World leaders condemn, distance themselves from the US president’s racist attacks; asserting ‘they stand with the 4 women aka (The Squad) ‘ – as new poll reveals that the majority of Americans disagree with Trump’s ‘go home’ comment.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday criticized President Donald Trump’s “go back” tweets about four Democratic congresswomen of color, saying that the president’s tweets contradict “the strength of America.”
“People of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of the American people, so these are … comments that very much run counter to this firm impression that I have,” Merkel said during an annual news conference in Berlin. “This is something that contradicts the strength of America.”
“I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the women who were attacked,” she continued.
Merkel is the second western leader in a day to speak out about the controversy sparked by Trump’s remarks this week. On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the “send her back” chants that broke out at a Trump rally “completely unacceptable.”
Donald Trump was condemned for his attacks on four U.S. congresswomen of color, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, by many prominent leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany spent a record 23 billion euros (20 billion pounds) last year on helping to integrate more than one million refugees and fighting the root causes of migration abroad, a government document seen by Reuters showed on Monday.That marks an increase of nearly 11 percent on the 20.8 billion euros that Germany spent in the previous year, the document prepared by the Finance Ministry showed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers will discuss the government’s annual report on refugee and integration costs during their regular cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Merkel has repeatedly defended her 2015 decision to leave German borders open to hundreds of thousands of war refugees, mainly from Muslim countries, as a humanitarian necessity, but has since vowed to prevent a repeat of such mass migration by tackling its causes.
A few refugees get a job soon after they arrived in Germany. However, for most of them labour market integration is still a long way off. Bevor getting a job, many refugees have to learn German and engage in retraining or vocational education and training. As far as labour market integration of refugees is concerned, job counsellors in the public employment service play an essential role. In an extensive research project the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) has analysed the process of labour market advice and job placement of refugees.
The government spent a total of 7.9 billion euros in 2018 on measures aimed at keeping migrants outside the European Union and improving living conditions in their home countries – a 16 percent increase compared with 2017.
Germany’s 16 states, which are mainly in charge of housing and integrating the arrivals from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, received 7.5 billion euros from the federal government last year, according to the report. This marked an increase of 14 percent on the year.
Alice Weidel, parliamentary leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), criticised Merkel’s government for spending billions on refugees, saying: “This is a costly welcome party at the expense of citizens.”
Annette Widmann-Mauz, minister of state for migration, refugees and integration, said Weidel’s comments were “stupid” and in bad taste.
“Fighting the causes of migration, which makes up a large part of the total spending, is just as much in our interest as investing in successful integration,” Widmann-Mauz told Reuters.
“Whoever dismisses humanitarian protection as a party has understood nothing at all,” she added.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Gareth Jones
Westover is self-taught, but her impact on the world has been to educate the rest of us—about the silos we live in and the obstacles faced by so many in our society. We all have teachers, some we know intimately, others who inspire from the page or the screen. This holds true even for the most accomplished people on earth. Our annual TIME 100 issue is filled with tributes from teachers to students; in many cases, the surprise is who is playing which role today.
Warren Buffett praises the leadership of LeBron James, whom he met (on a basketball court!) more than a decade ago. Legendary chef Alice Waters recounts how rising food-world star Samin Nosrat—who began her career working for Waters—helped show her how to cook with care. London Mayor Sadiq Khan calls New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s swift, compassionate response to the shootings at Christchurch mosques “an inspiration to us all.” Viola Davis reveals her lifelong admiration for fellow Oscar winner Regina King, praising her for elevating artists of colour and “making me feel seen.” And Bill Gates, whose upbringing could not be more different from Tara Westover’s, shares what she taught him about overcoming our divides.
Photographs by Pari Dukovic for TIME
In many ways, these connections—forged across and among industries—are the heart of the TIME 100, which now, in its 16th year, is far more than a list. It is a community of hundreds of global leaders, many of whom support and challenge one another. And at a time when so many of our problems require cross-disciplinary solutions, they are also uniquely positioned to effect change. “When you connect extraordinary people,” says Dan Macsai, editorial director of the TIME 100, “they can do even more extraordinary things.”
This year, for the first time, we have invited some members of our TIME 100 community to speak at a TIME 100 Summit in New York City. Joining us will be participants from the worlds of politics and business—including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former Senator Bob Corker—as well as amazing artists, scientists, actors and activists who reflect the remarkable breadth of the TIME 100. Our goal is to spotlight the progress these individuals are making and encourage collaboration toward a better world. “We are only as good as the people that we have around us,” says chef and activist José Andrés, a two-time TIME 100 honoree, who will speak at the summit about how to improve disaster relief. “TIME 100 makes all become one.”
