EU migrant crisis: facts and figures

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Statistics can help in grasping the extent of Europe’s refugee crisis. Discover the latest numbers highlighting various aspects of this unprecedented situation.
In 2015, the number of people applying for asylum in the EU peaked at 1.26 million to trigger the current migration crisis, while over 2,257 people are thought to have lost their lives in the Mediterranean in the first six months of 2017 alone (as of 28 June 2017). In 2016 5,022 lives were estimated to be lost in the Mediterranean and in 2015 3,771.
Below you will find all the relevant data about the migrant crisis in Europe, who migrants are, what the EU is doing to get to grips with the situation, and what financial implications there have been.
Definitions: What is a refugee? What is an asylum-seeker?
Asylum seekers are people who make a formal request for asylum in another country because they fear their life is at risk in their home country.
Refugees are people with a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, politics or membership of a particular social group who have been accepted and recognised as such in their host country. In the EU, the qualification directive sets guidelines for assigning international protection to those who need it.
Third-country nationals must apply for protection in the first EU country they enter. Filing a claim means that they become asylum applicants (or asylum seekers). They receive refugee status or a different form of international protection only once a positive decision has been made by national authorities.
Asylum decisions in the EU
In 2015 and 2016 alone, more than 2.5 million people applied for asylum in the EU. Authorities in the member states issued 593,000 first instance asylum decisions in 2015 – over half of them positive.
Most people who applied for protection at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 had to wait until 2016 to receive their ruling. That year 1.1 million asylum decisions were made. 61% of those were positive with one third of applicants granted refugee status, the highest level of international protection.
Illegal crossings of EU external borders
Frontex, the EU border surveillance agency, collects data on illegal crossings of the EU’s external borders registered by national authorities. In 2015 and 2016, more than 2.3 million illegal crossings were detected.
One person can go through a border more than once, so the number of people coming to Europe is lower, nevertheless, member states have been under an enormous amount of pressure.
Some people are stopped at the border and refused entry – they are usually economic migrants coming from North Africa. In 2016, 388,000 people were denied entry at the EU’s external borders.
Migrants illegally present in the EU
In 2015, 2.2 million people were found to be illegally present in the EU. In 2016, the number had dropped to 984,000. “Being illegally present” can mean a person failed to register properly or left the member state responsible for processing their asylum claim – this is not, on its own, grounds for sending them away from the EU.
A number of people are, however, expelled, from the EU (e.g. because their asylum claims were refused). In 2015 533,000 people were ordered to return, but only 43% actually left. In 2016, half of the 494,000 ordered to do so, returned home.
What Europeans are thinking
Migration has been an EU priority for years. Several measures have been taken to manage the crisis as well as to improve the asylum system. According to the 2017 Eurobarometer poll, 73% of Europeans still want the EU to do more to manage the situation. Migration was also seen to be a top priority in the 2016 Eurobarometer survey results.
Budget issues
In a vote on the EU’s 2017 budget in December 2016, MEPs secured a reinforcement package of €728 million for mainly migration-related funds.
Following negotiations with the member states, Parliament gave its green light on 5 April 2017 to a mid-term review of the EU’s 2014-2020 budget. €3.9 billion in additional support will be made available for migration-related measures.
In order to tackle the root causes of migration, an EU scheme aiming to mobilise €44 billion in private investment in Africa was backed by MEPs on 6 July 2017.

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Zimbabwe: Parliament Wants Child Rapists to Be Jailed for At Least 60 Years

Photo: Vanguard
Zimbabwe’s parliament has reportedly resolved to impose a minimum 60-year sentence for the rape of children younger than 12 or people who are living with a disability.
According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, Information Minister Chris Mushowe said that “the rest of the cases of rape or sodomy” would carry a minimum sentence of 40 years.
He was quoted as saying that harsher jail terms were needed to “protect our society against the perpetrators of this inhumane crime”.
Reports have indicated that at least 21 woman are raped daily in the southern African nation.
According to Sunday News, last year, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Office (ZimStat) claimed that at least one woman was sexually abused every 75 minutes.
The data showed a 42% increase in rape cases over the past six years, a trend that was reportedly worrying gender activists.
According to the ZimStat’s quarterlydigest of statistics for the fourth quarter of 2015, an average of 646 women were sexually abused monthly.
A total of 7 752 cases of rape were recorded in 2015, up from 7 551 the previous year.

