U.S. News | Immigrants

Majority of California counties now extend healthcare coverage to undocumented population
  • The County Medical Services Program, which pools resources for health service provision in California’s rural and sparsely populated areas, announced the agreement, which affects 35 counties throughout the state.
  • Officials hope that extending the coverage, which includes doctor visits and up to $1,000 in prescription drugs, will deter the spread of communicable diseases and limit the use of emergency facilities for routine healthcare.
  • 47 of California’s 58 counties now extend coverage to the state’s 2.7 million undocumented immigrants, including L.A. County.

“Frankly, it’s just the right thing to do. … For us to have an underclass that is left out is unconscionable.”

Read the full AP story at CBS Los Angeles.

Singapore News | Women

Colonel Gan Siow Huang promoted to become first female general in Singapore Armed Forces
  • On July 1, Huang, 40, will assume the rank of Brigadier-General after 22 years in the army.
  • She was one of four women to receive the first SAF merit scholarship in 1993 when the military first began actively recruiting women.
  • A graduate of the London School of Economics and mother of three, she credits the SAF’s family-friendly policies with allowing for some of the flexibility needed for her to balance her demanding work with starting a family.

“I think women entered this game late. It was only in 1993 that the SAF seriously started to look at and bring in talent, and to develop woman leaders. Back then, the SAF also did not know how far women could go.  In the 1990s, we didn’t have many woman COs in the Army, Navy and Air Force. Over time, when women in different jobs and vocations did well, confidence was gradually built.”

Read the full story at AsiaOne.

(Image Credit: via AsiaOne)

U.S. Research | Hispanics/Latinos

U.S. Hispanic population grows by 1.2 million over one-year period
  • According to figures recently released by the Census Bureau, Hispanics now number 55.4 million, with the greatest growth in the states that have been the traditional homes of most U.S. Hispanics: California, Texas, and Florida.
  • Non-white majority states and federal districts are California, New Mexico, Texas, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C., with New Mexico containing the highest proportion of Hispanics at 47.7%.
  • The total U.S. population grew 2.5 million over the same period to 318.9 million.

Read the full story at the Latin American Herald Tribune.

U.S. News | Black Christians

Arsonists strike predominantly black churches across southern U.S.
  • Four churches were burned in the last week in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with at least three suspected to be the result of arson.
  • Investigators have not ruled any of them as being a hate crime yet, although investigations are ongoing.
  • The fires have occurred less than a week after the massacre at the historic black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that left nine dead.

“The most important thing is people. … We’re going to build it back better than ever.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed.

(Image Credit: Larry Wood/Twitter photo, via BuzzFeed)

Turkey News | Syrian Youth

Syrian university student population in Turkey experiences nearly eight-fold increase over four-year period
  • The total number of Syrian students in Turkish higher education has increased from 608 to 4,597 since 2011, according to Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK).
  • The board has allowed for seven Turkish universities to accept Syrian students as “special students,” waiving the need for the documentation usually necessary for admission, and later allowing for students with full documentation to transfer as undergraduates.
  • Education Minister Nabi Avci announced in May the creation of a university in the Gaziantep province that would primarily accept Syrian students.

Read the full story at Sunday’s Zaman.

(Image Credit: Cihan/Sunday’s Zaman)

Turkey News | LGBT

Istanbul Pride attendees dispersed by police with water cannon and rubber bullets as governor calls off event
  • Plans to march along Istanbul’s Istikal Avenue near Taksim Square quickly evaporated as police swarmed the marchers preparing for the Sunday evening parade, leading to several detentions.
  • The governor denied permission for the event citing Ramadan, despite the parade having taken place in the past.
  • The event has grown from 30 participants in 2003 to around 50,000 in 2013, considered to be the largest of its kind in the Muslim world.

“These people do not hurl stones and they never would. They do not throw petrol bombs. They just ask for a legal recognition. … This summarizes what has been happening in Turkey. Any request for rights is met like this.”

Read the full stories at Hurriyet News Daily and Reuters.

(Image Credit: Kemal Aslan/Reuters)

Netherlands Research | Immigrants

Amsterdam finds a quarter of immigrant residents dissatisfied with bilingual education in the city
  • The city council conducted a survey on the education of international workers’ children, finding the students distributed amongst traditional Dutch schools (45%), international schools (40%), and bilingual-stream schools (15%).
  • The city’s international schools were found to have significant barriers to entry including long waiting lists and high fees, with only 20% of employers providing financial assistance.
  • Primary schools will soon be able to offer 15% of lessons in English, French, or German in an effort to promote mutilingualism among young children.

Read the full story at DutchNews.

(Image Credit: File photo/DutchNews)

Canada News | LGBT

Toronto-based Rainbow Railroad facilitates rescue of persecuted individuals from LGBT-unfriendly countries
  • Founded in 2006, the charity focuses on identifying endangered individuals and raising the money necessary to cover the logistics of moving them to safer countries.
  • Despite managing 30-50 cases at any given time, the organization was volunteer-based until 2013, when a grant from TD Bank allowed for the signing on of one full-time employee.
  • With the grant expiring at the end of the year, Rainbow Railroad is raising funds to ensure that it will be able to maintain its current level of work.

Read the full story at the Toronto Star.

(Image Credit: Rainbow Railroad, via the Toronto Star)