Migration Mitigation, Rwanda’s Floods, & Trash In NYC Gets A Makeover
May 4, 2023
Biden’s Border Bother
A controversial border policy started by Trump and continued by President Biden is set to end. As Title 42 wraps up, the Biden administration expects the U.S.-Mexico border to see an influx of people trying to get into the country. In response, he’s sent 1,500 troops down south for 90 days to join the 2,500 military personnel already stationed at the border to dissuade more people from seeking asylum stateside.
Title 42 utilizes supposed concerns about the spread of Covid-19 to allow border officials to expel massive numbers of people at the border without even a chance of asylum. The end of the policy will come as the U.S. sees record numbers of people attempting to become Americans amidst Covid-related economic struggles in their home countries.
“Even in the U.S., we are experiencing inflation and some economic challenges that feel a little more permanent, or at least lingering,” says UC Davis Professor Raquel Aldana. “But the effects of the pandemic in economies of the global south have been pronounced and severe.” Many of these people leave their homes looking for economic opportunity in neighboring countries first, but many South American nations have also closed their borders to migrants – leaving them to take a long shot at a new life in the U.S. In November 2022 alone, some 200,000 people were turned back at the border, the most expelled from the U.S. in over 20 years.
On Tuesday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that his country would continue to accept migrants rejected from the U.S., easing some humanitarian concerns about the predicted surge. The U.S. also announced a plan to open new processing centers in Central and South America to allow people legal pathways into the U.S. without forcing them to travel to the border in person. The White House has also announced that it will be accepting 100,000 people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras as part of a family reunification program.
Some Good News
- FDA approves world’s first RSV vaccine, a shot for adults ages 60 and up (NBC)
- ‘No Mow May’: UK gardeners urged to let wildflowers and grass grow (Guardian)
Rainstorms In Rwanda
- On Tuesday, flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain killed at least 127 people in Rwanda’s Western, Northern, and Southern Provinces, according to the office of President Paul Kagame. The country is expected to see heavy rains early this May, and multiple roads are currently closed due to weather conditions.
- “Rescue interventions are ongoing in the most affected districts … in order to secure endangered citizens,” said the president’s office on Wednesday. Outside of this weather incident, over 60 people have died in Rwanda from January to April of this year, with the country’s Northern Province experiencing over 1,500 cases of disaster in just the past five years.
A 21st-Century Reporting Effort
- A Finnish newspaper unveiled its contribution to the Ukraine war effort on Wednesday, claiming that it was bypassing Russian media restrictions by hiding reports about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a map in the popular game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
- In Counter-Strike, players face off in timed round-based matches which take place in various different levels, or maps. Antero Mukka, editor-in-chief of Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, said that the paper created a map where Counter-Strike players can play actual matches in a room full of Russian-language war coverage from the newspaper. The room features a map of Russian military attacks on Ukrainian civilian populations, along with speakers reading out war reports from Helsingin Sanomat. “In the room, you will find our documentation of what the reality of the war in Ukraine is,” he said.
- Since it came out on Monday, the map has received over 2,000 downloads, though it’s not clear where exactly they were located. Mukka estimates that over 4 million Russians play Counter-Strike, adding that “these people may often be in the mobilisation or drafting age.”
Additional World News
- Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seizes tanker in Strait of Hormuz (AP)
- Terrified Sudanese on the run from Arab militias in Darfur – again (BBC)
- Journalist on Ryanair plane diverted by Belarus is jailed for eight years (Reuters)
- Who is Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a leading challenger to Erdogan in Turkey’s election? (NPR)
- Belgrade school shooting: At least 9 dead after teen opens fire (ABC)
- Ukrainian president Zelensky says he learned of Pentagon leak from news reports (CNN)
- Over 130 arrested in anti-mafia raids across multiple European countries (CNN)
“I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.” – W.E.B. DuBois
All We Do Is Hike, Hike, Hike, No Matter What
- The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it is, once again, lifting interest rates, bringing the rate up over 5% and marking a 16-year high. This marks the 10th rate hike in just a little over a year.
- The good news is that, unlike the last nine rate hikes, the statement announcing this one didn’t indicate that more are expected. The news comes as prices remain high, but other signs of an impending downturn become more common, making many Americans nervous that the Fed could tip us into an economic recession.
Pay This Suspicious Bill No Mind
- Lawmakers in Texas advanced a bill this week that would allow the secretary of state to overturn elections in Harris County, the largest county in the state and the third-largest in the U.S. The state’s secretary of state is handpicked by the governor, who is currently Republican Greg Abbott.
- The secretary of state would be allowed to order a new election in counties with a population over 2.7 million (which only applies to Harris, with about 4.7 million) if 2% or more of the polling locations ran out of ballot paper for more than an hour. The bill only requires that the secretary of state have “good cause to believe” there was an issue at the polling locations.
Additional USA News
- At least 1 woman killed, 4 injured in Midtown Atlanta shooting as police search for suspect (CBS)
- Judge blocks Utah’s ban on abortion clinics from taking effect (CNN)
- Court upholds exclusion of transgender lawmaker from Montana legislature (Guardian)
- Florida man charged with throwing explosive at Capitol riot (CNN)
- Up to a foot of snow forecast in parts of Southern California days after record heat wave (ABC)
- Washington state to decriminalize drugs unless lawmakers act (AP)
- Biden nominates four more judges in D.C., Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut (Reuters)
Cleaning Up The Big Apple, One Trash Pile At A Time
- If you’ve ever been to New York City, you’ve probably been confused by the piles of trash bags lying on almost every street corner. Almost every other major city in the world has some sort of trash container system for residents’ refuse, but the Big Apple simply tells them to leave the week’s trash on the corner for garbage collectors (and rats) to grab when the time comes.
- A new plan from the city is seeking to end the reign of the trash piles. On Wednesday, New York City leadership released a plan outlining a new trash collection system, which it says could bring trash containers to 89% of the city’s residential streets – at the low, low cost of roughly 150,000 parking spots. At least the subway still works, kind of!
- The new plan would work differently in different neighborhoods. For example, a block full of single-family homes in Queens might be told to separate their trash, compost, and recycling into different individual bins to be pushed out on garbage day, while a Manhattan block full of seven-story apartment buildings might feature dozens of dumpster-like trash containers left in parking spots to be emptied by specialized garbage trucks – which the city will develop as part of the plan. A pilot program is scheduled to be held in part of Harlem this fall.
- More students lack basic understanding of US history and civics, test scores show (AP)
- Raining molten wax, hungry peers and fainting guests: coronations of yore that went awry (Guardian)
- Virginia inmates ‘manipulated locks’ to escape jail: US Marshal (ABC)
- WATCH: BMW barrels over 120 mph across median, heading directly for officer at traffic stop (CNN)
- Jameela Jamil slams Met Gala for celebrating Karl Lagerfeld (CNN)
- Jenny Craig tells employees it will shut its doors (NBC)
- Remains of quarantine hospital found on submerged island off Florida (Guardian)
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