News from 03/2016

31 March 2016

US to increase military presence in eastern Europe

Relations between Russia and the West have plummeted since Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March 2014.

The intervention sparked fears that Russia was considering other incursions into neighbouring countries.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told Reuters on Wednesday the situation in Ukraine had "gone backwards over the last few months, with more and more violations of the ceasefire".

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35930130  

 

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30 March 2016

Where to Next ask Indomeni Refugees?

Refugees and migrants in Indomeni have been staging demonstrations demanding that the Macedonian border be re-opened

By Sarah Chappell, with AP, Reuters

http://www.euronews.com/2016/03/28/desperation-in-idomeni-false-information-spreads-about-new-route-to-western/

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29 March 2016

A Syrian Refugee becomes a star in Germany.  Meet ZUKAR

A Syrian actor - with help from a filmmaker friend - has become an overnight sensation in Germany by posting YouTube videos about the everyday life of a refugee.

The videos take a comedic look at serious subjects and, the filmmakers say, are an attempt to bridge the gap between those who support taking in more migrants and those Germans who are opposed to the influx.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35892443  

 

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28 March 2016

Tens of thousands of refugees at the Greece-Macedonia border refuse to move to government-run camps

Zeina Khodr reporting for Aljazeera in Idomeni

 A group of refugees were planning to push their way across the border on Sunday morning.

The people behind the plan were those who have been trying to convince people not to move into government run accommodation centres.

They want people to stay at Idomeni because their presence attracts the world's cameras - in the hope that it would pressure EU leaders to revise their decisions.

But information about the planned march was not disseminated on social media. Instead people were told…Read

27 March 2016

Greece migrants moved from makeshift camps

5 hours ago

Greece has begun moving migrants from a camp near it's border with neighbouring Macedonian, where more than 11,000 people are living in difficult conditions.

Buses are being used to transport people to new shelters.

Jonathan Blake reports.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35906247  

 

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Published March 26, 2016·7:27 AM ET Commentary: Scott Simon

Stefan Jagsch took part in a neo-Nazi march in January, where immigrants were assailed as "benefit-scrounging tourists," "invaders," and "lawless primates." Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the NPD "anti-democratic, xenophobic, ant-Semitic, and anti-constitutional."

Earlier this month, Stefan Jagsch was driving when he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree.

The local fire brigade says that passengers in a mini-bus driving along the road saw his crumpled automobile and stopped. Two people got out of the bus and pulled Stefan Jagsch from the…Read

26 March 2016

Refugee crisis: Thousands are living in cramped conditions in a former German airport

Berlin’s gigantic Tempelhof airport, a Nazi architectural icon, is best known today for being the German capital’s biggest refugee camp. Since late last year up to 2,300 asylum seekers have been camped inside its vast aircraft hangers, sleeping 12 to a cubicle on wooden bunk beds and queuing up to use portable toilets.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-thousands-are-living-in-cramped-conditions-in-a-former-german-airport-waiting-to-be-a6950896.html

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25 March 2016

New Zealand votes against changing flag

New Zealanders have voted to stick with tradition and keep their country's flag.

The New Zealand Parliament held a two-stage binding referendum on a flag change in 2015 and 2016. Voters chose to retain the current flag, by a vote of 56.6% to 43.1%.

http://video.aljazeera.com/channels/eng/videos/new-zealand-votes-against-changing-flag/4816067371001

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/23/new-zealand-flag-change-as-voting-ends-poll-shows-little-hope-for-new-design

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24 March 2016

A luxury Holiday Resort or a Resting Place for Refugees?

The people of Lesbos orchestrated a heroic humanitarian effort to support the refugees. An 85-year-old grandmother who fed children on the beach and a local fisherman who rescued scores of refugees from the water have been nominated for the Nobel peace prize – as representatives of the island’s collective response. Then in September the UN and the NGOs arrived and began stabilising the situation. 

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/mar/24/lesbos-greek-island-in-limbo-tourism-refugee-crisis-future

 

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23 March 2016

Greece Rallies to Refugee cause

As Greece evacuates its eastern Aegean islands under the terms of Friday's EU-Turkey agreement, the number of refugees on the mainland is climbing, straining official resources. Of the current refugee total in the country - just over 50,000 - 90 percent are spread between Athens and the northern border with the former Yugoslav Macedonia.

