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African Migrants - Refugees - Migrant from Africa to Europe

They are trapped in squalid detention centers on Libya’s front lines. They wash up on the banks of the Rio Grande. They sink without a trace — in the Mediterranean, in the Pacific or in waterways they can’t even name. A handful fall out of airplanes’ landing gear. As their choices narrow on land and at sea, migrants are often seen as a political headache in the countries they hope to reach and ignored in the countries they flee. Most live in limbo, but recent tragedies have focused attention on the risks they face and the political constraints at the root of them. A record 71 million people were forcibly displaced around the world in 2018, according to a report last month by the U.N. refugee agency, in places as diverse as Turkey, Uganda, Bangladesh and Peru. Many are still on the move in 2019, or trapped like thousands in detention in Libya, where an airstrike on Tuesday killed at least 44 migrants and refugees locked away in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura. Most of those in Tajoura and other Libyan detention centers have been intercepted by the Libyan coast guard, which has become the go-to border force for the European Union, which can’t get 28 governments to agree about migration. Despite the rhetoric about migration crises in Europe and the U.S., the top three countries taking in refugees are Turkey, Pakistan and Uganda. Germany comes in a distant fifth. A 20-year-old who fled war in his homeland in sub-SaharanContinue reading

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Why Are Hong Kong Protesters Still Going Back to Bygone Colonial Era

They smashed glass windows, sprayed rude graffiti and defaced Hong Kong’s official emblem with black paint. But of all the dramatic photos showing hundreds of young protesters storming the city’s legislative building this week, one image makes for particularly uncomfortable viewing in Beijing: The British colonial flag draped aloft a podium in the assembly’s chamber. That’s not all. On a day supposed to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the “motherland,” other protesters were pictured defiantly flying giant Union flags in the Legislative Council. Why are some protesters — many of them millennials — harking back to a bygone colonial era, two decades after Britain handed the city over to China as a semi-autonomous territory? “Does it really mean that people seriously want colonial rule again? No — but I don’t think there’s any dispute among protesters that British rule was better than what we’ve got after the handover, especially in recent years,” said Lam Yin Pong, a Hong Kong journalist. “There might be some element of a rose-tinted lens. Perhaps some people are fantasizing about the ‘good old days,’” he added. “But what’s clear is that under colonial rule there was never a clear feeling of freedoms being gradually eroded, of a series of government actions completely against our interests.” Hong Kong has been rocked by massive street protests and its most serious political crisis after its government tried to push through legislation that would allow suspects in crimes to be extradited to mainland China forContinue reading

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Russia Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin fired a new broadside against Western liberalism on Saturday, saying that policies such as welcoming migrants have hurt people’s interests. Speaking after the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Putin charged that Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and a drop of popularity of traditional parties in Europe have been rooted in growing public dismay with mainstream liberal policies. He said Trump’s election victory was driven by growing disenchantment with liberal policies. “The liberal idea has started eating itself,” Vladimir Putin said at a news conference. “Millions of people live their lives, and those who propagate those ideas are separate from them.” Russian President Vladimir Putin fired a new broadside against Western liberalism on Saturday, saying that policies such as welcoming migrants have hurt people’s interests. Speaking after the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Putin charged that Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and a drop of popularity of traditional parties in Europe have been rooted in growing public dismay with mainstream liberal policies. He said Trump’s election victory was driven by growing disenchantment with liberal policies. “The liberal idea has started eating itself,” Putin said at a news conference. “Millions of people live their lives, and those who propagate those ideas are separate from them.” He also charged that the influx of migrants to Europe has infringed on people’s rights. “People live in their own country, according to their own traditions, why should it happen toContinue reading

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Boris Johnson - Headlines Today in UK

