by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Sweden Rejects Asylum Claim by 106-Year-Old Afghan Woman
September 4, 2017
A 106-year-old Afghan woman who was carried by her son and grandson through the mountains, deserts, and forests in a perilous journey to Europe is now facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum application was rejected. Bibihal Uzbeki is severely disabled and can barely speak. Her family has since appealed the decision. “The family feels the plight of Afghans is being ignored by Swedish authorities. Many countries in Europe deny asylum to Afghans from parts of the country considered safe.

In Canada, an Immigration Minister Who Himself Is a Refugee
September 6, 2017
In a personal anecdotal story from the Times, reporter Catherine Reporter discusses Ahmed Hussen’s move and eventual resettlement in Toronto, Canada at 16 years old. He managed to get through high school, learn to cook, land his first job, and put himself through college and law school, which all eventually led to him being elected the first Somali-Canadian member of parliament. Just last January, he was named the country’s immigration czar. This piece further describes his powerful story and apparent humility.

Judges Reject Attempt by Hungary, Slovakia to Block Refugee Quotas
September 6, 2017
Judges at a European Court of Justice recently rejected an attempt by Hungary and Slovakia to block mandatory quotas of refugees coming from Greece and Italy. European Union member states previously voted to relocate 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece, despite many states objecting. Although Hungary and Slovakia argued that a quota system was an inappropriate response, “[h]uman rights group Amnesty International welcomed the decision.”

Military Spending

Harvey Just made it Even More Complicated for Congress to Pass a New Defense Funding Bill
September 1, 2017
Congress had not finished working on the fiscal 2018 government budget and defense spending before summer recess. Now with Hurricane Harvey’s appearance and subsequent disaster relief aid needed, the job has become more complicated. Democrats and some Republicans oppose the Trump administration’s plan to “pay for increases in defense spending with big cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicaid and the food stamp SNAP program, among others.” Harvey may now add pressure to find ways to offset increased disaster relief aid. “Another possibility is the Trump administration may reject 2018 defense spending proposals by the House and Senate.”

U.S. Urges Fuel Cutoff for North Korea, Saying It’s ‘Begging for War’
September 4, 2017
The Trump administration is now pressing China and other members of the United Nations Security Council to cut off all oil and other fuels to North Korea, warning that the country is ‘begging for war.’ Senior administration officials described the effort as the “last best chance to resolve the standoff with the North using sanctions rather than military means.”