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ISIS Beheads Another British Hostage Alan Henning

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Trade and the migration crisis

It may seem strange that when the European eco­nomies are beginning to show signs of recovery, especially in Spain and France, the EU heads of state continue to treat the refugee crisis with a ‘fortress Europe mindset’. Political expediency seems to be stronger than other issues that need to be addressed to deal with the migration problem in a far more pragmatic way than the US and the EU itself have done so far.

In the last few years we have seen many EU member states viewing the large-scale migration from Africa and the Middle East as a threat to the sovereignty of their national and regional borders.

The result has been a fragmented strategy in dealing with the flow of migrants to the EU.

EU political leaders are facing an increasingly frustrated electorate that could see a further shift from traditional political parties. Some political are adopting tactics based on offering aid to African countries, especially Libya, in return for better policing of North African borders to prevent desperate migrant from Africa attempting to cross over to Europe.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of meaningful analysis by the media, if not also by politicians, on the different facets of the migration issue in Europe. No wonder ordinary people and maverick politicians of the right and the left are blaming migration to Europe for all that is not functioning in the Union.

Let us try to dismantle some misconceptions about this phenomenon. The migrants from Africa are not just refugees and asylum seekers escaping terror in their own countries.

The EU has every moral and political interest to help African countries grow their economies through trade

Many are economic migrants that want a better life for themselves and their children as most African economies continue to underperform for a number of reasons. They will do all it takes to improve their status even if it means risking their lives.

Thanks to modern communications, poor African people view Europe as a rich continent.

There is nothing new in this as history has thought us that the same phenomenon happened over a hundred years ago with migrants from an impoverished Europe sought better fortunes in the US, Australia, Canada and the UK.

However much bad news we hear from the EU economic front, Europe remains in the eyes of most African people a land of prosperity that could bring many advantages to those families who risk it all to enter the EU.

Many have already done so as the EU’s demographic problems are beginning to show that without migration of skilled workers from Africa and other under-developed countries, some important economic and social functions in the EU would fail for lack of staff.

Poverty in African countries, brought about by civil strife, global warming, corrupt leadership, poor educational and health systems, and an inadequate infrastructure have made life for millions of African people unbearable.

But the long-term solution to this problem is not to build more barriers to prevent people from crossing over even if in the short-term the sheer scale of the migration crisis make it necessary to guarantee ordinary people in Europe security in their own countries.

While it is conceivable that most EU governments are more concerned about the immediate strain on welfare services, perceived competition over jobs, the strengthening of internal security, and the possible impact on social cohesion, the EU needs to move to the next stage to resolve this migration crisis.

While legal and illegal migration will persist, the long-term solution must be found in Africa itself. The EU has every economic, moral and political interest to help African countries grow their economies through trade.

To do this it needs to work with organisations like the IMF and the World Bank and with African countries to build a solid infrastructure that today is missing.

Immediate attention needs to be given to improving education standards in Africa with more importance given to vocational education, upgrading of the health system to ensure that en-demic illnesses like Aids are re­duced to more manageable levels, assistance to fight corruption at all levels of African business, the strengthening of African financial and legal institutions, and investment in the physical infrastructure of roads and other means of communication.

It will take a whole generation to implement these changes in our relations with African countries. So, if EU leaders focus on the latest opinion polls, they will not commit to the benefits of engaging with African countries in the long term.

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You probably have to look at imagery of death and dying regularly to stay focused on what really counts in life: great sex before you are gone anyway.

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Mother jailed for forcing daughter into prostitution in Dubai

DUBAI // A mother who forced her 16-year-old daughter to work as a prostitute has been jailed for two years.

At Dubai Criminal Court in ­August, the 42-year-old Pakistani denied a human-trafficking charge.

The court heard the girl became pregnant during her work. A 50-year-old Pakistani man was also charged with human trafficking because he was allegedly responsible for arranging liaisons with customers, but was found not guilty.

Records showed that the mother brought her daughter from Pakistan last year after telling her she had found her a job in a beauty salon. The girl arrived with both of her parents.

"They told my that I was here to work as a prostitute.

"I refused, but my mother started yelling at me and telling me I had to repay the costs they paid," the victim said.

She was sent to a hotel where she was forced to have sex with men. She continued to work as a prostitute until her mother’s visa expired after which both of them returned to Pakistan.

"We came back to Dubai in June last year and my mother started sending me to customers. On one occasion she sent me to Sharjah, where I was ­arrested."

She said that she had once asked a customer for help and to call police but he refused.

The teenager is being cared for by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.

She was seven months pregnant when her mother appeared in court on August 15.

The mother will be deported after serving her jail term.

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The Future of Chemical Weapons

In recent years, the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, and lingering fears of bioterrorism in the wake of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks, have overshadowed concerns that rogue states and terrorist organizations could acquire and use chemical weapons (CW). Whereas biological warfare agents are living microorganisms that cause deadly infectious diseases such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague, chemical warfare agents are manmade toxic chemicals such as chlorine, phosgene, and sarin nerve gas. Today the CW threat has all but disappeared from the radar screen of senior U.S. government policymakers, the news media, and the general public. In 2008, for example, the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, chaired by former Senators Bob Graham (D.-Fla.) and Jim Talent (R.-Mo.), excluded any discussion of chemical weapons from its report, World at Risk. The rationale for this omission was that an incident of chemical terrorism would resemble a hazardous-materials accident and would be far less consequential than either a nuclear or biological attack. In November 2009, the Obama administration issued a new National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats but made no mention of chemical weapons.

The current sense of complacency about the CW threat is partly the result of several positive developments, including the demise of the Soviet Union, which possessed the world’s most threatening chemical arsenal, and the entry into force in April 1997 of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international treaty banning the development, production, transfer, and use of chemical arms, to which all but a handful of countries adhere. Nevertheless, there are real grounds for concern about a future resurgence of the CW threat. A confluence of military, economic, and technological trends — the changing nature of warfare in the twenty-first century, the globalization of the chemical industry, and the advent of destabilizing chemical technologies — have begun to erode the normative bulwark of the CWC and could result in the emergence of new chemical threats from both state and sub-state actors. To prevent these potential risks from materializing, much needs to be done at both the national and the international levels.

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