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Nigerian Cardinal Urges Europeans to Stop Encouraging Africans to Migrate

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Cardinal Francis Arinze has urged Europeans to cease encouraging Africans to migrate to Europe, insisting that people are better off in their home countries.

In an interview with the Catholic Herald last week, the 86-year-old Cardinal Arinze, once considered a top candidate for the papacy, said that when countries lose their young people to migration, they lose the people who can best build their nation’s future.

“So the countries in Europe and America can sometimes help best, not by encouraging the young people to come to Europe as if they looked on Europe as heaven – a place where money grows on trees – but to help the countries from which they come,” he said.

“It is best for a person to stay in that person’s own land – country, town, area – and work there,” he said, while acknowledging that at times that is not possible. He also said that government leaders of countries with high rates of emigration should examine their consciences to determine why it is that so many people are leaving.

And “in general, we cannot deny a human person the right to look for another area where you will have more peace, or even more study, culture or economic opportunity,” he said.

The cardinal speaks from personal experience, having been appointed Archbishop of Onitsha in 1967, a week before the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war. At that time, he was effectively a refugee, the Catholic Herald notes, “fleeing from one area to another as the theatre of war changed, while organising aid for the many displaced people.”

Arinze also looked at the problem of mass migration from the perspective of the receiving nations, insisting that they must be prudent enough to only accept the immigrants that they can effectively integrate.

“Each government has to see, for how many people can they provide,” the cardinal said. “Not only their entrance: lodging, work, family, cultural insertion.”

“It is not theory. It is fact,” Arinze said. “Where is their future: work, family life, culture, religion? Think of all that. So it’s all these considerations we must make, when we mention the word ‘migrant,’” he said.

In his statements on mass migration, Cardinal Arinze joined a growing chorus of African prelates who oppose Europe’s encouragement of migrant flows from Africa to Europe. 

In May of this year, Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the archbishop of Abuja, said that mass migration out of his country is a sure sign that political leadership has failed.

“Authorities should make Nigeria home. Same should be applicable to other African countries,” he said.

Having visited Italy and seen the number of Nigerian prostitutes on the streets of Rome and other cities as a result of mass migration, the cardinal said he was ashamed.

“To tell you bluntly I’m ashamed, I’m ashamed,” he told the BBC. “I’m moving through the streets of Rome, Milan, Naples and I see my daughters on the street on sale.”

“I’m ashamed and I stop and even greet some of them — you can’t even engage them in conversation because they were brought out of the village illiterates. All they learn and all they know on the streets of Italy is what they need for this business — I’m ashamed.”

The words on immigration of both Nigerian cardinals echoed those of Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, the head of the Vatican’s liturgical department, who said in April that the Church should not be encouraging migration.

It is wrong to “use the word of God to promote migration,” he said, because using the Bible to encourage migration is a “false interpretation.” It is better “to help people flourish in their culture than to encourage them to come to Europe,” he said.

Cardinal Sarah denounced the Church’s push for migration into Europe in powerful language, insisting that most immigrants wind up in Europe “without work or dignity” and assume the condition of slaves.

“Is that what the Church wants?” he asked, adding that the Church should not support “this new form of slavery that is mass migration.”

Several days later, the cardinal went still further, saying that a Church of migration and ecology is “of interest to no one” and that it risks becoming just another NGO if it focuses on these “horizontal” issues rather than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access

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Iran imposed an almost complete nationwide internet blackout on Sunday one of its most draconian attempts to cut off Iranians from each other and the rest of the world as widespread anti-government unrest roiled the streets of Tehran and other cities for a third day, The New York Times reported.

The death toll for the three days of protests rose to at least 12; hundreds were injured; and more than 1,000 people have been arrested, according to semiofficial news agencies like Fars News.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, called the demonstrators “thugs” and endorsed the government’s decision to raise prices it sets for rationed gasoline by 50 percent as of Friday and by 300 percent for gasoline that exceeds ration limits. Even after the price hike, gasoline in Iran is still cheaper than in most of the rest of the world – now the equivalent of about 50 cents a gallon.

In a speech on Sunday, Khamenei said he would support rationing and increasing gas prices because heads of three branches of government had made the decision.

Khamenei also acknowledged that Iranians had taken to the streets to protest and that some had died – however, he blamed the protests on monarchists and opposition groups trying to destabilize Iran, the Times added.

The widespread discontent on display across the country marked yet another crisis for the country. Iran has been struggling with an economic crisis after the United States exited a nuclear deal and reimposed harsh sanctions that ban Iran’s oil sales.

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HASC Chairman Claims Legislation to Create a Space Force in 2020 ‘Still Possible’

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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said last week that negotiations on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act are “proceeding reasonably well” but he expressed doubt that the NDAA will include language to authorize a Space Force as a separate military branch, SpaceNews reported.

“It’s still possible but by no means guaranteed,” Smith told reporters on Capitol Hill last week. When asked for specifics, Smith said, “I don’t think it would be helpful for me to make predictions.”

The biggest sticking point in the NDAA negotiations is language in the House version of the bill that restricts the use of military funds to pay for the wall that President Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border, SpaceNews adds.

There are other dealbreaker issues. The authorization of a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces is one of them, Smith said. Other contentious matters include extending the “war powers” legislation that authorizes the president to use military force, and allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

Smith said the House and Senate NDAA conference in recent weeks worked on compromise language on hundreds of provisions and “reduced the stack significantly, and we’re down to a few really contentious issues.”

Smith characterized the Space Force as a “higher echelon” issue that is proving divisive. Both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate continue to have reservations about the administration’s Space Force proposal, said Smith. “There is bipartisan concern on the proposal and bicameral concern about the specifics of that proposal.”

The House version of the NDAA creates a Space Corps and is closer aligned with what the administration proposed. The Senate bill would rename the Air Force Space Command the U.S. Space Force and does not specifically authorize a sixth branch of the armed forces.

Smith noted that the House has been a proponent of a military space branch since 2017 while the Senate had adamantly opposed it. “In their bill they didn’t have the same language that we did. But the president has persuaded them to look at it differently.”

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Gunman Kills Four at California Backyard Party

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Police in the California city of Fresno were investigating a mass shooting at a football game party on Sunday in which at least 10 people were shot, killing four, with five others left in critical condition and another wounded, Reuters informs.

Three men died at the scene and another died at a hospital, Fresno Deputy Police Chief Michael Reed said in a late night news conference. Six more were hospitalized, he said.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this thing,” Reed said. “This was senseless violence. We’re going to do everything we can to find out who the perpetrators were and bring them to justice.”

A gunman walked into a backyard and started shooting at a south Fresno home, where a gathering of about 35 family and friends was watching a football game before 8 p.m., said Reed. Neighbors soon flooded 911 dispatchers with calls for help, Reuters adds.

The suspect fled the scene and police were combing the neighborhood for witnesses and possible security camera footage, police said. Police did not release further information about the shooting in the city about 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles, except that the dead were men between the ages of 25 and 35.

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