Globe Trot 12.05

International | Mindy Belz

Globe Trot 12.05

Protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo.
Associated Press/Photo by Nasser Nasser

Egyptians living near the presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis section report heavy clashes this morning with Muslim Brotherhood “thugs” who support President Mohamed Morsi. The clashes follow large demonstrations yesterday outside the palace, with thousands of Egyptians protesting the country’s hastily drawn up constitution and Morsi's recent assertion of new presidential powers. “I reject the use of religion to divide Egypt,” “Your Constitution is false,” and “Down with Morsi” chanted protesters yesterday and into the night.

A speech on Tuesday by former President George W. Bush is reinvigorating the immigration debate in the United States, especially among Republicans. “Not only do immigrants help build our economy, they invigorate our soul,” he said, calling for “a benevolent spirit” that “keeps in mind the contribution of immigrants.”

Iran claims it “has fully extracted” data from a U.S. intelligence-gathering drone it says it captured on Tuesday, but the United States has denied the capture.

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In Syria’s civil war, about 6,000 ethnic Armenians, mostly from Aleppo, have fled to Armenia. They are a small part of the 400,000 refugees the UN says have fled to neighboring countries, but part of Syria’s ancient Christian community now seeks another homeland.

Wycliffe Bible Translators announced new statistics illustrating “the dramatic progress in Bible translation efforts around the world.” With 2,075 Scripture translation projects in progress, the agency says just 1,967 languages are in need of Bible translation. Those languages represent less than 29 percent of the estimated 6,800 languages spoken around the world, and a trend reversal: “Every generation before us has seen the numbers increasing as more and more languages were discovered, and more translation needs were verified,” said Wycliffe president Bob Creson. “Now that trend has been reversed.”

Despite a headlining reversal last week in the case of 14-year-old Rimsha Masih, in Pakistan at least 16 people are on death row for blasphemy and at least 20 others are serving life sentences, according to a new report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

A cave-dwelling fish with no eyes and no scales has been discovered on a tiny island in Vietnam’s scenic Ha Long Bay.

Once a popular site for European and American trekkers, northern Mali is settling into a new role as a jihadi “safe haven” for al-Qaeda affiliates.

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