actions and court rulings are being dictated by belligerent “Muslims and clerics” rather than by law or reason whilst the government is either unwilling or unable to do anything about it. Clearly Pakistan is no longer ruled by law, but by vindictive and intolerant Muslims and clerics who persecute with impunity and dictate to police, judges and lawmakers.
Sudanese President Omar al Bashir completed a visit to Nigeria and flew back to Khartoum, despite calls for his arrest. The president is an indicted war criminal before the International Criminal Court, yet has repeatedly traveled with impunity throughout Africa.
Panamanian authorities detained a North Korean-flagged ship and its crew as they headed for North Korea from Cuba carrying what U.S. officials suspect are components of a surface-to-air missile system.
British soccer club Arsenal is set today to become the first Premier League team to play against the national team in Vietnam, as the communist country this summer opens up sporting events to hosting Western teams. A U.S.-Vietnam soccer exchange program has been in place for five years.
Thank you, Iraq embassy in Washington, for posting WORLD’s “A lesson from Iraq” story here.