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Chinese Billionaire Warns America: China Has 25,000 Spies Who Are “Ready To Destroy The U.S.”

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By Mac Slavo, July 11th, 2017

Since the 1980’s, the US has caught and imprisoned over a dozen people who were spying on American government agencies and corporations. So we catch Chinese spies once every few years. With that kind of frequency, you’d probably assume that China doesn’t have that many intelligence assets in America at any given time. Based on those numbers, a safe estimate would be in the hundreds, or perhaps thousands.
But it turns out that those estimates would be incredible low. According to Guo Wengui, a billionaire investor who has fled China and moved to New York since becoming a major critic of the Chinese regime, there are probably 25,000 spies in America who are working for Beijing.
Those numbers are derived from what he claims, are his close ties to multiple Chinese intelligence agencies. That may sound far fetched to most Americans, but in China the public and private sectors are closely aligned. They’re practically the same entity. So we should take his warnings very seriously, which were brought up in a recent interview with The Freebeacon.
Guo said that Chinese intelligence operations in the United States sharply increased after the 2012 Communist Party Congress that brought current leader Xi Jinping to power.
“Before 2012, cumulatively China had around 10,000 to 20,000 agents working in the United States,” he said. “These agents had been sent to work in the United States over a 50 year period of time, and they were working in a defensive mode.”
According to the businessman, defensive intelligence was mainly focused on learning about the United States. The operations then shifted in 2012 to “offensive” spying, he said.
“By offensive [operations], I mean to be ready to destroy the U.S. in ways they can,” Guo said.
And these spies don’t just consist of Chinese immigrants. According to Guo, many of them are treasonous Americans who have sold their country out for a paycheck, and they can be ruthless.
China’s budget for intelligence gathering before 2012 was around $600 million annually.
Around 2012, a decision was made by Chinese leaders to dispatch another 5,000 spies to the United States. “Some of them were sent as students, some as businessmen, and some as immigrants, but all together, 5,000,” Guo said.
“In addition to that, they developed between 15,000 to 18,000 other spies, and these are not directly sent but these are developed within the United States.”
The recruited agents are not limited to Asians and Chinese-Americans but include all ethnic groups, including Hispanics, Blacks, and Caucasians.
“And now the budget is between $3 billion to $4 billion annually, and this is information up to one month ago,” he said.
Guo said American counterintelligence agencies face several problems, mainly a lack of knowledge about Chinese intelligence agencies.
“You don’t know which organizations in China are responsible for sending these spies, how they are managed, and to what purpose,” he said. “And the U.S. adopts a very legalistic perspective to look at the question of spying. Yet, for China their methods are not what the United States understands.”
“These spies, when they come to the United States, they could sleep around, they could put poison in your glass of wine to kill you; completely unscrupulous,” he said.
As for their goals, Guo claims that the spies are mainly here to steal military technologies. But they’re also here to “buy” high level government officials, as well as political and corporate elites who can give China favorable business deals. And most what’s most frightening, is that these spies have implanted malicious software in our most critical infrastructure systems, and have thoroughly infiltrated our government’s major weapons suppliers.
Which raises an important question. How did our government let this happen? Isn’t the all powerful NSA surveillance grid capable of catching these people?
Apparently not. It appears that we’ve traded our freedom for security, but somewhere along the line we didn’t receive any security. While our government was busy funding and training the terrorists that would later inspire the acceptance of widespread government surveillance and the destruction of our civil liberties, they overlooked the flood of Chinese spies who have infiltrated every level of our society.
You could call it incompetence, but it could also be something far more sinister. As Joel Skousen has pointed out many times, our government is riddled with globalists who have a hidden agenda. They want to usher in another world war between the US, China, and Russia, which will bring about the destruction of America, and make way for a global government. As part of that plan, they have been undermining America at every turn in the hopes that our country will lose the war against China; a war which they are orchestrating. Perhaps as a part of that effort, they’ve been looking the other way as the Chinese government steals and compromises our infrastructure and advanced military technologies.
Whatever the case may be, if Guo is correct then America is a severely compromised nation that is in no position to fight another world war.

