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New York Times

Obama Pushes to Speed Up US Efforts to Admit Migrants: President invited a Syrian refugee to this year’s State of the Union address, and he has spoken passionately about embracing refugees as a core American value. But nearly eight months into an effort to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States, Mr. Obama’s administration has admitted just over 2,500. And as his administration prepares for a new round of deportations of Central Americans, including many women and children pleading for humanitarian protection, the president is facing intense criticism from allies in Congress and advocacy groups about his administration’s treatment of migrants. They say Mr. Obama’s lofty message about the need to welcome those who come to the United States seeking protection has not been matched by action. And they warn that the president, who will host a summit meetingon refugees in September during the United Nations General Assembly session, risks undercutting his influence on the issue at a time when American leadership is needed to counteract a backlash against refugees.

The Economist

When Egypt investigates tragedy, don’t expect results: Hours after a Russian airliner—Metrojet flight 9268—crashed in the Sinai Peninsula last October, killing 224 people, the Egyptian affiliate of Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility. Less than a week later, Britain said it suspected that a bomb was the cause. American officials concurred, fingering IS. Two weeks after that, Russia concluded that a “terror act” brought down the plane. Case closed, it seemed. But Egypt dismissed each suggestion as premature. In December its investigators issued a preliminary report stating that there was no evidence of terrorist activity or a security failure. They still have not produced a final report (publicly, at least). Only in February did Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, obliquely admit that the crash was an act of terrorism. Now Egypt is investigating another crash, that of EgyptAir flight 804, which went down in the Mediterranean Sea on May 19th, killing 66 people. Ayman al-Moqadem, the head of Egypt’s investigation team, who also led the Metrojet inquiry, says a preliminary report will be ready in a month. Few think it will shed much light on the crash, especially if the cause embarrasses Egypt.

The Guardian

Former US Attorney General says Edward Snowden performed ‘public service’ with NSA leak: Former US attorney general Eric Holder has said the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden performed a “public service” by starting a debate over government surveillance techniques. Speaking on a podcast hosted by David Axelrod, a former campaign strategist for Barack Obama, Holder emphasized, however, that Snowden must still be punished. “We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” Holder said, in an hourlong discussion on The Axe Files. “Now, I would say that doing what he did – and the way he did it – was inappropriate and illegal.” In June 2013, in one of the biggest document leaks in American history, Snowden revealed to media outlets including the Guardian that the NSA conducted indiscriminate bulk surveillance of US citizens. The agency said this mass data collection had been kept secret in order to protect Americans.

Financial Times

Brussels urges more caring for sharing economy: Brussels is to call on EU governments not to ban or limit services such as Uber and Airbnb, in a bid to head off a regulatory onslaught from national authorities on the “sharing economy” in Europe. The European Commission will this week set out guidelines to harmonise the often wildly different treatment faced by businesses trying to shake up sectors ranging from accommodation to transport across the 28-country bloc. While businesses such as ride-hailing company Uber have been welcomed by countries including the UK, their executives have been threatened with stiff fines or even jail in places such as France. Coherent regulation on an EU-wide basis would provide a huge boost to these businesses, negating the need for companies to have fights with 28 different regulators.

 

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