MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
Government lockdowns have serious consequences, especially keen in developing countries. We’ll hear about the growing food crisis in parts of Asia and Africa.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Also, it’s been a year since the Bahamas got hit by Hurricane Dorian. We’ll hear how it’s going there now.
Plus another one of our 2020 Hope Award recipients.
And WORLD commentator Ryan Bomberger.
REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, September 8th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Up next, Kent Covington has today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump, Biden battle over economy, COVID-19 on Labor Day » President Trump marked Labor Day at the White House by touting the country’s economic recovery.
He said jobs are coming back strong, but that won’t continue if his opponent wins in November.
TRUMP: We are currently witnessing the fastest labor market recovery from an economic crisis in history. By contrast, Biden presided over the worst, the weakest, and the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
The president also said while COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll, the U.S. economy has held up better than other Western nations. And he predicted a proven vaccine will be available by the end of the year.
But his Democratic rival Joe Biden fired back as he spoke to supporters in Pennsylvania.
BIDEN: More than 6 million people infected with COVID. You’re heading toward 200,000, above 200,000 range of people that have died from COVID. And he still has no plan.
Florida reports its lowest new single-day cases » But the White House has also been pointing to improving infection rates in many parts of the country.
Florida on Monday reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in almost three months. The state reported just over 1,800 new cases—the fewest since June 15th. Positivity rates and deaths related to COVID-19 are also dropping.
But health officials across the state are bracing for a possible rise in new cases after holiday gatherings and an influx of tourists over the Labor Day weekend.
Most of the state’s beaches remained open through the Labor Day holiday, with umbrellas sprouting across many of the most popular.
Experts have pointed to gatherings on Memorial Day weekend and the July 4th holiday as likely culprits in earlier upticks in infections.
Trump orders agencies to halt some diversity training » President Trump has ordered the federal government to halt certain types of diversity training, which he sees as “divisive, anti-American propaganda.” WORLD’s Leigh Jones has more.
LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: Federal agencies will identify spending tied to programs on white privilege, critical race theory, or any other content that presents any race as—quote—“inherently racist or evil.”
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought issued the notice on Trump’s orders. He said the administration will provide further guidance on the training sessions.
Vought cited press reports in which federal employees had to say they benefit from racism and instructors said virtually all white people contribute to racism. He said such training runs counter to American principles and engenders resentment within the workforce.
In a tweet, Trump called critical race theory “a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.”
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.
Fire officials expand evacuation orders in California » As a huge wildfire roars through California’s Sierra National Forest, officials on Monday expanded evacuation orders. They urged people in more mountain communities to leave the area. That as fire crews battle dozens of blazes amid a record-setting heat wave.
Rescuers flew more than 200 people to safety over the weekend after fire surrounded Mammoth Pool Reservoir northeast of Fresno. California Army National Guard Colonel David Hall told reporters…
HALL: The crews were absolutely ecstatic when they came off the helicopters. All of the individuals that they rescued were greeting the crew members with hugs as they were boarding onto the helicopter and again after getting off the helicopter, a lot of high fives.
To the south, the flames wiped out 30 houses in the remote town of Big Creek.
Sheriff’s deputies went door to door to make sure residents were complying with orders to leave.
The blaze dubbed the Creek Fire has charred well over a hundred square miles in the lush forest region.
Meantime, in Southern California, several fires are burning, including one in eastern San Diego County and another that closed mountain roads in Angeles National Forest.
Scorching temperatures are partially fueling the fires. Downtown Los Angeles reached 111 degrees on Sunday. And a nearby part of the San Fernando Valley recorded a record-shattering high of 121 degrees.
Saudi court sentences eight people in Khashoggi murder » A Saudi court has handed down sentences to eight people involved in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The court ordered a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for five people. Another person received a 10-year sentence and the court ordered two others to serve seven years behind bars. It did not name any of the people sentenced.
But the case continues to cast a shadow over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He has denied ordering the hit against Khashoggi, but the intelligence communities of the United States and many other countries aren’t buying it.
Critics of Saudi Arabia’s trial note that no senior officials nor anyone suspected of ordering the killing has been found guilty.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Russian opposition leader Navalny out of coma » German doctors treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Monday that they have been able to take him out of a medically induced coma as his condition has slowly improved.
Navalny was flown to Germany last month after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia.
German scientists said last week that tests showed “proof without doubt” that he was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group.
That’s the same type of Soviet-era chemical used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England two years ago.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters over the weekend…
STOLTENBERG: NATO allies agree that Russia now has serious questions it must answer. The Russian government must now cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on an impartial international investigation.
