by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Leaving Africa, and Living in Limbo
January 19, 2018
Andre Twendele survived a firing squad as well as years in a refugee camp. He won a visa and prepped for his American arrival. Everything changed when Trump was elected. “Mr. Twendele was fortunate to get to the U.S. before new refugee restrictions went into place. But he now lives with a greater burden: Lisette Lukoji, a woman he met and married in the refugee camp, is still stuck in southeastern Africa.”

Up to 58 Australian Refugees to Fly To U.S. As Part of Resettlement Deal
January 22, 2018
Up to 58 refugees are being held at Australia’s offshore detention facility on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island will fly to the U.S. “Refugee advocates in Australia told HuffPost that 40 refugees had already left Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby.” The refugees will be flown into Manila in the Phillipines before the group is split in two-some going to LA and the others to NY.

US Refugee Resettlement ‘Disappointing’
January 23, 2018
A human rights lawyer is saying that it is ‘disappointing’ that so few refugees from Australian offshore detention centers are getting resettled in the United States. “Fifty-eight refugees detained on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island flew out of Port Moresby…and about 130 from Nauru are expected to join them next month.” They are going as part of a deal between Canberra and Washington for America to accept 1,250 refugees.

Five Refugee Families to be Resettled in East Iceland
January 23, 2018
Iceland plans to welcome five Iraqi refugee families this year. The families include 27 individuals from Jordan. “The families are expected to arrive in Iceland in mid-February.” The town council agreed to begin negotiations on the reception of refugees with the Ministry in October.

Military Spending

House Approves Bill to Keep Government Open as Senate Democrats Take Heat for Threatening to Block It.
January 18, 2018
The House passed a short-term extension of government funding after Republican leaders got enough GOP votes to overcome “an internal revolt.” “Still, the possibility of a federal shutdown moved closer to a certainty after Senate Democrats rallied against the GOP proposal.” Nine Senate Democrats who had voted for a prior spending measure said they would not support the latest proposed four-week extension along with 30 other Democrats and at least 2 Republicans.

Trump Misfires with Claim that Military Would ‘Shut Down’ During Government Shutdown
January 19, 2018
Trump warns that the U.S. military would be hit hardest by a government shutdown. He followed this with a tweet “that Democrats in Congress would be “shutting down the military” unless they strike a deal with Republicans that keeps the federal government funded past the end of January.” He claims the shutdown will be devastating the military and will shut it down as well, which is not factual according to the article.

GOP Demand for Higher Pentagon Spending May Make Next Shutdown Harder to End
January 22, 2018
Republicans forced Democrats to reopen the government, however this may have made resolving the shutdown harder. Democrats want protection for hundreds of thousands under DACA, while Republicans want a major defense spending boost. “With every passing week, the absence of a Pentagon deal generates more pressure from Defense Secretary James Mattis.”

Space Industry Hit Hard by Military Spending Downturn
January 22, 2018
The defense spending downturn started in 2010 was tough on the space sector. “Pentagon contracts for space systems dropped from nearly $10 billion in 2009 to just over $6 billion in 2016.” Especially steep cutbacks were made in space research and development contracts, from $6 billion to about $3 billion.