New Zealand’s new leader: We must be ready for ‘climate refugees’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

New Zealand’s new leader: We must be ready for ‘climate refugees’

New Zealand: We may have to take climate refugees 02:03

(CNN)New Zealand’s new leader, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, tells CNN that her country must be prepared to take in “climate change refugees” from surrounding island nations.

“We need to acknowledge that we are, unless we make dramatic changes, at the front of seeing refugees as a result of climate change,” Arden told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview, her first since taking office last Thursday.

Watch the full interview

  
Watch the full interview09:22
“We see a duty of care there — both to champion internationally the importance of acknowledging and responding to climate change, but also doing our bit.”
The country currently takes in about 750 refugees each year, per United Nations mandates, according to the government.
“We’re looking to ways to build in the responsibility we have on climate change and the way that we approach, potentially, climate change refuges in the future amongst our neighbors,” said the prime minister.
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In order to govern, Ardern’s Labour Party entered into coalition with a conservative, anti-immigration New Zealand First Party.
She denied, however, that her government’s policy would be affected in the area of refugees, saying she had worked “very hard” to build consensus, and was committed on doubling the country’s refugee quota.

‘Never too late’ to talk with North Korea

Ardern takes office at a dangerous time in her region.
US President Donald Trump’s upcoming trip to Asia (though not New Zealand) is expected to focus extensively on North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile programs.
A senior North Korean official told CNN’s Will Ripley in Pyongyang last week that the world should take “literally” a warning from North Korea’s foreign minister about a possible “strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean.”
Ardern said her policy was simple: “It’s never too late to talk.”
“That is a message we’ll continue to send on the international stage,” while encouraging multilateral “dialogue.”

Questioning women in the workplace

At 37, Ardern is New Zealand’s youngest leader in 150 years, and its third female prime minister.
She has spoken openly about being a mother, but has forcefully condemned the idea that women should be questioned about how they balance work and home life. “Certainly it is an issue that’s come up for me personally in the role that I have in politics time and time again,” she told Amanpour.
“It will continue to be so until we speak only about the fact that it’s a woman’s decision when to chooses to have a family. It should not be something that’s raised when her future career prospects are speculated on or even if she enters into a job opportunity or an interview.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is A Complete Idiot

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘NEW YORK MAGAZINE.COM’)

(Is Donald “FAKE NEWS” Trump The Biggest Idiot On Earth?)(TRS)

11:49 am

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot

By 

Image
Donald Trump and Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: Getty Images

The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public.
At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the time I was halfway through it, my brain could not stop screaming at Trump for his failure to understand what Turnbull was telling him.

Australia has a policy of refusing to accept refugees who arrive by boat. The reason, as Turnbull patiently attempts to explain several times, is that it believes giving refuge to people who arrive by boat would encourage smuggling and create unsafe passage with a high risk of deaths at sea. But it had a large number of refugees who had arrived by sea, living in difficult conditions, whom Australia would not resettle (for fear of encouraging more boat trafficking) but whom it did not want to deport, either. The United States government agreed under President Obama to vet 1,250 of these refugees and accept as many of them as it deemed safe.

In the transcript, Trump is unable to absorb any of these facts. He calls the refugees “prisoners,” and repeatedly brings up the Cuban boatlift (in which Castro dumped criminals onto Florida). He is unable to absorb Turnbull’s explanation that they are economic refugees, not from conflict zones, and that the United States has the ability to turn away any of them it deems dangerous.

Donald Trump Is His Own Worst Enemy

President Trump’s efforts to fix his headline-making crises often have the effect of making the situation worse.

Turnbull tries to explain to Trump that refugees have not been detained because they pose a danger to Australian society, but in order to deter ship-based smuggling:

Trump: Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

Turnbull: Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

At this point, Trump fails to understand the policy altogether, and proceeds to congratulate Turnbull for what Trump mistakes to be a draconian policy of total exclusion:

Trump: That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am … Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries.

Trump has completely failed to understand either that the refugees are not considered dangerous, or, again, that they are being held because of a categorical ban on ship-based refugee traffic.

