The NY Times has published a graphically enhanced look at the global migration crisis that is being called the worst since World War II
  • 38 million have been displaced within their own countries, while 16.7 million refugees have fled internationally.
  • Roughly 11 million Syrians and 3 million Iraqis have been internally displaced, while 4 million Syrians have left the country, straining the intake abilities of neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
  • Approximately 25,000 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants have been trafficked via sea in Southeast Asia, some finding conditional acceptance in Indonesia and Malaysia and others being repatriated.
  • To date, around 78,000 have traveled across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa and Turkey, fleeing violence, persecution, and poor economic prospects in North, West, and East Africa.
  • Finally, the conflict in Ukraine has displaced 1.3 million inside the country and sent 867,000 abroad, mostly to Russia with few European countries willing to accept them.

More on this story at The New York Times.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, featuring a teen with an autism spectrum condition as the main character, wins Tony for Best Play
  • The show also garnered awards for Best Director (Marianne Elliott) and Best Actor (Alex Sharp)
  • An adaptation of the eponymous book published in 2004, the play debuted in London in 2012 and will begin its North American tour next year.

More on this story at Disability Scoop.

(Image Credit: Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown, via Disability Scoop)

Gay Christian activist prompts some evangelical leaders to reexamine their anti-gay stances
  • As churches struggle to contend with rapidly growing acceptance of LGBT individuals, Matthew Vines approaches religious leaders on a theological level about the durability of their opposition.
  • Vines has spoken with prominent organizations like Focus on the Family and at the high-profile evangelical conference Q Conference about the spiritual damage done by absolutist stances on homosexuality.
  • His strategy is to provide context for biblical assertions and identify potential allies within the church setting.

“God intended marriage to be about more than ‘plumbing,’…Marriage ideally should be about permanent, mutual, self-giving, self-sacrificing love.”

More on this story at The New York Times.

(Image Credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

Israel’s controversial plan to resettle the Palestinians of the Susiya community moves forward following high court ruling
  • The resettlement–the third such kind of the Khirbet Susiya community in the last thirty years–involves expropriating the land from the Palestinians, who Israeli rights groups note have had documentary claims to it since 1830.
  • The Israeli government claims that while the Palestinians may own the land, they do not have the proper building permits; residents argue that the government rarely grants permits to non-Jews in Area C, where Susiya is located.
  • Similar to the Australian government’s arguments for indigenous resettlement, the Israeli government states that the displaced Palestinians will find better economic opportunity in their new location, a claim discredited by residents.

“Since the court ruling, people here have gone to bed not knowing whether the bulldozers would come in the morning. It is like trying to balance on a chair with only one leg and not knowing when you will fall off. People here are living on edge.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Peter Beaumont for the Observer, via The Guardian)

Sri Lankan mangrove preservation efforts turn to local women to lead the work.
  • The country’s new mangrove protection scheme relies on women to tend the trees, which are vital to the area’s ecosystem and protect against flooding and erosion.
  • Sudeesa, an environmental protection organization, provides the women with financial assistance (from $50 to $2,000 each) and training.
  • The program hopes to establish 15,000 community groups, providing 15,000 with job training and micro-loans.

“Now we know – and from us, our husbands and our community also have become aware.”

More on this story at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

(Image Credit: REUTERS/Parth Sanyal)

Trans-ideological coalition works to reform truancy laws in Texas.
  • The alliance of government officials, policy analysts, and organizational leaders is pushing back against the more than 100,000 criminal charges brought against truant minors.
  • Convicted youth–disproportionately black and Latino–face fines and detention.
  • As Governor Greg Abbott prepares to take action on a reform proposal, leaders call for the redirection of resources towards prevention and intervention services.

“If Reggie was not in school, not the judge, not the school resource officer — Coach White got on the phone to find out why he wasn’t in school…If your truancy prevention ever gets to the courts, I look at that more as a system breakdown.”

More on this story at BuzzFeed.

Contracting economic prospects and increasing restrictions are driving Central Asian migrant workers from Moscow.
  • As Russia slides into recession, large net decreases in foreign populations have indicated flight from the country and fewer attempting to enter.
  • New requirements including acquisition of a work “patent,” an advance tax, medical examinations, and a test on Russian language, culture, and history have set significant new administrative and financial obstacles for migrant laborers.
  • The article highlights Kyrgyz workers, who face social isolation, discrimination, and barriers to service access.

“If America was next door, [migrants] would all leave…But what’s next door is Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, where the level of living is lower and there are no jobs. There’s nowhere to go.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters, via The Guardian)

All India Muslim Personal Law Board to launch campaign against mandatory suryanamaskar and yoga in Indian schools.
  • Citing incompatibility of Muslim beliefs and yoga practices like sun salutations, the executive council has decided to launch a nationwide campaign.
  • The decision comes as the government plans to observe International Yoga Day on June 21.

More on this story at The Hindu.

Ireland’s gender identity bill moves away from medical to self-declarative model for legal recognition for transpeople.
  • The change in the bill applies to those over the age of 18 seeking to legally change their gender.
  • The bill also removes a “forced divorce” clause dissolving a marriage if one of the partners transitions.
  • In allowing for self-declaration, the bill hopes to separate civil registration and medical treatment considerations for trans individuals.

“Throughout the drafting of this Bill, I have listened carefully to the views of individual citizens, representative groups and public representatives. It is essential that this important legislation is in line with international best practice.”

More on this story at PinkNews.

Turkey’s parliamentary elections sees AKP lose majority, pro-minority Kurdish HDP win representation for the first time, and numerous victories for minority candidates.
  • While the AKP won the largest parliamentary share with 41%, HDP crossed the threshold of representation with around 13% of the vote, winning 80 seats in the parliament.
  • While the HDP has largely been defined by the Kurds it represents, it also opened up to all those marginalized by the party in power, including women, religious minorities, LGBT citizens, and other ethnic minorities.
  • The new parliament will see a record 96 women and its first Yazidi and Roma MPs, and the HDP also put forth the first openly gay candidate for office.
  • The momentum for the HDP grew out of 2013’s Gezi Park demonstrations, where protesters rallied against the government’s perceived encroachment on the country’s secularism.

“Turks and Kurds are well ahead of the political leaders of the country, and they have a lot of expectations of the democratic process that they have well bought into…This is a very impressive outcome. It shows that Turkey is going through an important political maturing process, and that an increasing number of people are interested in a pluralistic society.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)