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November 23, 2009
Today: contracts for immigrants and prisoner exchanges

Stories compiled by Gizem Yarbil, Connie Kargbo, Channtal Fleischfresser, Christine Kiernan, Ivette Feliciano, and Mohammad al-Kassim, and edited by Rebecca Haggerty and Ben Piven.

PHILIPPINES: Dozens of gunmen kidnapped a group of journalists and family and supporters of a candidate for provincial governor, killing at least 21 of them in the southern Philippines’ worst incident of political violence in years. No one claimed responsibility for the bloodshed.

INDONESIA: An overloaded ferry sank off the coast of western Indonesia Sunday and 255 survivors have been pulled from the sea. But at least 29 people died and at least 17 others are still missing.

Around 12 million people in the west African nations of Benin, Sierra Leone, and Liberia will be receiving the yellow fever immunization, the largest rollout of vaccines in the world.

UGANDA: Comments by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez describing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin as maybe a “great nationalist” have been criticized by the Ugandan government.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ahead of the World Cup in 2010 South Africa is setting up special fast-track courts to handle crime.

GERMANY: New immigrants to Germany will have to sign a contract that will clarify their immigrant responsibilities according to immigration authorities. These responsibilities include learning German and upholding values such as freedom of speech and sexual equality.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Irish Republican Army (IRA) dissidents left a 400-pound car bomb outside the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Policing Bomb in Belfast on Saturday night. But the homemade device failed to detonate, the police said. Politicians are warning of a rising threat of violence from IRA die-hards.

ARGENTINA: One person dies every 28 hours in Argentina due to state security forces repression, including so-called “trigger-happy” police and deaths in jail, according to a study by a group against corruption and repression in the country.

VENEZUELA: Over the weekend, President Hugo Chavez encouraged Venezuelan citizens to join local government militias and to be prepared for a foreign invasion.

ISRAEL: Israel’s president Shimon Peres sounded optimistic about the imminent release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Peres said that there has been “progress” in the negotiations with Hamas.

EGYPT: Egyptian police have seized a pickup truck loaded with a ton of explosives near Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip.

YEMEN: Humanitarian agencies say Yemeni Houthi rebels are using child soldiers. Saudi Arabia continued to bomb the rebels on its northern border with Yemen.

IRAN: Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in Brazil for a visit aimed at boosting ties with South America’s largest economy. The visit comes days after Israeli President Shimon Peres’ weeklong visit to Brazil and Argentina.

ALGERIA/EGYPT: The Arab League is making several proposals to end the dispute between Egypt and Algeria following their 2010 World Cup qualifier playoff match in Sudan.

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I love the Immigration Contract Germany came up with. I would add dress code to it. NO FACE Covering, Hijab or other religious garb. If you are that religious, stay in your own country.


Immigration Contracts are the means to ensure Integration.

There should be no government services granted without that contract and in the event that the immigrants fail to complete the program they would be fined and deported.


Having only just heard about immigrant contracts today, causes me to reflect upon what a good idea this would be. If immigrants do not want to become an active part of the country they are immigrating to, they should not be allowed to reside in that country, under any circumstances. I personally think that closing our borders for a time would be an excellent idea. We have certain individuals that want to come and have us provide
services for them, that would not be provided in their own countries. Others come and want to blend in as quickly as possible – these I greatly admire.


Regarding Germany’s plans to have immigrants sign a contract — I think it is a good idea. It formalizes what one might expect of a new member of a country…that there are also obligations on the part of the new person, not just the host government.

I think it could go a long way to damping hostile reaction to immigrants. The problem is: how would such a contract be policed. What if they don’t learn German, etc?

Nevertheless, I consider it important that the new person commit in writing to adhere to the expectations of the new country.

I think it could be a good idea for the USA as well.

Alan Wulff


I’m alittle concerned about the African continent as a whole regarding the Uranium producing nations that seem to be on the Chinese radar screen. Algeria,Niger,Nigeria,Dem’Rep’of the Congo,Namiba,and South Africa are chuck-full of limitless uranium,and yellowcake deposits…that seems not to be on the “Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)”manifesto. Please be well advised that Sudan(short distance geographically)is very hostile towards Niger…which has the mother-load of pure uranium in the world under it’s feet!

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