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Our language about gender can shape a new Jewish world

By Rabbi Charley Baginsky

Dr Who is now Dr He… a wonderful joke from my colleague Rabbi Mark Solomon for those of us with a grasp of Hebrew.
Sadly much of the world has not been so jovial at the recent news that Jodie Whittaker will become the first female Time Lord.
Indeed if you’ve been on social media, or listened to a radio phone in, over the last week then you would have heard a lot of people opining that “political correctness has gone mad”.
That’s because the news of Dr Who’s changing gender was one of a triad of stories this week which drew attention once again to the sphere of stereotypes, language and gender.
So the same people who raged that there was no way a time travelling alien could possibly be a woman were also vitriolic that London Underground staff will now say good morning to “everyone” instead of “ladies and gentlemen”. News that the Advertising Standards Authority will crack down on sexist ads – outlawing everything from ‘body shaming’ to reinforcements of gender stereotypes – also went down badly.
For many of us, especially in the Progressive world, it feels like groundhog day. As Vanessa Feltz put it: “Did we not fight this battle in the 1970s, have we not moved on now?”
The simple answer is no. This is not a battle fought and won. It is not good enough to say things are better now and so we have done enough.
This is not a world gone mad, but rather one where people are continuing to understand the impact of language and visual images in shaping the society we want our children to be a part of.
There will always be a moment when shifting our language has to be a conscious effort, but it soon becomes part of natural speech and reverting to the past seems rightly uncomfortable.
As a Liberal Jew and, yes, as a woman, it is important to me that we have non-gendered and inclusive language in our prayer books.
Nowhere in Liberal liturgy will you find God referred to using ‘he’ or any other male pronoun. In our prayers whenever Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are mentioned, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah are too.
So now my two daughters, and my son, are growing up able to talk about God neutrally, as neither male nor female. An activity which for me, took time and conscious effort.
Similarly, they attend a youth movement where gender binaries are exposed and talked about even from the earliest ages. My children, and their friends, walk with confidence and know they will always be empowered to express themselves however they choose.
When God created the world at the beginning of Torah it was done with language: “God said let there be light and there was light”.
So I am proud to endorse a society that is following Liberal Judaism in agreeing that our language and visual images should be aspirational and should help to create a new world.
Rabbi Charley Baginsky is Liberal Judaism’s director of strategy and partnerships

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Global Central Bank Planning Pivots to Ending the Cheap Money Era

The Euro logo is pictured in front of the former headquarter of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on July 20, 2015.

