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World news in brief

31 January 2020


Demonstrators in Gaza City protest against President Donald Trump’s “peace plan”

Demonstrators in Gaza City protest against President Donald Trump’s “peace plan”

US ‘peace plan’ for Israel-Palestine criticised

A GROUP of NGOs that work in Palestine have warned that US President Donald Trump’s “peace plan” for Israel and Palestine could lead to deepened poverty and polarisation. On Tuesday, President Trump published his plan, which includes many of Israel’s demands, such as an undivided Jerusalem, which he heralded as a “realistic two-state solution”. The statement, from charities including Christian Aid, Embrace, and Cafod, says that there is a risk that it “will lead to the formal annexation of Palestinian land, perpetual occupation, and the negation of Palestinians’ collective right to self-determination”. The UN secretary-general, António Guterres, issued a brief rejection of the plan. The charities’ statement continued: “Formal annexation would also seriously breach a foundational principle of the post-WWII international legal order, with implications far beyond the Israel-Palestine context. Palestinians are already losing their land with creeping de-facto annexation of the West Bank, forcing them to become perpetually aid-dependent despite abundant natural resources.”


Four French charity workers missing in Iraq

FOUR aid workers from a French Christian charity, SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, have gone missing in Iraq, the organisation reports. They were still missing at the time of going to press. The three French nationals and one Iraqi were last seen in Baghdad on Monday of last week, and a ransom demand has not been forthcoming. The four were described as “experienced employees, in good health, and with perfect knowledge of crisis zones”. Both the Iraqi and French governments are seeking to resolve the situation.


Abuse blamed for fall in number of nuns

THE decrease in the number of nuns worldwide is due to the sexual abuse and abuses of power that they have suffered at the hands of clergy, as well as poor working conditions, the Vatican magazine Women Church World has said. Its February issue was dedicated to the problem, and how the Church must change as a result. Vatican statistics from 2016 show the number of Sisters was down 10,885 from the previous year to 659,445 globally, which was down from 753,400 in 2006, Crux reported.


Interim manager appointed for Canon White’s charity

THE Charity Commission has appointed a solicitor to act as interim manager of Jerusalem Merit, Canon Andrew White’s latest charity. The move, announced earlier this month, follows a year-long investigation into the charity, which is officially known as CAWRM Ltd, to look into “serious regulatory concerns about the charity’s management and finances”. Canon White was censured by the Commission last week (News, 24 January 2020) for failings during his time as director of the FRRME charity.


Correction: The Revd Lawan Andimi, who was murdered by a faction of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, was the chairman of the Adamawa branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, not the whole organisation, as we incorrectly stated (News, 24 January).

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