The Russian government is not cooperating. It denies any involvement and claims Russian doctors found no evidence that he was poisoned.
Navalny is a fierce and high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
I’m Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: economic pain outweighs virus fears in poor countries.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: It’s Tuesday the 8th of September, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. First up: pandemic pain in the developing world.
Government-ordered lockdowns in wealthy nations have caused serious economic and social damage. But in poorer, developing countries, the consequences are even more severe.
EICHER: WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports now on some of the problems facing Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Three years ago, the Myanmar military drove an ethnic Muslim minitority group—called the Rohingya—out of the country.
Since then, they’ve been living in Bangladesh in a refugee camp, nearly a million strong.
Frederick Christopher directs the Rohingya refugee response for World Vision. Before COVID-19, Christopher says many Rohingyan adults left the camp each day to work.
CHRISTOPHER: Almost like about 30 to 40 percent of the Rohingya people…
In March, the Bangladeshi government ordered the camp into lockdown, along with the rest of the country.
So for six months now, the Rohingya haven’t been able to leave and fewer aid workers can come into the camp.
Frederick Christopher says so far only 3 percent of Rohingyas have contracted COVID-19.
CHRISTOPHER: Around 50 deaths so far as happened, so not that much.
What is widespread, is economic depression. Many Rohingya have gone from earning about $4 U.S. dollars a day to $1 dollar.
Frederick Christopher says with parents under economic pressure, the camp has seen an uptick in child labor, child marriages, and trafficking.
CHRISTOPHER: They are saying that they’re not worried about COVID attacking them, but they’re really worried about the safety and security and of the children.
These are the cost benefit calculations of lockdowns in many developing countries.
The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates 140 million people will slip back into extreme poverty, living on less than $2 per day as a result of restrictions designed to stop the virus from spreading.
The United Nations says as many as 300,000 people a day could die from starvation and disease due to lockdown fallout—many more than COVID-19 has killed.
Jay Richards is a scholar at the Discovery Institute and a business professor at the Catholic University of America. He says these estimates are based on computer modeling that could be wrong. But…
RICHARDS: Even if the malnutrition and deaths are a 10th of what the UN is predicting, it would still be a catastrophe. The problem is not that we don’t have enough food, it’s that getting food where it needs to go at the right time…
Even before the pandemic, countries like Yemen, Burkina Faso, and Venezuela were already facing extreme food shortages because of conflict, flooding, and drought.
Richards says lockdowns, border closures, and supply chain disruptions have drastically exaggerated these challenges.
RICHARDS: If you have a shock to the system, then suddenly there can be a lot of food, but it’s sitting somewhere on the other side of an ocean, in shipping containers getting rotten when the people that actually need it, don’t have access to it.
In South Sudan, two-thirds of the country already depended on food aid. Dr. Mesfin Loha is World Vision’s director there. He says lockdowns led to more supply shortages and inflated prices.
LOHA: Because the countries required the trucks, drivers, and other stuff to get tested at the border with very long delays, sometimes up to three weeks, four weeks. So that really delayed supplies shipment into the country.
Dr. Loha says social distancing precautions have also hampered humanitarian efforts.
LOHA: For example, the Food Distribution Program that could take one week could take up to three weeks because we only take a few people at a time. The physical distancing arrangement, the temperature taking arrangement and also the hand washing facilities.
Noah Gottschalk is a humanitarian policy advisor at Oxfam America. He says lockdowns are also affecting agriculture output in developing countries.
GOTTSCHALK: Farmers who are unable to access seeds. Farmers who are unable to bring their goods to market because of restrictions on travel. We see pastoralists, people who care for herd animals who are unable to migrate with their animals…
Access to medical services has also become strained across parts of Africa and Asia.
Dr. Jon Fielder is the chief executive at African Mission Healthcare and works at a hospital in Kijabe, Kenya. He says because of travel challenges and stretched resources like oxygen and COVID-19 tests, fewer people are visiting for checkups or getting elective procedures.
FIELDER: Unfortunately, I fear that over time, we’re going to see spikes and in cases of tuberculosis and maternal mortality as a result of COVID, the measures that had to be taken to control it…
Dr. Fielder points out that even in neighboring Tanzania—a country that didn’t lock down—fear of the coronavirus still kept people away from hospitals.
FIELDER: So it’s almost like well, if you if you locked down, you’re going to interrupt these operations. If you didn’t lock down, you’re also going to interrupt these operations.
