The organization Christian Aid Mission has released a disturbing report, recounting how 11 Christian workers and one of their children were captured by militants from the radical Islamic group ISIS and publicly executed after they refused to denounce their faith. All 12 were from the area of near Aleppo, Syria. The details are horrifying. According to their report and accounts from family members and co-workers, the group, which included a 12-year-old boy, was captured in early August. The boy was then tortured in front of a large crowd, and after he and three men, including his own father, refused to renounce their Christianity, they were crucified. Not long after, two women were raped and then beheaded with the other members of the group. Since their rise to prominence in Syria and nearby parts of Iraq, ISIS has killed thousands, including Christians as well as many fellow Muslims in their efforts to establish a caliphate. Discuss
The organization Doctors Without Borders says that at least 22 people were killed—10 of whom were patients—when one of their hospitals in Afghanistan was hit by a U.S. airstrike. The mayor of the city where the hospital is located told The Washington Post that the structure was being used as a base for Taliban fighters who’d been firing weapons from the grounds. The NGO, however, disputes those claims. In a statement, they said that the airstrike constitutes a war crime: “Under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed, [Doctors Without Borders] demands that a full and transparent investigation into the event be conducted by an independent international body.”
The chief of human rights at the U.N. said, "If established as deliberate in a court of law, an airstrike on a hospital may amount to a war crime.” The Pentagon said that the hospital was targeted inadvertently and they will investigate the incident. An official told The New York Times, American and Afghan troops had come under fire in the area and requested air support. Discuss
The World Bank has released some encouraging news. According to their projections, by the end of 2015, for the first time ever, fewer than 10 percent of the global population will be living below the extreme poverty line. While the fall in the number of people living in extreme poverty is encouraging, their numbers indicate poverty is still a major problem in many parts of the world—the line for extreme poverty is only an income of $1.90 a day. And, many of the extremely poor are isolated to a single region: More than half of the 10 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa. Discuss
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made more controversial comments about immigration, this time about Syrian refugees welcomed into the United States. The government recently announced that it would allow 10,000 more refugees—fleeing a long-standing civil war and the spread of ISIS—into the country, as hundreds of thousands of others have fled to Europe. Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Trump told supporters he was “putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they’re going back.” He went as far as to claim that the refugees escaping violence could be members of ISIS and the refugee crisis was actually “one of the great tactical ploys of all time.” Thousands of refugees, including young children, have died while attempting to leave Syria, and the on-going violence in the country has killed more than 300,000 Syrians.
At a different campaign event, fellow GOP candidate Jeb Bush was asked about how America could help Syrian refugees, and he said,
I think we’re duty bound to provide support. This is normally what we do unbelievably well. We act on our heart, we organize it well, we take care of people. This is typically with support of government, but it’s normally with organizations that do great work ... And people are leaving not because they’re immigrants looking for a better life. They’re leaving because if not, they’ll die. It’s that simple. And we have to play a role in providing support.
According to a new report from the International Organization for Migrant, so far in 2015, more than 500,000 migrants arrived in Europe by boat. As The Daily Beast notes, most of the migrants, who were fleeing violence, instability and poverty in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, came into the continent through Greece. Discuss