He also fails to understand the number of refugees in the agreement:

Trump: I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

Turnbull: With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

Trump: Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

Turnbull: The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting.

Then Trump returns to his belief that they are bad, and failing to understand the concept that they have been detained merely because they arrived by sea and not because they committed a crime:

Trump: I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

Turnbull: I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

Trump: Well, maybe you should let them out of prison.

He still thinks they’re criminals.

Later, Trump asks what happens if all the refugees fail his vetting process:

Trump: I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

Turnbull: That is the point I have been trying to make.

After several attempts by Turnbull to explain Australia’s policy, Trump again expresses his total inability to understand what it is:

Trump: Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

Turnbull: Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

Trump: Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

After Turnbull has told Trump several times that the refugees have been detained because they arrived by boat, and only for that reason, Trump’s question is, “But they are arrived on a boat?”

Soon after, Turnbull again reiterates that Australia’s policy is to detain any refugee who arrives by boat:

Turnbull: The only people that we do not take are people who come by boa. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.”

Trump: What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

No, you don’t get it at all! It’s not that they come from certain regions! It’s that they come by boat!

So Turnbull very patiently tries to explain again that the policy has nothing to do with what region the refugees come from:

Turnbull: No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea.

At this point, Trump gives up asking about the policy and just starts venting about the terribleness of deals in general:

I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it — START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

Shortly afterward, the call ends in brusque fashion, and Turnbull presumably begins drinking heavily.

Germany dismisses ‘Islam law’ as integration debate resurfaces

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

Germany dismisses ‘Islam law’ as integration debate resurfaces

By Paul Carrel | BERLIN

Germany has no plans to introduce an ‘Islam law’ codifying the rights and obligations of Muslims, a government spokesman said on Monday, dismissing an idea floated by allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of federal elections in September.

Merkel, who will seek a fourth term in what is expected to be a close-fought ballot, has come under fire for opening Germany’s doors to refugees, more than one million of whom – mostly Muslims – have entered the country over the past two years.

Seeking to boost support for the chancellor’s conservatives, senior Merkel ally Julia Kloeckner stoked the integration debate at the weekend by calling for stricter rules for Islamic preachers and a ban on foreign funding of mosques.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert dismissed the idea, which Kloeckner – who is deputy leader of the chancellor’s Christian Democrats (CDU) – and other senior party members want to enshrine in an Islam law.

“Such a law is now not an issue for government business,” Seibert told a news conference, stressing the high regard Merkel’s ruling coalition has for religious freedom in Germany.

While stopping short of calling for an Islam law, Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday that refugees in Germany must respect tolerance, openness and freedom of religion.

The message backed up a less compromising tone on integrating migrants that Merkel set at a CDU party conference in December, when she called for a ban on full-face Muslim veils “wherever legally possible”.

By talking tougher on integration, Merkel is also seeking to reclaim support her party lost last year over her refugee policy to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which punished the CDU in regional elections in 2016.

The AfD has lost voter support this year, hurt by infighting that has sent its ratings down to around 8 percent from a high of 15.5 percent at the end of 2016.

In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte used a similar tactic to win re-election this year, seizing back the initiative from anti-Islam populist rivals by matching some of their tough rhetoric on immigration.

He told the country’s half-million ethnic Turks that they should integrate and accept Dutch views on freedom of speech or “get lost” after some had been filmed behaving aggressively toward a reporter during a demonstration.

“Our norms and values are all or nothing: you can’t pick and choose,” he said in response to the footage in an interview last September.

(Additional reporting by Thomas Escritt in Amsterdam; editing by John Stonestreet)

Rape: Is There Such A Thing As A ‘Culture’ Of Rape?

