A legitimate fear of death doesn't always matter in the US asylum system
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — When Yovin Estrada Villanueva returned to his family home just months after fleeing for his life, even the dogs didn’t recognize him.He had lost weight in U.S. immigration custody, his sister said. His hair and beard had grown long.He hadn’t told anyone that he was being deported back to Honduras. His attempt to win asylum in the United States had failed.Just over a year later, shortly before his 28th birthday, Villanueva was killed by the very people he fled.He was shot while driving his mototaxi — a dangerous occupation in neighborhoods under gang control.Villanuev...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Trudy Rubin: Biden would rescue foreign policy from ego, tweets and autocrat envy
There has been little focus on foreign policy in the election campaign, and the debates didn’t much help.Maybe that’s because Donald Trump’s most intense foreign policy concern has been with Hunter Biden’s business interests abroad.But a look back at four years of Trump’s America First performance leads me to this conclusion: An imperfect Joe Biden is better suited to cope with a world in crisis than an erratic President Trump.Nothing better illustrates Trump’s foreign-policy failings than his shameful mishandling of COVID-19. As U.S. deaths soar past 220,000, the world looks on with amazement...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: Will the US return to global stage or pull further inward?
U.S. presidential elections rarely turn on voters’ views on foreign policy. Domestic issues such as the economy and health care, including the coronavirus pandemic this year, are almost always seen as more important by voters.But foreign policy can turn on the outcome of elections. And that is especially true this year, when not only the major party candidates but their partisan supporters offer starkly different visions for America’s role in the world.The foreign policy differences between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are well known. Trump offers an “America Firs...
Trinidad says idle Venezuela oil vessel not a threat. Environmentalists are not convinced
The government of Trinidad and Tobago said Thursday that a floating oil-storage vessel with nearly 55 million gallons of Venezuelan crude oil off its coast is not taking on water and shows no sign of capsizing and creating an environmental disaster off the coast of South America.Trinidad Energy Minister Franklin Khan also confirmed reports that Venezuela had started to transfer the crude oil onboard the FSO Nabarima to a tanker via a barge. Khan said while the process of emptying the 1.3 million barrels of oil from the Nabarima is safe, they are concerned about the inordinate amount of time — ...
Ghislaine Maxwell testimony: 465 pages of fury, denials, glimpses into Jeffrey Epstein's life
No, said Ghislaine Maxwell, she didn’t remember where she met Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who says she was recruited from a job at Mar-a-Lago as a teenager to become a Jeffrey Epstein masseuse and eventually a “sex slave.”Yes, she recalled women hanging around Epstein’s pool topless, but it was not that common and they didn’t appear underage, she swore.No, despite claims to the contrary, she said she didn’t participate in orgies with Epstein and young girls, including a specific allegation that involved a 13-year-old.The back and forth comes from a 465-transcript released early Thursda...
Election holds future of young, undocumented immigrants in the balance
SAN DIEGO — Among the many policies that will be on the ballot Nov. 3 is what will happen to the lives of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.The Trump administration has tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which began under the Obama administration. For the past four years, Trump officials have argued that the program is illegal and should be stopped.DACA has so far survived only through court intervention. Even after the Supreme Court issued a decision in June that it should be fully restored because it wa...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Editorial: A diplomatic surge is needed in Azerbaijan
A complicated conflict in a faraway foreign land isn’t likely to compete for attention with the frenzied presidential election and unabated coronavirus crisis gripping this nation. But American citizens — and especially American policymakers — should focus on the spiraling violence in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.Most profoundly, for humanitarian reasons: The fighting is the fiercest since initial post-Soviet era war broke out in the 1990s, when the dispute erupted in the ethnic Armenia enclave in western Azerbaijan.Today, the enmity is just as intense, but the weaponry i...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Nation and world news briefs
Trump envoy Grenell tried to secretly negotiate Maduro’s exit in VenezuelaWASHINGTON — An influential Trump administration official secretly met with a representative of Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Mexico City in September to try to negotiate the Venezuelan leader’s peaceful exit from power.Richard Grenell, the former Acting U.S. director of National Intelligence and ambassador to Germany, and Jorge Rodriguez, a Venezuelan politician who is close to Maduro, met in the Mexican capital, according to four people familiar with the matter. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and the rest of the State ...
Tribune News Service
The Caribbean's case for reparations: Part III
Screenshot of one of the cover illustrations on the CARICOM Reparations Commission website.This is the third article in a series that highlights the question of slavery reparations in the Caribbean. (The first is here; the second is here.) It is based around issues discussed in the NGC Bocas Lit Fest's live stream event, “The Case for Reparations,” which featured an in-depth conversation with Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission.Five hundred and twenty-eight years after Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, unleashing the frenzy of colonisation that resulted...
Understanding pandemic fatigue
Non-profit JKS Volunteers took initiative by providing the community of Jaffna, Sri Lanka with dry food packages and distributing 1,000 sanitary pads to women in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image from Flickr by SDG Action Campaign. CC BY-ND 2.0.This post by Shashika Bandara originally appeared in Groundviews, an award-winning citizen media website in Sri Lanka. An edited version is published below as part of a content-sharing agreement with Global Voices.Sri Lanka is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 infections with 1,307 total infections with 1,180 new cases confirmed within seven days, as ...