© AFP 2017/ Daniel Roland
Affordable credit and central bank capital allocations have lost their efficacy boosting national economies due to the enormous gains in household indebtedness, from the US to Russia, to Japan, and central bankers are seeking to avoid a new global recession by keeping consumers within their means.
Kristian Rouz – Following the lead of the US Federal Reserve, other major central banks, including those in the UK, Eurozone, Japan, and Russia, are all considering ending the almost 10-year era of cheap credit money that helped their respective national economies overcome the toxic consequences of the most recent global economic crisis, as well as regional economic setbacks.
The end of the party, however, is poised to bring on a harsh hangover, with policies of austerity and the environment characterised by lower consumer purchasing power set to define the next 10-year economic cycle. Whilst not necessarily being a bad thing, the nascent era of normalcy in monetary policy will favour savings over borrowing and spending, and wealth accumulation instead of buoyant gains in sales in goods and services.
The global change in approach to monetary policies will reshape and redefine the existing patterns characteristic of the consumerist society, meaning more modest expansion in retail and financial sectors in the years to come, and the prevalence of a more conservative approach to personal finance from San Francisco to Vladivostok.
The US Federal Reserve started tapering their unconventional monetary policies in the autumn of 2013, wrapping up and ending – within a year – their asset purchasing programme, subsequently lifting base borrowing costs from near-zero to the current gauge of 1.00-1.25 percent. The European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan (BoJ), both still practicing, to various degrees, negative and zero interest rate regimes (NIRP and ZIRP, respectively), have explicitly stated their intent to move their policies in a direction similar to the US Fed’s.
Monetary stimuli have obviously exhausted their potential supporting inflation and economic growth, and even in the UK and Russia, where the Bank of England (BOE), and the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) had to resort to monetary easing by lowering base interest rates in recent years, monetary planners are now favouring a return to normal policies. Both the British and Russian economies have posted improvements recently despite the setbacks of Brexit and structural readjustment, respectively, during the past twelve months.
“It is one of the most striking economic puzzles of our times: why, when unemployment rates are near historic lows in so many parts of the … world, is wage growth so sluggish and inflation so subdued,” Janet Henryof the UK bank HSBC said.
The fact of the matter is that cheap credit is no longer enough to support domestic investment and economic growth, and centralised planning in the financial sector alone is failing to support the real economy due to the breakdown in policy transmission.
The main problem is the sky-high level of household indebtedness across the world: in 1Q17, US household debt reached a whopping $12.73 trln, its highest since the 2008 crisis. In the UK, average debt burden per household hit £13,200 by yearend of 2016, its highest since late 2008, when it stood at £13,300 per household. In Russia, total household debt in mid-2017 hit its highest since 2014, at roughly 3 trln roubles ($50.71 bln), stirring concerns of borrower insolvencies and non-performing loans (NPLs), with the authorities considering financing a write-off of roughly 1 trln roubles worth of household debt.
“Of course, I welcome all the normalization of monetary policy,” CBR head Elvira Nabiullina said. “I think monetary policy should be normal. We try to normalise our policy, but it’s the opposite direction – we are now in the easing cycle – but other countries are in a different way,” she added.
Whilst the ECB and BoJ are still trapped within the easing cycle as well, seeing little to none opportunity to normalise their policies by introducing higher borrowing costs and wrapping up their investment in national assets, the broader monetary policy trend toward normalisation yearn for proportional fiscal policy measures. Whilst in the US, UK, Russia, and Japan such an interaction between their respective Finance Ministries and central banks is fairly easy to coordinate, the Eurozone is lacking a single fiscal policy.
“(The ECB) are facing the same problem that so many other central banks are, namely, a cyclical upswing in growth without any inflationary pressure. The challenge for the ECB is also how to move towards tapering without creating a taper tantrum,” Carsten Brzeski of the Dutch bank ING said.
Even though inflationary pressures are elevated in the UK and Russia, a shift to monetary normalcy is not an easy option due to the significant downward pressure on broader growth. In the US, the Eurozone, and Japan, inflation continues to falter below central bank target (typically, 2 percent), making the case for achieving monetary normalcy heavily dependent on the governmental fiscal policy support.
The changes in international trade, with protectionist sentiments rising in the US and the UK, are also motivating global central bankers to gradually abandon their support for domestic consumption of the imported goods via cheaper credit. The Eurozone, Japan and Russia, all prominent exporters of food and machinery, are also dependent on the imported consumer goods. Yet, a looming normalisation in monetary conditions will encourage the rise of domestic-oriented consumer goods manufacturing.
Global economic growth is poised to slow down due to the removals of monetary stimuli across the world’s largest economies, and a decline in imports of consumer goods from emerging markets. Yet, the pivot to normalcy will allow to enter the new 10-year economic cycle without a global recession, at a price of a slower growth and subdued improvements in quality of life across the globe – mainly, by keeping within the means at each national economy’s disposal.

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Turkey Referendum: CIA-NATO Operation to Tip the Balance of Power

06.04.2017
In this exclusive Newsbud Roundtable Sibel Edmonds, Professor Filip Kovacevic, and award winning geopolitical analyst William Engdahl examine the rising tensions between Turkey and the European Union- specifically Holland and Germany. This panel of top experts discusses the important upcoming Turkish Referendum and Operation Gladio B’s covert and overt actions to destabilize Turkey, in an attempt to tip the balance of power. Do not miss this in-depth one-hour analysis with top regional experts, analysts and commentators hosted by Spiro Skouras. (YouTube)