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Executive Summary for August 13th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including charity warns Med ships not responding to distress calls, Merkel finds migration ally in Spain’s Sanchez and D.R. Congo refugees being screened for Ebola.

Published on Aug. 13, 2018 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Ships ‘Unwilling to Respond’ to Emergency Calls in Mediterranean

Ships in the Mediterranean have ignored boats in distress, a rescue charity claims. Rescued migrants said that other vessels sailed past them before an NGO boat picked them up.

Some 141 people are currently aboard the French-operated Aquarius, searching for a safe port in Europe. Crew on the Aquarius, run by SOS Mediterranee and the medical charity MSF, said they were told that five different ships failed to offer assistance. “It seems the very principle of rendering assistance to persons in distress at sea is now at stake,” the NGOs said in a statement. “Ships might be unwilling to respond to those in distress due to the high risk of being stranded and denied a place of safety.”

Deeper Look:

Behrouz Boochani, Kurdish Journalist Held on Manus Since 2013

“We’ve been living in a limbo for more than five years now. This barbaric exile policy has already killed 12 innocent people, destroyed so many lives and families. Shame on the Australian politicians and their media for ignoring what is happening here. It’s nothing but sadism.”

Merkel Gets Much-Needed Backing From Spain on Migration

Germany and Spain will lead an effort to persuade E.U. partners to fairly distribute asylum seekers. Leaders of the two countries met in Spain to settle a joint approach to countering anti-migration populists.

“No country can be exempt from this challenge,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The racist tendencies we are seeing, regrettably, in all member countries is something we have to fight against.” The joint approach will be shared with other E.U. members at a summit in September in Austria.

D.R. Congo Refugees Being Screened for Ebola by U.N.

The U.N. refugee agency is screening refugees from D.R. Congo for Ebola. There are 49 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in eastern Congo, including 38 deaths.

The area is beset by armed groups and contains many displaced people. The World Health Organization director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “The active conflict in the area is a barrier to control Ebola. I call on all warring parties to provide secure access to all responders serving affected populations and saving lives.”

Recommended #MustReads:

“Theater about the refugee crisis has proliferated in Germany since migration into the country reached its peak in 2016. But rarely has the hot-button issue – which continues to threaten Chancellor Angela Merkel’s power and fuel the rise of the far-right party Alternative for Germany, or AfD – entered the realm of opera, much less children’s opera.”

“‘Refugees deserve to thrive, not just survive,’ Halaseh said, explaining why they’re devoting their summer vacation to bringing science materials, teacher training, and workshops for kids to refugee camps. ‘We are empowering the next generation. These are the future engineers who will go back to rebuild their cities.’”

“New research being released publicly on Tuesday suggests Tudge is spot-on in his argument that regional Australia can take more permanent immigrants, including refugees. But the research also shows he’s wrong on another contention – that newly arrived refugees don’t want to learn English and that integration is not likely due to migrants living in a ‘language and cultural bubble.’”

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