Sweden’s ugly immigration problem

In Europe, refugees from Syria and Iraq have been cramming the ferry-trains heading from Germany to Denmark. But once in Denmark, many refused to get off. Where they really want to go is Sweden, where refugee policies are more generous. When the Danes said no, they hopped off the trains, and began heading toward the Swedish border by taxi, bus, and foot.

Sweden has the most welcoming asylum policies and most generous welfare programs in the European Union. One typical refugee, Natanael Haile, barely escaped drowning in the Mediterranean in 2013. But the folks back home in Eritrea don’t want to know about the perils of his journey. As he told The New York Times, they want to know about “his secondhand car, the government allowances he receives and his plans to find work as a welder once he finishes a two year language course.” As a registered refugee, he receives a monthly living allowance of more than $700 (U.S.).

Sweden’s generous immigration policies are essential to the image of a country that (like Canada) prides itself as a moral superpower. For the past 40 years, most of Sweden’s immigration has involved refugees and family reunification, so much so that the words “immigrant” and “refugee” are synonymous there (unlike in Canada).

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Stream of refugees through Austria slows as Hungary PM slams EU quotas

Hungary’s Prime Minister slammed efforts by E.U. leaders to make more members of the 28-member bloc take in refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, saying Monday that his country was the “black sheep” of Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II.

Viktor Orban told a meeting of Hungarian diplomats on Monday that the E.U.’s quotas, make no sense in a system where the free movement of people would make it impossible to enforce.

“How is this going to work?” Orban asked rhetorically. “Has anyone thought this through?”

 

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Japan, South Korea shut out refugees: Column

Japan and South Korea are like estranged fraternal siblings. Both have more in common than they care to admit: an aging population, abysmal birthrates andgender inequality. Both are in danger of losing their workforces unless they open their doors to migrants and refugees. Yet both face resistance from populations that have long taken pride in their ethnic homogeneity and are wary of the outside world.

Whenever a boat overloaded with refugees turns up on other countries’ shores, there are sighs of relief in Seoul and Tokyo that it is happening elsewhere.

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Dozens protest refugee crisis at Ajax election office of immigration minister Chris Alexander

DURHAM — Canada has a “moral obligation” to allow more refugees fleeing the violence in Syria and Iraq to enter the country.

    That was one of the messages delivered by about 50 people gathered outside of Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander’s election campaign office in Ajax Wednesday evening to protest that Canada isn’t doing enough to help the refugees. Mr. Alexander is the Conservative candidate in Ajax riding in the Oct. 19 federal election. The campaign office, at Salem and Kingston roads, was closed and no one was there when the residents gathered, carrying signs with slogans such as ‘Refugees Welcome’, ‘No fences, no borders, Free movement for all.’

 

 

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Migrant Crisis Fueled By Gas Pipelines: Global Research

Indeed, tensions were building between Russia, the U.S. and the European Union amid concerns that the European gas market would be held hostage to Russian gas giant Gazprom. The proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would be essential to diversifying Europe’s energy supplies away from Russia.

Turkey is Gazprom’s second-largest customer. The entire Turkish energy security structure relies on gas from Russia and Iran. Plus, Turkey was harboring Ottoman-like ambitions of becoming a strategic crossroads for the export of Russian, Caspian-Central Asian, Iraqi and Iranian oil and even gas to Europe.

 

Knowing Syria was a critical piece in its energy strategy, Turkey attempted to persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad to reform this Iranian pipeline and to work with the proposed Qatar-Turkey pipeline, which would ultimately satisfy Turkey and the Gulf Arab nations’ quest for dominance over gas supplies. But after Assad refused Turkey’s proposal, Turkey and its allies became the major architects of Syria’s “civil war.” Read more

Harper promises to renew funding for federal counter-terrorism initiative

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says he would renew a federal initiative aimed at countering terrorism and radicalization in Canada.

Harper was in Victoriaville, Que., where he committed an additional $10-million over five years to the Kanishka Project.

The project was established in 2011 to fund research into preventing and countering violent extremism.

It was named in recognition of the 1985 Air India bombing, which killed 331 people.

Harper also began his campaign Friday commemorating the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, including the 24 Canadians who died that day.

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Moment of silence marks 14th anniversary of Sept. 11

NEW YORK — Victims’ relatives began marking the 14th anniversary of Sept. 11 in a subdued gathering Friday at ground zero, with a moment of silence and sombre reading of names.

Hundreds of victims’ relatives — fewer than thronged the ceremonies in their early years — gathered, carrying photos emblazoned with the names of their lost loved ones as they remembered the day when hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center’s twin towers, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“We come every year. The crowds get smaller, but we want to be here. As long as I’m breathing, I’ll be here,” said Tom Acquaviva, 81, who lost his son, Paul Acquaviva, a systems analyst who died in the trade centre’s north tower.

For Nereida Valle, who lost her daughter, Nereida De Jesus, “It’s the same as if it was yesterday. I feel her every day.” Read more

Plans coming in near future to help Syrian refugees: Harper

OTTAWA — Conservative leader Stephen Harper appears ready to shift gears on the Syrian refugee crisis, hinting for the first time Thursday that work is underway to expedite the process of refugee resettlement.

It’s been a week since a photo of three-year-old Alan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach forced all three major party leaders to confront the reality of Canada’s response to the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Syria.

Harper had said earlier in the campaign the Conservatives, if elected, would take in more refugees over time, but after the photograph, Canadians demanded a more immediate response to help settle the 11,300 people the government has already pledged to take. Read more

CHINA: USA MUST TAKE MORE SYRIAN REFUGEES; WE’LL TAKE ZERO, THANKS

“The United States should take its responsibility in the disheartening refugee crisis in Europe as its controversial Middle East policies resulted in wars and chaos that displaced large numbers of people,” hectors China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua.

They dwell on the photo of the drowned Syrian toddler — who was not in the process of fleeing from Syria when he died — and the horrid deaths of 70 refugees in a smuggler’s truck in Austria.

China is not generally noted for its genial indulgence of lawbreakers, especially when there are national security implications, but it expects the United States to throw caution to the winds. “Even though it has remained relatively ‘quiet’ on this matter, the United States actually has an inescapable responsibility on what happens today in Europe and the Middle East,” Xinhua pontificates. Read more