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News in the Humanosphere: Refugees march from Denmark to Sweden

In yet another demonstration, 300 refugees and migrants are leaving Denmark for Sweden due to the less-than-welcoming stance of Denmark. “We have no problem with the Danes, but our families are in Sweden,” said Jaafar Alaawi, 62, of Baghdad. “What am I supposed to do here?” Mr. Alaawi, who had a limp and used a cane, was traveling with four sons and a grandson. Refugees along the march said they fled the school because they were angry with how they were being treated in Denmark. Umm Mohammad, a Palestinian refugee from the Yarmouk camp in Syria, was traveling with her son and daughter. “We flipped twice in a boat, and we suffered at the hands of gangs, for them to bring us here and fingerprint us?” said Ms. Mohammad, 45. “We’ll only fingerprint in the country we want.”  (NYT

In other Denmark and refugee-related news

Could  the country’s ex-Prime minister be the next head of the U.N. Refugee Agency?  (UN Tribune )

A baby step in the right direction

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Union’s executive arm, called on the bloc on Wednesday to accept 160,000 migrants, imploring leaders not to remain indifferent in the face of one of Europe’s toughest humanitarian challenges in decades. (NYT

And the best place to grow old is

The top 10 countries, headed by Switzerland, are in western Europe, North America (Canada, 5, and the U.S., 9 and Japan, 8). “They show us that when governments invest in their ageing populations, society as a whole gains,” says Chris Roles of AgeWatch. (Guardian But poor data and monitoring mean 98 countreis do not make the index. (Guardian

Fact of the day: Outdoor air pollution kills 3.7 million people per year around the world, according to the World Health Organization. (VOA


Police in northeastern Uganda fired teargas on Wednesday to disperse a campaign rally held by Amama Mbabazi, the country’s former prime minister, who is seeking to unseat veteran leader Yoweri Museveni in next year’s elections. (Reuters

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday accused a controversial Sudanese counter-insurgency unit of having carried out “two sprees of killings and mass rape” of civilians in conflict-riven Darfur since February 2014. (AFP

The United Nations has established a “weapons-free zone” in a town in Central African Republic to protect civilians from armed groups involved in inter-religious clashes that killed more than 10 people last month, the head of peacekeeping operations said. (Reuters

A government militia in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region has been guilty of killings and mass rapes of civilians over the past year and a half, Human Rights Watch said in a new report published on Wednesday. (Reuters

A bomb scare at a new Kenyan shopping mall proved to be a false alarm, police said on Wednesday, a day after the incident unnerved a nation still scarred by a 2013 Islamist militant assault on another mall that killed 67 people. (Reuters

Rwanda’s Supreme Court said it would hear a case brought by the main opposition party that aims to block changing the constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to run for a third, seven-year term. (Reuters

Guinea has notched up a week without a new case of Ebola, a first since March 2014, the head of the U.N.’s response to the epidemic, Bruce Aylward, said on Wednesday. (AFP

A body representing Kenyan unions on Wednesday threatened widespread strikes next week if the government did not meet teachers’ demands for a 50 percent 60 percent pay rise, piling pressure on a government facing a big budget deficit. (Reuters

In hopes of empowering women, South Africa and Zimbabwe organized a cross-border trade fair last week for women operating small- and medium-sized businesses. (VOA


As many as 800 Egyptian soldiers arrived in Yemen late on Tuesday, Egyptian security sources said, swelling the ranks of a Gulf Arab military contingent which aims to rout the Iran-allied Houthi group after a five-month civil war. (Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that the United States was “committed to” taking in more of the Syrian refugees fleeing war in their country. (Reuters

Russia has sent two tank landing ships and additional aircraft to Syria in the past day or so and has deployed a small number of forces there, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, in the latest signs of a military buildup that has put Washington on edge. (Reuters

Israel has reopened its embassy in Cairo, four years after an Egyptian mob ransacked the site where the mission was previously located. (NYT

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday defended its response to the Syrian refugee crisis in the face of criticism that the country and other oil-rich Gulf states should be doing more to address the issue. (AP

Tunisia, whose economy has languished since the country’s longtime dictator was ousted nearly five years ago, is to ask the IMF for a new aid package, the central bank chief said Wednesday. (AFP


Indian police are investigating claims a Saudi official who enjoys diplomatic immunity repeatedly raped his two Nepalese maids in his home close to New Delhi, senior officers said Wednesday. (AFP

Bangladesh is going ahead with an ambitious plan to reclaim land from the sea to help relocate people who have lost their homes to sea level rise, erosion and extreme weather. (TRF

Cambodia agreed on Wednesday to take in more refugees from an Australian detention center in the South Pacific, despite having indicated earlier it would pull out of the controversial resettlement agreement having taken in only four people. (Reuters

The Americas

A leading political party in Haiti announced on Tuesday that it was pulling out of next month’s legislative elections, saying it was the primary victim of violence during the first round of voting in August. (Reuters

Suspected members of El Salvador’s Mara street gangs have killed four banana plantation workers in a rural area. (AP

...and the rest

Some 400 to 500 migrants on Wednesday broke through police lines in Hungary near the main crossing point from Serbia, AFP reporters at the scene said. (AFP

The EU unveiled plans Wednesday to take 160,000 refugees from overstretched border states, as the United States said it would accept more Syrians to ease the pressure from the worst migration crisis since World War II. (AFP

At least 850,000 people are expected to cross the Mediterranean seeking refuge in Europe this year and next, the United Nations said on Tuesday, giving estimates that already look conservative. (Reuters

A Hungarian TV camerawoman was fired Tuesday after footage appeared to show her kicking migrants, including children, as they ran from a police line during disturbances at Roszke, southern Hungary. (AFP

Paris Saint-Germain will donate $1.12 million to the United Nations’ refugee agency and a French non-profit association to help relieve the migrants crisis. (AP

The human rights of migrants and refugees will top the agenda of the upcoming session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. The council’s 30th regular session opens Monday and is scheduled to run until October 2. (VOA


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]