Tag Archives: refugee

Pete Buttigieg's Christmas tweet inadvertently sparked a war over whether Jesus was a poor refugee

Pete Buttigieg's Christmas tweet inadvertently sparked a war over whether Jesus was a poor refugeePete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and top-tier 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted a Christmas message: "Today I join millions around the world in celebrating the arrival of divinity on earth, who came into this world not in riches but in poverty, not as a citizen but as a refugee. No matter where or how we celebrate, merry Christmas." In 2019, those are apparently fighting words.Some conservative Christians protested that Joseph, the terrestrial father of Jesus of Nazareth, wasn't poor — though it's hard to see how a carpenter from an otherwise insignificant village in Galilee would be well-off — or faulted Buttigieg for not saying "Jesus" in his tweet. "But it was perhaps Buttigieg’s classification of Jesus as a refugee — a common line among the Christian left — that received almost immediate pushback from evangelicals," says The Washington Post's Eugene Scott.The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh tied the criticisms together in one tweet, and he got some pushback from Jack Jenkins, a religion reporter with a master's degree in divinity from Harvard.> Hi! Religion reporter here. > > Christians who argue Jesus was a refugee are typically referring to what happened AFTER Jesus was born, when Mary, Joseph, and the newborn child fled to Egypt. > > This exegesis is easily Google-able. Or you could just, you know, read it in the Bible. t.co/DBL1by2maW> > — Jack Jenkins (@jackmjenkins) December 26, 2019Walsh, who is Catholic, argued back that Jesus wasn't a refugee because Galilee and Egypt were both part of the Roman Empire. Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who's nobody's idea of a theological conservative, explained in 2017 why Jesus and his family were clearly refugees, at least according to the Gospel of Matthew. And fellow Jesuit priest Jeremy Zipple noted that Pope Benedict XVI — nobody's idea of a liberal — disagrees with Walsh, as did Pope Pius XII.> What an absurd position to take. Here’s Pope Benedict XVI quoting Pope Pius XII on this question. t.co/V7WXrIPUJr t.co/7Ee8CziytK pic.twitter.com/XTUlm0lXda> > — Jeremy Zipple (@jzipple) December 26, 2019Jesus' citizenship status "has real implications for how Christians on both sides of the aisle conduct policy" and view President Trump's hardline, restrictive immigration and refugee policies, Scott reports. And Buttigieg dropped his Christmas tweet into a tender moment for evangelicals being internally challenged to square their faith with their fealty to an unrepentantly flawed president. Read The Week's Bonnie Kristian on how evangelicals might fix this moral dissonance.More stories from theweek.com The FDA says it is already illegal to sell tobacco products to people under 21 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's holiday season Trump has tweeted several times about Canada's CBC editing him out of Home Alone 2



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Turkey cannot handle new Syria refugee flow alone: Erdogan

Turkey cannot handle new Syria refugee flow alone: ErdoganTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday warned Europe that Turkey could not handle alone a new wave of Syrian refugees fleeing increased bombardment in the northwestern Idlib province. Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled towards the Turkish border following heightened regime and Russian bombardment of the Maaret al-Numan region since December 16. “Turkey cannot handle a new refugee wave from Syria,” Erdogan said, adding that over 80,000 people from Idlib had fled to areas near the Turkish border.



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Trump’s latest refugee crackdown hits home in Michigan, as a young man faces another Christmas without his family

Trump’s latest refugee crackdown hits home in Michigan, as a young man faces another Christmas without his familyBut this family’s road to reunification would soon be hit with new hurdles. Some previously postponed refugees began arriving in the U.S. last month under the new ceiling.



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Delhi police accused of shooting protesters as Imran Khan warns of potential refugee crisis