 

A couple of days ago one of our fellow Word Press Bloggers ( chanportuguesa.wordpress.com ) left me a comment about an article I had reblogged a couple of weeks before. The article I had reblogged was out of Portugal and the content matter was about a 67-year-old homeless woman who was raped and beaten by a ‘refugee’ who was from North Africa. The article said this man who is in his twenties was a person that was supposed to have been sent to Italy but Italy refused to let him in so Portugal ended up having to keep him. The articles spoke of how messed up Portugal’s political system is in that their own citizens like this 67-year-old woman were having to sleep in the streets yet the government was giving food, clothing and housing to refugees. I know that this is exactly how things are done here in the U.S. so what he was saying sounds familiar as this is how our government has operated for decades now.

 

The following comment is the reason that I thought to do this article today, they make a very good point and I promised I would do this article concerning his comment. When I had posted this reblogged article I had made a comment about the ‘rape culture’ concerning the ‘refugee’, here is the quote. “I am curious to know which culture is that? What  is your though on this article? French troops raped starving children in Central Africa.” Before I started this article I decided to look up the word rape in the online dictionary to see exactly how it is defined, the following is what it had to say. “Rape: origin of rape: Middle English/Anglo-French/Latin from 1250-1300 A.D..” Noun: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vigina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ or other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.” The article said that this young man beat her in the face breaking several facial bones and he forced sex upon her. To me, it does sound like this young man without a doubt is guilty of what could be described as a ‘text book’ rape of this poor old lady, but this is just my opinion, others may somehow have a different opinion though.

 

Our fellow Blogger said at the end of his comment “French troops raped starving children in Central Africa.” This may be true, it may not, I do not personally know one way or the other. If this has happened it would not surprise me though. It does seem that I remember reading an article or two about a year ago where such things were mentioned, but were those articles truthful, I wasn’t there, I do not know. I also remember reading articles over the past few years where U.N. troops were blamed for this exact same crimes/sins. Were those true? Unfortunately it sounded like it was. I know that in many cultures during armed conflicts that soldiers from many different countries have used rape as a weapon against the people they are fighting against. Here in the States our ‘National Culture’ says that none of our troops would ever do such a thing, but there is always some tares among the wheat. To me, rape is a moral issue. Many will say I am wrong, it is only a physical issue, really, it is both. But if a person, soldier or not, is a moral person, they will not touch another person in this manner. What I am saying is that if a person is brought up in a religion that teaches that rape is a sin and the person who commits such a sin must be executed, a devout person of that religion will never do such harm to another person.

 

Now, back to this refugee in Portugal who raped and beat this 67-year-old homeless woman. I know that some people will jump to the conclusion that because he is from North Africa that I am coming down on African or upon Black culture, no, that is not correct. The culture I was referring to in this case is his religion which is that of Islam. I know that I just angered a lot of folks with that statement yet if you will keep reading for a couple more moments you will see more clearly why I have said that. Look at the street level of the Islamic countries, look at that culture concerning women, look at how they are treated. I know that there are some folks who believe in Islam who are educated and kind toward their wives and children so this is not a ‘blanket’ condemnation of Islam. There are good and bad people within every religion on Earth. But, think about this reality for a moment please. Think about the Islamic countries where a woman can not go out of her house without a male relative beside her. I have heard and read articles from Islamic men who believe that if a woman goes out of her house on her own she is just asking to be raped, why else would they go out alone they say. Even if they are hand in hand with their husband and they are showing more skin than a Burka allows, they are a whore. Is this a morality issue on the part of women? Or is it a maturity or moral fallacy of the men, or even of their religion that they were raised in?

 

There is no doubt that morality throughout the world is decreasing rapidly and not just in the Islamic world. Here in the States there was a time when women dressed much more modestly, and so did the men. There was a time when it was considered a sin if you could see a woman’s ankle below her dress and dresses with a v-neck which showed cleavage was scandalous. Yet there was also a time when the men always wore long-sleeved shirts and only long pants, no shorts were allowed and men never took off their shirts in public. Yet it is my assertion that those who sexually attack others are themselves very morally weak. Even if you come from a culture like Islam it is not okay for anyone to force themselves upon another person. It is an obvious truth that when you take Islamic men out of  an Islamic culture and place them in a culture like France, Italy, or Portugal that a huge amount of these morales adult male children think it is perfectly okay to assault ‘single’ women and even very young girls. The world is facing a moral decline yet this article today is only about the evil in the lack of sexual morals. We have also read several times during the past couple of years where in India where Hindu men have been gang raping young women and girls literally to death. It is rather common to hear of the rape cultures within the body of Africa where no religion seems to be at fault. Here in the States we usually only hear of cases where Priests commit these sins on young children.

