Thousands of Tunisian jihadists in the past four years have been migrating to warring countries abroad such as Iraq, Syria, and Libya to be recruited into al-Qaeda and Islamic State.
This is far more than what any other nationality can account for. According to a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group, Michael Becher Ayari, Tunisia is seen as the land of recruitment for terrorist.
Obviously, this suggests reasons why the fear of invasion from jihadists from abroad is most likely. The migrants could possibly find their way back into the country with more battlefield experience and terrorist activities.
However, the fears haven’t resulted in any attack as declared by western diplomats, a regional analyst, and the government authorities.
Many Tunisian jihadists who migrated to join groups in Libya in 2016 must have died fighting to recapture Sirte, the capital of ISIS’ acclaimed caliphate in northern Africa.
Many extremists who went to Iraq and Syria are believed to have died as well. Many survivals may be captured and kept in prisons in Syria or in a hideout somewhere.
The Tunisian government has been proactive. Militants who find their ways back into the country are arrested and incarcerated to prevent future regrouping.
Tunisia’s Secular State Practice May Be An Issue
Tunisia as a country is a likely target owing to the more secular and liberal views of the government on Islam, freedom of expression and women.
There are records of previous attacks from international jihadist groups in Tunisia. The attack of 2015 still remains fresh when gunmen from ISIS attacked the popular Bardo Museum and the resort town of Sousse killing many people who are mostly foreigners.
Tunisians who are ISIS members came in from Libya and moved to capture Ben Guerdane before being repelled by government forces.
Ever since the attack, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have executed more attacks in Tunisia but are not as disastrous. Likely invasion of jihadist from abroad is today not likely according to conclusions provided by government and other stakeholders. Also read about the never-ending war in Syria.
The call for a meeting by the Pope comes at a time when the church needed to take action against allegations on sexual abuse by church bishops. Many see it as long overdue and the call at this time is perfectly in order.
Pope Francis has summoned the Catholic Church’s top bishops all over the world to the Vatican City for a four-day long summit on the clerical sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the Catholic Church and the papacy.
The Vatican has officially announced recently that the pope will be having a meeting with the presidents of bishop conferences slated for February 2019.
The announcement came just a day to the pope’s scheduled meeting with the US church leaders to look into the new discoveries and claims of sexual molestation and cover-ups by the church authorities which also linked him to the scandal. This is the first time this type of summoning will be called by the Pope.
The gathering which is expected to involve over 100 bishops is scheduled for February 21- 24. It will focus on the protection of minors.
Supporters of the pope’s leadership are seeing beyond just the sexual allegation but are also looking at upholding the legacy of the papacy amid allegations that the pope was involved in the cover-up as well.
This is a strong allegation. For the fact that it is coming from a former ambassador of the church makes it an important one to not ignore
There is rift already brewing between the Vatican reformers and the traditionalists on the conduct of the Pope about the sexual accusations.
Other Occasions That Would Have Moved The Pope’s Decision
The pope’s visit to Ireland in August should spark some concern to the papacy. The Irish church is alive to the many years of abuse in the region and was loud about it during the pope’s mass.
It was characterized by low turnout, public rebukes, and chanting, calling for the pope to apologize and beg for forgiveness.
The Pope’s action sparked an outrage January when victims of a Chilean priest who is known for his widespread abuse were not given credit.
The priest later apologized and went to agree with haven made grave errors in his judgment. As a follow-up, the hierarchy of the Chilean church was overhauled.
Another hit on Pope Francis’ credibility was a letter released by a retired Vatican ambassador to the US, Carlo Maria Viagano. He bypassed all pontifical protocol to accuse the pope of protecting Theodore McCarrick from continuing his punishment as handed down by the previous pope. McCarrick was suspended by Pope Benedict on the accusation of harassing and molesting seminarians.
Viagano’s 11-page publication has accused the pope of covering up for a man who he claims his corrupt and asks that the pope should resign.