Delhi police accused of shooting protesters as Imran Khan warns of potential refugee crisisDelhi police have denied shooting three people as protests against a new ‘anti-Muslim’ citizenship law continued for a sixth day. They claim the injuries were caused by broken-tear gas canisters as officers tried to contain protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMIU). However, medical professionals in Safdarjung Hospital told the media three people had been admitted with bullet wounds. Two were allegedly studying at the university where thousands of students took to the streets on Sunday to accuse the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party of suppressing India’s 193 million Muslims. At least 100 others were injured after police fired tear gas at protesters and beat them with batons. A third person claims he was shot in the crossfire between police and JMIU students. The Indian Government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act on Wednesday. The legislation permits followers of six religions from neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – including Christians, Sikhs and Hindus – to become Indian citizens if they are fleeing faith-based persecution. Muslims are not included in the legislation. Imran Khan, the Pakistani Prime Minister, warned the omission and four-month long curfew in Kashmir could create a Muslim exodus from India and a "refugee crisis that would dwarf other crises." Imran Khan has warned the continued suppression of Indian Muslims could lead to millions fleeing the country Credit: Aamir Qureshi/AFP Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state, has seen an unprecedented crackdown. The region was stripped of special constitutional protections and its statehood in August, and since then, movement and communications have been restricted. “We are worried there not only could be a refugee crisis, we are worried it could lead to a conflict between the two nuclear-armed countries,” he told the Global Forum on Refugees in Geneva. Angry protests have erupted nationwide with demonstrators accusing the ruling BJP of repressing the nation’s Muslims. Thousands of people protested in the cities of Lucknow, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai on Monday, while police confirmed they fired tear gas at demonstrators in the New Seelampur area of Delhi on Tuesday. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested in the states of West Bengal and Kerala and a student demonstrator in the state of Uttar Pradesh had a hand amputated after being hit by a tear-gas shell. Protests also occurred in the north-east state of Assam where residents fear an influx of migrants could lead to a dilution of their culture. Six people died in the demonstration in Assam, with four shot by police, as demonstrators attacked homes belonging to ruling BJP members and torched train stations and businesses.



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Bolivia’s Ex-President Morales Seeks Refugee Status in Argentina

Bolivia’s Ex-President Morales Seeks Refugee Status in Argentina(Bloomberg) — Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales has landed in Buenos Aires, with the purpose of seeking refugee status in Argentina, according to comments by foreign minister Felipe Sola on local TV.Morales’ arrival follows a month-long stay in Mexico and several days in Cuba. In mid-November Argentina’s then president-elect, Alberto Fernandez, said that the former Bolivian leader could seek asylum in the country after he became president on Dec. 10.Morales resigned the presidency of the Andean country on Nov. 11 following civil unrest in the wake of a contested election. He fled to Mexico after the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador granted him asylum.Read More: Coup or No Coup, Bolivia’s Morales Fell From Grace: QuickTakeRecent opinion polls, however, showed the decision was a net negative for the administration, with 44% of Mexicans describing the decision as bad or very bad in a poll published in El Financiero.To contact the reporter on this story: Jorgelina do Rosario in Buenos Aires at jdorosario@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Bruce DouglasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Thanks to Trump, the U.S. hasn't admitted a single refugee since September

Thanks to Trump, the U.S. hasn't admitted a single refugee since SeptemberOctober was the first full month in at least 18 years in which the United States did not admit any refugees.



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Third Rohingya shot dead in Bangladesh refugee camp

Third Rohingya shot dead in Bangladesh refugee campBangladesh police shot dead a third Rohingya refugee on Monday after they were accused of the murder of a ruling party official that has sparked anger among the local population. Nearly a million Rohingya live in squalid camps in south-east Bangladesh, 740,000 of whom fled a 2017 military offensive against the Muslim minority in Myanmar. Police said Mohammad Hasan, a suspected Rohingya “dacoit” or gang member, was shot dead after he allegedly opened fire at officers during a raid to arrest him at Jadimura refugee camp.



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Chinese Uighur refugee fears deportation from Turkey

Chinese Uighur refugee fears deportation from TurkeyA Chinese Muslim refugee has told AFP he is terrified he may be sent back to China after being detained in a deportation centre near Istanbul for more than two months. The Uighur community in northwest China has faced an intense crackdown in recent years, with an estimated one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities held in internment camps that Beijing calls “vocational education centres”. Turkey has been the only Muslim-majority nation to criticise China’s policies and offered refuge to tens of thousands of Uighur refugees.



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Libya fighting could trigger new refugee crisis, says EU, amid fears of civil war