The army has been opening up disused military bases at a rate of two a week for the past month to house them, but lacks the manpower to care for them. Instead, an army of volunteers has poured into the breach to distribute food…Read

22 March 2016

Greece struggles to implement Turkey-EU refugee deal

Turkish officials have arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos to iron out a deal between the EU and Turkey to stop refugees arriving in Europe.

http://video.aljazeera.com/channels/eng/videos/greece-struggles-to-implement-turkey-eu-refugee-deal/4810734487001

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The global philosopher: Should borders be abolished?

There are tens of millions of people in the world who have fled their homeland because of war or persecution. But there are millions more who cross borders to be with family, to retire to a warm climate, or to earn more money. Countries have the right to restrict immigration, at least in theory. The question is whether they should have this right.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35834178

 

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21 March 2016

Refugee crisis: Boats arrive in Greece despite EU deal

Five boats carrying Syrians arrive from Turkey hours after a deal aiming to cut off refugee route to EU comes into force.

The majority of the refugees who arrived were from Syria, said Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from the Greek island of Lesbos.

Under the deal struck on Saturday, for every Syrian returned, the EU will resettle one from a Turkish refugee camp.

Can Germany accommodate all these extra refugees?

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/refugee-crisis-boats-arrive-greece-eu-turkey-deal-160320044556614.html  

 

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20 March 2016

Refugees celebrate Persian New Year in Berlin church

Berlin, Germany - In a small reception hall at Herz Jesu church in Berlin, a few members of the local parish prepare the tables for the celebration. In the kitchen, men check the cooking pots while women decorate dessert plates and children run round playing and singing.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/03/refugees-celebrate-persian-year-berlin-church-160319130350158.html

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17 March 2016

Commuters who shun car travel keep slimmer, UK study concludes

People who cycle, walk or catch the train or bus to work keep more weight off than commuters who travel by car, a large British study has found. 

Cycling came out as the best activity for staying trim, followed by walking.

But even those who used public transport were leaner than car users.

The authors of the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology study say the findings show even a little physical activity is better than nothing at all.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35812984

 

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16 March 2016

Being who you want to be while living in Berlin

Berlin, Germany - Berlin is a kaleidoscope of identities, a colourful blend of cultures and styles. It is an eclectic mix to which the latest wave of Syrian refugees have added their own customs and hopes for the future.

But the city to which they have arrived - escaping their tumultuous present - has been shaped by its own tumultuous past.

In the 20th century, the German capital barely survived two World Wars - at the end of the second it lay mostly in ruins.

The victorious American, Soviet, British and French forces…Read

15 March 2016

The German Chancellor is adamant only a common European solution can solve the refugee crisis

Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University said the CDU’s refugee policy was “supported by the majority of voters."

Germany has decided to take leadership of Europe's refugee crisis. This is no longer just a general observation; meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel says quite openly that without clear guidance, Europe will probably fail to find a way through this historic crisis.

"If we show courage and lead the way, a common European approach is more likely," Angela Merkel said on Wednesday in a speech to the…Read

14 March 2016

Europe and Russia are about to launch a joint mission to the Red Planet

A Proton rocket is going to hurl a satellite to Mars to investigate whether the methane in its atmosphere is coming from a geological source or is being produced by microbes.

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is primed to lift off from the famous Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 15:31 local time (09:31 GMT) on Monday

It will take the carrier rocket more than 10 hours to put the satellite on the right trajectory to go to Mars.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35799792

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13 March 2016

UK could be next for new culture of welcome for refugees

To join the scheme, people must register their interest online and give details of their housing situation before they are put in touch with a refugee organisation with a shortlist of registered asylum seekers needing homes in their area.

People are introduced to their perspective new housemate by volunteers, often meeting over a coffee or meal, and if they decide to take them in they are offered help financing the rent.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugees-welcome-airbnb-for-asylum-seekers-started-by-german-couple-spreads-around-the-world-and-the-a6718321.html  

 

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10 March 2016

https://www.fluechtlinge-willkommen.de/

You report your vacancy on our website.   https://www.fluechtlinge-willkommen.de/

 For this we need only a few details about your housing situation.

We find a * n * Contact person in the spot and make contact between you and the contact person 

You start off with our support, the financing of the rent.  You do not pay the rent. 

Your or your new * r * roommate help you to move in.  Of course we are still there for you. 