 

No group is without sin because each group, each religion, is made up of individuals, we stand or fall on our individual merit, or the lack thereof. The reason that today’s article highlights the Islamic culture is because of their teachings. Not so much the teachings of the Quran which is a “Book of the Saying” of the Prophet Muhammad, the huge issues are concerning the Book called the “Hadith” which is the “actions” of the Prophet Muhammad. They are taught from birth that a ‘good’ believer must emulate the actions of their Prophet. Please read this book folks, their Prophet should be the very last person that any parent would ever want their child to act like. The people of Islam know these facts, they tend to try to hide this truth from ‘the western world’. If you really wish to understand why I believe Islam teaches its male followers to perform their lives with such violence toward everyone, especially women and young girls. I know of no other major ‘religion’ that tells their followers to be so violent toward other people that is why many folks I have spoken with do not even consider Islam to be a ‘religion’, they believe that it is no more than a Demonic Cult.

German “Refugee” Making Bombs To Set Off At Berlin Airports Has Been Arrested

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

German spy chief says Syrian suspect targeted Berlin airports

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) said a Syrian suspect arrested on Monday was building a bomb and probably planned to attack one of the airports in Berlin.

Hans-Georg Maassen told public broadcaster ARD that intelligence leads had suggested in early September that militant group Islamic State (IS) was planning an attack on Germany’s transport infrastructure.

Spies managed to track down and identify the suspect in the eastern state of Saxony last Thursday and started a round-the-clock observation, Maassen said.

“We found out that he then bought hot glue in a discount shop on the following day. And then we immediately put all measures into place to start a raid because we assumed this can basically be the last missing chemical for him to build a bomb.”

Maassen told ARD that initial intelligence information pointed to an attack on trains in Germany but it later became clear that he planned to strike a Berlin airport.

Germany’s top public prosecutor, Peter Frank, confirmed that his office had taken over the investigations because of the severity of the charges.

“The danger is mainly characterized by the fact that he developed a very high explosive for which special expertise was needed, and he made it in a very large quantity,” he told ARD’s television news programme, Tagesthemen.

Investigators said earlier they found “some 1.5 kilograms (3 lb) of an extremely dangerous explosive” in the suspect’s apartment.

State police said the chemical was probably triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a highly unstable substance also used by suicide bombers during the Paris attack in November 2015.

German authorities said earlier on Monday that the suspect was probably inspired by IS and was readying an attack similar to those in Paris and Brussels.

Jaber Albakr, 22, arrived in Germany in February last year during a migrant influx into the country and was granted temporary asylum four months later. Officials said he had not previously aroused suspicion.

The suspect’s background will be unwelcome news for Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservatives have lost support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party over her refugee-friendly policy.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Catherine Evans and Sandra Maler)

Is The Pope Actually As Ignorant As His Words Are Saying He Is?

 

I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian. I do not believe that the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is stupid nor ignorant, at least I hope that he isn’t. I know that as a ‘religious leader’ of a ‘Christ based’ faith the Pope is suppose to be kind, good, and welcoming to all people of the Earth. Peace and love are the hallmarks of God’s teachings so the Pope is correct in his inviting of all persons out of war torn countries and into country’s that are not ‘war torn’. But, at the same time you show wisdom in the protection of your family, your country, and the Church. In pretty much any other circumstance Pope Francis would be correct in welcoming the Muslim and Persian people from North Africa and the Middle-East into Europe and the rest of the civilized world as to not do so would be cruel and racists. But if the Pope does not understand the difference of this situation compared to, for example, free travel between members of EU country’s then he is quite ignorant.

