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Family of Afghan refugees in Concord, California


Where are fleeing Afghans going?

Afghans living under Taliban rule continue to leave the country in droves. While many initially tried to make their way to Europe after the US withdrawal in Aug. 2021 – making their way on flimsy boats across the Mediterranean – a growing number of asylum-seekers have set their sights on a more distant destination: America.
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Why Chris Christie calls DeSantis "anti-conservative" | GZERO World

Why Chris Christie calls DeSantis "anti-conservative"

The Republican Party is in the midst of an identity crisis. Between the far-right MAGA supporters and more traditional “Never Trump” conservatives, there doesn’t seem to be a coherent through-line for GOP priorities ahead of the 2024 race for US president.

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Flags of Mexico, United States, and Canada are pictured at a security booth at Zaragoza-Ysleta border crossing bridge in Ciudad Juarez.

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

US wants Mexico visa restrictions

The US has asked Canada to reintroduce visa requirements for Mexican visitors in an effort to stop the flow of migrants across the northern border. In 2016, Trudeau lifted the visa requirement, which was an irritant in Canadian-Mexican relations. Recently, though, human smugglers have started to use the route for Mexicans who want to enter the United States, taking them on short boat trips from Canada to the US.

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Migrants wait to cross into Canada at Roxham Road, an unofficial crossing point from New York state to Quebec for asylum-seekers.

REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

Will US-Canada border deal mean riskier future for migrants?

It had been nearly seven years since a US presidential visit to Canada when Joe Biden arrived in Ottawa last Thursday. President Donald Trump came by in 2018 for the G-7 summit, but it’s not the same as a dedicated stop.

As these things usually go, Biden’s visit was cast as part politics, part policy.

Would it help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, lower in the polls than he’d prefer and surely thinking about an election that is due by Oct. 2025 but could arrive sooner? Would it help Biden, who comes from a country where presidential elections run 24/7/365? Would anything meaningful come from all the banners and speeches and flags and handshakes?

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A parade participant in a Winnie the Pooh costume waves a Chinese flag before the Lunar New Year parade in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, U.S., February 12, 2023.

REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

Hard Numbers: HK cancels Winnie the Pooh, French torch Bordeaux town hall, Indigenous voice for Oz, Darién Gap crossings soar, CAR hearts China/Russia

0: That's how many Hong Kongers can watch the in-theaters-only slasher film “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” after the movie’s distributors pulled it from cinemas. The honey-loving bear has been in the crosshairs of Chinese censors since this photo of Xi Jinping and Barack Obama went viral almost a decade ago.

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President Joe Biden walks along the border fence during his visit to the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What We’re Watching: Biden at the border, Three Amigos Summit, China’s reopening

Biden goes to El Paso

President Joe Biden on Sunday visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since taking office and at a time when he's getting flak from all sides for his immigration policies. Biden did the usual stuff: He toured a busy port of entry, walked along the border fence, and met with officials like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who chided the president for taking so long to show up — feeding into the Republican narrative that blames Biden for the surge of migrant arrivals in recent months. But the president has also upset the left wing of his Democratic Party after failing to deliver on many of his promises to undo the Trump administration's harshest immigration curbs — especially by being wishy-washy on ending Title 42, a Trump-era rule that allows US authorities to expel asylum-seekers on public health grounds that the Supreme Court is now sitting on. What's more, last week Biden announced that migrants from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela would be required to apply from outside the US and be punished if they don't. While the president is otherwise benefiting from the GOP's civil war in Congress, his immigration headache won't go away anytime soon.

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Ukrainian fighters from the Azov Regiment searched and guarded by Russian troops in Mariupol.

EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Putin’s propaganda, new Iran-Israel feud, Title 42 tussle

Putin’s new (propaganda) weapon

Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, not Russia’s Vladimir Putin, has waged a winning “information war.” Zelensky’s video speeches to foreign governments, the UN, and on Monday to the World Economic Forum at Davos have brought his country substantial military, economic, and political support. Stories like Monday’s anti-war resignation of a senior Russian diplomat and the highly publicized conviction of a Russian soldier for a war crime further boost Ukraine’s momentum. But last week’s surrender of hundreds of Ukrainian fighters from a Mariupol steel plant gives Russia a new propaganda weapon Putin could use for weeks or months to come. Many of the captured fighters belong to the Azov Regiment, a group with a history of ultra-nationalist, white-supremacist politics. While Ukraine’s government says it wants to recover these soldiers in exchange for captured Russians, a leader of pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists said Monday that all these prisoners should be tried for war crimes in Donetsk. A highly publicized trial of Ukrainians as right-wing war criminals won’t change many minds on either side about the war itself, but it could provide Putin a powerful distraction from a season of bad news for Russia.

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Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Bracing for a surge at the US-Mexico border

The Biden administration is preparing to lift Title 42, a Trump-era immigration rule that allows the US to immediately turn away asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border because of the public health crisis. Since it was first enforced in March 2020, the measure has been used to expel around 1.7 million people, accounting for more than 50% of those who crossed the border illegally in 2021. Authorities are bracing for up to 18,000 border crossings per day when the Biden administration lifts the public health order on May 23. We take a look at encounters between border patrol agents and migrants at the southern US border from 2019 to 2022.

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