Amnesty Int’l: COVID-19 Exacerbates Inequality in Americas as U.S. Policy Drives Refugees to Border

A new Amnesty International report lays out how the pandemic has significantly exacerbated inequality across the Americas over the past year. Over 1.3 million people have died in the region from COVID-19, making the Americas the hardest-hit area in the world. Women, refugees, migrants, underprotected health workers, Indigenous peoples, Black people and other groups historically excluded and neglected by governments have borne the brunt of the pandemic, according to the report, which also points out the rise in gender violence and lethal crackdown on human rights defenders. “It’s not a surprise that the Americas has been the region worst hit by the pandemic,” says Erika Guevara-Rosas, a human…

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The DWP policy that is nothing short of eugenics

We can now properly analyse the effect of a four-year-old Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policy. It’s caused poverty to increase. And the policy may also have caused an increase in abortions. But exclusive research by The Canary has also found birth rates among the poorest women have dramatically fallen; potentially also due to the policy. Yet so far, the DWP maintains that there isn’t a problem. The two-child limit The two-child limit is a DWP policy. The then Tory government brought it in on 6 April 2017. It meant the DWP would only pay Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit for two children in a family;…

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Brazil Diplomat Celso Amorim on Bolsonaro, Lula & Why Biden’s Foreign Policy Is So “Disappointing”

As the number of COVID-19 cases surges in Brazil, the country is also facing a major crisis on the political front. The heads of Brazil’s Army, Navy and Air Force all quit in an unprecedented move, a day after far-right President Jair Bolsonaro ousted his defense minister as part of a broader Cabinet shake-up. The developments have alarmed many in Brazil who believe Bolsonaro, who is a former Army captain, will install ultra-loyalists to the military posts to consolidate his power ahead of next year’s election, when he is expected to be challenged by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro is trying to “show his authority”…

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“We Are Here Because You Are There”: Viet Thanh Nguyen on How U.S. Foreign Policy Creates Refugees

Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnamese American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses why he chooses to use the term “refugee” in his books, and speaks about his own experience as a refugee. His new novel tells the story of a man who arrives in France as a refugee from Vietnam, and explores the main character’s questioning of ideology and different visions of liberation. Titled “The Committed,” the book is a sequel to “The Sympathizer,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. Nguyen says his protagonist is “a man of two faces and two minds” whose ability to see beyond Cold War divisions makes him the perfect figure to satirize…

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Scientists warn Government’s Integrated Review reproduces ‘most militaristic and aggressive’ aspects of UK foreign policy

The Integrated Review combines the worst elements of 20th century British foreign policy, a group of ethical scientists has warned. The Review is meant to set the tone of post-Brexit foreign and defence policy, but Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) warns that it will set off an arms race, fail the world’s poor, and embed an “uncritical nationalism.” SGR executive director Dr Stuart Parkinson writes: The government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy was widely trailed in the media as “the most radical reassessment of Britain’s place in the world since the end of the Cold War”. In reality, it mixes grand ethical aspirations with…

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Vijay Prashad Warns Biden Is “Doubling Down” on Trump’s Anti-China Cold War Policy

Beijing has accused the U.S. of perpetuating a Cold War mentality as President Joe Biden and senior administration officials shore up alliances in the Pacific region to counter China’s growing influence and increasingly describe the country as a geopolitical threat. Vijay Prashad, director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, says the “bellicose” tone out of Washington is not because the U.S. sees China as a military threat, but because China threatens U.S. dominance in the scientific, technological and diplomatic spheres. “It’s very chilling what the U.S. government is doing in ramping up this cold war,” says Prashad. Source link

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Let’s be honest about whose free speech Gavin Williamson’s new policy is protecting

Over the last few years debate has raged on social media about ‘cancel culture‘ and no-platforming. Often, these debates have centred on freedom of speech. More often, however, these debates have been about racism, sexism, and transphobia. As part of our #FactOfTheMatter series, The Canary has been investigating if the UK really has a freedom of speech problem. We’ve spoken to a number of academics who are on the frontlines of these debates. We’ve also spoken to union leaders to find out the scale of the problem. The question we have is this: whose voices are really being silenced? Enter the government Secretary of state for education Gavin Williamson…

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Biden Canceled Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Policy, But Asylum Seekers Still Waiting in Squalid Camps

One of the most controversial Trump-era immigration policies — the so-called Remain in Mexico program, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols — left about 25,000 asylum seekers stranded on the other side of the border while their cases progressed through U.S. courts. President Joe Biden has suspended that program, but immigrant advocates say his administration needs to move more quickly to undo the damage. Although dozens of asylum seekers have been allowed to trickle in, many thousands are still waiting in dangerous conditions for their chance to cross the border, including in the Matamoros refugee camp across the border from Brownsville, Texas. It is the largest camp of…

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Arlene Foster making up school reopening policy ‘on the hoof’

Sinn Féin has accused Arlene Foster of making up policy on the hoof after the first minister suggested revisiting Stormont’s decision on schools reopening. On Monday night, Mrs Foster indicated the DUP’s desire for a more rapid return to classrooms than the phased approach agreed by her party only four days earlier. Last Thursday, the Stormont executive announced that some primary school pupils would return to class on March 8, with some older post-primary school children returning on March 22. Ministers did not commit to a date for the full return of the wider school population. Sinn Fein’s Pat Sheehan criticised Arlene Foster’s comments (David Young/PA) A change…

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High Court rules DWP childcare costs policy unlawfully discriminates against women

A single mother has called on the government to urgently change a policy which forces parents to pay upfront for childcare costs after a High Court judge ruled that it unlawfully discriminates against women. Nichola Salvato, who fell into debt trying to pay her childcare costs after she returned to work, brought a legal challenge against the “proof of payment” policy of only reimbursing the money to parents once it has been spent. Currently the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will only refund parents and carers 85% of their childcare costs through their Universal Credit payments once it has received proof that they have been paid, rather…

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