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New U.S. border measures ‘not in line with international standards’ – UNHCR

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New U.S. border measures ‘not in line with international standards’ – UNHCR

New U.S. border measures ‘not in line with international standards’ – UNHCR

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says plans by the Biden administration to expand restrictions on people seeking refuge in the United States are “not in line with refugee law standards”.

According to reports, the reforms will deny migrants the chance to seek asylum in the U.S. if they crossed from Mexico into the U.S. without permission.

But Biden also said that up to 30,000 people per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela could come legally, if they meet a series of requirements, including finding a sponsor and demonstrate they are able to afford a plane ticket.

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UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov told journalists in Geneva on Friday that while the UN agency welcomed the expanded safe and regular pathways for entry to the U.S. for some, the new measures “must not preclude people forced to flee from exercising their fundamental human right to seek safety”.

Due to the “multi-faceted” nature of the Administration’s announcement, UNHCR is seeking additional details and analysing the likely impact of the measures, Cheshirkov said, which would enable an “unprecedented number of people” from the four nationalities to enter.

In addition to considering the well-being of thousands already on the move from Latin and Central America, the agency raised its concern over the expansion of the controversial COVID pandemic emergency “Title 42” health restrictions order, to expel Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans without weighing the dangers they were fleeing or the risks and hardships many of them will face in Mexico.

UNHCR had made continuous calls for it to be lifted, and the issue has provoked a major court battle in the U.S., with the Supreme Court ruling at the end of December that the policy allowing migrants to be turned away at the border on health grounds should remain for now.

“What we are reiterating is that this is not in line with refugee law standards and that to establish a link between safe and legal pathways which have been announced.

“We welcome the expansion of those on one side that are accessible for some people with curtailment for the right to seek asylum for many more who are ineligible for these pathways,” Cheshirkov said.

UNHCR will continue to engage with the U.S. and other Governments, to expand safe pathways and develop protection and solutions for asylum seekers – in line with international standards, the spokesperson said.

New U.S. border measures ‘not in line with international standards’ – UNHCR

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Biden Campaign Missteps Lead to Reelection Withdrawa

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Biden Campaign Missteps Lead to Reelection Withdrawa

Biden Campaign Missteps Lead to Reelection Withdrawa

U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to end his reelection campaign on Sunday followed a series of strategic missteps by his campaign team and White House aides. These errors amplified concerns that the 81-year-old president wouldn’t be able to win November’s election or run the country for another four years.

Biden’s halting performance at the June 27 presidential debate against Republican candidate Donald Trump pushed even some of his closest allies to question his endurance for a full campaign. This episode fueled a growing Democratic party movement questioning the wisdom of his second term. Within days, Biden went from the party’s figurehead to a liability, making him the first sitting president to stand down from a possible reelection since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.

Biden initiated the debate by telling radio show host Howard Stern in April that he’d engage Trump, despite worries from some Democratic allies that a debate might not improve his chances and could cast him in an unflattering light. Biden’s aides believed they had an advantage in agreeing to a June debate with CNN, setting the rules to favor Biden’s style. However, Biden’s performance during the debate, where he stumbled over his words and lost his train of thought, surprised and concerned voters, donors, and Democratic officials.

Following the debate, Trump criticized Biden’s incoherence, and Biden admitted his poor performance. Calls for Biden to step down began almost immediately. High-profile Democrats, including Jim Clyburn and Nancy Pelosi, began to question Biden’s viability as a candidate.

Despite efforts to regain momentum, including interviews, news conferences, and speeches, Biden continued to make missteps, such as confusing names at the NATO summit. Polls showed Biden trailing other Democrats in key states and districts, though the nationwide race remained close.

Biden was eventually persuaded to withdraw from the race while recovering from COVID-19 at his Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, home, where he had time to reflect on his decision.

Biden Campaign Missteps Lead to Reelection Withdrawa

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Turkish Animal Rights Groups Protest Controversial Bill on Stray Animals

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Turkish Animal Rights Groups Protest Controversial Bill on Stray Animals

Turkish Animal Rights Groups Protest Controversial Bill on Stray Animals

Animal rights groups in Turkey protested on Wednesday against a proposed bill that activists fear could lead to the mass euthanasia of stray dogs and other animals in certain circumstances.

A parliamentary commission began debating the contentious bill amid opposition from activists and lawmakers. Demonstrators gathered in Istanbul, holding signs with the word “Murder” in Turkish, urging the government to withdraw the proposal.

Activists across various cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, have mobilized against the plan put forth by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The draft bill, reviewed by dpa, seeks to amend a 2004 animal protection law, allowing for the euthanasia of street animals under specific conditions.

If approved by the commission, the proposal is likely to pass in parliament, where Erdoğan’s AKP holds a majority.

The bill calls for local authorities to collect stray animals and place them in shelters, aiming to find them homes. However, it permits euthanasia if an animal is deemed aggressive, poses a public safety threat, or has contagious diseases.

Activists argue that the criteria for euthanasia remain vague. Local media previously reported that the AKP intended to euthanize animals not adopted within 30 days, although this detail is not in the current draft. Despite this, activists maintain that the guidelines for euthanizing animals are still unclear.

Turkish Animal Rights Groups Protest Controversial Bill on Stray Animals

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President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

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President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

U.S. President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced on Thursday. According to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre., Biden is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is currently experiencing mild symptoms.

The positive test result came after Biden attended an event in Nevada. Following this, he will return to his private residence in Delaware to self-isolate while continuing to perform all his presidential duties remotely.

Biden’s physician reported that the president displayed upper respiratory symptoms, including a runny nose and a cough, in the afternoon. Although the results of a PCR confirmation test are pending, Biden has already received his first dose of the COVID-19 drug Paxlovid.

This marks the second time Biden, 81, has tested positive for COVID-19; he experienced mild symptoms during his previous infection two years ago. Given his age, Biden is at a higher risk for severe illness from the virus.

This latest positive test comes amid increasing scrutiny of Biden’s mental acuity and physical health, raising concerns about his fitness to run for a second term in the upcoming November presidential elections.

President Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Exhibits Mild Symptoms

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