Europe
antifa

Thousands protest far-right party in Germany

Mass protests took place across 114 cities in Germany against the far-right political party Alternative fĂĽr Deutschland (AfD). The demonstrations came in response to revelations that party leaders held a national meeting of extremist figures to discuss mass deportations, including of “non-assimilated citizens.” According to activist group Together Against the Right, the weekend demonstrations brought out over 1.5 million attendees across the country, under slogans such as “DEFEND DEMOCRACY,” “IT FEELS LIKE 1933,” and “NEVER AGAIN IS NOW.” (Photo: Leonhard Lenz via Wikimedia Commons)

North America
rio grande

Feds blame Texas in deaths on US-Mexico border

Two migrant children and their mother drowned while trying to cross from Mexico into the United States, after Texas authorities prevented US Border Patrol agents from reaching the victims to render life-saving aid, charged US Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents a district on the border. The US Department of Homeland Security said the three migrants drowned near Shelby Park in the border town of Eagle Pass after Texas Guardsmen “physically barred” Border Patrol agents from entering the area. Mexican officials recovered the bodies the next morning on their side of the Rio Grande, in Piedras Negras. “This is a tragedy and the State [Texas] bears responsibility,” said Cuellar in his statement detailing the series of events. (Map: Google)

Africa
Niger

Niger junta pivots from the EU to Russia

The ruling junta in Niger has broken off a military partnership with the European Union that provided training and equipment for the counterinsurgency against jihadist rebels. The rupture is linked to the EU’s refusal to engage with the junta that took power in a July coup. Russian officials have meanwhile visited the country, signing documents to strengthen military cooperation. Russian support for other armies in the Sahel region has led to massive rights abuses, yet the EU’s own record was far from exemplary. The bloc spent large sums on Niger’s military but failed to implement measures to prevent abuses—resulting in civilian casualties that played into the hands of the jihadists. (Map: PCL)

Palestine
Missoula

Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism: parsing the difference II

In a disturbing coincidence in Missoula, Mont., a Palestine solidarity march to protest the bombardment of Gaza ran into a separate but simultaneous anti-Israel march by neo-Nazis. Since the Gaza bombardment began, open neo-Nazi marches have also been reported from Madison, Wisc., Dallas, Tex., and elsewhere around the country. Yet, in addition to displaying enthusiasm for Hamas, their banners also read “REFUGEES NOT WELCOME”—and we may assume it was a similar ultra-right xenophobe who shot three Palestinian youths in Burlington, Vt. This makes it all the more maddening that elements of the “left” share with the Nazis an unseemly enthusiasm for Hamas—providing much fodder for the pro-Israel and “anti-woke” right. In Episode 201 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg continues to explore the dilemma. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Photo: Hayden Blackford/Daily Montanan)

Europe
migrants

Italy in deal to hold asylum-seekers in Albania

Italy and Albania announced an agreement that would see asylum-seekers intercepted at sea by Italian forces taken to Albania while their claims are processed. Italy is to pay for construction of two centers in Albania with the capacity to hold up to 3,000 migrants at a time. If Italy rejects the asylum bids, Albania would deport the migrants. Albania is also to provide external security for the two centers, which would be under Italian jurisdiction. Some experts question whether the plan is legal, and say it follows a worrying trend of European countries seeking to “externalize” migrant processing to third countries. (Photo: US Navy via Wikimedia Commons)

North America
wall

Judge blocks feds from cutting Texas border fence

A US district judge granted a temporary restraining order enjoining the federal government from interfering with fencing erected by Texas state authorities at the US-Mexico border. As part of Operation Lone Star, the Texas Military Department has deployed concertina wire fencing to deter illegal crossings at the border. The suit, brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, alleged that federal agents have implemented a policy of destroying the state-erected fencing, and providing support to those attempting to cross after swimming the Rio Grande. Judge Alia Moses found that “the balance of interests favors granting an injunction, but just barely.” The decision weighed Texas’ interest in deterring unlawful activity and avoiding the costs associated with repairing broken fencing, against US Customs & Border Protection’s interest in “allowing [Border Patrol] agents to address medical emergencies.” The order includes an exception to permit CBP agents to continue cutting the concertina wire to aid individuals in medical distress. (Photo: Christoph Buchel via Radical History Review)