With extremely limited testing in poorer nations, it’s difficult to tell whether lockdowns have succeeded in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Some worry a silent epidemic is raging. But official case counts and deaths are lower than anticipated.
Dr. Fielder says one reason: populations in poorer countries are very young.
FIELDER: Only 10 percent of Kenyans are over the age of 50. Things haven’t been as bad as we thought. But a big part of that is because of the steps that were taken. Whether those benefits are going to be outweighed by some of these indirect costs. I don’t think we know the answer to that yet.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: hurricane recovery in The Bahamas.
A year ago this month, Hurricane Dorian tore through the Caribbean, devastating the northern islands of The Bahamas. More than three-quarters of homes on the island of Abaco suffered damage. The destruction totaled an estimated $3.4 billion.
MARY REICHARD: Christian aid groups quickly moved in to help with repair and recovery. Samaritan’s Purse was among the first to arrive. Daniel Ruiz is a deputy country director with the organization and joins us now from Freeport to talk about how the work is progressing.
Good morning, Daniel!
DANIEL RUIZ, GUEST: Good morning. Thanks for the opportunity to speak.
REICHARD: I’d like to hear how things are in those hardest-hit areas. Is rebuilding progressing quickly? Much damage remain?
RUIZ: Yeah, you know, we just passed the year mark since Hurricane Dorian made landfall and certainly a lot of work has been done through Samaritan’s Purse, other organizations, the government. But a lot of work remains. With the level of destruction that Abaco experienced, it’s going to be still a long road to recovery yet laying ahead. A lot of homes have been repaired, electricity has been restored to many areas, not all. Same with water distribution. So, the water network has been restored in many areas. But there are still communities that are without electricity. They’re without running water. They still have significant damages to their homes. Businesses are still struggling to rebuild, repair. Certainly the difficulty with the global COVID pandemic, which I can mention some impact from that as well, is affecting the tourism industry, which the Bahamas relies heavily on for their economy.
REICHARD: I know a lot of residents had to leave those areas shortly after the storm. Have some of them been able to return home, or are most still displaced?
RUIZ: Definitely, when we saw at the new year in 2020, in January of 2020, we saw an uptick in the number of returnees being able to come back to Abaco. And we’ve seen that throughout the course of this year—slowly people have tried to return just anecdotally through our hiring process. We’ve got a large number of local Abaconian staff. There is a shortage of housing and so for those who wish to return, they want to come back, restart their livelihoods, maybe they have job opportunities, but the housing isn’t there. So it remains the key barrier to the complete return of residents from before the storm.
REICHARD: You mentioned how much tourism has been affected by COVID. Most of the tourism stopped in March and here we are in September, same thing going on. How is the economy there doing, and how has that affected the recovery effort?
RUIZ: Yeah, with respect to the economy in particular for Abaco and in Grand Bahama, obviously the closure of international borders in the Bahamas earlier this year as a result of the global pandemic put a full stop to incoming cruisers on the cruise lines and tourists flying into the country through the summer period certainly that’s had an impact on the macro economy of the country. But the effects are felt all the way down to local business owners who on Abaco, they have been able to rebuild and restart and then for Grand Bahama. All of the small business owners that perhaps were able to get their business going pretty quickly after Hurricane Dorian hit. And then they were hit with the pandemic and the shutdown of the country and international travel. So, it’s kind of being hit with a one-two punch and they’re still in the midst of that.
REICHARD: What about churches in the islands? How have they fared in the last year and are they active in the rebuilding effort?
RUIZ: You know, one of the greatest blessings for me being here with Samaritan’s Purse has been seeing the local church in the midst of the destruction and pastors and church leaders going through all of that themselves, through Hurricane Dorian and the COVID pandemic, they have bounced back spiritually. Though their physical structures may still be in disrepair, the church has done a tremendous job to reaching out to the communities, being a place where people can come for prayer for spiritual, emotional support.
And I can mention a couple of our projects that we’ve been able to kick off, again, despite the COVID pandemic. We’ve initiated a program where we’re training pastors and church members on how to respond both physically and spiritually after a crisis. And so giving them practical skills on things that they can do in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and then once you transition from covering immediate needs, how to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of people who have gone through that crisis. And that’s been very well-received.
We’ve got great participation in those projects, and we’re grateful we can impart those skills on people, because Samaritan’s Purse won’t be here forever and we want to leave a stronger local church that can respond in future disasters.
