ISRAEL: Authorities shocked Israelis and Palestinians on Sunday when they arrested six Jewish suspects accused of burning to death an Arab teenager who was kidnapped while waiting outside a mosque for dawn prayers. Mohammad Abu Khieder, 16, allegedly was brutalized and burned alive in retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teens abducted in the West Bank and found slain last week. Tensions in Israel remain high, with security restricting Muslim access to al Aqsa mosque (the Dome of the Rock) at the start of Ramadan in response to Arab rioting over the teen’s murder.
RAMADAN: During the Muslim month of fasting (June 28-July 27), the persecution watchdog group Open Doors offers a prayer calendar for praying for Christian believers living in Islamic-dominated countries.
INDONESIA: Two days before presidential elections, Indonesia’s foreign minister has sent a sharp rebuke to U.S. Ambassador Robert O. Blake for meddling in the vote. Blake told The Wall Street Journal Indonesian authorities should investigate potential human rights abuses involving candidate Prabowo Subianto. The diplomat’s statement, so closely timed to election day, may have backfired: Departing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gave Prabowo an unusual endorsement last week amid the uproar, and Prabowo, once behind in the polls, has seen a surge of support since the United States weighed in.
MEXICO: An earthquake has rocked a wide area of southern Mexico, including Chiapas, and Guatemala, killing at least two people.
JAPAN is bracing for what weather officials are calling a “supertyphoon” due to approach Okinawa’s Miyako Island with full force by Tuesday morning with gusts exceeding 160 mph.
GEORGIA: Eduard Shervardnadze, the last Soviet foreign minister and an architect to ending the Cold War, died today at 86.
IRAQ: If you want to understand the U.S. role in Iraq’s unravelling, read this article by Ali Khedery, the longest continually serving U.S. official in Iraq. With troops on the ground in 2010, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki embattled and turning more to Iran and tyrannical policies, Khedery and other top U.S. officials lobbied the White House to drop support for the Shiite president—to no avail.