Libya fighting could trigger new refugee crisis, says EU, amid fears of civil warForces loyal to Libya’s beleaguered UN-backed government carried out airstrikes on Saturday to try to stop rebel troops advancing on Tripoli, raising fears the country may be heading back to full-blown civil war.  As the army of Khalifa Haftar, a military strongman in control of eastern Libya, claimed to have seized control of Tripoli's airport, EU officials warned that instability could trigger a fresh flow of migrants and refugees heading towards Europe.  A meeting of G7 foreign ministers called on Gen Haftar to halt his offensive and even his traditional supporters Russia and Egypt expressed concern that his sudden advance would plunge Libya into chaos.  The 75-year-old general’s advance on Tripoli appears to be a power play designed to strengthen his negotiating position ahead of a UN-brokered conference on Libya’s future scheduled for later this month.  Since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been fractured and its government divided. A UN-backed government controls Tripoli with the support of several militias from western Libya while Gen Haftar is in charge of most of the east.  Territorial control in Libya The UN hoped that the conference would pave the way for national elections but Gen Haftar decided to use military force against his western rivals.   “Haftar felt that Tripoli players had not submitted enough to him ahead of the national conference," said Jalel Harchaoui, research fellow at the Clingendael Institute. "So he chose military force to change the facts on the ground.” The UN’s envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, said he hoped the conference would still go ahead as planned.  Gen Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) said Saturday they had seized control of Tripoli’s main airport, which has not been functional since large parts of it were destroyed in fighting in 2014.   Militia forces supporting the government carried out at least one airstrike south of Tripoli against his troops. No casualties were reported. The LNA said it would shoot down any aircraft over western Libya and target the airfields from which they took off.  Up to 1 million refugees and migrants are estimated to be in Libya, many being held in horrific conditions in militia-run detention centres. The EU has supported Libyan militia coastguards to stop migrants crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe.  The U.N. Envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame, speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya April 6, 2019.  Credit: REUTERS/Hani Amara Antonio Tajani, president of the European parliament, warned that fighting in Libya would “risk generating a new migratory crisis, with increased flows heading mainly towards Italy and other Mediterranean countries”. He called on the EU to “intervene immediately” to prevent a chaotic escalation.  The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) also raised concerns about the fate of migrants being held in detention centres if fullscale fighting broke out around them. “The safety of migrants in detention is especially concerning should there be an escalation in military action,” the IOM said.  G7 foreign ministers meeting in France called on Gen Haftar to “halt all military activity and movements towards Tripoli”. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said: ”There is a fundamental principle in Libya. There will be no military victory. The solution can only be a political solution.” The foreign ministers of Russia and Egypt, which have both backed the military strongman, met in Cairo on Saturday and also said there needed to be a political solution in Libya.  However, Russia also warned against efforts to blame Gen Haftar for the insecurity in the country.  While Gen Haftar’s troops have advanced rapidly over 48 hours, it is not clear they have the strength to defeat the coalition of militias supporting the government and seize control of Tripoli.  Nearly 150 of his soldiers and dozens of vehicles were captured by pro-government forces on Friday as they tried to join the offensive towards Tripoli.



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Children of Isil's caliphate left to toil in squalid refugee camps

