The Flooding in Louisiana

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Louisiana has seen some of the worst flooding in the states history over the past 3 days. Since the flooding has started, President Obama has signed a Disaster Declaration on August 11th 2016 which lets Federal aid to start flowing to the affected areas of the state including the Parishes of East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa.  With the signing of the Disaster Deceleration, this allows grants for temporary housing and home repairs as well as low interest, emergency loans to help cover uninsured property damage.  This comes in very handy since many of the homes that have taken on water have never flooded prior and do not have any flood insurance.

Extent of Louisiana Flooding

louisiana floodingThe extent of the Louisiana flooding is massive. Currently over 10,000 people are staying in temporary facilities in the Baton Rouge area with many more evacuated. As of today, the flooding has caused 5 deaths.  Celtic Movie Studios, a massive warehouse on Airline Highway in the city, is currently housing about 3,000 people on its campus alone.  Over 20,000 people have been rescued so far by the National Guard and private citizens.  Many residents are still stranded in their homes since the water has yet to recede.  Thousands of people were stranded in their automobiles on Interstate 12 since Saturday.  Only on Sunday were the National Guard and good seminarians able to start rescuing people by boat.  the Stranded motorists that have been rescued were brought to the Hammond Parks and Recreation Center.

Prior to the President’s deceleration, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, declared a State of Emergency.  In a statement, Edwards stated:

“We are in constant contact with local officials and first responders, and assistance is already on the move to affected parishes. … The most important thing to remember is to obey road signs and to constantly monitor the news for updates to ensure everyone’s safety. Every available resource will be used to assist citizens as this situation continues to unfold.”

Louisianians Take To Their Boats

boats in tow to rescue stranded residentsThe scene on Monday morning was thousands of Louisiana residents traveling into the deviated areas with boats in tow.  As of Monday morning, private residents have rescued hundreds, possibly thousands of fellow Louisianians from their flooded homes.  Many of the good seminarians have traveled for hours from outlying cities to assist in the evacuation efforts. With the Governors Emergency Deceleration, over 1000 National Guard soldiers are on the ground in “search and rescue” mode.  In addition to the troops, the state of Louisiana has deployed 170 high water vehicles, 20 boats and five helicopters.  Many Louisiana residents are still stranded in their homes, without electricity or proper supplies.  As of now, thousands of people and hundreds of pets have been saved from the flood that seemed to “come out of nowhere” with over 21 inches of rain in 24 hours. As of now, it is estimated that over 20,000 residents and travelers have been rescued.

 

Trump Answers Real Questions – The Answers May Surprise You

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Donald Trump answers quesitons

Donald Trump the full blown Republican Candidate for President of the United States has been quite elusive on providing details on how he would handle specific political issues throughout the world.  We will lay out the direct questions and answers posed to Trump.

News By Headline

trump answering real questionsI personally believe that it dumbs down the American public when we take our news in by headline or soundbite.  We have become accustomed to choosing our leaders based off of very limited information.  Understanding that most Americans will not take the time to read full interviews, and the mainstream news sources generally only report via headlines, we will provide the legwork so you can get to the meat of the topics.

This is the first, in a string of articles, were we will find hard questions posed directly to the Republican Candidate, with his direct responses.  All of the questions and answers will be direct quotes from interviews and nothing will be added or redacted from the question or the response.

In an interview with Donald Trump, David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times ask very direct questions — here are the responses.

When Donald Trump Was Asked About Details of NAFTA:

HABERMAN: What kind of change could you make in terms of Nafta without fully withdrawing from it? How could you?

TRUMP: You’ve got to be fair to the country. Everyone is leaving. Carrier just announced they’re leaving. Ford is building a massive plant. So I have a friend who builds plants and then I have to go. I have a friend who builds plants, that’s what he does, he’s the biggest in the world, he builds plants like automobile plants, computer plants, that’s all he does. He doesn’t build apartments, he doesn’t build office space, he builds plants. I said to him the other day, “How are you doing?” He goes, “Unbelievable.” Oh, great, that’s good, thinking about the United States, right, because he’s based in the United States. So I said, “Good, so the country is doing well.” He said, “No, no, not our country, you’ve got to see what I’m doing in Mexico.” He said: “The business there is unbelievable, the new plants we are building. People moving from the United States.” That’s what he does. One-story plants. You understand?

Here is a short, but poignant response on if Trump would use cyberweapons as an alternative to traditional weapons of war:

SANGER: Would you support the United States’ not only developing as we are but fielding cyberweapons as an alternative?