North America
Otay Mesa

US to settle class-action suit on family separation

The US government announced that it will settle a 2018 class-action lawsuit that challenged the Trump administration’s family separation practice at the US-Mexico border. The proposed settlement would create a process to reunify families who were separated. Additionally, the government is to provide health services and housing support for affected families, and arrange legal services through the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Another provision of the deal bars the federal government from immigration policies that separate parents from children for eight years. The settlement does not provide any monetary relief for affected people. (Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr)

Planet Watch
displaced

El Niño’s global food fallout

El Niño will drive global food aid needs even higher in the coming months, a new analysiswarns. The prediction comes as food aid agencies are already making ration cuts amid a budget squeeze. In July, meteorologists declared the onset of El Niño, a periodic climate phenomenon that usually brings drought to large stretches of the globe and wetter weather elsewhere. The analysis by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network says that humanitarian groups must prepare for “high food assistance needs.” Another climate phenomenon, the Indian Ocean Dipole, could amplify El Niño’s effects—with both compounded by the climate crisis. This September was the hottest ever recorded. “The temperature anomalies are enormous—far bigger than anything we have ever seen in the past,” Petteri Taalas, head of the UN’s meteorological agency, WMO, said in a press release. (Photo of displaced families in Somalia: UN Photo/Tobin Jones via Flickr)

North America
border wall

Biden admin approves new section of border wall

The Biden administration announced that it has waived 26 federal laws in an area of South Texas by executive order to allow border wall construction—a tactic used often during the Trump presidency. The Department of Homeland Security posted the waiver on the Federal Registry, affecting a “high illegal entry” sector in Starr County, Tex. According to government data, about 245,000 illegal entries have been recorded in this sector during the current fiscal year. The Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Endangered Species Act are among the laws suspended by the order. (Photo via FWS)

Mexico
Mexico

US leans on Mexico to increase deportations

Mexico will step up efforts to deport asylum-seekers and migrants to their countries of origin in order to “depressurize” northern cities bordering the United States, the country’s National Migration Institute announced following a meeting with US officials. Texas border cities such as El Paso and Eagle Pass are scrambling to find shelter space as thousands now cross the border on a daily basis, overwhelming reception capacity. But thousands more still wait in northern Mexico, trying to make appointments using a government cell phone application to enter the US and lodge asylum claims. (Map: PCL)

The Caucasus
Nagorno-Karabakh

Refugee exodus mounts from Nagorno-Karabakh

The separatist government of Nagorno-Karabakh, which controlled the disputed territory for more than three decades, announced that it will disband by the end of the year. Azerbaijan took full control of Nagorno-Karabakh following a swift military offensive last week. The region, an enclave within the borders of Azerbaijan, is home to around 120,000 ethnic Armenians who have considered it a de facto independent state, the Republic of Artsakh, since 1991. Most of that population—almost 90,000 people—has fled to Armenia in the past week due to fears of persecution and ethnic cleansing by the Azerbaijani forces that are now in control. Authorities in Armenia are struggling to register and provide for the needs of the tens of thousands of people arriving from the enclave, and concerns are growing about a nascent humanitarian crisis. (Map: Wikipedia)

Europe
Maksym

Ukrainian anti-fascist sentenced to prison in Russia

An appeals court in Moscow upheld the 13-year sentence imposed on Ukrainian human rights defender Maksym Butkevych, in what Amnesty International called “a grave miscarriage of justice.” Butkevych had been convicted in a “sham trial” by a de facto court in the Russian-occupied “Luhansk People’s Republic” in Ukraine, which Moscow has unilaterally declared annexed territory. A platoon leader in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Butkevych was taken captive in March and charged with war crimes. Amnesty dismisses the case as “a reprisal by Russia for his civic activism and his prominent human rights work.” Before the invasion, Butkevych led a Ukrainian NGO helping refugees find asylum in the country, and had long been a frontline opponent of the militant right in both Ukraine and Russia. (Image: Ukraine Solidarity Campaign)