John Hayward

John Hayward

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China's officially atheist government is wary of organised religious movements outside of its control

Chinese Officials Burn Bibles, Close Churches in Crackdown on Christianity

The Chinese government’s campaign to “Sinicize” organized religion – in other words, make religion completely subordinate to the Communist Party – grew more aggressive this year and featured the destruction of Bibles, crosses, and entire churches. Religious freedom activists call it the worst crackdown on Christianity since religious freedom was nominally granted by the 1982 Chinese constitution.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pictured in June 2018, has told Russian media that the military will make a serious push to retake northwestern and eastern territories

U.S. Officials: Assad Approved Gas Attacks for Upcoming Idlib Offensive

U.S. officials said over the weekend that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has approved the use of banned chemical weapons against rebel positions in Idlib province, adding to worldwide fears of a humanitarian disaster in the final major battle of the Syrian civil war.

Jim Jeffrey has the record to get the Syria job done. (Khalid Mohammed/AP)

Trump’s Envoy to Syria: ‘We Are Not in a Hurry to Pull Out’

Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, formerly the American ambassador to Turkey and now special envoy to Syria, said on Thursday the Trump administration is determined to retain a military presence in Syria until the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State has been secured.

Photo by: Tech. Sgt. Brigitte Brantley

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, accompanied by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Friday for meetings with President Ashraf Ghani to discuss security issues and the prospect of peace talks with the Taliban.

The repatriation of US Korean War dead was part of the Singapore agreement between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

South Korea: Kim Jong-Un Wants to Denuclearize During Trump’s First Term

South Korea’s special envoy to the North, Chung Eun-yong, met with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang on Wednesday and said the North Korean dictator wants to denuclearize during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term. Chung said Kim professed “unwavering trust for President Trump” despite recent diplomatic tensions between the United States and North Korea.

New recruits to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadist group train in Syria's only remaining rebel-held province in readiness for an expected Russian-backed government offensive that the UN has warned could spark a "humanitarian catastrophe"

Trump Warns Assad, Russia, Iran Not to ‘Recklessly Attack’ Syria’s Idlib Province

President Donald Trump on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar Assad and his allies Russia and Iran not to “recklessly attack” Idlib province, one of the last strongholds of resistance against Assad’s regime. The Kremlin dismissed Trump’s warning on Tuesday, describing Idlib as a “nest of terrorism” that must be cleaned out by Syria’s armed forces.

An Egyptian riot policeman stands guard on top of a vehicle protesters during a demonstration against a controversial deal to hand two islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia on April 15, 2016 outside the Journalists' Syndicate in central Cairo. Outside the Journalists' Syndicate in central Cairo, about 200 …

Egyptian Arrested Outside U.S. Embassy in Cairo After Backpack Ignites

A 24-year-old Egyptian named Abdullah Ayman Abdel-Sameea was arrested outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday after his backpack burst into flames. Authorities described the incident as a botched terrorist attack that fortunately did not harm anyone.

Jalaluddin Haqqani

Taliban Confirms Death of Terrorist Network Founder Jalaluddin Haqqani

The Taliban released a statement on Tuesday confirming the death of Mawlavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the notorious Haqqani Network (HQN), a terrorist organization allied with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Haqqani Network quickly made it known that new leaders are prepared to take over and Haqqani’s death will not hinder its operations.

Education is a sensitive subject in modern-day China

Mob Hurls Bricks at Police as Hundreds Protest Failing School System in China

A protest against problems with the education system in the southern Chinese city of Leiyang turned violent on Sunday, with bottles, bricks, and firecrackers reportedly thrown at police by a crowd of 600 demonstrators. The police detained 46 people and said only one of them was actually the parent of a school-age child.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenya Drowning in Chinese Debt but President Kenyatta Wants More

China’s debt colonization of Africa is well underway, as one African nation after another takes out gigantic loans from Chinese banks to build infrastructure projects that appear financially unsustainable. Kenya is one of the most heavily indebted countries, but President Uhuru Kenyatta is on his way to Beijing for a summit at which he will reaffirm his commitment to the Belt and Road initiative.

A medium-range ballistic missile target is launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, during a test in 2017

Japanese Defense Ministry Proposes Record Budget, $2.1B for U.S. Missile Defense System

The Japanese Defense Ministry released a budget proposal on Friday that would increase spending by 2.1 percent to $48 billion, the seventh annual increase in a row and the biggest military budget in modern Japanese history. The largest increase in the budget covers missile defense, including the purchase of $2.1 billion in American-made missile interceptors.

Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami stands by a next generation short-range ballistic missile "Fateh Mobin", during an unveiling ceremony in the capital Tehran

Report: Iran Arming Shiite Proxies in Iraq with Ballistic Missiles

A report published by Reuters on Friday revealed that Iran is moving ballistic missiles into Iraq, placing the weapons in the hands of its Shiite militia proxies, in order to expand its ability to hit targets across the Middle East in a regional conflict or war against Western powers.

FILE - In this Thursday Jan. 6, 2011 file photo, a traditional dhow floats in the Corniche Bay of Doha, Qatar, with tall buildings of the financial district in the background. Qatar's government says it is forming a committee to pursue compensation for damages stemming from its isolation by four …

Saudi Arabia Considers Plan to Saw Qatar Off and Make It an Island

The dispute between Qatar and its Gulf Cooperation Council neighbors now threatens to reshape both the political and literal geography of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is considering a plan to dig a canal that would turn the Qatari peninsula into an island.

Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (L) is greeted by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State House in Beijing on August 27, 2018. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)

Greece Falls Deeper into China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Trap

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed an agreement on Monday for further Greek cooperation with China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan, the latest step in the debt-driven courtship between Athens and Beijing.

China blames local officials for protest over mosque razing

China Blames ‘Reckless’ Local Officials for Mosque Demolition Protest

Beijing on Thursday blamed “reckless” local officials for sparking a massive protest against the demolition of a large mosque in the city of Weizhou. Communist officials insisted the situation is “under control” and local Muslims are now in a “good mood,” but they never quite got around to clarifying whether the mosque will indeed be demolished.