Ireland mourns the victims of a deadly balcony collapse in California as the public lashes out against negative attention to the visa program in which the students participated
  • A memorial service was held on the campus of the University of California, Davis, for the six Irish students who died in Berkeley, while another seven remain injured.
  • Outrage has mounted as the construction company responsible for the structure was revealed to have settled a lawsuit for improper balcony construction two years ago.
  • There has been significant backlash against a New York Times piece run following the tragedy drawing attention to negative incidents involving Irish students visiting the U.S. under the J-1, a visa for cultural exchange programs.

“The reaction to the tragedy showed the solidarity of Irish people when adverse events occurred. …We’ve always had this in Ireland; people understand adversity, they understand death, they understand people being taken away.”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Niall Carson/PA, via The Guardian)

Recent attack on Candomblé followers fuels fears of religious intolerance amongst Brazil’s growing evangelical population
  • An 11-year-old and her family and friends, followers of the Candomblé religion, were attacked by a group of evangelicals while returning from temple.
  • The incident is one of a string of incidents in recent years involving abuse, beatings, forced evictions, and anti-Candomblé rhetoric.
  • Monitors have observed evangelical preachers espousing anti-Candomblé rhetoric to fortify their congregations, which have grown in share to 22% of the population from just 9% two-and-a-half decades ago.

“They want to make people ashamed to practise Candomblé, so they feel they have to turn to the church. …But how can you be a Christian with such hate in your heart?”

More on this story at The Guardian.

(Image Credit: Douglas Engle/AP, via The Guardian)

Three women’s flight from English town to join ISIS prompts renewed soul-searching about radicalization causes in Britain
  • The sisters left the northern town of Bradford with their nine children for a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, but are believed to have traveled to Syria to join the group.
  • Muslims represent around a quarter* of the population in the ethnically diverse working-class town that has encountered a number of economic struggles recently.
  • While PM David Cameron has announced tough crackdowns on those spreading extremist messages–including the closure of mosques–some community advocates find the measures are not combating the root causes of alienation and exclusion from opportunity afflicting the British Muslim community.

“It’s disturbing, because we’ve got young family of our own. We have to keep an eye on them, who they are associating with. At one time we were worried about lads on the street corner selling drugs. Now this is a bigger shock. Where does it end?”

More on this story at Reuters.

(Image Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters)

*Corrected (6/20) to accurately reflect the Muslim population proportion in Bradford.

Chad announces it will begin rounding up panhandlers and some foreigners as a part of security crackdown following Boko Haram suicide attacks
  • The detained individuals will be held in Baga Sola, a town near Lake Chad.
  • The government has not announced which nationalities will be subject to detention or its rationale for the detentions.
  • Monday’s coordinated attacks in Ndjamena, the capital, were the largest seen in the country, leaving 34 dead and dozens injured.

More on this story at Reuters.

(Image Credit: Moumine Ngarmbassa/Reuters)

Iowa Supreme Court declares telemedical abortions legal in the state
  • The practice, where doctors prescribe women pills for a medical abortion prior to the second trimester via medical-conferencing system, first began in 2008 before being effectively being effectively banned in 2013.
  • The Court ruled that the ban placed an undue burden on women in Iowa seeking an abortion, where access to such care is limited.
  • Because the case was analyzed under federal law, the ruling could encourage other states–including the 18 states where the practice is banned–to look into establishing telemedical abortion services.

“Without remote access to medication abortion, more women would have to delay or even forego abortion care. …This is especially true in a state like Iowa, where many women would have to travel hundreds of miles in order to reach an abortion clinic.”

More on this story at BuzzFeed.

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Accomplished violinist and Syrian refugee shares her story as she prepares to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., for World Refugee Day
  • Originally from Aleppo, Mariela Shaker has been formally involved in music for a decade and a half, having graduated from the Arabic Institution of Music, Aleppo University, and Monmouth University.
  • Her family remains in war-torn Aleppo, but Shaker has been granted political asylum in the U.S., where she hopes to be a peace ambassador through music.
  • Though violence has created 4 million Syrian refugees, Shaker is one of only 1,000 to whom the U.S. has granted asylum.

“Once I came here, I figured out it was very hard to go back, it’s very dangerous, very risky. …And I got this amazing opportunity to be here and finish my education — I can’t risk it.”

More on this story at BuzzFeed.

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German couple starts roommate-matching service for refugees in the country
  • In late 2014, Jonas Kakoschke and Mareike Geiling started Flüchtlinge Willkommen (Refugees Welcome), a platform where Germans can advertise open rooms in their homes available to refugees.
  • Provided for a set period of time, the room advertisements are reviewed by local NGO partners to find a suitable match and is provided free of charge to refugees, financed by either local governments or microfinancing.
  • So far, 52 matches in 11 towns have been made, with the service having recently expanded to Austria as well.

“We are not like the solution for many thousands of people. …We are more like an experiment and a political statement to say, ‘Hey, there are people here who want to welcome other people in a positive way.’”

More on this story at BuzzFeed.

(Image Credit: Facebook photo, via BuzzFeed)