Absorbing Immigrants

Last Friday, we noted that the number of asylum seekers entering Germany fell from 890,000 in 2015 to 186,000 in 2017. That’s still a big number, and absorbing all these new citizens won’t be easy.


But consider that in 2015, the year it accepted nearly 900,000 migrants, Germany replaced Japan as the country with the world’s lowest birthrate. Migrants can do the work and pay the taxes that will help support pensions and benefits for older Germans in years to come. In short, countries with shrinking populations have a clear incentive to welcome new citizens.

What about other countries with shrinking populations, those where deaths outnumber births? The ten countries expected to lose the most citizens between now and 2050 are all in Eastern Europe, despite intense EU pressure on member states to accept a number that’s in keeping with their population size. Country #11 is Japan.

So how many immigrants have Poland, Hungary, and Japan admitted recently? As part of an EU relocation scheme, Poland and Hungary have welcomed exactly zero refugees who’ve entered Europe since 2015. Japan accepted 28 refugees in 2016 and three in the first half of 2017. Looks like the governments of these countries are worried more about cultural change and political pressure than about future economic challenges.

How much material do we use to send a package? Too much. Does recycling help? Yes – but not really. Packaging material often accumulates as waste, contributing to its own "polluting weight." To solve our packaging dilemma, Finland came up with RePack: a "circular" solution for the reuse of material.

Learn more about RePack in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

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In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.

2,500: Google has deleted around 2,500 YouTube accounts linked to a coordinated misinformation campaign about Hong Kong, Chinese regime critics and China's coronavirus response. It's been a busy week for social media platforms cracking down on fake news, after Facebook and Twitter censored a post from US President Donald Trump for containing misinformation about COVID-19, and Brazil's Supreme Court ordered Facebook to block accounts tied to allies of President Jair Bolsonaro for spreading lies about judges.

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Jim Geraghty argues in a National Review op-ed that we shouldn't blame Trump for the fact that the US has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world. But though he's right that not everything is Trump's fault, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Scott Rosenstein take out The Red Pen to show that the evidence he cites to let Trump off the hook doesn't hold water.

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