Week ending 3 June 2018

UNITED STATES: A team of child rescuers from Veterans For Child Rescue, a non-profit organization, made a disturbing discovery near an abandoned plant off I-19 highway in Tucson, Arizona.

The team found a bunker that looks to be used as a holding location for children as they are trafficked through the country. Wrist restraints were found on nearby “rape trees”.

Craig Sawyer, who founded V4CR in April of 2017, told KGUN9, “This is clearly a disturbing and wrongful thing going on. It’s inhumane, it’s shocking, and upsetting to any decent adults.”

CHINA: (ChinaAid) Officials interrupted a seminary class in China’s eastern Jiangsu province last Wednesday and brought away two pastors without displaying any warrants, saying that the seminary lacked proper credentials for operating a school.

Approximately seven police officers and several agents from the local religious affairs bureau broke into the classroom at 10 a.m. on May 23 and threatened to arrest the teacher and more than 20 students without giving any legal documentation.

Afterwards, many Christians arrived at Shitun Police Station, where the pastors were being held, to inquire about the details of the case. Both pastors were released shortly after noon on the same day.

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Over the last several months, the Chinese government has dramatically increased its persecution and oppression of Christians, often without cause other than to disturb a class, or to incite fear that the government has power over their gatherings.

EGYPT: On Saturday Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in for his second term as president of Egypt. The elections were surrounded with controversy as Sisi has been accused of using all sorts of methods to force all serious opponents to withdraw from the election race.

VENEZUELA: The Venezuelan government has begun the process of releasing prisoners facing trial for their part in opposition violence, as promised by Maduro in his recent election campaign. 39 political opponents of President Nicolas Maduro were released from prison on Friday.

ISRAEL: On Tuesday Israeli Air Force fighter jets and aircraft targeted dozens of terror sites belonging to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organizations in the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.

This was an immediate response to approximately 70 mortars and rockets that were launched from Gaza earlier in the day into Israel in several barrages and single launches, some of which were Iranian-made rockets. It is reported that several mortars landed in an Israeli kindergarten.

UK: Theresa May is resisting calls from Tory MPs to take a stand on Northern Ireland’s abortion laws after the Irish referendum, the London Evening Standard writes. Key ministers – including some within the Prime Minister’s own Cabinet – have indicated their support for reform to resolve an “anomaly” within the British Isles.

The “anomaly” is that Northern Ireland is now the only region in the British Isles that has restrictive abortion laws.

But Northern Ireland DUP MPs strongly oppose any reform to Northern Ireland’s strict laws, and Downing Street is understood to believe that any reform “is an issue for Northern Ireland”. Therefore Theresa May may not push NI MPs to make changes.

This call from Tory MPs comes immediately after Ireland voted to liberalize their abortion laws last week, permitting the termination of pregnancy to be carried out within the country.

BRAZIL: The truck drivers’ strike continues across Brazil. Brazil’s President Michel Temer, under pressure from the then week-long national truckers’ strike, said Sunday he was cutting the cost of diesel by 46 cents a liter, the AFP reported. However, truckers rejected the deal and decided to continue the strike this week.

The truck drivers’ strike last week caused nationwide shortage of fuel, students’ classes being canceled, flights being delayed, and fruit stocks coming close to being wiped out.

Image: Empty supermarket shelves in Brazil, 24 May 2018 (Credit: @oceanyia).