TRUMP: Yes. I am a fan of the future, and cyber is the future.

Here is the response of Trump when being asked if we should support Assad in his battle against ISIS:

SANGER: You would keep Assad there if he’s also fighting ISIS?

TRUMP: I don’t want to say that, I have a very specific view on Assad, but I think we have to get rid of ISIS before we get rid of Assad.

SANGER: So you agree with President Obama in that regard?

TRUMP: Look, Assad hates ISIS; ISIS hates Assad. They are fighting each other. We are supposed to go and fight them both? How do you fight them both when they are fighting each other? And I think that ISIS is a threat that’s much more important for us right now than Assad. You understand what I’m saying?

SANGER: Mmm.

TRUMP: Because Assad and ISIS are fighting. Now we are going to go in and fight them both, because we have people that don’t know what they are doing. We have people that don’t know what they are doing. So I would get rid of ISIS, but I don’t want to fight at the same time. The other thing you have is, is Assad is backed by a country that we made a power, O.K.? Iran. And Russia, O.K.? So why didn’t we do something about that before we made Iran rich, and before we gave them this tremendous power that they now have, that they didn’t have and shouldn’t have had?

This is Donald Trump’s response to how well he personally believes the Republican National Convention went:

HABERMAN: What do you think people will take away from this convention? What are you hoping?

TRUMP: From the convention? The fact that I’m very well liked. Look, I got more votes than anybody in the history of the Republican Party. Almost 14 million votes. I got 37 states. Kasich has one. As an example, Ted had, you know, not many. Thirty-seven states. Now, with the roll call, I had 44 states. It was 44 to seven and the seven was everybody else: 44 to seven. It was 44 to six because we are including the different islands. And when you are in that hall and you see those people, like yesterday, my daughter called up, she said, “Dad, I’ve never seen it — it’s total love.”

Trump made headlines when he said he would back out of NATO and possibly not support a NATO Nation if they couldn’t pay for it.

Here is the full quote when Trump was asked about possibly not following the NATO rules by supporting a fellow NATO country:

SANGER: But I guess the question is, If we can’t, do you think that your presidency, let’s assume for a moment that they contribute what they are contributing today, or what they have contributed historically, your presidency would be one of pulling back and saying, “You know, we’re not going to invest in these alliances with NATO, we are not going to invest as much as we have in Asia since the end of the Korean War because we can’t afford it and it’s really not in our interest to do so.”

TRUMP: If we cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries, and in many cases the countries I’m talking about are extremely rich. Then if we cannot make a deal, which I believe we will be able to, and which I would prefer being able to, but if we cannot make a deal, I would like you to say, I would prefer being able to, some people, the one thing they took out of your last story, you know, some people, the fools and the haters, they said, “Oh, Trump doesn’t want to protect you.” I would prefer that we be able to continue, but if we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth — you have the tape going on?

SANGER: We were talking about alliances, and the fundamental problem that you hear many Republicans, traditional Republicans, have with the statement that you’ve made is that it would seem to them that you would believe that the interests of the United States being out with both our troops and our diplomacy abroad is less than our economic interests in having somebody else support that. In other words, even if they didn’t pay a cent toward it, many have believed that the way we’ve kept our postwar leadership since World War II has been our ability to project power around the world. That’s why we got this many diplomats ——

TRUMP: How is it helping us? How has it helped us? We have massive trade deficits. I could see that, if instead of having a trade deficit worldwide of $800 billion, we had a trade positive of $100 billion, $200 billion, $800 billion. So how has it helped us?

SANGER: Well, keeping the peace. We didn’t have a presence in places like Korea in 1950, or not as great a presence, and you saw what happened.

TRUMP: There’s no guarantee that we’ll have peace in Korea.

SANGER: Even with our troops, no, there’s no guarantee.

TRUMP: No, there’s no guarantee. We have 28,000 soldiers on the line.

SANGER: But we’ve had them there since 1953 and ——

TRUMP: Sure, but that doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t be something going on right now. Maybe you would have had a unified Korea. Who knows what would have happened? In the meantime, what have we done? So we’ve kept peace, but in the meantime we’ve let North Korea get stronger and stronger and more nuclear and more nuclear, and you are really saying, “Well, how is that a good thing?” You understand? North Korea now is almost like a boiler. You say we’ve had peace, but that part of Korea, North Korea, is getting more and more crazy. And more and more nuclear. And they are testing missiles all the time.

SANGER: They are.

