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Cramm for 5/18/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Japan is taking a look at its immigration practices. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Meet Wishma Rathnayake. She’s an immigrant from Sri Lanka who sought asylum in Japan a few years ago. When the gov denied a request to renew her residence permit, she withdrew her application and basically disappeared. Then, last year, she turned up at a police station asking for protection from her boyfriend, who she said had abused her. But instead, she was arrested for illegally overstaying her visa. While awaiting deportation, she received a letter from her boyfriend, who pledged to seek revenge if she ever went back to Sri Lanka. So she decided to fight to stay in Japan. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Within weeks, Rathnayake got seriously ill. Her condition was rapidly deteriorating, but when she asked to be moved to a hospital, detention officers refused - apparently because they believed she was faking it. Then, a couple months ago, she died at a Japanese detention facility at the age of 33. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Nationwide outrage. Daily protests. Calls for change. So recently, the gov agreed to drop efforts to revise Japan’s immigration law - which would have let the country forcefully kick out asylum seekers - and meet with Rathnayake’s two sisters. Critics say it’s not enough - and want a total overhaul of the country’s immigration system. 

 

THE TAKE. 

Japan has long been criticized for its harsh immigration practices. TBD on whether real change is within reach. 


THE ACTION

VIOLENCE: Israel is continuing to carry out air strikes in Gaza - and Hamas is continuing to fire a barrage of rockets into Israel. At least 212 Palestinians and 10 Israelis - many of whom are kids - have been killed. In response to the escalating violence, world leaders - including Prez Biden - are calling for a ceasefire. Meanwhile, Palestinians across Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank are going on strike to protest Israeli air strikes and occupation. It’s the first time in decades that Palestinains under different leadership - Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank - have joined together in a demonstration. In other news, Belarus authorities just raided a top news site as part of a widening crackdown on critics of the gov. This comes after Prez Lukashenko claimed victory in an apparently rigged election. 

 

WORLD: Recently, the International Energy Agency released a landmark report on climate change. The biggest takeaway? Nations around the world need to immediately stop greenlighting new coal-fired power plants and new oil and gas fields - plus phase out gas-powered vehicles. The goal is to cut carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. In other news, Prez Biden is pledging to send an additional 20 million vaccines to international countries. ICYMI, the US has already promised to share 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines. All this comes amidst a growing vaccine disparity between developed and developing nations. 

 

USA: Just this morning, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, District Attorney Andrew Womble declared that he won’t charge the three deputies involved in the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a 42 year old Black man who was killed last month. Womble says the deputies were justified in their use of deadly force because Brown drove his vehicle toward them and allegedly made contact with them twice before they opened fire. Meanwhile, the South Carolina deputies involved in the death of Jamal Sutherland - who died after being forcibly removed from his jail cell in January - were just fired. Stay tuned. And in other news, it looks like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) opposes that bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Dual-folding phone:” Samsung’s new concept. Was the single-folding phone not enough? 


SAY WHAT?

“Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez are officially married” - an actual headline

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