Europe sees surge in illegal migration, 59% more than in 2020 so far


The European Union has seen a dramatic increase in illegal migration at its external borders in recent months, with a 59% increase over 2020 so far.

Frontex, the European Union’s border coast guard agency, reported that there were 17,300 illegal border crossings in July, 33% higher than July 2020, a slight increase over June, when there were 14,600 illegal crossings detected.

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Overall, there have been 82,000 illegal crossings in the first seven months of 2021, more than 59% higher than the same period in 2020.

One of the largest increases was seen on the Central Mediterranean route. While the 7,600 crossings in July were in line with July 2020, overall there have been 30,000 crossings in 2021 — a 96% increase over the same time last year. The majority of migrants came from Tunisia, Bangladesh Egypt.

On the Western African route, there have been 7,350 crossings, a 130% increase over last year — where most migrants came from sub-Saharan countries.

On the Western Balkans route, there were 3,600 detections in July, a 67% increase over July last year, 90% over last year. The E.U. agency noted that the majority of those migrants came from Syria Afghanistan.

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The only area where crossings decreased was in the Eastern Mediterranean, where there has been a 33% decrease in border crossings.

The continent was hit hard by a migrant crisis in 2015, after a migratory wave came from Syria elsewhere, overwhelming resources governments. The crisis eventually led to increased border security measures across the continent, is seen as having contributed to the political victories for a number of right-wing parties causes in the subsequent years.

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Reuters reported this week that a number of E.U. states are nervous about the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have captured vast swaths of territory in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal, fear that it could lead to another migratory wave — another migrant crisis in Europe.

Such a wave would echo the crisis being seen in the U.S., where there has been a dramatic spike in migrant encounters that has led the Biden administration to declare that the numbers being seen at the border are “unsustainable.”



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7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti


A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

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The epicenter of the quake was 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Saint-Louis du Sud, according to the survey.

People in the capital of Port-au-Prince felt the tremor many rushed into the streets in fear.



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Ancient comb jelly had more complex nerves than its modern relatives


An artist’s impression of the comb jelly fossil

Holly Sullivan

A comb jelly fossil from some 500 million years ago shows a previously unknown species of these ancient sea animals that had a more complex nervous system than their modern descendants.

Evolutionary theory doesn’t preclude the possibility of organisms becoming simpler over geological time, but it’s a relatively uncommon phenomenon. Examples are mostly limited to ancient arthropods, sea lilies, brachiopods – also known as lamp shells.

“Comb jellies occupy a much earlier position in the animal tree of life [than arthropods brachiopods], so it is filling …



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Ancient comb jelly had more complex nerves than its modern relatives


An artist’s impression of the comb jelly fossil

Holly Sullivan

A comb jelly fossil from some 500 million years ago shows a previously unknown species of these ancient sea animals that had a more complex nervous system than their modern descendants.

Evolutionary theory doesn’t preclude the possibility of organisms becoming simpler over geological time, but it’s a relatively uncommon phenomenon. Examples are mostly limited to ancient arthropods, sea lilies, brachiopods – also known as lamp shells.

“Comb jellies occupy a much earlier position in the animal tree of life [than arthropods brachiopods], so it is filling …



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UN Chief says Afghanistan ‘spinning out of control’ as Taliban advances


United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday that the situation in Afghanistan is “spinning out of control” as the Taliban continues to make rapid advances. 

“The fighting between the Taliban Afghan security forces in urban environments is causing tremendous harm,” the U.N. chief said. “Humanitarian needs are growing by the hour.”

The secretary-general said in the last month more than 1,000 people have been killed at least 241,000 others have been forced to flee their homes.

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The Taliban have taken control of 240 of Afghanistan’s 421 districts, with the government holding on to just 65 districts. Roughly a quarter of the nation is still considered contested territory, according to the Long War Journal.

The nation’s second third largest cities of Kandahar Herat fell to the Taliban Friday, prompting the evacuation of both the U.S. U.K. embassies in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul.

Guterres said the U.N. was “determined” to contribute to a peace settlement between the Taliban Afghan government forces. 

“Every day, the conflict is taking an even bigger toll on women children,” he said. 

The U.N. chief pointed to not only the devastating destruction of roads, bridges, adequate access to food healthcare but to human rights abuses happening nationwide. 

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“Directing attacks against civilians is a serious violation of international humanitarian law amounts to a war crime,” he said. “It is particularly horrifying heartbreaking to see reports of the hard-won rights of Afghan girls women being ripped away from them.”

Guterres warned that taking Afghanistan through force will only amount to a lengthy civil war potential isolation of the war-plagued nation. 

The U.N. chief did not go into detail as to how the intergovernmental body will facilitate peace talks between the Afghan government the Taliban.

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Instead, he urged the insurgent force to stdown consider the safety of Afghan civilians.

“I call on the Taliban to immediately halt the offensive to negotiate in good faith in the interest of Afghanistan its people,” Guterres said. 



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