Children of Isil's caliphate left to toil in squalid refugee campsEight-year-old Hamed cast a critical eye at the at tent peg, raised a hammer above his head and began thwacking it into the hard, stony ground. It is heavy work, and he would rather be in school. But he has little choice. “I get about 2,000 lira for putting up one tent,” he said, using the popular term here for Syrian pounds. “I can do three or four a day, so that is 8,000.” That, he said, is just about enough to feed himself, his mother, and her newborn baby twice a day. “But we can’t eat all the time,” he said. "My mother explained, we can't spend so much money on food because we need to buy stuff for the baby now." Hamed is one of about 41,000 children in al-Hol, the largest of three sprawling camps in north eastern Syria that houses former members, children, and prisoners of the Islamic State terrorist group. More than 40,000 children are living in al-Hol, the largest of three sprawing camps in north eastern Syria that houses former members, children, and prisoners of the Islamic State terrorist group Credit: Sam Tarling /The Telegraph The fate of the children who emerged from Isil's doomed caliphate is a matter of humanitarian urgency and critical to international security. And yet the lack of provision made by world governments, including Britain's, is striking. The Telegraph has seen dozens of malnourished infants as Isil families left Baghuz, Isil's last bastion, in the past two weeks. At least 108 children have already died en route to or soon after arriving at the camp, mostly from severe acute malnutrition, pneumonia, and dehydration, according to the International Rescue Committee. The vast majority of them were under five years old, and most of those babies younger than one.  Many are also carrying serious injuries from shrapnel. The fate of the children who emerged from Isil's doomed caliphate is a matter of humanitarian urgency Credit: Sam Tarling /The Telegraph The casualties included Jarrah Begum, Shamima Begum’s newborn son, who died of a lung infection last month. Unicef has described the living conditions for those children who reach the camp as "extremely dire." Hamed, who spoke to the Telegraph with the permission of his German mother and on condition of anonymity, said he bitterly misses his old life in Europe. “If there was a school, I’d go to it,” he said, as he took a pause in his tent work to speak to the Telegraph. "But there isn't one here." “When I was in Germany I was learning, then in Doula I learnt nothing,” he said, using the Arabic word for “State” – the term many Isil families use for the group. “They just teach like the Quran… and they teach you that you have to fight. But I said: ‘I don’t want to fight’. I don’t like to fight. I just want to be a normal one, I just want to live in a house and make my job. I don’t want to fight, I don’t want to be a warrior.” Unicef has described the living conditions for those children who reach the camp as 'extremely dire'   Credit: Sam Tarling /The Telegraph He said he had left Germany when he was five years old, and only emerged from the Islamic State two months ago. The camp, he said, is a miserable and filthy place. “Kids poop everywhere,” he said. “You have to watch where you walk. You can’t just sit anywhere, like you can in Germany.” It is not surprising. Adults in the section of the camp where Hamed lives told the Telegraph many of the young children have chronic diarrhoea.   “Play”, if there is such a thing, involves picking on one another or chucking rocks at moving cars.   “They call me a dog and things. They think it is a joke,” said Hamed, when asked about his friends. “My mother doesn't like me to be like the other children. She says maybe there is a little baby there, like three years old, and maybe you’ll hit him. Even though I don’t like to throw rocks,” he said. “It’s not a game. They come, they throw, the glass breaks,” he said. “In Germany it is not like this, you’re not hitting on cars. If you want to play you go to your friends, you have friends, they don’t call you anything, you play a bit.” The larger and more loosely regulated section of the camp reserved for Syrian and Iraqi citizens has a market which is run by Kurdish authorities in al-Hol Credit: Sam Tarling/The Telegraph Most children have little time for that though. Adults here told the Telegraph that almost every child from about the age of eight upwards is a low-paid labourer in the camp’s grey economy. “They’re already entrepreneurs. I think they wake up and the first thing they think is: who am I going to hit up for money today?” said Lorna Henri, a 54-year-old woman from the Seychelles who has become the de-facto guardian of two unaccompanied children in the camp. "I try to give them what I can." Ms Henri said boys generally sent by their mothers to run errands in the camp market, which children can access more easily than adults, and put up tents. Girls clean or offer to cook. The market, in the larger and more loosely regulated section of the camp for Syrian and Iraqi citizens, is crowded with small boys hauling hand carts for 200 Syrian pounds per errand. The market is crowded with small boys hauling hand carts for 200 Syrian pounds per errand Credit: Sam Tarling/The Telegraph Such Dickensian scenes are not unusual amidst humanitarian crisis. And across the Middle East, children are generally expected to pull their own weight at an earlier age than in the West. But the prospects for these children are bleak in more than one way. Radical Isil supporters continue to exert influence inside al-Hol, including by harassing women who want to remove their veils.  There have been reports of punishment tent-burnings by an underground “religious police”, and several women from different countries who the Telegraph spoke to complained about being labelled “infidels” by their fellow inmates. Without intervention, there is a good chance the children here will be brought up in the same poisonous ideology that turned many of their fathers into terrorists. Without intervention, there is a chance the camp's children here will be brought up in the same poisonous ideology that turned many of their fathers into terrorists The United Nations has expressed “alarm” at the situation. Last week  Henrietta Fore, the executive director of Unicef, urged member states “to take responsibility for children who are their citizens or born to their nationals, and to take measures to prevent children from becoming stateless.” Some governments have heeded the call. Last week, the French government said it had evacuated several children. But Kurdish officials have told the Telegraph that Britain has refused to take back British Isil members or their children in the camps on the grounds that it has full confidence in the legal and administrative system of Rojava, the unrecognised Kurdish proto-state in northern Syria. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, last week claimed that it would have been “too risky” to send British officials to save Jarrah Begum, although he remained a British citizen after his mother was stripped of her own citizenship. However, the al-Hol camp is run by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led Western-backed armed group that Britain is allied to. Journalists, including from the Telegraph, and aid workers visit the camp on a regular basis, safely and without incident. Radical Isil supporters continue to exert influence inside al-Hol, including by harassing women who want to remove their veils Credit: Sam Tarling/The Telegraph Nor is it true, as Mr Hunt claimed, that journalists are afforded special protection unavailable to UK officials in Syria or in the camps. In al-Hol, the foreign women constantly exchange rumours about which governments might take Isil members back. For their children, who committed no crime, the only thing on the horizon is more arduous work. "I'd like to…sell stuff. Or you know, build houses," shrugged Hamed, when asked what he would like to do when he grows up. Those are the only careers on offer in al-Hol camp. He picked up his hammer, and went back to hitting the tent peg. His blows made little impact on the stony ground. 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