By Jacob Solis
Germany forced to restrict borders as migrants and refugees continue to pour into Europe
The German government cut rail travel with Austria on Sunday, just a day before European leaders were set to meet in Brussels to discuss a plan for Europe’s acceptance of migrants.
The border closure has prompted worries that Europe may be unequipped to handle the crisis if Germany, Europe’s richest and most populous country, cannot stem the tide of migrants. Countries in eastern Europe, notably Macedonia and reactionary Hungary, have long complained about the influx of migrants and the European Union’s welcoming stance on the crisis.
In the face of all this, Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere called the closure “a signal to Europe” that more needs to be done, according to The New York Times.
“Introducing temporary border controls will not solve the whole problem,” de Maziere said.
Even so, de Maziere’s statements and the political will of Chancellor Angela Merkel may do little to stem fears that Europe can handle the small fraction of migrants that have made it there.
A majority of the Syrians displaced by the civil war, some six million people according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, are “internally displaced” and have been removed from their homes while remaining inside Syrian borders. Another three million have fled to Syria’s nearest neighbors — Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Only 350,000, mostly those Syrians with the necessary funds, have made the trek to Europe.
On Monday, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands followed Germany’s lead with renewed border restrictions.
Ferguson commission releases long-awaited report
The Ferguson Commission, which was appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown, released a 200-page report detailing the underlying problems that caused the 2014 riots in Ferguson.
What the commission found was a deeply divided city of St. Louis.
“We have not moved beyond race,” the report read. “St. Louis does not have a proud history on this topic, and we are still suffering the consequences of decisions made by our predecessors.”
The commission proposed a number of policy changes, most notably requiring the Missouri attorney general to be special prosecutor in police-involved shootings. This and several other reforms have incensed critics, who largely believe the recommendations will be meaningless in the conservative Missouri.
Smoke blankets Reno as flames continue to rage in California
Reno woke up to a red sun this morning as the air quality index was lowered to “moderate” due to smoke from the Valley and Butte Fires, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Those fires, which have displaced 23,000 people in California as of Monday, have burned down more than 270,000 acres and burned down some 1,000 homes.
The Valley Fire, which is the fastest of the three fires tearing through northern California, was only 5 percent contained as of Monday morning, according to Cal Fire.
Jacob Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.