Ethiopia: War in Tigray – Background and state of play Eric Pichon. 2022 12 9. Think Tank European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2022)739244 https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2022/739244/EPRS_BRI(2022)739244_EN.pdf War in Ethiopia Center for Preventive Action. 2023 3 31. Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/conflict-ethiopia Tigray War Fast Facts CNN Editorial
“a fire broke out at a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city just across the border from El Paso, Texas. By the time the smoke cleared, nearly 40 migrants were dead.”
“The Biden administration announced new measures to toughen the border in January, including significant restrictions on the asylum process. It also launched an app, CBP One, which is now the only legal way for migrants to request humanitarian protection at the U.S.-Mexico border. “Daily appointments run out within minutes on the app, which has been prone to crashing and is unavailable in most languages,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Migrants have waited at the border for months due to the glitchy app and the continued renewal of the Title 42 order, a pandemic-era policy that allows U.S. border officials to immediately expel migrants who enter the country.
Waiting south of the border has long been dangerous. Under “Remain in Mexico,” a Trump and Biden administration policy that forces migrants to stay in Mexico as they await their American immigration court dates, asylum seekers have faced rampant violence. Human Rights First has recorded over 1,500 cases of kidnappings, murders, rapes, and other violent attacks against those relegated to Mexico.
Just as south-of-the-border tent cities ballooned under that policy, thousands of migrants are now living in encampments in Mexico. Mexican shelters are stretched far beyond their capacities. A Mexican federal official interviewed by the Los Angeles Times cited this as a “motive for the protest” in Juarez—”68 men were packed into a cell meant for no more than 50 people.”
Crowding may well get worse when the Biden administration imposes a new border rule in May, which will largely bar non-Mexican migrants from receiving asylum in the U.S. if they don’t apply for protection in countries they passed through on their way there. In effect, it “would presume asylum ineligibility for those who enter illegally,” per The Washington Post.
American border policies alone didn’t cause the deaths in Juarez, but the tragedy highlights the limitations of the “prevention through deterrence” approach. If the journey is made inconvenient enough and the penalties sufficiently severe, the logic goes, migrants will be discouraged. But they haven’t been—tens of thousands of people are still attempting the journey, which only grows deadlier as legal entry becomes more limited.”
“US policy isn’t solely to blame for the adverse conditions in Mexico that may have contributed to the tragedy at the migrant detention center. As a result of Trump-era policies that have largely continued under the Biden administration, there are now more migrants than ever waiting in Mexican border cities to enter the US as a result of policies pursued by the Trump and Biden administrations. As of late December, there were a record estimated 20,000 migrants waiting in Juárez alone.
But Michelle Mittelstadt, a spokesperson for the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, said the Mexican government can invest more in expanding its capacity to accommodate migrant populations that include families and unaccompanied children.”
“Units like these don’t just suffer from a lack of transparency and use tactics likely to spawn violence. Their rhetoric attracts “police officers who enjoy being feared,” Balko notes, and it positions these officers as both elite and beyond the normal rules. There are all sorts of horror stories about similar units, such as Detroit’s STRESS unit (“Over a two-year period, the units killed at least 22 people, almost all of them Black”) or Los Angeles’ CRASH unit (“More than 70 officers were implicated in planting guns and drug evidence, selling narcotics themselves and shooting and beating people without provocation”).
Memphis has now disbanded the SCORPION squad.”
“This is far from the first time that police have drastically misrepresented the way things went down before surveillance footage or body camera videos showed that they weren’t telling the truth. To distill this to its essence: Police lie. They lie to protect themselves. They like to give their activities a more noble sheen. They lie to dehumanize those they arrest or aggress against. And yet members of the media often take cops at their word and move on.”
“During the summer of 2020, the federal government seemed poised to offer some sort of reform to qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields local and state government actors—not just police—from facing federal civil suits when they violate someone’s constitutional rights, so long as the way they infringe on the Constitution has not been “clearly established” in prior case law. That explains, for example, why two cops who allegedly stole $225,000 while executing a search warrant could not be sued for that act: While we would expect most people to know that was wrong, there was no court precedent that said theft under such circumstances was a constitutional violation.
It’s an exacting standard that can defy parody in the ways in which it prevents victims of government abuse from seeking damages in response to government misconduct. In the case of Tyre Nichols, for example, it’s quite plausible that the officers who killed him could be convicted of murder and still receive qualified immunity—a testament to how disjointed and unforgiving the doctrine can be.”
“Those skeptical of qualified immunity reform typically cite an uneasiness about bankrupting officers. They can take heart that cities indemnify their employees against such claims, meaning the government pays any settlement. It’s certainly an imperfect solution in terms of holding individual bad actors accountable, but it gives victims of state abuse an outlet to achieve some semblance of reparation. Make it so any settlements come out of a police pension fund, and you’ve created a major incentive for departments to excise its consistently problematic actors.”
“Life expectancy in the United States dropped last year to its lowest since 1996, extending a downward trend that began in 2020, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The latest figures from the CDC, which leave expected U.S. lifespans well below those in other large, wealthy nations, reflect the federal and local governments’ ongoing struggle to meet the demands of concurrent public health crises.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had “a domino effect,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, by “exacerbating the already very severe problem that we have in overdose deaths.”
The two crises, the Covid-19 pandemic and rising drug addiction and overdoses, are “a wake-up call” for government, added Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “It clearly is what’s cutting into the health of our communities, unlike almost anything we’ve seen before.””
“The ongoing politicization of the U.S. Covid response has negatively impacted many Americans’ decisions about vaccination and other mitigation measures. Roughly 14 percent of Americans and 36 percent of people 65 and over have received the latest booster, according to the CDC.
At the same time, Volkow believes the pandemic drove social changes that made people more vulnerable to taking drugs as a way of escaping. The pandemic also made it harder to get help. “Resources that were able to support people in the past were no longer available,” she said.”