 

I have stated my opinions on racism several times in articles that I have written here on this site throughout the years. I believe that any form of racism is evil and that evil will get a person condemned at their judgement before the Throne of Christ. If I, you, the Pope, or anyone else are anti-Muslim or Persian people, then we are being racist and this is a sin that will be held against our charge. I do not believe for even one moment that Pope Francis is a racist person. As I said earlier that in any other circumstance Pope Francis would be correct in trying to get all country’s on Earth to open their doors to these war refugees, but not in this case. If the Pope really thinks that what he is saying to the public is correct, then he is an idiot. If he does’t believe what he is saying, then he is being a liar. For anyone, especially a ‘Religious Leader’ to be a liar or an idiot is not a good thing. I will not judge the Pope on which one he is being, that is God’s job, not mine.

 

In both of the previous paragraphs I have referred to this particular circumstance as being different than any other circumstance. The reason that Pope Francis is wrong in his trying to get Europe and the rest of the world to allow in these refugees is not because they are Muslim people, Persian people, or even African people. The color of their skin has nothing at all to do with anything. The issue is what has saturated these people between their ears, and that issue is Islam! This ‘religion’ has been around for almost 1,400 years and for it’s whole existence including right from it’s inception it is and has always been a religion of hate, murder and conquest. Ever since their ‘prophet’ Mohammad was still alive he participated in the extermination of all people and all other faiths in every country this disease has spread to. As most of you know the word Islam means ‘submission’ as in total submission to the will of Allah. Any who will not submit are to be killed. Believers are ordered to infiltrate a country, grow strong from within, then attack and destroy until that country has only one faith, Islam. Any country who lets believers of this ‘faith’ in among their people are inviting their own murderers within their own homes. Some people, those who haven’t read or studied their scriptures or paid any attention to world history over the past 1,400 years, will say that I am being Islamophobic. I am telling you, wake up, read, and learn because it is you who are being ignorant. Read the Quran which is ‘the words’ of the prophet Mohammad, read the real Islamic holy book, the Hadith, which is ‘the actions’ of the prophet Mohammad. The play book for your destruction is laid out in black and white, it is you who are being ignorant and it will cost you your country, your way of life, and your life. So, is the Pope being ignorant? Read, learn, then make an intelligent decision instead of an un-knowledgeable one.

Islamic Refugees Causing Crime Wave’s In German Towns

(This article is courtesy of the BBC)

Germany migrants: Residents battle asylum seekers in Bautzen

Refugees and asylum-seekers in Bautzen on 14 SeptImage copyrightAP
Image captionAsylum seekers (pictured) were accused of taking over the central square in Bautzen

Residents have clashed with asylum seekers in a town in eastern Germany that has become a flash point for anti-refugee sentiment.

Some 80 locals, described by police as far-right, brawled with 20 young asylum seekers in Bautzen.

The asylum seekers were chased to their hostel and put under police guard.

The mayor said the town had to avoid becoming a playground for the far right. A curfew has been imposed on the young asylum seekers.

Anti-migrant tensions have been mounting in Bautzen this year.

Locals cheered when a building due to house migrants was set on fire in February.

The following month, President Joachim Gauck was verbally abused when he visited Bautzen to discuss the influx of refugees in Germany.

Bautzen and the nearby town of Niedergurig are home to four asylum shelters.

Bautzen is 60km (38 miles) east of Dresden, where the “anti-Islamisation” Pegida movement began.

Since the arrival last year of 1.1 million irregular migrants and refugees in Germany, some areas, particularly eastern states, have seen a rise in anti-migrant violence as well as support for the anti-Islam AfD party.

Germany’s federal police force says there have been 700 attacks on asylum accommodation this year, including 57 arson attacks.

An 18-year-old Moroccan showed reporters on Thursday the injuries he received during the violence (15 Sept)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionAn 18-year-old Moroccan showed reporters on Thursday the injuries he received during the violence

A region with a far-right reputation: analysis by Damien McGuinness, BBC News Berlin

Each fresh outbreak of refugee-related violence is potentially a political problem for Chancellor Angela Merkel. Some voters say large-scale migration could destabilize German society.