TRUMP: And we’ve got our soldiers sitting there watching missiles go up. And you say to yourself, “Oh, that’s interesting.” Now we’re protecting Japan because Japan is a natural location for North Korea. So we are protecting them, and you say to yourself, “Well, what are we getting out of this?”

SANGER: Well, we keep our missile defenses out there. And those missile defenses help prevent the day when North Korea can reach the United States with one of its missiles. It’s a lot easier to shoot down from there ——

Below, here is the response when Trump was asked about how the Turkish Government handled the failed coup:

SANGER: Erdogan put nearly 50,000 people in jail or suspend them, suspended thousands of teachers, he imprisoned many in the military and the police, he dismissed a lot of the judiciary. Does this worry you? And would you rather deal with a strongman who’s also been a strong ally, or with somebody that’s got a greater appreciation of civil liberties than Mr. Erdogan has? Would you press him to make sure the rule of law applies?

TRUMP: I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country. We have tremendous problems when you have policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore. When you have all of the things that are happening in this country — we have other problems, and I think we have to focus on those problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.

Lastly, when Donald Trump was asked about the complex relationship between Turkey, the Kurdish Army and ISIS:

SANGER: You said that they could be much more helpful with ISIS. I’m sure perhaps they can. The big difference they’ve had is that we’ve been supporting Kurdish forces that have been very effective ——

TRUMP: I’m a fan of the Kurds, you understand.

SANGER: But Erdogan is not. Tell us how you would deal with that?

TRUMP: Well, it would be ideal if we could get them all together. And that would be a possibility. But I’m a big fan of the Kurdish forces. At the same time, I think we have a potentially — we could have a potentially very successful relationship with Turkey. And it would be really wonderful if we could put them somehow both together.

 

The Dirty Underbelly of Democracy

Most people have come to respect Democracy as a positive form of Government.  It is one of the forms of Government that lets “the people” have a voice in the laws that are created.  There is a dirty underbelly to Democracy that is currently being exploited in our current political system..

What is a Democracy?

Its important to understand that the United States is not a true Democracy, we are a Democratic Republic.  There is a monstrous difference.  In a true Democracy, the rules, laws and implementation of Government is a simply majority.  In a true Democracy, the any group that falls into the minority, have absolutely no protection against the power of the majority.  Simply put, it is Mob Rule.  In a true Democracy, if you have 10 people and 7 of them vote to kill everyone with red hair…then anyone with red hair (most likely the 3 that voted against it) would be put to death.

The Representative Democracy

what is democracyIn a Representative Democracy people are elected to place the Democratic Vote on their behalf.  In theory, the elected official is elected because they hold the same beliefs as the people they represent, thus voting in the manner in which their electorate would vote.

In both types of Democracy, True and Representative, the majority’s power is absolute and unlimited.  Any decision by the majority is final and the minority has no retort.   Because of this, True Democracy opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority.

The United States is a Democratic Republic

A Democratic republic uses elected officials to place votes, but the entire system must run within a set of rules.  In the United States’ case, the most basic set of rules are the Constitution.  This means that regardless of what the majority votes, it is unenforceable that the outcome will be outside of the rule of law.  This is an important difference and its what keeps the Majority from absolute tyranny over the Minority. This protects the Minority because of the rights instilled by the Constitution.

The Challenges With Our Democratic Republic

Democracy mediaAs we go into the Presidential Election, we are starting to see the dirty underbelly of Democracy.  With a 24 hour news cycle and social media breaking complex issues into Memes, we have watered down the complex issues of government and have politicians running on platforms that cannot be enforced because of the Constitution and our more granular laws.

With the light-speed pace of the media, exploiting one line statements as a political platform, we are leading people to believe that they are educated on the topics relating to government, while misleading them in the political direction of the news source itself.  There is a quote that says “today, the people use the news like a drunk uses a light pole…more for support than for enlightenment.” With websites so easily created and articles shared on social media, just about anyone can now become a “news source” and have absolutely to culpability to the truth.  This instills misinformation in the minds of the voter.

The Challenges With Our Democratic Republic

democracyBecause, in America we let almost anyone vote, it has become obvious that the influence put forth by making headlines (regardless of the truth) influences the group of people that generally do not follow politics closely.  We must be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that a large portion of the United States do not spend a lot of time learning the background and details of the political arguments.  This, by definition, is ignorance.

