Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 9th 2015 Contents A19
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BERLIN---With Germany promising
to make room for up to 500,000 new
refugees a year, Chancellor Angela
Merkel urged neighbours yesterday
to expand havens for desperate asy-
lum seekers even as Europe remains
divided over the spiraling migrant
Germany s increasingly open-door
policies reflect just one side of the
struggle to handle the latest waves of
migrants, including many from vio-
lence-battered Iraq and Syria. Other
nations have moved in the other direc-
tion, seeking to block borders or push
migrants ahead to the next country.
The escalating humanitarian crisis
has sharply tested European cooper-
ation and fundamental policies such
as open frontiers and tolerance for the
mainly Muslim newcomers.
Speaking in Berlin, Merkel and
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
backed a quota system for asylum seek-
ers to be shared among the 28 nations
of the European Union---a plan expect-
ed to be further outlined today.
But several nations remain deeply
opposed to a quota and have blamed
countries such Germany and Sweden
for generous asylum policies they claim
entice migrants to make the risky trips
to reach European shores.
Germany, Europe s top economic
power, is taking in the largest number
of asylum seekers, with smaller Sweden
taking in the largest per capita.
"We should be clear and to the
point," Merkel said. "I am deeply con-
vinced that this is task that will decide
whether we maintain our European
values. The entire world is watching
us."Merkel s comments came after her
vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, braced
Germans for what could be half a mil-
lion refugees a year for "several years."
"I believe we could surely deal with
something on the order of half a million
for several years," Gabriel told broad-
caster ZDF late Monday night.
The crush of migrants, meanwhile,
showed no signs of easing.
And on the border between Hungary
and Serbia, migrants slept in an open
field after clashing with police the day
before. Hungarian Prime Minister Vik-
tor Orban, who ousted his defence
minister late Monday over a missed
deadline for building a border fence,
told the newspaper Magyar Idok that
the government would speed up con-
Gabriel said other European nations
need to do more to address the crisis,
even as Britain and France---two
nations criticised for not doing
enough---pledged to take in tens of
thousands of asylum seekers.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky
clerk who was jailed last week
for refusing to grant marriage
licenses to same-sex couples,
says she has been ordered
released, her attorney, Roger
Gannam, told Yahoo News.
Davis, a clerk in Rowan
County, Kentucky, was sent to
jail Thursday for refusing to
comply with several court
orders to issue marriage licenses
to gay couples following the
Supreme Court s landmark rul-
ing in June on the basis of her
Gannam said US District
Judge David Bunning, who jailed
Davis, ordered her release early
"It s six days too late," Gan-
nam said, "but we re glad to
report Judge Bunning has
ordered that she be immediately
released from custody."
Bunning, Gannam said, was
satisfied that the marriage
licenses Davis had refused to
issue were subsequently granted
by her deputies. But Gannam
stressed his client "never
changed her mind" on the issue.
Gannam added that he had
not yet spoken with Davis, and
was not sure if she was still
Earlier yesterday, New Jersey
Gov Chris Christie said Davis
should be given another gov-
ernment job, because those
licenses "have to be issued"
under the law.
"People have a right to prac-
tice their religion," Christie said
on Fox and Friends yesterday.
"Now, I ve said what I would
do with this woman is to move
her to another job where this
is not an objection for her.
Because you have to follow the
law---and the law has to be
these licenses have to be
Arkansas Gov Mike Huckabee
and Texas Sen Ted Cruz would
seem to disagree.
Venezuela has extended a
partial border shutdown with
Colombia and sent another
3,000 troops to the area in a
crime crackdown that has sent
thousands of Colombians flee-
ing their adopted homeland
and led to accusations of rights
The border dispute has also
created a diplomatic blow-up
between President Nicolas
Maduro s socialist government
and the conservative adminis-
tration of Juan Manuel Santos
Critics say Maduro is creating
a distraction and playing the
nationalist card before a
December parliamentary elec-
tion in which polls show his
ruling Socialist Party in trou-
ble.The government says it is
tackling organised crime gangs
on the border who are wreaking
violence on locals and draining
Venezuela s recession-hit econ-
omy by trafficking subsidised
goods from flour to gasoline.
Having shut main frontier
points in Tachira state last
month, Maduro also ordered
the closing of the Paraguachon
crossing in Zulia state to the
north late on Monday.
Local Wayu and Guajiro
indigenous inhabitants would,
however, be exempt from the
measure, which was intended
to "keep advancing against
crime, criminals, paramilitaries
and smugglers," Maduro added
at a cabinet meeting.
He ordered another 3,000
soldiers to the porous 1,379-
mile border, adding to 2,000
LONDON---Milestones in Queen
Elizabeth II's 63-year reign typically have
been marked by lavish celebrations,
including horse-drawn carriage
processions, throngs of cheering crowds,
and street parties.
But when the queen becomes Britain's
longest-serving monarch today, breaking
the previous record set by her great-
great-grandmother Queen Victoria, she
doesn't want any fuss made over the
occasion, royal aides say.
"It's business as usual," said a
spokesman for Buckingham Palace. "She's
not celebrating at all."
There have been calls from royal
supporters for celebrating with great
fanfare but the occasion places the
monarch in an awkward position. The
queen doesn't feel this is the time for the
nation to celebrate, given her accession to
the throne aged 25 following the death of
her father, a devastating moment for her,
according to a person familiar with the
matter. It could also be considered
insensitive given that Queen Victoria's
reign ended with her death in 1901.
Instead, the palace has a much more
low-key day planned.
"Next year, when she turns 90 is a
more obvious moment for a full and
national celebration," the spokesman said,
referring to a planned birthday parade in
Queen Elizabeth II the UK's longest-serving monarch
Germany to make
room for 500,000
refugees each year Venezuela extends
Colombia border closure
Kim Davis to be
prison, attorney says
A policer officer hits a man with a baton as he tries to maintain order while migrants wait for trains at a temporary camp
near Gevgelija, Macedonia, Monday. Several thousand migrants in Macedonia boarded trains on Sunday to travel north
after spending a night in a provisional camp. REUTERS PHOTO
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