Loose cannon or influential statesman — what kind of British prime minister would Boris Johnson make on the world stage? Judging by his time as foreign secretary, possibly both. When Johnson was given the foreign job in 2016, after Britain voted to leave the EU, he was viewed as an unlikely choice by politicians and public alike given his tendency to court controversy with gaffes, oddball jokes and off-the-cuff remarks. The early days seemed to confirm the worst fears of those who saw the Conservative lawmaker as an unsuitable diplomat, at a critical time when Britain needed to forge new political and commercial ties with a slew of countries. What should have been a routine conference in Italy, the “Mediterranean Dialogues Forum” aimed at building relations with leading envoys from the West and Middle East, instead turned into something of a diplomatic incident. Johnson made headlines by going off-script and accusing Saudi Arabia, an important regional ally, of acting as a puppeteer in proxy wars under the guise of religion. The backlash was swift from Prime Minister Theresa May, who said his comments did not reflect “actual policy,” dishing out what a government source described as a shocking and very public “cuffing” for a senior minister. Now May is stepping down over her failure to extract Britain from the European Union. Johnson, a leader of the Brexit campaign, is the overwhelming favorite to become leader of the governing Conservative Party next month, which would also make him prime minister. TheContinue reading

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Boris Johnson - UK Politics News Headline

Boris Johnson, Britain’s former foreign secretary, built his career on a foundation of anti-European Union rhetoric and propaganda, and was one of the leaders of the successful 2016 referendum campaign that persuaded a slim majority of United Kingdom voters to approve the country’s exit from the 28-member political and trade bloc. Now he’s on course to become the next prime minister of the U.K.’s Conservative government (despite a controversy that blew up over the weekend after neighbors called police on Friday night to investigate a loud argument coming from the apartment he shares with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds, a Tory party press officer). And as premier, it could soon be Johnson’s job to wrangle with Brussels to find a way to deliver the country’s withdrawal from the EU — the process called Brexit — ahead of the departure deadline of Oct. 31. To say that the leaders of the other 27 EU member states aren’t thrilled with the prospect of his taking over from Theresa May is an understatement. May is stepping down as premier in the wake of her failure to get Parliament to approve the Brexit deal she spent nearly two years negotiating. “I don’t think the credibility of Boris Johnson is very high in the EU,” says Christian Lequesne, a professor of European politics at the French university Sciences Po. “He’s someone who says one thing and says the opposite the next day.” But as much as Johnson is distrusted and disliked in Brussels, there is aContinue reading

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US 2020 Elections Here Are the Democrats Candidates, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, and Julián Castro

Democrats struggling to distinguish themselves in a crowded field for president found their first potentially winnowing issue Wednesday night: Who really represents the progressive trend in their party – not to mention the minority, women and LGBTQ voters so critical to the Democratic base? Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke started by offering part of his first answer in Spanish. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts decried corporate malfeasance and heartily endorsed “Medicare for All.” Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro called for decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings, adding cheekily that Americans should be “pissed off” by a heartbreaking photo of a man and his baby daughter who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande. And pretty much everyone claimed to be the one candidate who would speak for the aggrieved middle class and poorer Americans given a raw deal by the 1 percent and the corporate inertness the candidates said were in concert with them. In the first of two 10-member Democratic debates this week, the candidates did not attack each other much – and didn’t even mention former Vice President Joe Biden, who is part of the second debate Thursday night. Many heavily criticized President Donald Trump but also did not make the president so despised by the Democratic base a central theme of their pitches. Instead, the candidates eagerly engaged in a policy-heavy debate, discussing guns, climate change, criminal justice reform, equal pay for women, immigration and foreign policy, including the most recent standoff with Iran. And nearly allContinue reading

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Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders

The sprawling Democratic presidential field is incredibly diverse, but a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs finds Democrats give a collective shrug to gender, race and age as factors they’re considering when supporting a candidate. Instead, Democratic registered voters are yearning for experience in elected office. A whopping 73% cited that as a quality that would make them more excited about supporting a presidential candidate. Twenty-five candidates are running for the party’s nomination and include several women, a Latino, multiple candidates of African and Asian descent, and a 37-year-old gay man less than half the age of the 76-year-old early front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden. But most Democratic voters say these characteristics make no difference in their enthusiasm, the poll shows. Benji Grajeda, 50, of Santa Ana, California, was once excited at the idea that Hillary Clinton could become the first female president. Now he just wants stability. “I don’t think it matters, gender,” said Grajeda, who, though he is Latino, also said he wouldn’t be any more motivated to back a Latino for president. Instead, Grajeda cited experience in office as his top priority because “Trump has no experience.” “I never really thought about it until he won — he’s just not qualified,” Grajeda said. Four in 10 Democratic voters said they would be more excited about voting for a woman for president, and 36% said the same of a younger candidate. About a quarter were more excited at the idea of supporting aContinue reading

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USA vs Iran

A year after the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear agreement, the pact is at severe risk of collapse and the European Union is caught in the middle, struggling to keep supply lines open to the Islamic Republic’s wilting economy under the threat of U.S. sanctions. With few real options left, their trust in the Trump administration running low, and fears rising that conflict could break out, major powers Germany, France and Britain have been reduced to repeating calls for restraint as pressure builds and Iran threatens to walk away from the painstakingly drafted 2015 deal. In an effort to keep Iran’s economy afloat and save an agreement they believe has stopped Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, the Europeans are turning to diplomacy to try to encourage other countries to buy more Iranian oil. They also have set up a barter-type system to evade possible U.S. sanctions. “We have to do everything to solve the conflict situation with Iran in a peaceful manner,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday. “We will do everything to impress on all sides, but especially to make clear to Iran, that this serious situation mustn’t be aggravated.” The pact, which ensures that Tehran’s nuclear program be restricted to civilian uses in exchange for economic assistance, was signed by Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, France Germany and Britain. U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal in May 2018. “We are relying on Iran continuing to abide by it,” German ChancellorContinue reading

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Carrie Lam and Xi Jinping - China and Hong Kong News

Faced with huge and disruptive protests in Hong Kong, China blinked. The decision to shelve the legislation that sparked the demonstrations shows that limits still exist to how hard China can, or is willing, to push. It also exposed a fundamental contradiction in the “one country, two systems” framework that governs the semi-autonomous city. Chinese President Xi Jinping has cemented his hold on power since taking the helm in 2012. His government has expanded control over information, religion and other aspects of society. In Hong Kong, the local government has disqualified a pro-independence party, sent the leaders of a 2014 protest to prison and denied a visa renewal to an editor for Britain’s Financial Times. Activists decried these moves as chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms, but residents largely went about their lives. Then the government, with China’s backing, chipped too deeply, propelling hundreds of thousands, possibly millions in a city of 7.4 million people, into the streets. For Xi, it apparently tipped the scales in a balancing act between attempts to tighten Communist authority and stability in the international financial center, and wanting to keep Hong Kong from slipping out of Beijing’s control — and even demanding independence. “It is a sign that Xi Jinping’s government is not totally impervious to pressure, despite the fact that he has consolidated so much power,” said Ben Bland, an expert at the Lowy Institute in Australia and author of “Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow.” It was in an atmosphere ofContinue reading

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Many protesters call for Carrie Lam resignation in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Hong Kong on Sunday dressed in black to demand the city’s embattled leader steps down, a day after she suspended an extradition bill in a dramatic retreat following the most violent protests in decades. Some protesters carried white carnation flowers, while others held banners saying, “Do not shoot, we are HongKonger,” as they sought to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the financial centre on Wednesday when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas. First aid volunteers rushed to the scene as some protesters fainted as temperatures hovered around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Others passed around water and fans as they left Victoria Park to march to government offices. The crowds cheered when organisers called through loud hailers for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to step down. Beijing-backed Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed the extradition bill that could send people to mainland China to face trial, expressing “deep sorrow and regret” although she stopped short of apologising. The about-face was one of the most significant political turnarounds by the Hong Kong government since Britain returned the territory to China in 1997, and it threw into question Lam’s ability to continue to lead the city. “Carrie Lam refused to apologise yesterday. It’s unacceptable,” said 16-year-old Catherine Cheung. “She’s a terrible leader who is full of lies … I think she’s only delaying the bill now to trick us into calming down.” Her classmate, Cindy Yip, said: “That’sContinue reading