TIME Ideas hosts the world’s leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.
LONDON (Reuters) – The future of Britain’s exit from the European Union hung in the balance on Tuesday as lawmakers prepared to vote on a divorce deal after Prime Minister Theresa May won last-minute assurances from the European Union.
Scrambling to plot an orderly path out of the Brexit maze just days before the United Kingdom is due to leave, May rushed to Strasbourg on Monday to agree ‘legally binding’ assurances with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
British lawmakers, who on Jan. 15 voted 432-202 against her deal, were on Tuesday studying the assurances with lawyers. The government’s top lawyer, Geoffrey Cox, is due to give his opinion on Tuesday ahead of the vote due around 1900 GMT.
“We have secured legal changes,” May said in a news conference in Strasbourg beside Juncker, 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29.
May said the assurances created an arbitration channel for any disputes on the backstop, “entrenches in legally-binding form” existing commitments that it will be temporary and binds the UK and EU to starting work on replacing the backstop with other arrangements by December 2020.
After two-and-a-half years of haggling since the 2016 Brexit referendum, Juncker cautioned this was the last chance for Britain. “It is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all,” he said.
Sterling rose 1.5 percent against the dollar and to a near two-year high against the euro.
If lawmakers vote down May’s deal, she has promised a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.
Homosexuality is still illegal in nearly 40% of countries in the United Nations, while being gay is punishable by death in a number of US-allied countries, such as Saudi Arabia.
Donald Trump appeared unaware of his own administration’s plans to push for global decriminalization of homosexuality.
When asked about it by a reporter on Wednesday, Trump said: “I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports.”
NBC News reported the White House’s plans to campaign for a change in laws in dozens of countries where it is illegal to be gay.
LGBT activists have expressed skepticism of the campaign in light of Trump’s policies in the US, which have appeared to be anti-LGBT.
AIWA! NO!|US President Donald Trump seemed unaware of his own administration’s plans to end the criminalization of homosexuality around the world when asked about it on Wednesday.
Following reports that the Trump administration will launch a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality, a reporter asked Trump in the Oval Office: “Mr. President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you doing that? And why?”Trump asked the reporter to repeat the question, and then said: “I don’t know which report you’re talking about. We have many reports.”
NBC News reported on Tuesday that the Trump White House would campaign for a change in laws in dozens of countries where it is illegal to be gay, citing administration officials.
The campaign is aimed in part at denouncing Iran’s human rights record, NBC News said.
Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, who is openly gay, plans to lead the campaign and discussed the effort with a dozen LGBTQ activists from around Europe at a dinner in Berlin on Tuesday night, The New York Times reported.
But the Times noted that the State Department in Washington has not announced a new global campaign, making it unclear how official or powerful the ambassador’s plan is, or how it differs from current US policy.In an interview with NBC News, Grenell said that the effort would be much broader than putting pressure on Iran. “This is not just about Iran,” he said. “This is about 71 countries, and Iran is one of them.”
Homosexuality is still illegal in nearly 40% of countries in the United Nations, while being gay is punishable by death in a number of US-allied countries, such as Saudi Arabia. It is not clear how much pressure the US would put on these allies.
Grenell said that the Trump administration has the backing of Republicans to lead the efforts.
LGBT activists have expressed skepticism of the campaign in light of Trump’s policies in the US.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) told NBC News: “We’d believe that the Trump administration will work to protect LGBTQ people around the world if they had not attacked LGBTQ people in the US over 90 times since taking office.”
While he campaigned on a platform of helping LGBT people, Trump has faced widespread criticism for moves like banning transgender service people from the military and for promoting anti-LGBT figures to key posts in his administration.
Stuart Milk, an LGBT activist and nephew of civil rights leader Harvey Milk, who was at Grenell’s dinner in Berlin, told NBC News that he would support any campaign for decriminalization but noted that it is “unique” to have a right-leaning administration “leading the charge on an issue that does make a difference in people’s lives.”
“My criticism of the Trump administration has been steady,” Milk said. “I have actually said that policies coming out of the White House and statements have been life-negating, not just for LGBT people but for many, many communities.”
“But when any administration does something right, we’re going to be there.”