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Displaced Palestinian woman Mai Anseir stands with children at a school where they shelter as they prepare to flee Rafah after Israeli forces launched a ground and air operation in the eastern part of the southern Gaza City, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip May 13, 2024.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Hard Numbers: Waves of Palestinians displaced, Deadly cartel violence in Mexico, Fatal riots in New Caledonia, Biden sanctions Nicaragua, Israeli soldiers killed by friendly fire

500,000: Over half a million people have been displaced in Gaza by recent Israeli military operations in Rafah and the northern part of the enclave, according to the UN. As the Israel-Hamas war rages on, over a million people in Gaza are on the verge of starvation, and a “full-blown famine” is occurring in the north.

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blue and yellow star flag
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

EU adopts new migration pact ahead of June vote

The European Union has recently endorsed significant reforms to its asylum system amid campaigning for June’s European Parliament elections in which immigration is expected to be a hot-button issue. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum includes a centralized database for tracking migrants, procedures for screening individuals to determine their asylum eligibility, deporting those who do not qualify, and, controversially, letting nations detain migrants at borders and fingerprint children.

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A US-Canada border crossing and monument.

Reuters

The United States has another border crisis – with Canada

Former Republican nominee hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was mocked for his proposal during one GOP debate to build border walls with Mexico and Canada.

The problems at the southern border are well-documented. In January, US Border Patrol reported 124,200 encounters with migrants trying to enter the country illegally – and that is a 50% drop from previous months. It is an issue that may cost Joe Biden the election: A Pew Research poll suggested 80% of those surveyed think he is doing a bad job at handling the migrant influx.

Less well-known is that northern border states like Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire are reporting their highest rates of illegal migration in years. Canada is seen as a stepping stone to the US by human smuggling organizations – and it has the added benefit of no border walls or razor wire.

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Former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters as he hosts a campaign rally at the Forum River Center in Rome, Georgia, March 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer

Hard Numbers: Truth Social’s big day, Missing migrants, Chinese workers killed in Pakistan, Palestinians drown reaching for aid

50%: Shares in former President Donald Trump’s social media business, Trump Media & Technology Group, jumped by more than 50% on Tuesday after going public under the ticker DJT. The stock rose as high as $79.38. The company’s stock market debut was made possible by a merger between Trump Media (which owns Twitter-clone Truth Social) and Digital World Acquisition. Trump owns 58% of the company’s shares, but it’s unlikely to help with his recent money issues because he can’t sell his shares for six months.

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“Everything is political” is personal: the NYC migrant crisis

“Do you know,” Jhon asked me, shivering slightly in the lengthening afternoon shadows of New York’s Penn Station, “do you know if we can stay here – in America?”

Jhon is a wiry 42-year-old construction worker who fled Ecuador a month ago with his wife and four children. The recent surge of narco-violence there had gotten so bad, he said, that the local school switched to virtual classes for the safety of the students and their parents.

Now, after a trying journey by foot, boat, bus, and train, he was standing in the middle of New York City, bewildered but hopeful.

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FILE PHOTO: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (left), President of Mexico, and Justin Trudeau (right), Prime Minister of Canada, are delivering a message to the media at the National Palace in Mexico City,on January 10, 2023, on the occasion of their meeting with Joe Biden, President of the United States, at the 10th North American Leaders' Summit, where they are discussing migration, economic and drug trafficking issues.

Gerardo Vieyra via Reuters Connect

Will Trudeau bring back visas for Mexican visitors?

Justin Trudeausaid last week that Canada is in talks with Mexico to try to find ways to cut down on the number of asylum-seekers flying into Canada with the help of organized criminal groups.

Trudeau is under pressure from the Conservatives, and the Americans to reinstate a visa requirement on Mexican travelers, which his government lifted in 2016. The government said last month it is considering doing so.

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The beach, Red Sea State, Port Sudan, Sudan.

Eric Lafforgue / Hans Lucas via Reuters Connect

Sudan’s lost sea access worsens humanitarian disaster

Since fighting between rival military factions in Sudan erupted last April, nearly 8 million people have been displaced, and 24 million require urgent food aid. But the crisis now may begin to beggar description as the country loses access to its Red Sea coast and migrants stream across its borders.

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The Rainbow Bridge over the Niagara River links the borders of Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, to Niagara Falls in New York.

Norbert Grisay/Hans Lucas via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Migrants head for US-Canada border, Canada flies fresh F-16 funds to Ukraine, Big Oil plans for a Big Crash, Toronto cans scan plan

191,603: While the immigration crisis at the southern US border has commanded significant attention in recent months, the northern border with Canada is becoming more popular with asylum-seekers, undocumented migrants, and human traffickers. In 2023, officials recorded 191,603 encounters with people crossing into the United States via Canada without papers, more than 40% higher than the year before but still less than one-tenth the volume along the US-Mexico frontier.

60 million: Canada pledged to send Ukraine $60 million in support for F-16 jet maintenance and ammunition. The move, part of a larger $500 million pledge made last spring, comes as congressional infighting, public fatigue, and election jockeying continue to hold up tens of billions of dollars worth of fresh support for Kyiv from the US.

30: Given where gas prices are these days you wouldn’t think it, but global oil giants like Shell, Exxon, Chevron, and Total are carefully preparing for the possibility of another oil price crash, beefing up their production at newer oil fields that are profitable even if oil prices plummet to $30 a barrel. As of this writing, that was less than half the price of a barrel, which is hovering around $75.

6: The Ontario government has canceled a pilot program in which people’s IDs would have been scanned at the entrances to six Toronto-area liquor stores. The program was meant as an experiment to find ways to boost security at liquor stores, but it immediately generated privacy concerns, since the data would have been held in government systems for 14 days.

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