Daily Digest: Canada welcomes 25,000th Syrian refugee

In this December 2015 file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war during their arrival at Toronto’s Pearson International airport. (AP)
In this December 2015 file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war during their arrival at Toronto’s Pearson International airport. (AP)
Written by Team Reported.ly

In today’s digest:

  • Canada welcomes 25,000th Syrian refugee
  • World Food Programme restarts providing food assistance to Syrian refugees
  • Demolition operation resumes in Calais refugee camp
  • Police evict refugees from Athens square
  • Police raid migrant fruit-pickers dormitory in South Italy
  • Co-founder of Egyptian revolutionary movement sentenced to prison
  • Israeli forces kill journalism student at Palestinian refugee camp
  • Peru declares state of emergency over PetroPeru oil spill in the Amazon
  • Ceasefire in Syria is barely holding
  • Colombian officials negotiate peace agreement with FARC, but another guerrilla group gains ground

Canada welcomed its 25,000th Syrian refugee. The country has been taking in refugees since the December promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The World Food Programme has restarted providing food assistance to Syrian refugees again. The humanitarian organization said they received an unprecedented amount of donations allowing them to re-boot their aid programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt.


French authorities resumed the demolition of the Calais Jungle’s south zone Tuesday morning. Bulldozers and sledgehammers arrived to flatten shelters where refugees have lived for months. People in the camp reported forced evictions, in contravention of a “soft” demolition and “humane” operation promised by French authorities, including Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. A demonstration in solidarity with refugees in the Jungle is planned for 7:30 pm local time in London Tuesday evening.

Refugees were evicted from Victoria Square in Athens on Monday. The refugees were taken to an Athens Polytechnic building and an abandoned airport. On Tuesday, over 7,000 refugees were reportedly stranded at the Eidomeni border crossing with Macedonia.

Greece temporarily suspended media access to refugee hotspots, claiming to respond to requests from response coordinators. In a televised interview, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attributed the media ban to infrastructure work, defending his country’s record in humanely managing refugee flows. Meanwhile, in a new report, the Council of Europe criticized conditions in Greek prisons, calling them “people warehouses.”

Police raided an abandoned slaughterhouse in Rosarno, Italy that migrant fruit-pickers use as a dormitory. The police also raided a dozen local factories on Monday hiring laborers with no contracts. Rosarno was at the heart of a controversy in 2010, when migrant workers exploited by a criminal network started violent riots after being attacked. Labor unions estimate that 400,000 farm workers in Italy are exploited illegally; more than 80% of them are migrants.


Amr Ali, co-founder of Egypt’s April 6 revolutionary movement was sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt for “conspiring to overthrow the government.” All leaders of April 6 are now in jail.

Israeli forces killed a journalism student and injured 15 people at a Palestinian refugee camp in occupied Qalandiya. Clashes erupted when soldiers in a jeep mistakenly directed by a mobile app entered the camp, according to the Israeli military.

Peru declared a state of emergency over the PetroPeru oil spill in the Amazon. The spill of more than 3,000 barrels of oil has affected thousands of people in over a dozen communities. Environmental rights groups say they’re trying to work with PetroPeru after it was discovered that locals — including children — were paid roughly $2 a day to clean up the spill with their bare hands.

The ceasefire in Syria is holding, just barely. France called for a task force to investigate allegations by opposition groups of violations by regime and Russian forces. The Russian military also claimed violations by opposition groups. On Monday, the UN human rights chief said that thousands risk death by starvation in besieged areas.

While Colombian officials and the FARC rebel group negotiate a peace agreement in Havana, National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels are slowly taking over territory. The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia want to be included in peace talks and say they are concerned over increased ELN guerrilla soldiers in former FARC areas.


Quick bites…

Mass graves were discovered on the outskirts of Burundi’s capital Bujumbura according to a police spokesperson.
The city’s mayor said the graves may contain the bodies of the ruling party’s youth wing who opposed anti-government protests in 2015.

Turkish authorities say a curfew in the district of Cizre will be lifted at 5am Wednesday. The local administrator’s office said in a statement that the curfew will be lifted during daylight hours but will remain in place between 7:30pm and 5am. The curfew was instituted on December 14, with heavy military operations raising concerns for the safety of civilians.

In ongoing labor disputes in Mexico, professors of the National Pedagogy University and teachers from nine teachers colleges marched in the streets of Chilpancingo, Guerrero State. Attendees said they also marched in solidarity of the missing 43 student-teachers of Ayotzinapa. Hundreds of farmers also blocked intersections demanding promised fertilizer. The farmers say they were are owed some 300 tons of fertilizer promised to them since November 2014.

Activists are calling for a full investigation into the “execution-style” shooting of three Muslim men in Indiana. The three young Sudanese men were killed at what has been described as a “party house.” Friends say that despite worries the shooting was religiously or racially motivated, it may have actually been about gambling.

A 21-year-old man was shot by police in Raleigh, North Carolina. The mother of Akiel Denkins said he was running away from police, but Raleigh police say he led them on a foot chase and was found with a gun.

Four missing Hong Kong booksellers appeared on Chinese state television and said they were being detained for “illegal book trading.” A fifth, Lee Bo, said he is free and safe in mainland China. He also announced he’s going to renounce his British citizenship. Some activists believe the confessions were forced.

About the author

Team Reported.ly

We’re an international team of journalists with literally dozens of years’ worth of combined experience as online community organizers, storytellers and curators.

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