News from 10/2015

31 October 2015

Germans restrict entry points from Austria

Several hundred refugees spent a night out in the cold on the Austrian side of the border before reaching Germany, as the Austrian authorities said they had run out of beds for them.




Turkish voters go to the polls tomorrow to decide who the next government will be

It will be either the: Justice and Development party (AKP) led by Ahmet Davutoğlu or the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party has earned plaudits and condemnation alike arguing that the Syrians hosted by Turkey should be sent home.

Turkey has a population of 74.9 million people

Sezgin Tanrikulu, a human rights lawyer and an MP for the main opposition CHP, or Republican People’s party, echoes the allegations of presidential megalomania. “They’re so glued…Read

30 October 2015

Thousands of refugees and migrants are building up on the border between Slovenia and Austria.

Tens of thousands of people are waiting to cross. The majority are housed in heated tents but several hundred are forced to live in the open.

Germany Dealing with the refugee crisis could cost Germany 16 billion euros next year.

That is the opinion of Germany’s states, which say they are struggling to cope with the extra cost. They are asking for more help from the federal government in Berlin. Some states, like Bavaria, claim they are reaching the limit of their capacity.

Europe’s richest country has become…Read

Syrian War Crisis Meeting Scheduled in Vienna Friday 30 0ctober

The US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, European Union and France will meet in Vienna today, Friday 31 October with the aim of achieving a political settlement to help end the Syrian war. Russia and Iran both support the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US and Saudi Arabia would like a new leader instead of Bashar al-Assad.

The four-year-old war in Syria, which began with an uprising against Mr Assad, has left 250,000 people dead and forced half the country's population - or 11 million…Read

29 October 2015

2,000 migrants desperately waiting to cross the Slovenian-Austrian border.

The UN estimates more than 700,000 migrants have crossed to Europe by boat so far this year - mainly from war-ravaged Syria. The approach of winter has so far done little to slow the flow. However 2000 migrants waiting at the Slovenian-Austrian border are complaing that there are no aid agencies there only Slovenians selling pizzas.  Surely the question has to be asked where are the aid agencies? It's cold and the migrants have nowhere to sleep, they've had to walk such a long way, surely there should be free hot meals provided for them.  Hot…Read

28 October 2015

Germany’s: Angela Merkel holds refugee talks in Turkey with Ahmet Davutoğlu

In spite of some criticisms by observers, the EU is trying to steer the refugee crisis to a positive conclusion.  The current initiative as Kenan Malik explains:  The majority of migrants have come through Turkey, hence the EU's desire to seal a deal with Ankara. The exact terms are still being hammered out, but the EU seems to have promised Turkey up to $3.3bn to help it host Syrian refugees, take back "irregular migrants" who have entered the EU, and block off the migrant route to the EU by "upgrading" its surveillance and patrols. In…Read

27 October 2015

76,000 migrants have arrived in Slovenia and country needs help to cope

The UN’s refugee agency the UNHCR has warned that bad weather may cause tragedies… there have already been case of hypothermia among people waiting in the cold. “Short-term the situation is manageable. We have a lot of winter clothing, blankets (for the migrants) to cover themselves with. We are distributing cups of tea, food. So short-term there is no problem.”



Sen. Bernie Sanders’ policy on the refugee crisis, not stated

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ the democratic candidate for the U.S presidency, continues to prove to supporters he is a man of integrity and wants the election to be based on issues, not publicity. In terms of the Iraq War, Mr. Sanders had the good sense and judgment to know the reasons for going into war were largely fabricated, and he was one of the few to vote against it. Mr. Sanders has proven throughout his political career that he governs on principle—on what is right—rather than what is best for his popularity at…Read

26 October 2015

Migrant crisis: refugee welcome centres urgently required

Another 100,000 spaces in refugee welcome centres will be created under a deal agreed by European leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels.

Warning of humanitarian disaster

With winter looming, Amnesty International on Saturday warned of a humanitarian disaster if refugees are stranded at borders.

"Every day counts," Juncker told Bild. Without action, "we will soon witness families dying wretchedly in chilly rivers in the Balkans".



PiS (Law and Justice) winner, 242 seats 39.1% share - Poland General Election

One Warsaw voter, Małgorzata Cyganik, a 37-year-old translator, said she was afraid the election would lead to individual freedoms being curtailed. “The ideology that is coming into Polish politics [with Law and Justice] is frightening,” she said.

Poland’s opposition conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) has claimed a stunning victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election winning enough seats to govern alone.




25 October 2015

Germany is tightening asylum rules

“We want to get better and faster this year at the deportation of rejected applicants who have no claim to remain here,” said Peter Altmaier, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff.

Government figures show that while many arriving in Germany are fleeing war in the Middle East, at least a third are economic migrants from the Balkans who can have little hope of staying legally.