Manipulation By Politcal Candidates

Because we should be able to agree that a large portion of the population receives their political views in a myopic manner, we must acknowledge that the purposeful manipulation by the political candidates can put the wrong person in office.  Because generally, we see approximately only 60% of the population vote in Presidential Elections, many citizens realize they do not possess the intimate knowledge (of the current political landscape)needed to make an educated vote.  The new challenge that we face is that a political candidate can now empower a large portion of the population (the other 40 percent), based off of talking points and politically unenforceable views. This lets people running for political office manipulate the vote.

The Downfall of Democracy

The downfall of Democracy is sure to be the fact that every vote is counted equally.  The ability to appeal to the ignorant and mobilize their vote dilutes the vote of the politically savvy voter.  From advising the ignorant to vote, you can control a larger portion of the outcome. This has been a political strategy for decades, many with the best of intentions, but still manipulation of the system.  From MTV telling all 18-21 year old’s to vote, to busing in citizens (who would otherwise stay home) to the polls, our Democratic system has been exploited.  Although this was implemented by the Democrat party, it is now become commonplace in both political parties.

How Do We Fix It?

The fix to the downfall of Democracy as we know it is NOT to push every citizen to vote.  It is not to make people feel guilty if they choose to not exercise their rights in the Democratic process.

If one wants to push for further involvement of the ignorant, push them to become educated.  Don’t push them to vote.

To have uneducated votes dilutes the vote of the people who follow what is truly happening.  As opposed to guilting someone to simply vote, guilt them to learn about the topics and policies.  Once educated, regardless of where they stand, then they should vote.

 

 

 

Loss of Respect for the Office of the Presidency?

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donald trum is not presidentialdonald trum is not presidential

The President of the United States is the ultimate figurehead of America.  We have had 43 Americans serve as President.  Needles to say, we have seen a wide range of political views, personalities, strengths and weaknesses within our past Presidents.

Respect for the Office

One thing that has been considered a constant is there has always been a level of respect for the office of the Presidency of the United States of America.  Ronald Reagan is said to have insisted that everyone who entered the Oval Office being wearing a tie and jacket.  At one point, President Obama was attacked because he put his feet on his desk!

Every President has acted “presidential” which has actually become a term.  Although it is widely known that many Presidents have had a “dirty mouth” in private, most noteworthy would be LBJ and President Nixon.  But when addressing the public or in a public forum, a level of professionalism has always been consistent.  This looks to be changing.

Acting Un-Presidential Has Become Acceptable

For the first time in the history of the United States, we now have let a person that has consistently been as “un-presidential” as allowed on television.  Donald Trump has consistently spoken in a way that many deem makes him an unacceptable candidate for the office of the Presidency.  In addition to publicly degrading just about any individual that has differing political positions (look at his Twitter Feed), Donald Trump has proven to be uneducated on many of the basics of American politics.

Politics are Delicate Negotiations

Politics are very delicate.  Especially in international politics, the slightest thing can be perceived as not respectful or inappropriate. Even when being prepped on what is acceptable for different cultures, innocent mistakes are still made.

What would happen if we let this man…Donald Trump, be the person at the helm of our delicate international politics?

Although we have seen a degradation in the way we speak to each other, possibly fueled by social media, we cannot let this man, or any may with this little respect for the Presidency of the United States of America, have a real political voice.

This should NOT be democratically elected, figurehead of what America stands for.

 

 

Man Shot In Baton Rouge – Alton Sterling

Alton Sterling shot in Baton Rouge

We will do our best to show EVERYTHING available, that has credibility, on the man shot in Baton Rouge by Police.  Check back soon as we will be updating this exact page as new information comes out.  This post is meant to be a timeline of the incident’s repercussions as they unfold in Baton Rouge LA.

  • Connector.

    Videos of the shooting

    We will post every video, that can be verified as accurate.

  • Connector.

    News Releases of the Shooting

    Any major media site that is reporting the news, we will post your facts.

  • Connector.

    Timeline of Facts

    We will do our best to chronical the facts as they are relieved.

The NEW Alternative View Video of Alton Sterling

First Video of Alton Sterling Being Shot

What We Know About the Shooting of Alton Sterling So Far

The basic, accepted facts around the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge

