FIVE MAJOR HEADLINES OF 2021 AND WHAT THEY MEANT FOR THE CHURCH

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By Alex Pollock In this edition of A World in Motion (AWIM), we look at five major headlines from 2021 that played into larger themes currently affecting our world. From political unrest and humanitarian disasters to terror attacks and a continued rise in migration, 2021 presented the Church with many challenges, as well as many…

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JORDAN, SYRIA REOPEN BORDER CROSSING TO BOOST TRADE

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On 29 September, the Jaber-Nassib border crossing between Jordan and Syria was reopened to bolster the struggling economies of both countries, as several Arab states look to reintegrate Syria into regional projects. The measure is one of many taken by the Jordanian government in recent weeks to ease COVID-19 restrictions. The Jaber-Nassib crossing used to…

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COUNTRIES CALL FOR GREATER COOPERATION AT 76TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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By Alex Pollock For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year, more than two dozen world leaders appeared in person at the UN General Assembly on the opening day of their annual high-level meeting Tuesday [14 September]. In speech after speech, the atmosphere was sombre, angry, and dire…Racism, climate change, and…

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IRAN GAINS MEMBERSHIP OF SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION (SCO)

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On Friday 17 September, Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was approved – after almost 15 years of observer status – by the bloc’s seven permanent members. The SCO accounts for about one-third of the world’s land and exports trillions of dollars annually – as it includes China,…

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MOROCCO’S DOMINANT ISLAMIST PARTY SUFFERS CRUSHING DEFEAT

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By Donnelly McCleland Morocco’s long-dominant Islamist party suffered a crushing defeat in parliamentary elections as voters, frustrated over unemployment and corruption in the North African country, threw their weight behind a party close to the royal palace. The demise of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) echoed that of its peers in other North African…

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INDIA PARTNERS WITH THE MALDIVES IN THEIR BIGGEST INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT

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On 26 August, the Maldives government officially signed an agreement with Mumbai-based company AFCONS for the construction of a 6.74km-long bridge and causeway link that will connect the capital, Malé, with the strategic neighbouring islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. The Greater Malé Connectivity Project (GMCP) has been under discussion since the visit of India’s…

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ARMENIA SEEKS OPPORTUNITIES TO BOLSTER ECONOMY AND REGIONAL COOPERATION

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On Saturday 17 July, Armenia’s constitutional court rejected an appeal challenging the results of the 20 June snap parliamentary elections. The office of prime minister will be returned to acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, whose party won 71 parliamentary seats, leaving 29 seats to a bloc led by former president, Robert Kocharyan, and seven seats…

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SUDAN ELIGIBLE FOR $56 BILLION IN FOREIGN AID AND DEBT RELIEF

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On Tuesday 27 June, Sudan received approval for over $56 billion in debt relief and $2.5 billion in funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The $2.5 billion will be dispersed over three years. The IMF accepted Sudan into the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative after the power-sharing government’s efforts…

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