• Norway to send “bicycle refugees” back to Russia

    In 2015, about 5,500 people, most of them refugees Syrians, cycled through the Arctic Circle Storskog crossing, on the border between Russia and Norway, taking take advantage of a loophole in the rules governing border crossing: Russia does not allow people to cross on foot and Norway does not let in drivers carrying people without documents, but bicycles are permitted at both ends. Norway said it would send these refugees back to Russia – on the bicycles if necessary.

  • U.K. bail procedure to be changed to prevent jihadists from leaving country while on bail

    Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to oversee a shakeup of police bail procedures after a counterterrorism chief said the procedures were “weak and “toothless” and allowed jihadists to act with impunity. The weaknesses in the current bail system were highlighted by the revelations that Siddhartha Dhar, the Londoner suspected of being Isil’s new ‘Jihadi John’, was able to leave the United Kingdom without any problem while on bail despite being told to surrender his passport. Under current law, the police are powerless to escort a released suspect home to seize their passport because of bail regulations and human rights laws.

  • Istanbul terrorist was a Syrian asylum seeker

    Turkish media report that the terrorist who killed ten tourists in Istanbul entered the country as an asylum seeker from Syria. Most of the dead and wounded in the attack were German nationals. The Turkis police was able to identify the attacker quickly because his fingerprints were already stored in Turkey’s the refugee biometric database.

  • Danish parliament to approve seizure of valuables from asylum seekers

    The Danish parliament appears ready to approve today (Wednesday) a controversial measure proposed by Denmark’s government, which would allow the Danish authorities to confiscate jewelry and cash from asylum seekers. Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Denmark’s prime minister, strongly defended the law stripping refugees of valuables, saying that many of those coming to Denmark have no idea how generous the Danish welfare state is. “It is in that context you should understand that we in Denmark say before you get these benefits, you must — if you have a fortune — pay for yourself,” the prime minister said.

  • Travel association to DHS: Tell Congress about visa overstays before tourism is restricted

    The U.S. Travel Association is urging DHS to address people who stay overstay the length of their approved visas before placing new restrictions on visa waiver programs that are designed to boost U.S. tourism. “We should not even begin to discuss further improvements to visa security without much-needed data from the Department of Homeland Security on visa overstays,” the association says.

  • Human traffickers exploit fiancé and work visas

    In a report released on Monday, DHS IG says that human traffickers used fiancé and work visas to bring dozens of people to the United States. The IG says this was possible because of a lack of data sharing between immigration offices within the department.

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  • Sunni states cut Iran ties; Syrian regime uses sarin gas; ISIS’s Libyan oil terminal; European borders closing

    Bahrain, Kuwait, and Sudan cut their ties with Iran, while the UAE downgraded its relations; a UN fact-finding mission has found evidence for the use sarin gas in Syria; ISIS launched a coordinated gun and suicide car bomb attack on the Sidra oil port on Libya’s Mediterranean coast.; Denmark and Sweden reintroduced border controls in an effort to stem the wave of refugees trying to enter the two countries.

  • Refugees in Germany; Swedish border checks; ISIS’s British medics; U.K. flood defenses

    German economist says Germany should expect a tough competition between refugees and poorer Germans; Sweden, as of midnight Sunday, began to impose strict identity checks of all travelers from Denmark; a British delegation, including an imam from London, has traveled to Sudan to try to dissuade young British doctors from joining ISIS; as parts of the United Kingdom braced themselves for more misery, the government’s storm-related actions are criticized.

  • Tighter airport employee security; ISIS senior operative killed; Norway tightens asylum laws; West Bank settlements

    The TSA is increasing the number of random checks of employees – of both airports and airlines — who hold badges which allow them to enter restricted area at airports; The Pentagon said that Charaffe al-Mouadan, a French national who had joined ISIS in Syria, was killed in a 24 December U.S. airstrike; The Norwegian government said that it is planning to ask the Norwegian parliament to change forty or so major and minor asylum laws in order to tighten the country’s asylum policy; Israel continues to plan for building in the E1 area of the West Bank — if the plan is implemented, it would, in effect, cut the West Bank in half, making the creation of a contiguous, viable Palestinian state impossible.

  • Brazil-Israel stand-off over embassy appointment; teaching German to children refugees

    Israel’s outgoing ambassador to Brazil, Reda Mansour, has completed his tour in Brasilia last week and returned to Israel. Brazil, however, is unwilling to accept his replacement — Dani Dayan, a former head of the Jewish settlement council in the Palestinian territories who lives in the occupied West Bank; Germany is in the process of recruiting 8,500 teachers to teach German to children of refugees. The German government estimates that about 196,000 refugee children will enter the German school system this year.

  • San Bernardino mosque may be reason for barring British Muslim family from entering U.S.

    Muhammad Mahmood, 47, who is a U.S. citizen and who a runs a car repair shop in San Bernardino, California, speculated that the reason his two brothers, their wives, and their children — all of them British citizens – have been barred from entering the United States to visit Disneyland was that he prays at the same mosque where one of the San Bernardino shooters, Syed Farook, used to pray.

  • France’s emergency anti-terrorism laws; Russian air strikes’ toll; DHS deportation campaign

    The French government plans to propose constitutional amendments aiming to shield state-of-emergency measures from legal challenges; Russian air strikes in Syria, which began 30 September. The Russian strikes have killed 2,132 people, a third of them civilians; DHS is set to launch a campaign to deport illegal immigrant families who arrived in the United States since the beginning of 2014.

  • Over the weekend, the number of refugees arriving in Europe crossed 1 million mark

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Monday that over a million irregular migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, mostly from Syria, Africa, and South Asia. With arrivals of 4,141 migrants or refugees landing in Greece on Monday, IOM reports total arrivals to Europe at roughly 1,005,504, with just 3 percent coming by land. The total is the highest migration flow since the Second World War.

  • UN refugee chief: Anti-Muslim refugee rhetoric helps ISISI propaganda, recruitment

    The UN refugee chief, criticizing U.S. and European politician who want to block Syrian refugees from resettling in their countries, told the Security Council Monday that “Those that reject Syrian refugees, and especially if they are Muslim, are the best allies of the propaganda and the recruitment of extremist groups.”

  • U.S. guards at U.K. airports; growing number of refugees; unaccompanied minors at the border

    U.S. border guards with the power to search holiday travelers will be stationed at British airports for the first time, as part of a plan being discussed by the two countries; The UN refugee agency released a report Friday that showed rocketing numbers of people having been displaced within their countries or living as refugees or asylum seekers during the first half of the year; in October and November, more than 10,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the border through Mexico, twice as many as the same months last year.