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This interview is part of the “Tomorrow Lives Here” Conversation Series presented by Miami Business School.
–Artist Xavier Cortada is known in Miami for helping introduce the public to complex issues and ideas through beautiful pieces of art.
–A graduate of Miami Business School, Cortada has done some wild things in his life including planting a green flag at the North Pole in order to “reclaim it for nature and launch an eco-art reforestation effort”.
–He is also trying to get more public awareness around the issue of climate change in South Florida, among other issues.
–Cortada recently donated four pieces of public art to Miami Business School and spoke to Dean John Quelch about the significance of that work, his view of how art has made Miami an international city and how it may save the city in the future.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By John Massey
This piece is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Rise News.
It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with post 9/11 American politics that curmudgeons in positions of power, including the governor of my home state of Alabama, would not miss the opportunity to bolster their popularity with a display of security theater at the expense of people in need.
It is not any less shameful, but not surprising. The most recent instance is the insistence of several governors and presidential candidates that accepting asylum seekers is a threat to the citizenry of the United States, in response to the most recent tragedy in the city of Paris. This would be a more understandable position if the attackers were from Syria, but this is not the case.
As of right now, Ahmad al-Mohammed is the only attacker who is suspected of being from Syria, thanks to the convenient discovery of his falsified passport, but French authorities are still unable to confirm the details regarding this man’s identity, according to the BBC. The other attackers, and the mastermind of the attacks, were all French and Belgian citizens.
“In order to disrupt the archaic narrative of our ISIS and al-Qaeda foes, and save a fraction of the 11 million lives made hellish by the sadistic al-Assad regime, the United States should jump at the opportunity to subject 10,000 people to our robust and slow bureaucracy.”
So let’s assume for a minute that Ahmad al-Mohammed was a Syrian terrorist who got into Europe by exploiting the overwhelmed asylum processing system, which is entirely possible, but not confirmed. Why utilize the asylum seeking process when it is much easier to radicalize disenfranchised people in the target country, as we see with most attackers in this instance, or simply utilize a temporary visa, as was the case with the 9/11 hijackers?
Refugees in the United States, after being referred to the United States by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , asylum seekers are vetted with a Resettlement Support Center. After having biographic information taken, further screening can be done at the discretion of both the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) then conduct a one on one interview with applicants. After approval from USCIS applicants are screened for infectious disease and often matched with a resettlement agency to assist in the process of integrating. Overall this process on average takes between 18-24 months.
Bearing in mind the complexity, risk, and time associated with the asylum seeking process, it seems likely that the response we see in the West was the intention of ISIS. It feeds into the narrative of a “clash of civilizations” and disenfranchises desperate people who have been: gassed, bombed, drafted, beaten, and generally abused.
Some have suggested that refugees be accepted on the basis of their religious opinions, which seems to get closer to the real issue of a fear of Islam or people of color in general. However, this fear seems unfounded due to the lack of acts of terror committed by the over 120,000 refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan, as of 2013.
In order to disrupt the archaic narrative of our ISIS and al-Qaeda foes, and save a fraction of the 11 million lives made hellish by the sadistic al-Assad regime, the United States should jump at the opportunity to subject 10,000 people to our robust and slow bureaucracy.
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Cover Photo Credit: Freedom House/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 50
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Australia will get its fourth prime minister in three years after a shocking late night vote ended the rule of Tony Abbott as leader of the governing center-right Liberal Party.
According to the BBC, Abbott will be replaced as Prime Minister by the more moderate Malcolm Turnbull.
Turnbull defeated Abbott 54 votes to 44 in a party room vote.
Turnbull will become prime minister after Abbott sends his resignation letter to the governor-general.
In a statement made earlier in the day, Turnbull made clear his intentions to challenge Abbott.
“Now this is not a decision that anyone could take lightly. I have consulted with many, many colleagues; many Australians; many of our supporters, in every walk of life. And this course of action has been urged on me by many people over a long period of time,” Turnbull said. “It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers, ultimately the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs; he has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”
Abbott seemed flat-footed in his response to the snap leadership election, as many in his team did not even acknowledge it would happen until hours before the final vote took place.
Abbott has been prime minister since 2013.
WATCH: Malcolm Turnbull speaks after winning Liberal Leadership Snap election.
A Tweet sent earlier in the day on September 14 showed how unprepared Abbott was for the vote:
Getting on with the job of delivering the Northern Connector in Adelaide – more jobs & less congestion on SA roads pic.twitter.com/DHnBMigSs1
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) September 14, 2015
Turnbull is more progressive than Abbott and many others in the Liberal Party. He supports gay marriage, believes in the existence of climate change.
Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States and Democratic Party candidate for President in 2000 seemed to celebrate the change of Australian leadership in a Tweet.
New PM offers fresh opportunity for Australia to stand beside the US and China in a leadership position going into #COP21
— Al Gore (@algore) September 14, 2015
Some in the Australian press are having fun with the situation. The right leaning Herald Sun had to change their front page after the results were announced.
Even Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson signaled his support for Turnbull after the vote.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) September 14, 2015
This is a developing story. We will update this story as more information becomes available. Cover Photo Credit: Clare Wilkinson/Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 65
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Obesity is on the rise in a rapidly urbanizing Africa. A new report from the World Health Organization shows the alarming extent of the problem: The prevalence of overweight and obese children living on the African continent has surged from 4.8 percent to 6.1 percent in the last 25 years. The number… Read MorePost Views: 49
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