A spokeswoman for the “Bring Back Our Girls” movement in Nigeria has again said it is the duty of the Nigerian government to rescue the Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity, regardless which political party is in power.
Aisha Yesufu said liberating the girls is not a privilege but a constitutional right that the Nigerian government must fulfill.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE GHANA CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE ON ACCEPTING FORMER GUANTANAMO BAY PRISONERS IN GHANA
We, the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have received news of the transfer of two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners, namely, Mahmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef (36 years) and Khalid Shayk Mohammed (34 years) to Ghana with great distress and sadness and wish to call on our Government to act responsibly and in the interest of the nation by sending these men back to wherever they came from.
Having learn that of these two former prisoners, Mahmoud Bin Atef fought for the late Osama Bin Laden at one time, while Khalid Shayk Mohammed is known to have trained with the terrorist group, Al Qaeda, we wish to pose these questions, among others, for our Government’s response: What is their mission here in Ghana? Does their presence not constitute or pose a clear danger to us? If indeed these two persons are harmless and if they have been “cleared” of any terrorist act by the US Government, as our Government and the US Government and some others want us to believe, why were they not sent back to Yemen or Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan where they come from or taken to the USA which found them harmless? Did our representatives in Parliament discuss the merits and demerits of their resettlement here in Ghana? We need urgent answers to these and other questions because we think that their presence clearly poses a threat to Ghana. Continue reading Press Statement By The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference On Accepting Former Guantanamo Bay Prisoners In Ghana→
“Dear migrants and refugees, each of you carries a story, a culture, precious values; and unfortunately often experiences of poverty, oppression and fear. Your presence in this square is a sign of hope in God.”
Thousands of migrants and refugees came to St Peter’s Square on Sunday, the World Day for Migrants and Refugees, joining pilgrims for the Angelus with Pope Francis. Many also passed through the Holy Door and attended Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.
In his address, Pope Francis said: “Dear migrants and refugees, each of you carries a story, a culture, precious values; and unfortunately often experiences of poverty, oppression and fear. Your presence in this square is a sign of hope in God.”
Let’s, for a moment, take Donald Trump at his word and say that it is possible to peacefully and swiftly remove some 11 million people from America’s cities and towns. Let’s concede it would be possible to stand up and fund a deportation force to achieve this end, and that it is also possible to keep families together by removing them entirely. And once on the other side of a huge wall, the deported would watch from a distance as America became great again.
What then? What would be the immediate and long-term consequences for US society? For the American economy? For everyone left behind?
Just as families were preparing to celebrate Christmas, there were reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was planning to detain and deport Central American children and adults who entered the United States seeking asylum and have had a final order of removal since January 1, 2014. This includes children and families who lost their asylum cases because they were unable to find adequate legal counsel, as well as individuals who were given deportation orders in absentia or through “rocket dockets” that are meant to expedite trials but in reality deny due process.
Many of those rounded up by Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids are being sent to the family detention facility in Dilley, Texas to await deportation. There lawyers with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Representation and Advocacy Project have had some success in staying deportations. “Our interviews revealed that these families have bona fide asylum claims, but were deprived of a meaningful opportunity to present them at their hearings in immigration court,” said Katie Shepherd, managing attorney for the CARA Project. She continued, “It’s beyond shameful that these families, who risked everything to seek protection in the United States, were being forcibly returned to the violence and turmoil they fled in Central America.”
Faith leaders have voiced concern over this latest move by the Obama administration. The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration has written that the migration surge from Central America is a refugee crisis because children and mothers with young families are fleeing extreme violence. Faith groups have called on the Administration to offer a humanitarian response to these migrants and protect and care for children and families fleeing violence in the region which includes due process and legal assistance to adjudicate asylum and refugee claims as well as addressing the root causes of violence forcing so many individuals to flee.
Immigrant advocates are hoping to persuade the administration to abandon its inhumane policy. Advocates are compiling stories of Central American children and families in local communities who have been rounded up and deported as a result of this recent decision. Demographic information, as well as information about their reasons for migration, and the nature of the deportation, will be extremely helpful in telling the story of the devastating impact of this misguided policy. Stories may be sent to LCWR associate director for social mission Ann Scholz, SSND at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gun violence has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many communities across the country. Over the past decade in America, more than 100,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence — and millions more have been the victim of assaults, robberies, and other crimes involving a gun. Many of these crimes were committed by people who never should have been able to purchase a gun in the first place. Over the same period, hundreds of thousands of others in communities around the country committed suicide with a gun and nearly half a million people suffered other gun injuries. Hundreds of law enforcement officers have been shot to death protecting their communities. And too many children are killed or injured by firearms every year, often by accident. The vast majority of Americans, including the vast majority of gun owners, believe it is time to take sensible steps to address these horrible tragedies.
President Obama has said that he is committed to using every tool at his disposal to reduce gun violence. While some of the gaps in gun laws can only be fixed through legislation, in early January the President announced a series of executive actions designed to:
• Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks.
• Make communities safer from gun violence.
• Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.
• Shape the future of gun safety technology.
The presidential announcement was welcomed by many in the faith community including LCWR which adopted a resolution at its 2013 assembly calling for an end to gun violence. lcwr.org/social-justice/ending-gun-violence
Additional information about the executive action is available from the White House at: tinyurl.com/gqzya7n
Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, has announced Holy See is taking steps to ‘slave-proof’ the Vatican’s supply chains – ensuring that all companies the Church purchases from are ethical in their employment and business practices.
The Cardinal made the announcement in Rome on Sunday, during a meeting of The Global Foundation, an Australian organization which brings together business and government leaders.
“I am pleased to confirm that the Vatican itself will commit to slavery-proofing its own supply chains and I hope that today’s announcement will serve as encouragement for others to follow suit,” Cardinal Pell told the gathering.
At the same meeting, the Consumer Goods Forum – a consortium of major companies including Carrefour, Barilla, and Nestle – announced it had passed a resolution to ‘eradicate’ forced labor from their supply chains.
South Africa is quickly running out of maize as the El Nino drought deepens. Like many other countries in southern Africa, South Africa is experiencing its worst drought in decades. As the current crop withers due to extreme heat and little rainfall, food prices are rising and may be out of reach for million.
A devastating drought caused by adverse effects of El Nino has left South Africa exposed to a serious food security threat. El Nino is a global climate phenomenon characterized by the warming of ocean surface temperatures in equatorial parts of the Pacific and recurs every few years. Continue reading South African Maize Silos Dried By Deepening Drought→
SANTARÉM, Brazil, Dec 11 2015 (IPS) – River port terminals in the northern Brazilian city of Santarém are considered strategic by the government. But what some see as an opportunity for development is for others an irreversible change in what was previously a well-preserved part of the Amazon rainforest.
In the evening light on the Tapajós River, whose green-blue waters mix with the darker muddy water of the Amazon River in Santarém, it’s not easy to ignore the silos that overshadow what used to be a public beach, where passenger boats and fishing vessels typical of this part of the Amazon jungle state of Pará tie up.