Hindsight 9.17.2015

September 12th, 2015

Tens of thousands of Europeans held rallies in major cities across the continent urging their leaders to act quickly and decisively to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War and instability in the Middle East.

The refugee crisis in Europe has exploded this year due to the combination of Syrian Civil War, conflict between Turkey and Kurdish separatists, and wars and instability on the African continent in countries including South Sudan and Somalia.

The crisis has exposed deep rifts in the EU, as Italy, Greece and Hungary have struggled to host the largest number of refugees and a redistribution plan to spread 160,000 of the refugees between EU members has faced opposition from Eastern European members. Germany has taken unilateral steps to welcome refugees, over 450,000 of whom have already arrived this year.

Source: Al Jazeera


September 13th, 2015

Security forces in Egypt accidentally fired upon vehicles containing Mexican tourists and Egyptian tour guides, killing 12 and wounding 10. The vehicles were mistaken for transports smuggling terrorists into a restricted area. Egypt has been engaged with Islamic insurgents for the past two years.

The event was reported by Egypt’s Ministry of Interior the day after the midnight shootings and

prompted a swift response from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Source: The New York Times


September 14th, 2015

US officials reported the movement of Russian military equipment, including arms and tanks, into an air base in Syria. Satellite images confirmed the continued buildup of Russian supplies in the Middle Eastern country, a trend which has increased tension between Washington and Moscow.

The buildup in Syria comes in the midst of the fourth year of a civil war which has seen the Islamic State seize over half of the country, with the rest split between the authoritarian government of Bashar al-Assad and various rebel groups, including al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Russia has supported Assad since the beginning of the war. Deliveries of Russian arms are likely intended to fortify Assad’s position in light of recent victories by the Islamic State and al-Nusra. The United States has attempted to provide arms and training to rebel groups fighting Assad, but faced consistent setbacks as Islamic radicals came to dominate much of the opposition.

Source: The New York Times

September 15th, 2015

An attempt to bring the Senate to a vote on the Iranian nuclear disarmament deal was rejected after it failed to earn 60 votes to overrule a filibuster. The 56-42 vote was the second rejection in recent weeks as Senate Republicans attempt to pass a resolution rejecting the agreement. The deal, negotiated between Iran and six United Nation members which included the US, has become a political hot button as Republicans and a small contingent of Democrats raised concerns over the terms of the deal.

Although Republican leaders vow to continue pressing for the votes to overrule the agreement, a Congressional decision made in May requires them to pass any review or vote on the agreement by September 17th. They will thus need to earn the support of at least four Democratic senators in a limited time in order to overrule the filibuster and reject the deal.

Source: USA Today


September 16th, 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the city of Honolulu, HI, claiming the city was depriving homeless people of food and other belongings during raids carried out by police on tent encampments. The lawsuit will argue that the destruction of property in these raids is illegal because it violates the Constitutional right to due process. The ACLU wants a halt to future sweeps, and compensation for those whose property has already been destroyed.

Several measures targeting homeless people have been passed in Honolulu in recent years. It is illegal to store property on sidewalks, and homeless people were banned from sitting of lying down on the famous Waikiki beach last year after tourists complained about the presence of homeless people near the beach.


Source: Al Jazeera