REICHARD: Daniel Ruiz is a deputy country director with Samaritan’s Purse, one of the Christian aid groups working on hurricane recovery efforts in The Bahamas. Thanks so much.
RUIZ: Thank you.
NICK EICHER: Sometimes you just have to take a stand.
For a young man in Lincoln, Nebraska, it was just such a time. At a city Council meeting last week he found the courage to speak the truth. Civic leaders, he said, for far too long, the city had been living a lie.
CHRISTENSEN: I go into nice family restaurants and I see people throwing this name around and pretending everything is just fine. I’m talking about boneless chicken wings. [laughter] I propose that we as a city remove the [laughter] – Excuse me, I’m trying to—sir, come on.
He was just getting started and making some excellent points. Such as: “nothing about boneless chicken wings actually comes from the wing of a chicken.”
CHRISTENSEN: Boneless chicken wings are just chicken tenders, which are already boneless! I don’t go to order boneless tacos.
Christensen proposed the city of Lincoln call on restaurants to rename so-called boneless chicken wings.
CHRISTENSEN: We can call them buffalo-style chicken tenders. We can call them wet tenders. We can call them saucy nugs or trash.
Christensen, as it turns out, is the son of a member of the city council.
He ended his impassioned plea by declaring it’s time for change, and we know it because we feel it in our bones!
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, September 8th. You’re listening to WORLD Radio and we are so glad you are! Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the Hope Award for Effective Compassion, part three.
Anna Johansen takes us to a cafe in Cambridge, Maryland. It’s a non-profit that seeks to bridge the gap between two very different sides of town.
AUDIO: [Sound of outside]
The Overflow Cafe is stationed at an odd intersection. If you walk north a block, you’re in the upscale business district. If you walk a block south, you’re in a pretty rough neighborhood.
The cafe has floor-to-ceiling glass windows and enormous potted plants and palm trees inside. The tables are painted with a swirling blend of bright colors. The food is inexpensive…Two fifty or three dollars for a sandwich; 75 cents for a cup of coffee.
Dudley Parr and his wife, Anna, took charge of the Overflow Cafe in 2014.
PARR: You can get almost any drugs you want within, within 100 yards of here.
Parr has a long gray ponytail and pale blue eyes. We talk over the humming drone of an industrial refrigerator.
The cafe draws people from both sides of town. And Parr says the location is deliberate. He wants those different groups to mix. In fact, that’s why the Overflow Cafe exists. It’s a place where all kinds of people are welcome. People like Eddie. He’s a bit of a character.
EDDIE: “In case you see buzzard circling, you’ll pop in and make sure it’s not me.”
Eddie has long, white hair down to his elbows and wears a battered captain’s hat. He’s lived rough for a while, spent a number of years homeless, and just recently moved into the building next door. He’s been coming to the Overflow Cafe almost since the day it opened.
EDDIE: On my way back from town over to wherever I was staying, when it was open, I’d come by, coffee was cheap, people were great, lot of good connections.
He helps out around the cafe, fixing computers and appliances in exchange for free coffee. That happens a lot at the Overflow. Most of the staff behind the counter are volunteers, people from the community who need a simple job. Some of them just want to keep busy so they stay out of trouble. Others need job experience.
The Parrs train them to work in the cafe, and they introduce basic workplace etiquette. If a volunteer keeps showing up late, they get removed from the team. The Parrs aren’t as strict as a real employer, but they start building that expectation: You need to show up to work on time. And you need to work in exchange for food.
PARR: So you saw Tommy come in, I think a couple times today. He’s got glasses, short guy, beard. So, Tommy, when he’s got money, he’s buying drugs. So he comes to us because we’ll give him a cup of coffee. We’ll give him water. Well, now he’s kind of gotten into this thing. Like he’s coming by regularly looking for a handout. Now we’re getting to where we’re enabling him.
The Parrs want to be generous and loving, but they don’t want to enable people to stay in the same broken lifestyle.
PARR: So yeah, Tommy, I can’t keep giving you this stuff. Yeah, I got dishes to do. I got things to sweep up.
They turn it into an exchange instead of a handout.
Monica is a brand new volunteer. She just started training today.
MONICA: It’s very, very nice here. People are friendly. Um, great environment. It’s peaceful here.
She came by the cafe and met Dudley Parr a few years ago.
MONICA: And I probably was having a problem or something that day and he could tell him my face, I guess. And he was like, you know, do you need to talk? And I was like, sure. And he helped me out.
That relational aspect of the cafe is a huge part of its mission. Parr says working alongside people gives you a chance to get to know them and talk about deeper spiritual issues.
