Globe Trot
Iraqi federal policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad.
Associated Press/Photo by Karim Kadim
Iraqi federal policemen stand guard at a checkpoint in Baghdad.

Globe Trot: Militants continue their march to Baghdad


IRAQ: After days of bombing and unrest, al-Qaeda linked militants successfully took over Mosul—Iraq’s second largest city—forcing about a half million of the city’s 1.8 million residents to flee in a 24-hour-period and threatening the final exodus of Christians. “Ninety-nine percent of the Christians have left Mosul,” pastor Haitham Jazrawi told me yesterday from Kirkuk, where his church and others are also threatened by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

You can see video footage of fighting and fleeing here. There are reports this morning of Kurdish peshmerga forces retaking Mosul’s airport, even as other reports say ISIL fighters are taking over Tikrit, 95 miles north of Baghdad.

Confusing reports proliferate of U.S. military equipment stolen by militants in Mosul, with perhaps two or more Humvees showing up in rebel-held territory in Syria yesterday.

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SCOTLAND: A “Named Person” law is being quietly implemented in Scotland, requiring a state guardian for every child under 18. On Monday family and religious organizations launched a campaign to oppose the law taking effect.

AFGHANISTAN: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is this morning testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, as the rift between the U.S. military and the White House over the circumstances of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release widens. Neither Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of all U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, nor Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, were given specifics of the deal before the May 31 prisoner exchange.

NIGERIA: This afternoon a House subcommittee will hold hearings covering the latest on Boko Haram attacks. Foreign Affairs committee chairman Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., is just back from a trip to northern Nigeria to investigate. But no one from the State Department or White House has agreed to be part of the panel.

CORRECTION: I received a report labeled 2014 on border security, posted in Monday’s Globe Trot, that actually turned out to be from 2004. I should have paid closer attention and apologize.

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