We believe that…Read

9 March 2016

German volunteers launch ‘Airbnb for refugees’

A German group named Fluchtlinge Wilkommen, or Refugees Welcome, has built an "Airbnb for refugees" allowing Germans, Austrians, French and soon more Europeans to offer space in their homes to those fleeing wars in Africa and the Middle East.

Airbnb is a website for people to list, find and rent housing, rooms, or apartments. It has over a million listings in over 190 countries.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/german-volunteers-launch-airbnb-refugees-150909134156346.html

http://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/technology/german-volunteers-launch-airbnb-for-refugees-124/  

 

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8 March 2016

Refugees: EU and Turkey reach deal to ease crisis

Turkey and the European Union have reached agreement on the main points of a proposal to tackle the influx of refugees into Europe, according to statements by officials.

The next step involves the presentation of the proposal to EU leaders at a key European Council meeting due to be held on March 17 and 18.

Aljazeera 08 Mar 2016 03:11 GMT | Politics

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/refugee-crisis-eu-turkey-agree-proposal-160308021149403.html

 

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7 March 2016

‘West should sanction Russia over support for Assad’

A defence specialist, who recently stood down as deputy assistant secretary of defence in the Pentagon, has told the BBC she believes the West needs to be much tougher on the Kremlin.

Evelyn Farkas told Richard Galpin that this could mean imposing sanctions on Russian officials involved in the military operation in Syria.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35715635

Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia. She served previously as Senior Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe/Commander, U.S. European Command, and…Read

6 March 2016

Cease Fire in Syria Pure Fantasy

What are the chances of the ceasefire holding and for how long? What could it hold and why might it not?

The ceasefire is unlikely to hold for three main reasons: First, Russia and its allies have reserved the right to attack forces outside of the ceasefire. This means that any violence on the ground that is committed by Russia or regime-led forces can be justified within the framework of the Munich agreement and the ceasefire under the pretence of fighting ISIL.

As such, Russia can have its cake and eat it, too; it has…Read

5 March 2016

Al-Raqqah: Inside Islamic State

According to a messages from Mike Thomson of the BBC World news Russia is allegedly bombing civilian homes and many attrocities are being perpetuated by ISIS.  This is an abomination and an inditement on every human being. It's a state of absolute lawlessness and should not be allowed to continue.  Is there no military force that can stop this happening?

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35728424

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4 March 2016

Syrian refugees’ move to US was ‘the happiest day’

By Zoe Thomas BBC Business reporter, Detroit 3rd March 2016

"The word refugee is painful to hear," says 28-year-old Nedal, through a translator.

In the front room of his house, surrounded by his family, Nedal tells a story about the excitement of a revolution turning to fear, of arrest turning to torture, of hiding and fleeing Syria - and then of a two-year wait in Jordan to receive refugee status in the US.

Nedal says the day he learned he, his wife Raeda and their two children would be allowed to move to the…Read

3 March 2016

Syrian President: Bashar al-Assad and his allies accused of War Crimes

Cindy Saine,VOA Congressional Correspondent who covers Capitol Hill for the world.

March 02, 2016 5:30 PM

CAPITOL HILL— The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed two resolutions to increase pressure on the Obama administration to do more to stop Islamic State terrorists and to help the people of Syria.

The first resolution accuses Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies, singling out Russia and Iran, of committing war crimes against Syrian civilians. It contends that “the vast majority of the civilians who have died in the Syrian conflict…Read

2 March 2016

NATO Commander: Russia Threat to US, Its Allies and Partners

Isabela Cocoli

March 01, 2016 12:51 PM In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove said that Russia is eager to exert unquestioned influence over neighboring countries

Russia’s entry into the fight in Syria has changed the dynamic in the air and on the ground, despite public statements to the contrary, Breedlove said. He added that Russia has done little to counter the Islamic State militant group, but has greatly bolstered the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies

http://www.voanews.com/content/nato-breedlove-russia/3214721.html<…Read

1 March 2016

Syrian Truce Shaky but trucks carrying supplies enter besieged suburb of Damascus

The UN chief says a shaky ceasefire in Syria is holding "by and large" on its third day, despite scattered fighting and growing accusations of violations.

However, a war of words between the Syrian government and Saudi Arabia, a key backer of the opposition, has added to rising tensions.

Speaking in Geneva, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, confirmed receiving a letter from the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main umbrella opposition group, complaining of continuing violations by the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers.

The letter, sent on Sunday, urged the…Read