Polands General Election - 25 October 2015

Poland has a population of 38, 443 280 It is having a general election Sunday, 25 October 2015 The present government in Poland is: Civic Platform In 2011, the Civic Platform political party emerged as the largest party, winning just under 40% of the vote and 207 seats.  Civic Platform (PO) – a centre-right party led by the current Polish prime minister, Ewa Kopacz.

Law and Justice (PiS) – a right-wing party founded in 2001 The PiS’s candidate for prime minister in this election is Beata Szydło Law and Justice is most strongly supported in rural areas and…Read

24 October 2015

Middlesbrough - Life as a Refugee

One town in the North of England takes more asylum seekers proportionally than any other town in England.  No more than one in every 200 of the local population should be an asylum seeker according to government guidance. Middlesbrough population was 138400 recorded in 2011, therefore refugees represent  just over half of 1% of the Middlesbrough population.

Erimus ("We shall be"), in Latin, was chosen as Middlesbrough's motto in 1830, to signify that the town will to grow.

The number of people seeking asylum in the UK has risen by more…Read

23 October 2015

Romania’s War on Bribery and Corruption

Bribery is a specific offence which concerns the practice of offering something, usually money, to gain an illicit advantage and corruption is an abuse of a position of trust in order to gain an undue advantage.

The current active political class is in one way or another going down. The problem is who is going to replace them, because you can't do without political parties and politicians, and unfortunately the problems which generate corruption are so deeply rooted in the way politics works in this Romania that it's hard for me to imagine that…Read

Hillary Clinton starts her political campaign for Presidency in New York City’s Roosevelt Island.

Mrs Clinton hopes to make history as the first female US president. If successful she would also keep the White House within the same party (Democratic Party) for a third term. She did not detail specific policy proposals on Saturday. Her aides say that will happen over the next few weeks on issues including the economy, jobs and college affordability.

Other Democratic candidates campaigning for Presidency are:

Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland                    …Read

22 October 2015

David Cameron says Britain has sealed deals with China worth almost £40bn

Prime Minister: David Cameron says Britain has sealed deals with China worth almost £40bn, among them a multi-billion pound contract giving China a 30% stake in the building of Britain's first nuclear power plant in a generation.

Hinkley Point C creates jobs and provides lasting benefit to the UK economy: The construction and operation of Hinkley Point C will create 25,000 employment opportunities and aims to create 1,000 apprenticeships. Over 60% of the project’s construction value is predicted to go to UK companies. The proposed power station, when up and running, will provide reliable, low carbon…Read

21 October 2015

Justin Trudeau’s resounding victory ushers in a new era for Canada.

So, what does this mean for Canada and its role around the world?

The attached 'Inside Story' by AL Jazeera featuring presenter: Jane Dutten and guests: Jonathan Kay - Editor of the Walrus Magazine, Josh Wingrove - Parliamentary Reporter for Bloomberg News. and Haroon Siddiqui - Columnist for the Toronto Star, is brilliant journalism and answers many questions about Canadian politics.


Canada’s Liberal Party prime minister Justin Trudeau to accept 25,000 refugees by January 2016

 The case of the young Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi shocked people worldwide, but it had particular resonance in Canada after it emerged that the Kurdi family had hoped to move to the country to join family. The story thrust the refugee issue into the centre of the campaign. Mr Trudeau promised the Liberals would accept more refugees than any of the other parties - 25,000 by January 2016, an increase on the 10,000 promised by the Conservatives. He has also pledged to invest more money to speed up the processing of refugee applications.

During the election campaign,…Read

20 October 2015

19 October 2015

Two million refugees in Turkey are being encouraged to stay put by EU

The European Union has offered Turkey a possible three billion euros ($3.41bn) in aid and the prospect of easier travel visas and "re-energised" talks on joining the bloc in return for its help stemming the flow of refugees to Europe.


18 October 2015

Church of England bishops urging David Cameron to accept at least 50 thousand Refugees

The bishops believe David Cameron's decision to accept 20,000 by 2020 was not an adequate response and said most British people wanted to offer more help."We believe at least 10,000 people a year for the next two years, rising to a minimum of 50,000 in total over the five years is more in line with comparable commitments made by other countries. It would be a meaningful and substantial response to the scale of human suffering we see daily."

 Lord Phillips, former UK Supreme Court head, and Lord Macdonald, ex-director of public prosecutions, were among 300 to…Read

17 October 2015

Turkey requested by EU leaders to stem the record influx of refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces growing opposition at home to her welcome for refugees, as the number of asylum seekers in Germany this year is forecast to reach at least 800,000.

There are expectations that Russia's air strikes in Syria in support of a government offensive, as well as further gains by so-called Islamic State (IS), will displace more Syrians - on top of the 11 million already uprooted.  