Specifically, an excerpt of the letter reads:
“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”
Before this time, the leadership of the church in the US was not in any way at rest over the Pennsylvania grand jury report that showed 300 priests had abused over 1,000 students since 1940.
The details also alleged a line of bishops in six dioceses covered up for them.
A similar situation was recorded in Germany. The German media reported a church-commissioned report on sexual abuse in the German church.
It revealed 3, 677 cases of sexual abuse from 1946 to 2014. This is mostly on boys. It also has it that one in every six cases was a rape issue. About 1, 670 priests were involved, according to reports.
Finally, after about three decades of denying sexual abuse in the church and linking some to cultural and regional issues, the Vatican is finally coerced into making a way forward to handle the sexual allegations that have brought a dent to the church’s image over the past years.
Hopefully, the Pope’s call for a meeting will be a fruitful meeting that won’t end in the talks without strategic actions to curb the growing trend in the church. Also read about the implications of the China-U.S. trade wars.
Cancer is still one of the deadliest diseases in the world killing millions of people annually. The increasing rate of cancer over the past years till now is worrisome.
The number of cancer cases diagnosed all over the world every year has increased by about a third over the past decades.
This could mean that with increasing life expectancy, more cancer cases will be diagnosed during people’s lifetime.
According to findings from researchers, increase in lungs, skin and colorectal cancers could be from lifestyle habits such as diet and smoking.
Twenty-nine types of cancer deaths and diagnosed rates are audited across the globe every year by The Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration. From its current reports, 17.2 million cases of cancer are documented with 8.9 million deaths all over the world in 2016.
This year, it is predicted that 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths are bound to occur according to predictions.
Experts attribute the rise right from the past years partly to the aging and growing population in the world.
From the figures provided, it implies one in every six women and one in every five men will have cancer in their lifetime.
But as many people increased in wealth, a lifestyle rather than natural occurrence becomes a likely cause. According to researchers, it is observed that though data collection and measuring of the disease has improved over the past years, the surge appears unabated but increases year in year out.
From the latest report, lung cancer, bowel cancer, and female breast cancer have risen more than before and responsible for one-third of all deaths and cases all over the world.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) frequently provides snapshots of the progression of cancer all around the globe with a focus on 36 different countries.
Women And Tobacco
Cancer of the lungs is still the world’s highest cancer killer. The disease accounts for 20% of all cancer deaths globally in 2016.
Though breast cancer remains the biggest cancer killer among women, however, the growing trend of lung cancer is quite alarming and degenerating.
According to findings from researchers, women in twenty-eight countries now have lung cancer as the major cause of cancer deaths in women. The US, China, Denmark, New Zealand, and Hungary top the list of countries that are worst hit by the trend.
It is observed that tobacco is traced to the reason why many women develop lung cancer in these countries and places around the world. For instance, in the UK, it is reported that smoking by women has increased over the past years.
Low-income countries are not spared of the smoking cause as more women now adopt the lifestyle more than before, no thanks to the strong marketing strategy of the tobacco companies.
Besides, the increase in industrialization, air pollution from the fumes of cars, household chemicals, and other sources contribute to the rise in lung cancer rates in the world.
Sedentary lifestyle, alcohol and processed foods are some other factors that may be considered as among the causes of cancer globally.
Effective tobacco control measures are suggested to check the alarming rate of the spread of the disease, as recommended by Dr. Freddie Bray of The International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Focus On Asia
The Asian region is one of the continents in the world where cancer cases are more prominent. Some factors are attributed to this in the region.
In all, it was stated in a report that about half of cancer deaths and cases this year will come from China. This is mostly because of their large population and partly because some particular cancers with high mortality rates are linked with the continent.
For instance, a high rate of liver cancer is one. It becomes quite obvious that different cancers can be linked to patterns of illness in different places around the world.
In low-income countries the issue of poverty cannot be ruled out as reasons for the widespread of the disease.