As German state expands its Holocaust education programs, the inclusion of Muslim Germans stokes debate
  • Bavaria has proposed that all 8th and 9th graders visit a former Nazi concentration camp or the Munich center on Nazi war crimes.
  • One lawmaker from the Christian Social Union, the conservative party in power in the state, has suggested that some Muslim students would need to be exempt from the requirement.
  • Muslim leaders and academics in Germany have indicated that Holocaust education is increasingly accepted in Muslim German communities, with most contentious debates centered instead on how to address discussion and education of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“You notice among the students that they say, ‘We stand for talking about Jewish history, and the crimes that were committed, but why don’t we talk about the Palestinians? Where is the justice here?’”

More on this story at The New York Times.

Hungary’s plan to erect border fence draws international condemnation
  • On Wednesday, the Eastern European country announced a proposal to build a 13-foot-high fence along its 109-mile border with Serbia to deter illegal immigration.
  • Hungary received 7% of all EU asylum applications in 2014, and its prime minister has been outspoken in his anti-immigration line.
  • On a continent with a particular sensitivity to walls due to its history, Hungary’s proposal has caused suspicion of the government’s running afoul of its international obligations and isolating prospective EU member Serbia.

“We have only just torn down walls in Europe; we should not be putting them up.”

More on this story at The New York Times.

(Image Credit: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters, via The New York Times)

Redesigned U.S. $10 bill to feature woman historical figure and new tactility
  • The currency redesign will be the first to include a female figure on a major U.S. bill denomination.
  • The Treasury Secretary has called on the public to offer its opinions on who should grace the bill using the hashtag #TheNew10, with the only stipulations being that the figure not be alive and should represent American democracy.
  • The redesigned bill will debut in 2020 and will also be the first to include tactile features so as to be distinguishable to blind people.

“We have only made changes to the faces on our currency a few times since bills were first put into circulation, and I’m proud that the new 10 will be the first bill in more than a century to feature the portrait of a woman.”

More on this story at CNN.

Female politicians in Tanzania set their eyesights on country’s top political seats
  • The Tanzania Women Cross Party works to train women in political skills and campaign strategies ahead of October’s elections to avoid overlook and sexual manipulation by political party leadership.
  • This election cycle is seeing women step forward for the presidency for the first time, including former UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.
  • Tanzania has a 30% parliamentary quota in place for women, but because it sets aside seats to be filled by party nominations after the election, women are now pushing to be candidates for direct election by constituents.

“There’s no democracy in the political parties. Female candidates are often ignored in the nomination process and that’s why we need to train them to reverse that unfair trend.”

More on this story at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Qatar Airways under fire for gender-discriminatory policies, including pregnancy discrimination and freedom to marry
  • The UN’s International Labor Organization has ruled that the state-funded airliner discriminated against women through contracts statements indicating it could terminate their contract should they become pregnant.
  • Employees also had to seek permission from the company for a change in marital status and could only be accompanied to the airport by a male if he were her father, brother, or husband.
  • Comprising 80% of the airline’s cabin crew (of which 90% are foreign workers), women remain vulnerable to discriminatory employment practices carried out under threat of deportation.

“This decision is a game-changer. …A year ago we put Qatar and Qatar Airways in the dock and today it has been proved that we were right to do so. The changes made to the rules for staff failed to fool the ILO. Now the airline must make them for real. It’s time to make Qatar Airways free from fear.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)

Renowned Catholic church in Israel targeted by arson attack, which authorities believe to be the work of Jewish extremists
  • Inside the Church of the Multiplication, an office for pilgrims, a meeting room, bibles, and prayer books were damaged or destroyed in the fire, which led to two hospitalizations.
  • A passage of a Jewish prayer on idol worship was found spray-painted on a wall outside the church, evidence of the latest in a series of widely condemned provocations against churches and mosques.
  • The church is a popular tourist destination in Israel, which believers identify as the site of Jesus’s miracle of the loaves and fish.

“This morning’s outrageous arson attack on a church is an attack on us all. In Israel freedom of worship is one of our core values and is guaranteed under the law. …Those responsible for this despicable crime will face the full force of the law. Hate and intolerance have no place in our society.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty, via The Guardian)

Bulgaria’s highly administered border with Turkey provides stark contrast to Mediterranean migration situation
  • The country has spent €300 million fortifying the border over the last 8 years, including the construction of a razor-wire fence along its 270-km (165-mi) length.
  • Bulgaria has one of the highest rates of asylum-granting in the EU, having granted more than 5,000 of 11,000 applicants refugee status.
  • Conditions in refugee camps have improved in the last couple of years, but Bulgaria faces pressures from both European governments and human rights organizations to at once tighten and ease its policing and intelligence practices at the border.

“Don’t link those fleeing terror with those who would like to create it. …States can protect refugees, and address security concerns too, by screening and registering them early on.”

More on this story at BBC.

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Making up the second largest group of refugees in Europe, Eritreans flee an authoritarian regime and military conscription
  • Eritreans accounted for a fifth of refugees making the trans-Mediterranean voyage from Africa to Europe last year, becoming the largest group in Italy.
  • The government of Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki has held uninterrupted power since the country gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, with reports of torture, forced disappearance, and mass surveillance practices.
  • Eritreans are forced into low-paid, indefinite military service, which the government says is due to ongoing conflicts with Ethiopia, leading many to leave to avoid conscription.

“It’s too hard to live in Eritrea because there are a lot of things they can do to you. …You can be in the military service for unlimited years, or in prison, and you don’t have a chance to raise your voice, to change the president.”

More on this story at BuzzFeed.

(Image Credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters, via BuzzFeed)

Taipei becomes second Taiwanese city to recognize same-sex partnerships
  • The registration is the gateway for partners to represent each other in hospital, court, and police institutions in the Taiwanese capital.
  • Couples still lack inheritance rights and identification via household registration and ID cards.
  • Kaohsiung became the first city in Taiwan to recognize same-sex partnerships in May.

More on this story at Gay Star News.

(Image Credit: Facebook photo, via Gay Star News)

Nine killed at historic African-American church in Charleston, SC, in apparent hate crime
  • A young white man around the age of 21 walked into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during Wednesday evening prayer activities and opened fire; he remains at large.
  • Built in 1891, the church is one of the oldest historically black churches in the U.S., where South Carolina state senator Clementa C. Pickney, among the murdered, was pastor.
  • Eight died at the scene and another died en route to the hospital, with at least one other victim having been hospitalized.

“It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church while they are having a prayer meeting and take their lives.”

More on this story at The New York Times.

(Image Credit: Richard Ellis/European Pressphoto Agency, via The New York Times)