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William Barr, Wilbur Ross - US NEWS

"Today, the Democrats maintained their shameless, weekly attacks on this Administration without consideration for the truth," Wilbur Ross, who as head of Commerce oversees the Census, said in a statement. "Here's the bottom line: The Democrats have continued to attack this Administration on dubious grounds, and they aren't going to let the facts get in the way of their own concocted stories."

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Muhammadu Buhari - Nigeria Politics Headline News

Following the inauguration of Nigeria’s 9th federal parliament on Tuesday and the election of the new leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives, citizens of the West African country have called for a more cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government to engender prosperity. The previous National Assembly had constant rifts with the Executive, a situation generally perceived to have stifled the country’s growth in the past four years. Senator Ahmed Lawan of Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party on Tuesday emerged as the country’s new Senate president when the 9th National Assembly was inaugurated in the capital Abuja. Also, Femi Gbajabiamila, representing the southwestern state of Lagos, was elected the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Dozie Ifebi, an economist, opined that the discord among different political parties and also within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party had fueled the animosity between the two arms of government, “which meant that the good of the country was sometimes affected by political wrangling.” Political analyst Majeed Bakare shared a similar view, noting, however, that though the federal parliament ought not to operate as a rubber stamp, the legislators should work “in tandem with the goals and aspirations of the Executive.” “The negative aspect of governance is the lack of sync between the executive and legislative arms of government. The fact that the ruling party had a majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate, they were unable to work in a cordial atmosphere.Continue reading

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Islamic State in Syria - ISIS News

The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to U.S. and Afghan security officials. Nearly two decades after the U.S.-led invasion, the extremist group is seen as an even greater threat than the Taliban because of its increasingly sophisticated military capabilities and its strategy of targeting civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad. Concerns run so deep that many have come to see the Taliban, which has also clashed with IS, as a potential partner in containing it. A U.S. intelligence official based in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that a recent wave of attacks in the capital, Kabul, is “practice runs” for even bigger attacks in Europe and the United States. “This group is the most near-term threat to our homelands from Afghanistan,” the official said on condition of anonymity to preserve his operational security. “The IS core mandate is: You will conduct external attacks” in the U.S. and Europe. “That is their goal. It’s just a matter of time,” he said. “It is very scary.” Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, sees Afghanistan as a possible new base for IS now that it has been driven from Iraq and Syria. “ISIS has invested a disproportionate amount of attention and resources in Afghanistan,” he said, pointing to “huge arms stockpiling” inContinue reading

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Queen Elizabeth II on D-Day Speech

Queen Elizabeth II and world leaders including U.S. President Donald Trump gathered Wednesday on the south coast of England to honor the troops who risked and sacrificed their lives 75 years ago on D-Day, a bloody but ultimately triumphant turning point in World War II. Across the Channel, American and British paratroopers dropped into northwestern France and scaled cliffs beside Normandy beaches, recreating the daring, costly invasion that helped liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. With the number of veterans of World War II dwindling, the guests of honor at an international ceremony in Portsmouth were several hundred men, now in their 90s, who served in the conflict — and the 93-year-old British monarch, also a member of what has been called the “greatest generation.” The queen, who served as an army mechanic during the war, said that when she attended a 60th-anniversary commemoration of D-Day 15 years ago, many thought it might be the last such event. “But the wartime generation — my generation — is resilient,” she said, striking an unusually personal note. “The heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten,” the monarch said. “It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country — indeed the whole free world — that I say to you all, thank you.” Several hundred World War II veterans, aged 91 to 101, attended the ceremony in Portsmouth, the English port city from where many of the troops embarked for Normandy on June 5,Continue reading

