Thousands of Haitians are camped out on the US-Mexico border hoping to seek asylum and work in the US. The over-crowded run-down conditions of the migrants shelters is getting worse, as more Haitians are arriving to the border from Brazil. The U.S. government has been inconsistent deportation policy for Haitians in recent weeks, first saying they would be flown home like other undocumented immigrants then reinstating special treatment after Hurricane Matthew. “This is one of the worst migration crisis in memory,” said Pat Murphy, a U.S. priest who runs a migrant shelter in Tijuana.
A call for stringent checks, including dental tests and X-rays, to verify the ages of migrants was publicly stated by Conservative MP David Davies, fearing “free riders” over the age of 18 would try to take advantage of UK policy to take in unaccompanied minors. The Home Office responded on Wednesday by rejecting the use of dental tests to determine the age of the new arrivals in the U.K. as “inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical”.
The EU has pulled back from threatening Russia with immediate sanctions over the bombing of Aleppo as a UK-backed plan ran into opposition from Italy. At a summit of EU leaders on Thursday, Britain, France and Germany made a last-ditch push to issue a sanctions warning to Russia if “current atrocities” in Aleppo continue.
The top United Nations human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, said this morning that the siege and bombing of eastern Aleppo in Syria constituted “crimes of historic proportions” that have caused heavy civilian casualties amounting to war crimes.
Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman speaks with Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, about Mosul, the last stronghold of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq. The Pentagon says U.S. special forces are on the ground in Iraq and taking part in the battle, despite President Obama’s pledge against having boots on the ground. They face an estimated 5,000 Islamic State fighters in and around Mosul. Meanwhile, humanitarian workers say some 200,000 people may need shelter during the offensive.
Islamic State militants have launched a commando raid on the Iraqi city of Kirkuk in an apparent attempt to distract Iraqi and Kurdish forces converging on the group’s stronghold of Mosul. Allegations have mounted in recent days of Isis using civilians as human shields as airstrikes and ground force advances continued. The UN believes as many as 200,000 civilians could attempt to flee the approaching offensive on the city of Mosul.