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21 May 2018

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UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad at a climate change meeting in Buenos Aires. Photo: Argentine Council on Foreign Relations

Will Climate Change Cause More Migrants than Wars?

Buenos Aires (IPS)  Climate change is one of the main drivers of migration and will be increasingly so. It will even have a more significant role in the displacement of people than armed conflicts, which today cause major refugee crises.

This was the warning sounded by Ovais Sarmad, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who was in Buenos Aires to participate in a meeting of international representatives and senior Argentine government officials, on May 16 to analyse the impacts of this phenomenon.

“One example I use is that recently there was migration of refugees and migrants in Europe because of the Syrian conflict and other conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa. That is a big political issue,” Sarmad told IPS.

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From left: Benoit Micolon and José Benavente founded Pilotes Volontaires to scan the Mediterranean for migrant vessels in distress. Photo: Isabelle Serro/Pilotes Volontaires

Two Pilots Spend Savings on Plane to Rescue Migrants in Mediterranean Sea

Malta (NBC News) As the sun shone over the Mediterranean Sea, a small plane took off from the island nation of Malta.

On board were two French pilots, José Benavente and Benoit Micolon, who months earlier pooled their life savings to buy the aircraft now carrying them over the ocean separating Europe from North Africa.

Their plan: to save lives by spotting rickety, overcrowded migrant vessels before it’s too late.

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Jamila: From washing dishes to Qantas executive

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  • France 24 reported that sixteen members of a mostly female network of Nigerian human traffickers operating forced prostitution rings in France went on trial last week in Paris, facing their accusers as the trafficked women testified to being lied to, beaten and raped.

  • UNB reported that IOM distributed over two million Vetiver grass plants in the past two weeks to reduce soil erosion and the risk of landslides in the makeshift camps where thousands of Rohingyas are at risk from impending monsoon rains.

  • The Washington Post reported that according to WHO, the criteria had not yet been met to declare a public health emergency of international concern in Congo, where three cases of Ebola have now been confirmed in an urban area.

  • Eurasia Diary reported that hundreds of migrants were left in limbo for hours Friday after Bosnian police dismantled a makeshift camp in Sarajevo but police in the south refused to let them reach a centre offering them accommodation.

  • AP reported that a convoy of buses with 270 migrants, including children, that were stuck in central Bosnia, was allowed to pass after several hours of political bickering on Friday.

  • Loop News Barbados reported that the Barbados Immigration Department is undertaking a systematic overhaul of its objectives and operations in order to offer ‘the best citizen-centred service possible’.

  • Somalia’s Hiiraan shared the story of Fahima, a Welsh Somali lady whose parents fled the civil war in their home country in the 1980s. She is one of the 10,000 Somalis currently living in Cardiff, making it one of the largest Somali populations in the UK.

  • Channel 4 News reported that  it’s been estimated that a thousand highly skilled migrants, among them doctors, teachers and entrepreneurs, have been told to leave the UK under measures intended in part to expel terrorists and war criminals.

  • CGTN reported that educated immigrants returning to Mexico could help fill the country’s need for software engineers.