The World Bank has released some encouraging news. According to their projections, by the end of 2015, for the first time ever, fewer than 10% of the global population will be living below the extreme poverty line. While the fall in the number of people living in extreme poverty is encouraging, their numbers indicate poverty is still a major problem in many parts of the world—the line for extreme poverty is only an income of $1.90 a day. And, many of the extremely poor are isolated to a single region: More than half of the 10% live in sub-Saharan Africa. Discuss
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made more controversial comments about immigration, this time about Syrian refugees welcomed into the United States. The government recently announced that it would allow 10,000 more refugees—fleeing a long-standing civil war and the spread of ISIS—into the country, as hundreds of thousands of others have fled to Europe. Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Trump told supporters he was “putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they’re going back.” He went as far as to claim that the refugees escaping violence could be members of ISIS and the refugee crisis was actually “one of the great tactical ploys of all time.” Thousands of refugees, including young children, have died while attempting to leave Syria, and the on-going violence in the country has killed more than 300,000 Syrians.
At a different campaign event, fellow GOP candidate Jeb Bush was asked about how America could help Syrian refugees, and he said,
I think we’re duty bound to provide support. This is normally what we do unbelievably well. We act on our heart, we organize it well, we take care of people. This is typically with support of government, but it’s normally with organizations that do great work ... And people are leaving not because they’re immigrants looking for a better life. They’re leaving because if not, they’ll die. It’s that simple. And we have to play a role in providing support.
According to a new report from the International Organization for Migrant, so far in 2015, more than 500,000 migrants arrived in Europe by boat. As The Daily Beast notes, most of the migrants, who were fleeing violence, instability and poverty in parts of North Africa and the Middle East, came into the continent through Greece. Discuss
In a move that the New York Times has described as “landmark,” China has announced new measures that will make it part of international efforts to address climate change. President Xi Jinping’s country is the biggest polluter in the world, but a new cap-and-trade system—to go into effect in 2017—will seek to reduce greenhouse emissions across many of its major industries. China’s new policy will also seek to incentivize companies to use cleaner sources of energy. President Xi is currently in Washington D.C. to meet with U.S. officials. Discuss
On Wednesday, leaders from around the European Union pledged to give more than $1 billion to help refugees fleeing instability and violence in regions including Syria, North Africa and the Middle East. The money will be given to the U.N.’s refugee agency as well as the World Food Program to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have poured into Europe in recent months. Discuss