As a result the chancellor’s conservative coalition has been haemorrhaging voters to the insurgent anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. That’s a particular worry given that this weekend voters in Berlin region go to the polls, and next year Mrs Merkel’s national government faces re-election.

But many Germans from other parts of Germany are more likely to blame the clashes on racist sentiment, rather than see it as a product of the chancellor’s welcoming stance on refugees.

That is because this beautiful area of ex-communist eastern Germany already has a rather ugly reputation for neo-Nazi support and right-wing extremist violence.


map

Wednesday’s outbreak of violence in Bautzen was a dramatic escalation after days of tension in the town.

The clashes appeared to be triggered by an incident the previous evening, when a 32-year-old resident was hurt by a bottle being thrown.

On Wednesday night a group of some 80 people, described by police as right-wingers, shouted slogans at up to 20 young asylum seekers, accusing them of taking over the central Kornmarkt shopping center.

Tensions escalated, fueled by alcohol, and scuffles broke out.

Police said they tried to separate the groups and asked them to leave. Then the asylum seekers – all thought to have come to Germany as unaccompanied minors – hurled bottles and wooden sticks at the police, who responded with pepper spray and batons.

When they did disperse, they were pursued by the locals to a nearby asylum center.

An ambulance crew was caught up in the clashes when far-right residents hurled stones at their vehicle as they tried to take an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker to hospital for treatment.

“It wasn’t anarchy, but there was at least a chaotic phase that I would say lasted between 45 and 90 minutes,” said police chief Uwe Kilz.

Local mayor Alexander Ahrens said he would not tolerate the violence. “It cannot be that Bautzen turns into a playground for right-wingers spoiling for a fight”.

The young asylum seekers will now face an alcohol ban and a 19:00 curfew.

Jordan’s Queen Rania Asks For More Help For War Refugees

(This article is courtesy of the Jordan Times of Amman)

Queen Rania calls for collective global response to refugee crisis during Lesbos visit

Queen Rania calls for collective global response to refugee crisis during Lesbos visit

By JT – Apr 25,2016 – Last updated at Apr 25,2016

Amman — Her Majesty Queen Rania on Monday called for a collective global response to the growing refugee crisis, explaining that its impact is much greater than any one country or any one region’s capacity to cope.

The Queen made these statements during a visit to the Kara Tepe Refugee Camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in her capacity as advocate for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where she also met with several refugees, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office.

“This is an exceptional crisis, and it requires an exceptional response. It requires a response that is collective and that is value-based, a response that is built on burden sharing not burden shifting,” she said.

Queen Rania explained that responsibility for the refugee crisis cannot be defined by geography and cannot be contained in Europe or the Middle East.

“Refugees are not numbers. They are human beings like you and I, except they have seen unspeakable horror and have experienced unthinkable tragedy and hardship. They risked everything, their families, their possessions just to make it to safety,” she said.

“We need to bring humanity and compassion back into the narrative, because this crisis is about people not borders and barriers. It’s about human dignity not deals,” Her Majesty stressed.

In reference to stories she heard from the refugees she said: “It’s very difficult for me to decide which story is more harrowing than the other because each one seems to be an incredible tragedy.”

“These people have gone from suffering to suffering, and the one theme that I keep hearing time and time again is that if they had a choice, they would be back in their homes.”

The Queen also highlighted the urgent need to find legal and safe alternatives for refugees, who have fled their war-ravaged countries and are struggling to seek asylum. “We need to find legal alternatives and effective pathways to safety, and also look for more sustainable long-term solutions to this crisis.”

Queen Rania said many humanitarian agencies are concerned about the ramifications of the EU-Turkey deal. She warned that desperate refugees will not stop trying to reach safety and security in Europe, adding that new and dangerous smuggler routes were already expanding.

She said donor support must be increased for over-stretched humanitarian organisations like the IRC and countless others “that have become the only lifeline for refugees at a time of limited asylum opportunities”.

