GAZA: The UN reports the death toll in Gaza has crossed 500, and the world body is calling for an immediate cease-fire. That’s what Israel, Egypt, the Arab League, and others wanted a week ago when Hamas said no. Rarely does international politics present such moments of moral clarity, writes Charles Krauthammer on the Israeli-Gaza conflict. “Here’s the difference between us,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We’re using missiledefense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
IRAQ: Christians are fleeing Mosul after the Islamic State on Friday ordered them to convert or pay an unspecified fine (“jizya”) and said there would be nothing left for those who disobeyed “but the sword.” Perhaps historians will come to terms with the irony: Christianity in Mosul survived 400 years of Ottoman rule by Muslim Turks and 30 years’ Baathist Party dictatorship, only to be crushed in just over a decade after the U.S. liberation of Iraq.
Here’s the full statement by Chaldean patriarch Louis Sako: “We call to you urgently; we call to you impelled by risk and in spite of the risk. We implore in particular our Iraqi brothers asking them to reconsider and reflect upon the strategy they have adopted and demanding that they must respect innocent and weaponless people of all nationalities, religions, and sects.”
Iraq’s Yezidi population, also centered in the Nineveh Plains surrounding Mosul, are suffering as much or more than Christians at the hands of Islamic State fighters.
IRAN: Former senior White House aides are blasting the president’s decision on Friday to extend talks and a deadline for Iran to finalize an interim agreement on its nuclear program. Obama’s former WMD “czar” said given current lack of progress, “There is little potential for a diplomatic resolution.” Another former adviser on arms control, Robert Einhorn, said Iran is using the delays to move further from the six world powers in conditions laid down in the five-month-old talks.
UKRAINE: Dutch forensics experts reached the site of the downed Malaysian airlines jet, and rebels say they will hand over flight recorders to Malaysian authorities, as pressure builds on Russian President Vladimir Putin and pro-Russian separatists to come clean about what happened.
Here’s a look at the six areas of conflict the FAA says are too dangerous for U.S. passenger jets to cross.
SUDAN: According to a Reuters report late last week, the apostasy suit filed by her family against Meriam Ibrahim has been dropped, but her ability to leave Sudan with her family remains uncertain.