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China's Tiananmen Square

Thirty years since the Tiananmen Square protests, China’s economy has catapulted up the world rankings, yet political repression is harsher than ever. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are held in re-education camps without charge, student activists face relentless harassment and leaders in the beleaguered dissident community have been locked up or simply vanished. Religious groups face ever greater pressure to conform, and a web of mass surveillance is bolstering a system many call totalitarian. It’s a far cry from the hopes of the idealistic student demonstrators, and a level of control far beyond what many imagined possible, even after the army’s bloody crushing of the protests on the night of June 3-4, 1989. Critics say the Tiananmen crackdown, which left hundreds, possibly thousands, dead, set the ruling Communist Party on its present course of ruthless suppression, summary incarceration and the frequent use of violence against opponents in the name of “stability maintenance.” “The June 4 incident changed the direction of Chinese history,” said Zhang Lifan, who in 1989 was a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “The narrative that China would grow strong and normal, become a stable country through a process of political reform, was destroyed.” Chinese officials routinely respond to questions about the suppression by pointing to the economic progress China has made. In the three decades since the protests, China has risen to become the world’s second-largest economy and is forging ahead in areas from high-speed rail to artificial intelligence and 5G mobile communications. China’sContinue reading

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Pakistani Muslims, burning the flag of Denmark

Growing numbers of Danish Muslims say they have faced verbal abuse, exclusion and hate crimes since mainstream political parties began adopting anti-immigrant policies previously the preserve of the far right. The ruling centre-right Liberal Party and the opposition Social Democrats both say a tough stance in immigration is needed to protect Denmark’s cherished welfare system and to integrate the migrants and refugees already in the country. But Manilla Ghafuri, 26, who came to Denmark from Afghanistan in 2001 as a refugee, fears that anti-Muslim attitudes could harden further as the immigration debate heats up ahead of a general election on June 5. “In 2015 I thought: ‘Wow, what’s happening?’ and I think it has got a lot worse over the last few years,” she told Reuters. Ghafuri, who has more than once been told to go back to her “own country”, said she has been kicked out of a supermarket while shopping with her family. While she was working at a bakery a male customer refused to be served by her. “I asked if I could help him, but he didn’t look at me at all. He just stood and waited for another girl who is an ethnic Danish girl,” said Ghafuri, who also works as a teacher and has a degree in Danish. The number of immigrants from non-Western countries and their descendants who have experienced discrimination because of their ethnic background rose to 48% last year from 43% two years earlier, according to the National Integration Barometer. “IfContinue reading

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Nancy Pelosi - Donald Trump - USA Politics Headline Today

Democratic leaders in Congress have argued that impeaching President Donald Trump is a political mistake as the 2020 election nears. Most of the candidates running to succeed him seem to agree, for now. Fewer than one-third of the 23 Democrats vying for the nomination are issuing calls to start the impeachment process, citing evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report they believe shows Trump obstructed justice . Most others, including leading contenders Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, have found a way to hedge or search for middle ground, supporting investigations that could lead to impeachment or saying Trump’s conduct warrants impeachment but stopping short of any call for such a proceeding. The candidates’ reluctance, even as more congressional Democrats start pushing their leaders in the direction, underscores the risky politics of investigating the president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Impeachment matters deeply to the party’s base but remains unpopular with most Americans. White House hopefuls may win praise from liberal activists by pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for an impeachment inquiry, but those who fall short of insisting are unlikely to take heat from early-state primary voters more focused on other issues. “People talk about it and people have opinions about it, but health care is much more salient to them,” Sue Dvorsky, a former head of the Iowa Democratic Party, said in an interview. “I just don’t see Democratic activists here all worked up about impeachment. They trust Pelosi.” The 2020 candidates are facing pressure from the leftContinue reading

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