Her Majesty also thanked the Greek government and people, who have shown “remarkable empathy and kindness towards refugees” despite six years of economic hardship.

While at the camp, Lesbos Mayor Spyros Galinos briefed the Queen about the plight of thousands of refugees on the island, which is considered the gateway to mainland Europe.

Accompanying Her Majesty on the visit, IRC Country Director Panos Navrozidis said: “For refugees, Her Majesty Queen Rania’s visit today reassured them that they are not alone. There are many people across the world who care deeply for their plight and are working to ensure a better, safer future for them and for their families.”

Navrozidis briefed the Queen on the IRC’s efforts in providing legal counsel to the refugees about their rights. He also showed her IRC’s water, sanitation, and hygiene services inside the camp, which is currently hosting over 950 people.

Queen Rania met with two Syrian families and one Afghan family, who described the stress they are under while anxiously waiting for news about the fate of their asylum applications. Some said they sold all their belongings in order to flee Daesh-controlled territory in Syria.

She also met with a group of Syrian women, who told her about the fear and grief they have experienced. Two of the women lost their husbands, who drowned when their boat capsized while trying to get to Lesbos from Turkey last month.

The Queen also joined refugee and local children participating in a mural painting activity.

On March 23, Her Majesty visited IRC’s operations in the Jordanian town of Ramtha, some 90km north of Amman, where the organisation provides health and protection services, including psychological support for Syrian women traumatized by war.

The IRC began its operations in Lesbos in July 2015, delivering clean water and sanitation in several refugee transit sites, and providing refugees with much-needed information about the registration process. 

The organisation also continues to provide specialized services to the most vulnerable refugees, including people with limited mobility and children separated from their families.
The IRC also provides healthcare, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries across the world, with special programs focusing on the needs of women and children.

Every year, the IRC resettle’s thousands of refugees in the US.

The Latest News From Zagra Croatia Concerning Islamic Refugees

(This article is courtesy of the Zagra News Paper ‘The Telegraph: Croatia)

• Hundreds push through police lines in Croatia
• People trampling and falling on top of each other
• Dozens injured, say AP
• Croatia expects 20,000 people in two weeks
Croatia said it received more than 8,900 in 24 hours

Latest

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Conclusion: a summary of the day

  1. The latest events today in Croatia demonstrated how the Hungarian fence had consequences that would increase the suffering of migrants and refugees.
  2. Initially migrants waited for hours in the hot sun, as officials tried to corral migrants into a railway station to wait for trains to the Croatian capital, Zagreb, several hundred people broke through a police cordon and struck off on their own. Migrants scurried through cornfields and along roads, holding children and carrying their belongings.
  3. …but Hungary praised its fence and its impact of limiting the number entering the country. Janos Lazar, chief of staff to Viktor Orban, the country’s Right-wing prime minister, said the “assertive, uncompromising defence of the border has visibly held back human trafficking”.
  4. More than 8,900 migrants and refugees entered Croatia in the last 48 hours and the country said it expected at least 20,000 in the next fortnight.
  5. The Croatian president asked the army “to be ready to protect national border”.
  6. Donald Tusk, the Polish president of the EU, said EU heads of government would hold a summit on the matter on Wednesday.
  7. Small groups of refugees crossed the Croatian-Hungarian border at Illocska but were expected to be “expelled”, according to a Hungarian civil organisation.
  8. Hungary’s foreign minister said the “state of crisis” declared earlier in the week in two counties had been extended to a pair of southern counties.
  9. Close to 1,000 migrants arrived on a train in a Croatian town near the border with Hungary. Police told them to sleep in an abandoned military base.

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Hungarian state media confirmed that some migrants and refugees tried to cross into Hungary via Croatia. Police apparently detained dozens of migrants near the village of Illocska, opposite the Croatian town of Beli Manastir.

