Asylum Seekers are not a threat – Our policies are a threat to them!

Caritas Europa – form Tweet by Mary Jo McCallum, SNDdeN

mig-92Caritas Europa mourns the loss of 50 lives of asylum seekers in Austria and over 200 off Libyan shore in the last 48 hours. Their death would have been avoided if a common European safe and legal access pathway were in place. “Fortress Europe” is steadily transforming into “Undertaker Europe”. Caritas Europa calls for an immediate implementation of a European refugee project based on solidarity and defense of the dignity of every human being.

“We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery”, said Pope Francis when addressing the European Institutions in November 2014. Known as the “route of death”, refugees have renamed the path between North Africa and Europe “the grave of the Mediterranean sea”.
“The stench of the bodies of the men, women and children found in the truck in Austria impregnates all of us. This cannot continue this way. More controls, security measures and armed forces presence will not stop this. Europe needs to act on a humanitarian approach basis in Europe and in the affected countries,” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.
Caritas calls for: Continue reading Asylum Seekers are not a threat – Our policies are a threat to them!

Global Response to People Fleeing Ravages of War: ‘Callous Indifference,’ Humanitarian Failure

Common Dreams

Boat tragedy in Libya, corpses of refugees in truck in Austria reminders of human cost of war, lack of humanitarian responses

A Syrian father carries his daughter on 8 August 2015 to Gevgelija train station in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where they will register with the authorities before proceeding north towards Serbia. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)
A Syrian father carries his daughter on 8 August 2015 to Gevgelija train station in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where they will register with the authorities before proceeding north towards Serbia. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

Andrea Germanos
It’s a crisis of record proportions that is being met with global “callous indifference” and failed, dehumanizing responses, human rights experts say.

The crisis, described as Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two, involves hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict, many from Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, trying to reach safety in Europe.

For some, the journey reaches a fatal end. As the Associated Press notes, the deaths come “by land and sea.”

Austrian officials said Friday that 71 likely Syrian refugees, including eight women and three children, died in the back of a truck that was abandoned in Hungary. Continue reading Global Response to People Fleeing Ravages of War: ‘Callous Indifference,’ Humanitarian Failure

Nigerian Cardinal Joins #BringBackOurGirls to Mark 500 Days of Captivity

America Magazine

Nigerian Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, center, stands between leaders of the
Nigerian Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, center, stands between leaders of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign during an event marking the one-year anniversary of the advocacy group’s call for the release of the 200 abducted Chibok school girls in Abuja, Nigeria, April 30. (CNS photo/Afolabi Sotunde, Reuter)

ABUJA, Nigeria (CNS) — Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja and Sheik Nura Khalid, chief imam of Apo Legislators Quarters Jumu’at Mosque, joined the members of the #BringBackOurGirls movement Aug. 27 to mark the 500 days that more than 200 girls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, who were abducted by Boko Haram in their dormitory in Borno state April 14, 2014.

Speaking during the commemoration, Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed sadness that the students were still in the hands of their captors.
“The Joint Task Force kept telling us that it had combed the Sambisa Forest where the abductors alleged to have kept the children, but we have not got an inkling regarding their whereabouts,” he said.

He expressed hope that the 500 days would be a symbolic catalyst to move the Nigerian community into recognizing the serious problem on its hands and finding a solution.

“I have always identified with this group. That is the reason I came this day; we are commemorating the 500 days they, Chibok girls, were abducted. This is a serious matter. Our girls taken from us,” the cardinal said.
“I am here because I am worried about the girls whose condition we don’t even know. We don’t even know what state they are in, and it is painful,” he said.

Cardinal Onaiyekan called on Nigerians to understand the magnitude of the issue of the abduction and pray for the students’ safe return. Continue reading Nigerian Cardinal Joins #BringBackOurGirls to Mark 500 Days of Captivity

Nigeria marks 500 days since abduction of Chibok girls

Independent Catholic News
nig-9Nearly 500 days have passed since Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 200 girls from their school in Nigeria. The President of the Ekklisiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has revealed that more than 176 of them are from families belonging to his denomination.

Reverend Samuel Dali’s revelation coincides with a Global Week of Action launched by local activists to mark the 500 days.

Speaking to local media, Reverend Dali added that over 8,000 members of his church had lost their lives and 70 percent of church facilities in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States had been destroyed, including the church’s headquarters in Mubi, Adamawa State, which was seized in October 2014. In addition, an estimated 90,000 EYN church members are reported to have been displaced by terrorist violence. Continue reading Nigeria marks 500 days since abduction of Chibok girls

NASA: World ‘Locked Into’ at Least 3 Feet of Sea Level Rise

Common Dreams
Current satellite data reveals that glaciers ‘might not be as stable as we once thought’
Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Photo: NASA/Saskia Madlener
Photo: NASA/Saskia Madlener

New research underway indicates that at least three feet of global sea level rise is near certain, NASA scientists warned Wednesday.

That’s the higher range of the 1 to 3 feet level of rise the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave in its 2013 assessment.

Sea levels have already risen 3 inches on average since 1992, with some areas experiencing as much as a 9-inch rise.

“Given what we know now about how the ocean expands as it warms and how ice sheets and glaciers are adding water to the seas, it’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and lead of NASA’s interdisciplinary Sea Level Change Team. “But we don’t know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer.” Continue reading NASA: World ‘Locked Into’ at Least 3 Feet of Sea Level Rise

Zim economy: Mugabe asks the West for help

Mail & Guardian
For first time in over 15 years, Mugabe openly asked for Western re-engagement in the ailing Zimbabwe economy in his State of the Nation address.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe delivers his first State of the Nation address in eight years. (AFP)
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe delivers his first State of the Nation address in eight years. (AFP)

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said Tuesday in his first State of the Nation address in eight years that he welcomed Western assistance in his country’s economy – the first such statement in a decade and a half of strained relations with the US and Europe.

The 91-year-old veteran president was booed and heckled by opposition politicians over the deteriorating economy as he delivered a policy speech that lasted less than half an hour in Parliament.

Mugabe also called for strengthening of ties with multilateral institutions, which include the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“My government values re-engagement of the Western world in the Zimbabwe economy,” he said Continue reading Zim economy: Mugabe asks the West for help

Judge orders immigrant families released from detention

AZ Central
Seth Robbins

An immigrant from El Salvador that entered the country illegally wears an ankle monitor at a shelter, Monday, July 27, 2015, in San Antonio. Lawyers representing immigrant mothers held in a South Texas detention center say the women have been denied counsel and coerced into accepting ankle-monitoring bracelets as a condition of release, even after judges made clear that paying their bonds would suffice. (Photo: Eric Gay/AP)

SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge in California has ordered the government to release immigrant children from family detention centers “without unnecessary delay,” and with their mothers when possible, according to court papers.

In a filing late Friday, California U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee refused the government’s request to reconsider her ruling in late July that children held in family detention centers after crossing the US-Mexico border illegally must be released rapidly. Continue reading Judge orders immigrant families released from detention

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