World Briefs

World Shorts - NewsBriefsIs China exaggerating the Uighur terror threat?

 (WNS)–As Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda stretches slick tentacles into the West, luring Americans and Europeans to fight jihad in Syria, the terror group also is increasingly seducing recruits along the Eastern Silk Road. More than 100 Uighur Muslims from China are currently fighting jihad in Syria, according to recently leaked ISIS documents, and Chinese state media has reported Uighur recruits at three times that number. The Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking ethnic minority group nestled in the northwestern mountains of Xinjiang, have long accused China of religiously motivated persecution. But in recent months, as militants have staged terror attacks outside China, the Uighur issue has taken on a transnational dimension, raising security concerns for the People’s Republic. Earlier in September, a Uighur Muslim crashed an explosive-laden van into a Chinese diplomatic compound in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing himself and wounding five civilians. Kyrgyz officials identified the suicide bomber as Zoir Khalimov, and claimed his attack was supported by the Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.


Zimbabwe leaders accused of starving opponents 

(WNS)–Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Commission has accused the ruling party of withholding food aid from opposition supporters amid mass starvation triggered by the country’s worst drought in years. The commission said its investigation, conducted between May and August this year, confirmed that some opposition supporters in five constituencies could not access the government’s food aid program. “There was unbridled maladministration on the part of some public officials who were allegedly performing their duties partially and with bias against persons of particular political affiliations,” the commission’s chairman, Elasto Mugwadi, told journalists in a press conference.


Christian women petition Canadian Parliament over persecution

(WNS)–A conservative, pro-family women’s group in Canada wants greater protections for Christians’ religious freedom and rights of conscience. REAL Women of Canada says religious freedom has eroded as Canada has sanctioned things like gay marriage, so the group recently launched a petition to present to Parliament. “What we’re seeing now is lack of respect for Christians,” REAL Women of Canada researcher Diane Watts said. “[T]hey’re facing fines in human rights courts.” She said defendants in those trials are required to pay their legal expenses, even if the accusations against them are false or charges eventually get dropped. “There’s still a veneer of thinking that Christian rights are protected,” said Watts. Many Canadians don’t know their rights of speech and conscience won’t be protected until someone complains and takes them to court.


U.S., India forge defense, counter-terror pacts

(WNS)–The United States and India have signed a defense cooperation agreement many are calling a milestone in the strategic relationship between the two democracies. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar on Aug. 30 signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which provides for the reciprocal provision of logistical support and supplies such as food, water, fuel, medical services, and transportation. A culmination of nearly 12 years of discussions, the agreement reflects a significant shift in attitude on the part of the government in New Delhi, which has historically prized its strategic autonomy. “It shows that India is starting to shed the vestiges of mistrust that had built up during the Cold War years between the U.S. and India,” said Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation. “And it shows that [Indian] Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi, is personally committed to improving the relationship. It would have been unthinkable to imagine the previous Indian … government signing this agreement.”

ISIS sends child slaves on suicide missions

(WNS)–Though Turkish officials are still investigating who is responsible for a recent suicide attack that killed 54 people at a Kurdish wedding, they initially thought the bomber was a child between the ages of 12 and 14, likely linked to Islamic State (ISIS). Whether the claim proves true, evidence shows ISIS exploits boys and girls as bombers, combatants, and sex slaves. ISIS reportedly keeps an army of child soldiers, indoctrinating them at ISIS-run schools and exposing them to grisly bloodshed. The group routinely releases video footage of these so-called “cubs of the caliphate” shooting and beheading victims. When these miniature militants are finished training, ISIS fighters deliver them straight to the front lines. Or, in many cases, child soldiers are strapped with explosives and sent on suicide missions.

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