Questions loom over French cathedral fires

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

FRANCE: Police say arson likely caused the fire at the 15th-century cathedral in Nantes on Saturday that engulfed the Gothic structure’s interior. The fire comes just over a year after the Notre Dame blaze in Paris. Workers have yet to access the origin point of that fire and determine a cause. Investigators have cleared and released a Nantes cathedral volunteer arrested on Saturday.

IRAN: Authorities executed by hanging this morning Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, a translator the regime accused of spying for Israel and the United States. It was the third execution since June of a detainee who allegedly spied for the CIA. Iran’s state Fars News Agency said Mousavi-Majd was responsible for passing on information related to Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, assassinated by U.S. forces in Baghdad in January.

Recent explosions and fires at critical facilities in Iran are heightening already high tension with Israel and the United States. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has warned it will “react decisively” if it finds foreign powers had something to do with the July 2 bombing at the Natanz nuclear fuel enrichment site.

QATAR: From the time Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani stepped off the plane to attend the University of Southern California, an entire economy quickly grew up around him to meet his wishes and whims. Escapades of the brother of Qatar’s emir ultimately involved a slush fund with Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car to cover off-the-book expenses and a Mexican immigrant doctoral student who acted as an academic sherpa to keep up his grades.

MALAYSIA: Coronavirus border closures have stranded more than 200,000 ship workers at sea—what the UN warns is a growing humanitarian crisis. “The last time I stepped off from this 200-meter [650-foot] ship was in February,” said Indian seafarer Tejasvi Duseja.

SOUTH KOREA: Prosecutors are questioning the leader of the heretical Christian sect Shincheonji Church of Jesus over accusations it hampered the government’s anti-virus response. The church became the center of an outbreak in the southeastern city of Daegu after thousands of COVID-19 infections were detected among its members in February and March.

Even with outbreaks from Daegu, South Korea has become a success story for limiting COVID-19. With its extensive contact tracing, a large study from South Korea shows children 10 and above are particularly contagious, complicating the picture for school reopenings.

IRELAND: Doctors are puzzling over the dramatic drop in premature births during the coronavirus lockdown.

CANADA: J.I. Packer, one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, died on Friday in Vancouver.

GLOBAL: Organizers postponed the Global Anglican Future Conference in June, but you can hear global Anglicans who’ve taken stands for Biblical orthodoxy such as Michael Nazir-Ali, the Pakistani-born former Bishop of Rochester, England, leading daily devotions.

WATCH Singapore from Liyana’s window, Germany from Elmar’s window, or Spain, Australia, Brooklyn, and more at Window Swap.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2020, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

About the writer

Mindy Belz is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz

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