PARR: You know, with men, you can talk about the gospel when you’re swinging hammers better than you can sit down over a cup of coffee.
The Overflow Cafe doesn’t have any official programs. There are a number of AA meetings that gather here weekly, but the cafe doesn’t have any classes or an application process or a year-long program to get a person a job and a house. Instead, it’s all about conversational evangelism.
PARR: As we get to know folks, and they start sharing things about their lives, and then well, have you ever well, where did you go to church? Did you grow up in you know? Yeah, just finding out those kinds of things. The evangelism, discipleship is very much individualized because of who they are and where they are.
It’s messy. There’s a lot of trauma. A lot of addiction. But Dudley and Anna Parr walk through it with each person. Sometimes they get the joy of seeing someone profess faith in Christ. Parr has done baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
PARR: We’ve done three funerals—two for two other guys who we baptized. But to be able to do to be able to give the eulogy and to be able to say, I know I will see him again to feel confident where they were in their faith, to be able to hear from other people the change that was made, you know, that became obvious in their life. Yeah, those are some of the successes.
The Overflow Cafe isn’t a massive, structured organization. In one sense, it’s just ordinary people living on a mission, ministering to their broken neighbors.
PARR: Part of the vision is to actually see this become the norm. Not, not just having a cafe but to have people in the churches in Cambridge engaged outwardly in ways that make a difference, that take the kingdom to people.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen in Cambridge, Maryland.
NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, September 8th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here now is WORLD commentator Ryan Bomberger.
RYAN BOMBERGER, COMMENTATOR: One would think that “racial justice” would include removing those systems that deliberately target black and brown lives for death.
One. Would. Think.
But Democratic Party leaders want to do the exact opposite. For the past few years, they’ve been trying to undo a legal protection that 43 percent of House Dems and 63 percent of Republicans passed in 1976. It’s called the Hyde Amendment, named after the late pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde. The original legislation prohibited the federal government from funding abortions via Medicaid, except when the mother’s life was physically in danger. Congress later added rape and incest exceptions.
In a 2003 debate on the partial-birth abortion ban, Hyde gave a good summary of the reason for pro-life laws:
HYDE: The people you pretend to defend, the powerless, those who cannot escape, who cannot rise up in the streets, those are the ones that ought to be protected by the law. The law exists to protect the weak from the strong.
The Hyde Amendment has always been strongly bipartisan, but now some Democrats claim it is a racist policy.
“It’s an issue of racial justice, and it’s an issue of discrimination,” California Democrat Barbara Lee recently declared. She was the same pro-abortion politician who denounced my organization’s pro-life “Black & Beautiful” billboard campaign a few years ago. The Radiance Foundation highlighted abortion’s hugely disproportionate impact in the black community and promoted TooManyAborted.com. The tagline was: “One is too many.”
Not so for liberals like Lee, who denounced our billboards, along with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the NAACP.
Yes, the NAACP, too, which called our life-affirming ad campaign “horribly racist on the face of it” and said it “gives the false impression that Planned Parenthood kills black babies.”
But…they do. Millions of them since Roe v. Wade. In fact, Planned Parenthood kills an estimated 360 black lives every single day. What form of justice invites more death into communities already ravaged by violence and death? How is saying too many black babies are aborted is racist, but promoting the lie that not enough are aborted is “justice”?
Massachusetts’ Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and New York’s Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are leading this charge. African American Congresswoman Pressley tweeted: “This is a racial justice issue. It denies low income and disproportionately women of color, access to reproductive healthcare…Hyde’s days need to be numbered.” End quote.
This argument is not based in fact. Just look at Massachusetts, where black Americans make up 9 percent of the state’s population, but they represent 20 percent of the state’s abortions. Whites make up 80 percent of the state’s population but account for only 47 percent of the state’s abortions. There’s no lack of access.
Ocasio-Cortez is one of those who says abortion is healthcare. But if abortion is healthcare, slavery was job care. In her home state of New York, more black babies are aborted than born alive. For every 1,000 born alive, there are 1,033 aborted. Black and brown babies are the most aborted in New York City.
As someone conceived in rape yet adopted in love…as someone with brown skin and four brown children, I just have one question for pro-abortion Democrats: What, exactly, is the right number of deaths of unborn black and brown lives?
I’m Ryan Bomberger.
NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: Presidential campaign polls. We’ll tell you how pollsters collect data and how that can influence the results.
And, we’ll introduce you to our fourth Hope Award winner.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
Thanks for listening and we’ll talk again tomorrow.