  • At approximately 12:35 AM two Baton Rouge police officers were called to investigate a public disturbance call. We will provide the audio for that call below.  The Baton Rouge Police were responding to an autonomous phone call claiming a back man wearing a red sweatshirt was outside of the store with a gun.
  • The Baton Rouge Police arrived at 2112 North Foster Drive in Baton Rouge, a convenience store, to see Alton Stirling in front of the store fitting the description.
  • Although we have multiple versions of the incident from different views, no camera caught the initial part of the confrontation that caused Alton Sterling to get shot.
  • One video shows one of the officers tasing Sterling and another rushing him and tackling him to the ground.  No video catches the words that led to the physical altercation.  Although we do have video from the store manager, describing his version of the scene.
  • Both videos show officers Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran of the force, forcing Sterling to the ground after being tased.
  • At some point one of the officers pulled his gun and pointed it at Sterling’s head.  Still struggling, you can hear on both videos “he has a gun!” Within a few seconds you hear a short set of gun shots then another as the Police are moving away from Sterling.
  • A gun was found in Alton Sterling’s right pocket.
  • Both videos fail to show in plain view the deceased right arm during the fatal shooting.
  • Since the shooting, both officers have been put on administrative leave.
  • Both the store survailance camera video and the Police body video have not been released.
  • Press has invaded the city Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana and multiple protests and calls for justice have ensued.

Additional Videos

Store Owner Interview

Family Press Confrence

Police Press Confrence

Louisiana Governor Press Confrence

The Arrest Recordof Alton Sterling

  • 9/09/96 aggravated battery
  • 10/31/97 2nd degree battery
  • 1/06/98 simple battery
  • 5/04/00 public intimidation
  • 9/20/00 carnal knowledge of a juvenile
  • 9/04/01 domestic violence
  • 5/24/05 burglary of an inhabited dwelling place
  • 7/11/05 receiving stolen things
  • 9/12/05 burglary of inhabited dwelling place
  • 3/17/06 simple criminal damage to property, simple robbery, simple theft, drug possession, misrepresentation during booking, simple battery, aggravated battery
  • 4/12/06 aggravated battery, simple criminal damage to property, disturbing the peace, unauthorized entry
  • 4/04/08 domestic abuse battery
  • 6/03/09  resisting an officer, drug possession, receiving stolen things, possession of stolen firearm, illegal carrying of a weapon with CDs,       sound reproduct without consent
  • 10/12/09 illegal carrying of weapon, marijuana possession
  • 8/13/15 failure to register as a sex offender
  • 4/08/16 failure to register as a sex offender
  • 6/14/16 ecstacy and marijuana possession

Veterans 100% Home Loan Basics

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American flag

VA 100% Home Loans

Benefits of a VA Loan

Nothing feels better than putting a Veteran into a home. The men and women who have served our country, I’m sure you will agree are one of the most deserving group of home buyers out there. Veterans, with the assistance of a private lender, have many benefits afforded to them that they may not even be aware of. The VA will stand behind, and guarantee the loan.  It is a type of “insurance” for the loan. What does this mean for you? Well, to start the lender can offer more to you because they are “insured” by the VA in case you cannot make your payments, the lender will be paid.Paper with VA loan on a table

Many Veterans are not aware of how easy it is to apply for and use their benefit in the home loan process.

Advantages of a VA Loan to You

  • You do not have to be a First Time Home Buyer
  • You can reuse your benefit
  • VA loans are assumable, if the person assuming the loan qualifies
  • No down payment, as long as the appraised home value is not less than the sales price.
  • The VA limits what you can be required to pay in closing costs
  • The closing costs MAY be fully paid by the seller
  • No penalty for paying your loan off early
  • Assistance if you run into difficulty making your payments
  • Many states offer resources like property tax reductions to certain Veterans also

 The Eligibility Requirements

The amount of service time or commitment, status and character of service are used to determine your eligibility for specific home loans. You will need to get your Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  You can ask your Realtor or you Lender how to go about this. It is a very simple, online process, but you must have your COE to close your home loan.

The VA loan does not dismiss you from having adequate credit, and the ability to make the payments on your mortgage.  .

How Much Home Can You Buy

For a Single Family Residence, that you will occupy, the maximum is $424,100 that can be insured by the VA.  In most areas of our country, that can buy you a lot of house!  You will still go through the customary appraisal process, inspections and anything required by the private lender.

Your loan to value ratios (LTV) are still considered a determining factor on how much home you can be approved for.

Mike Anderson, CRMS and Vice President of AMERICA’S MORTGAGE RESOURCE in Baton Rouge, LA has put together this video that is a valuable watch for anyone who is a Veteran, Spouse of a Veteran, Realtor or Lender, that can help explain the process.

The Magical World Inside Your Recycling Bin

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Study Finds that Green Spaces Make Kids Smarter

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

The Best Car Purchase to Help the Environment?

0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Conserving Nature Keeps People Healthier

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

How Rapid Growth Is Destroying the Environment

0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Should Schools Be Responsible for Kids Health?

0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Free Market Healthcare Is Possible

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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