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EU fears the worst for Ukraine, agrees to host refugees for two years

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The European Union has agreed to adopt a novel directive to grant temporary protection for Ukrainians seeking asylum in neighbouring European countries after Russian military aggression.

The military offensive in Ukraine has caused destruction of civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties and has forced people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance. In the first week, more than a million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more are on the move both inside and outside the country.

Russia, on February 24, 2022 launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea. The attack is the biggest by one state against another in Europe since World War II.

The vast majority of these exiled people have arrived in EU countries with Poland registering over half a million Ukrainian refugees and Hungary seeing more than 130,000 arrivals.

image from data2.unhcr.org

To cope with the large number of migrants which is the greatest human exodus in Europe since the end of World War II, the 27 member states have embraced a 2001 EU directive that had never been used before.

The European Union came about the Temporary Protection Directive in 2001 in the quest for solidarity between EU States after events in the 1990s, where conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, in Kosovo and elsewhere demonstrated the need for special procedures to deal with mass influxes of displaced persons.

The Temporary Protection Directive is an extraordinary scheme that grants immediate and temporary protection to displaced people coming from non-EU countries

The EU adoption of the Directive was reached in a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, where national ministers reached a unanimous agreement to move ahead and activate the Temporary Protection Directive. The law will enter into force once the proposal is formally adopted by the Council, a step expected to take place in the coming days.

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for home affairs, described the EU move as “historic” and a “great day”

“I’m proud of being European, I’m proud of the solidarity that individual citizens are showing” towards Ukraine, Johansson said at the end of the ministerial meeting.

Ukrainian refugees will be given residence permits to stay inside the bloc for at least one year, a period that will be automatically extended for a further year. Member states can then decide to prolong the exceptional measure by one more year if the war continues to ravage the country.

Musings From Abroad

US Supreme Court abolishes abortion right after almost 50-year precedence

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The US Supreme Court on Friday reversed a nearly half century old constitutional right to abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito who wrote for the Majority argued that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which had favoured abortion right “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”

The ruling comes after leaked draft of Roe vs Wade ruling which guaranteed abortion rights across the country has caused outrage last month.

The Roe vs Wade, ruling was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Although the supreme court declined comment at the time of the leak in May, the Friday ruling perhaps confirmed the fears of many.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in a series of tweets while reacting to the leak stressed that “an extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country. It’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back—not ever

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has drawn reactions from top politicians in the US. One of such is veteran congressman and Democrat, Benie Sanders who tweeted that “overturning Roe v. Wade and denying women the right to control their own bodies is an outrage and in defiance of what the American people want. Democrats must now end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.”

American singer, Taylor Swift, also reacted against the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.” The singer said on twitter.

Also reacting to the ruling is US former president, Barrack Obama, who said “today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Meanwhile, there have also been reactions in support of the abolishing of the nearly 50 years of precedent, notably Americans with ideological sentiment with Republicans.

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Musings From Abroad

Elon Musk’s transgender child sever ties with father, seeks name change

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The 18-year-old transgender daughter of billionaire owner of electric car manufacturing company, Tesla, Elon Musk, has severed ties with her rich father and has filed a request to change her name in accordance with her new gender identity.

The petition for both a name change and a new birth certificate reflecting her new gender identity was filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica in April.

Christened Xavier Alexander Musk at birth, the billionaire’s child who recently turned 18 which is the age of consent in California, has asked the court to legal authority to change her gender recognition from male to female and to register her new name.

While filing the petition, Xavier said he took the decision because “I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”

Xavier’s name, according to media reports, was redacted in documents to reflect his mother’s name which is Justine Wilson, who divorced Musk in 2008.

However, there was no further explanation of the rift between Musk’s daughter and her father, as lawyers for both parties refused to make further comments.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has been a vocal opponent of sex change and had spoken about the practice in the past.

In 2020, Musk weighed in on the issue of transgender people choosing their preferred pronouns in a tweet by saying, “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic (sic) nightmare.”

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