by Kevin Mercado

Refugee Resettlement

Gazans to Start 46-Day Protest on Land Day
March 7, 2018
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are planning a six-week long tent city protest near the Israeli border. They will be demanding that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their homes. “Such a demonstration, envisaging families camped out along the border area, could present a dilemma for the Israeli military that enforces a “no-go” zone for Palestinians.” Protesters are frequently visited by Israeli soldiers with tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition.

ICE Releases Mother it Detained for Months Far Away From 7-Year-Old Daughter
March 7, 2018
A Congolese mother detained by immigration, was recently released. “The woman, an asylum seeker who fled violence in Congo, has spent the past four months in a detention center near San Diego while her daughter has remained alone in a facility in Chicago.” The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the mother and daughter, seeing no reason to separate them.

How We Identified Burned Villages in the Democratic Republic of Congo
March 8, 2018
The article begins with a video created for the New York Times titled, “Tracking the Toll of Violence in Congo,” showcasing the violence in Congo. “Villages in a remote region of the Democratic Republic of Congo were being burned amid a renewal of communal fighting.” The clashes between the Hema and the Lendu started back in December and escalated this past February.

HHS’ Alex Azar Defends Refugee Office that is Being Sued
March 8, 2018
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar defended the Office of Refugee Settlement after calls for the head of the division to step down. “‘We are charged with these young women and men who are minors. They are put into our charge and custody and we have to look after their physical and mental well-being as well as any pregnant children the well-being of their unborn children,’” Azar said.

What Will the Trump Era Bring for Palestinian Refugees?
March 13, 2018
When the U.S. announced it would be withholding $65 million out of a $125 million aid package, millions of Palestinian refugees living in the occupied territories were alarmed. “They were concerned because it signaled what US President Donald Trump’s infamous ‘Deal of the Century’ would mean for their future.” Today, the U.S. policy on Palestinian refugees seems to be more pro-Israel. “Washington’s support for the refugees’ right of return seems to be nonexistent.”

Burma is Pumping Millions into Rebuilding Rakhine. But is it for the Rohingya?
March 13, 2018
Violent military crackdown is becoming familiar to the restive Burma. Since August there have been plumes of smoke rising, thousands of Rohingya Muslims escaping, and entire villages empty. Under de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the government has pushed the nation’s most powerful business executives…to pump millions of dollars into infrastructure projects.”

Military Spending

Trump’s Military Parade Plans Come Into Focus: Planes, but No Tanks
March 9, 2018
It seems as though Trump will get the military parade that he has coveted for months. However, it will not be on the Fourth of July and no tanks will be involved. Instead, plans are underway to involve a plane-filled display on Veterans Day. Medal of Honor recipients and veterans’ organizations will be included as well.

Trump Administration May Link Steel Tariff Exemptions to NATO Military Spending, Steven Mnuchin Says
March 10, 2018
U.S. allies are looking to avoid being imposed with Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum. “Mr. Mnuchin told CNBC that Mr. Trump would consider national security when determining which countries could be exempt from the tariffs.” Trump’s alleged authority is to impose a sweeping 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent for aluminum.

Congress Has Until March 23 to Fund the Government
March 12, 2018
Lawmakers have to pass a spending bill by midnight March 23; otherwise the government will run out of money and shut down again. The government has already shut down twice this year, once in January and another in February. “Congress appears to be working toward a more permanent funding package to carry them through to the start of the new fiscal year on September 30.”

Trump Announces that U.S. Military Will Soon Have a ‘Space Force’
March 13, 2018
Trump wants to expand on the U.S. military by announcing a ‘space force.’ “‘Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,’ Trump told a crowd of Marines at the Miramar military base in California.” Trump did not make clear what shape this ‘space force’ might tale or what adversaries it would be up against.