From The BBC: Pope Francis Visits Lesbos Island To Visit Refugee Detention Center

 

Migrant crisis: Pope Francis arrives in Greece to visit Lesbos camp

  • 23 minutes ago
  • From the sectionEurope
Migrants protest in the Moria detention centre in Mytilene, on April 15, 2016, on the eve of Pope Francis" visit.Image copyrightAFP/Getty
Image captionMigrants have protested at overcrowding and a lack of food at the Lesbos camp

Pope Francis has arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos to show support for refugees trying to reach Europe.

The Pope is being met by Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew. They will visit a camp for more than 3,000 people who are awaiting either processing of asylum claims or deportation to Turkey.

Lesbos has been a key entry point into Europe for migrants in the past year.

Thousands are now stuck on the island after last month’s deal between Europe and Turkey to try to ease the flow.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople – the spiritual head of the world’s Orthodox Christians – will visit the Moria detention centre.

The Vatican insists that the Pope’s visit is purely humanitarian and religious in nature and should not be seen as a criticism of the deportations.

However, the Vatican official in charge of migrants, Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, has said the EU-Turkey plan treats migrants as merchandise and fails to recognise their dignity as human beings.

Pope Francis visited the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013 to show similar support for migrants after dozens died trying to reach it.

‘Terrified’

The Pope was met at Lesbos Mytilene airport by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Athens Ieronimos II.

Pope Francis, Alexis Tsipras and Patriarch Bartholomew, Lesbos, 16 AprilImage copyrightReuters
Image captionPope Francis was met by PM Alexis Tsipras (C) and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew

At the camp, the Pope will meet unaccompanied migrant children, and will later observe a minute’s silence for those who have died making dangerous sea crossings in search of a better life.

On the eve of the visit, one Syrian attempted to kill himself at the camp after being told he would be deported back to Turkey but was prevented by police.

Migrants later demonstrated, demanding better treatment and to stay in Europe.


Analysis – BBC diplomatic correspondent Caroline Hawley

Refugees and migrants line up inside Moria detention centre in Mytilene one day before the visit of Pope Francis on April 15, 2016Image copyrightAFP/Getty

This is a short, but highly symbolic visit designed to draw attention to what the Vatican has described as a difficult situation.

The Pope has repeatedly called for compassion to be shown to people fleeing terror, turmoil and hardship. He will be hoping his trip to Lesbos will stir Europe’s conscience.

It comes as the EU’s handling of the migrant crisis faces intense criticism from aid agencies and human rights groups. The Pope will meet refugees at a camp where more than 3,000 people are now effectively incarcerated in conditions aid workers say are deplorable.

He will then hold a ceremony to remember those who have died trying to reach Europe’s shores. The Pope is coming with a strong moral message – but no solutions.


The Greek authorities have not yet commented on the suicide attempt, which was confirmed by non-governmental organisations on the island.

The man was among four Syrians who have now appealed against their deportation orders.

However, some Syrians on Lesbos say they are terrified by the thought of returning to Turkey because of reports that hundreds of Syrians have been forcibly returned from Turkey to Syria.

Turkey has denied sending back any refugees against their will.

Refugees and migrants also complain of overcrowded conditions and a lack of food.

A man looks through a gate at the Moria refugee camp where asylum-seekers are held at the complex on April 15, 2016 in Mytilene on LesbosImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionMigrants on Lesbos are incarcerated in conditions aid workers say are deplorable.

Key points from EU-Turkey agreement

  • Returns: All “irregular migrants” crossing from Turkey into Greece from 20 March will be sent back. Each arrival will be individually assessed by the Greek authorities
  • One-for-one: For each Syrian returned to Turkey, a Syrian migrant will be resettled in the EU. Priority will be given to those who have not tried to illegally enter the EU and the number is capped at 72,000
  • Visa restrictions: Turkish nationals should have access to the Schengen passport-free zone by June. This will not apply to non-Schengen countries like Britain
  • Financial aid: The EU is to speed up the allocation of €3bn ($3.3 bn; £2.3 bn) in aid to Turkey to help migrants
  • Turkey EU membership: Both sides agreed to “re-energise” Turkey’s bid to join the European bloc, with talks due by July

The Turkey-EU statement in full


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A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.