By Jacob Solis
Western Europe opens borders as migration crisis deepens
Germany, France and now the U.K. have opened their borders to a flood of migrants entering Europe. This comes in response to last week’s debacle in Hungary, which saw hundreds of migrants, most fleeing a war-torn Syria, trapped waiting for trains in Budapest.
The migrant crisis has intensified over the last few months as death tolls continue to rise. Two weeks ago, more than 200 migrants drowned off the Libyan coast as the shoddy boat carrying them to Italy capsized. The same week, more than 80 migrants suffocated in the back of a truck in Hungary.
The crisis has created a divide in a Europe that appears increasingly strained by the ordeal. On Saturday, Austria stood in solidarity with Germany and pledged to open its borders to a limited number of migrants. That Sunday, however, Austria reneged on the deal.
“We have helped more than 12,000 people in an acute situation,” said Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann, according to Reuters. “Now we have to move step by step away from emergency measures towards normality, in conformity with the law and dignity.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has led the charge among European leaders, promising asylum to 800,000 migrants this year. French President Francois Hollande and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron have together promised asylum to over 40,000 Syrians.
Jailed Kentucky clerk appeals contempt of court ruling
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed after denying marriage licenses to couples in Rowan County, appealed the decision that put her behind bars on Monday, Sept. 7.
Following the Supreme Court’s gay-marriage ruling in June, Davis refused to give out any marriage licenses to couples gay or otherwise. Stating that it was a “heaven or hell decision,” Davis locked herself away in her office while a growing group of protesters gathered outside.
Finally, Davis was found guilty of contempt of court on Thursday after she had ignored court orders to issue marriage licenses. Davis will stay in jail until either her appeal reverses the district court decision, which is unlikely, or she decides to begin granting marriage licenses.
In the meantime, Davis’ deputies have begun to issue marriage licenses in her absence.
Burning Man comes to a close, courts controversy
With the Burning Man festival’s official close on Monday, some 70,000 attendees took to the roads to make the journey home. This year’s festival was one of the largest since its inception in 1986, but some Burners left early due to the high winds that rocked the Black Rock Desert all week.
Even so, the festival was not without its own controversy.
Burning Man has come under scrutiny as allegations arose that Burning Man is too racially homogenous. According to a report by The Guardian, 87 percent of Burners were white and only 1.3 percent were black.
In response, Burning Man founder Larry Harvey said, “Well, I don’t think black people like to camp.”
Jacob Solis can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.