How to help Turkey The EU is offering more aid and resources to Turkey to improve conditions in the refugee camps. That is a priority before…Read

15 October 2015

Mr Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have outlined where they stand on the state of capitalism in the US during the Democratic presidential debate. Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. A self-described democratic socialist,he favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those instituted by the Nordic countries. Sanders is known as a leading progressive voice on issues such as income inequality,universal healthcare, parental leave, climate change.

On April 30, 2015 Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party's nomination for president…Read

14 October 2015

Zaatari Syrian refugee camps spawning small individual businesses

Today Zaatari is a sprawling, bustling home to around 81,000 Syrians. Prefabricated shelters including family compounds have largely replaced the lines of tents that were initially there. More than half the population are children, presenting challenges not just on how to provide schooling and restore abruptly halted educations in Syria, but also in investing for the future. 1 in every 3 children is not attending school. There are also some 9,500 young people in the camp aged between 19-24 who need skills training and, like their older counterparts, need livelihood opportunities too. Some 5.2 percent of these were at university in Syria but had…Read

13 October 2015

US drops ammunition to rebels fighting ISIL in Syria

Elissa Smith, a spokesperson for the US Secretary of Defense, said on Monday that the airdrop took place in northern Syria on Sunday.

"This successful airdrop provided ammunition to Syrian groups whose leaders were appropriately vetted by the United States and have been fighting to remove ISIL from northern Syria," she said.



Does migration intensify distrust in institutions?

 The Red House, 15 Luben Karavelov St, Sofia 1142, Bulgaria.

In this debate, The Red House compared the mechanisms which populists and nationalists use to spread fears of refugees and economic migrants. They analysed how people of other nationalities are stereotyped and sought to discover, whether the creation of such stereotypes stems from more fundamental anxieties and a deeper-seated distrust of the institutions of the modern state. Ultimately, the evening’s speakers sought to determine how we can all better deal with existing fears and move beyond their mere condemnation.…Read

12 October 2015

Migrant misery

The numbers of people passing through Macedonia is rising again and there is a sense of urgency to travel to northern Europe before the winter makes the journey impossible. Macedonia is part of Northern Greece,


US-Russia tensions

The Russian campaign has prompted concern among US officials who believe that rebel groups allied to Washington are being targeted.

Moscow has insisted it is bombing ISIL fighters and other "terrorist groups", but sources on the ground have told Al Jazeera the raids were taking place in areas with little ISIL presence.



11 October 2015

Banksy theme park Dismaland to be made into refugee shelters

Branded by Banksy as "the UK's most disappointing new visitor attraction" - Dismaland has opened to the public in Weston-super-Mare.

Banksy has said that all the fixtures and timber from his theme park Dismaland will be sent to Calais to build shelters for people in the camps there.

Who is Banksy?

Banksy began his career as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s, in Bristol's graffiti gang DryBreadZ Crew. Although his early work was largely freehand, Banksy used stencils on occasion. In the late '90s, he began using stencils…Read

8 October 2015

Nobody Wants to be a Refugee - A conversation with Seyla Benhabib

A question and answer session between; Slawomir Sierakowski and Seyla Benhabib is featured in Eurozine a multilingual cultural e-zine that links up and promotes over 100 cultural journals from all over Europe this week. Questions distinguishing between refugees and migrants and how the difference is unclear are discussed. Seyla Benhabib then explains how the national working classes although unemployed may not want to do some jobs that are available but an Iraqui or Afgahni will do so. Seyia Benhabib explains that there is a strange segmentation in the labour market that cuts across…Read

7 October 2015

The Centifloat

A floating inflateable tube for saving refugee lives has been invented by Isle of White resident; Ben Board a marine salvage expert.  "The staff at the Isle of White company; Unique Seaflex which employs a team of 28, are going to donate their time to make the floats. Students at Ryde Academy located in Ryde on the Isle of Wight are going to raise funds for the project" commented Ben Board.

Mark King lead singer of Level 42; an English pop rock and jazz-funk band is also believed to be involved in the…Read

6 October 2015

Germany says a very emphatic Yes to the Refugees

What strange times we live! Of all the nations opening their arms to the Syrian refugees Germany is by far the most hospitable.  According to reports they plan to accommodate a staggering 1.5 million refugees this year and whatever anyone might say: this is a very magnanimous gesture.




2 October 2015

Free evening classes that promise to make you happy, or happier

The U.K organisation calling itself: "Action for Happiness," has launched an eight-week course designed to increase life satisfaction, mental wellbeing, compassion and social trust. Entitled: "Exploring What Matters," the classes will be free - although organisers do ask for a donation to cover costs. During the course, local groups explore a series of questions including "What really matters in life?", "What really makes us happy?" and "How can we create a happier world?" A class begins with a session of mindfulness, an ancient Buddhist practice during which participants deliberately focus their attention on the…Read