Sunday News

Syrian Refugee Crisis Worsening
The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon is calling for coordination with Lebanese authorities after Beirut announced plans to impose unprecedented restrictions on Syrians, reports ABC News.

Since the start of the war more than three years ago, as many as three million Syrians have fled their country, including more than 1.1 million who have sought refuge in Lebanon.

“Across the region, there are various measures being taken by host governments that are restrictive on refugees. We understand the reasons they cite for doing this, but at the same time our job is to ensure the refugees aren’t pushed back to someplace where they may be in danger,” Ron Redmond, a senior spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told The New York Times.

Redmond was echoed by Leonard Doyle, spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration, who describes the number of migrants as “unprecedented” since the time of mass migration during World War II.

“In terms of refugees and migrants, nothing has been seen like this since world war two, and even then [the flow of migration] was in the opposite direction,” Doyle told The Guardian newspaper, which notes that more than 45,000 migrants have ignored security concerns to risk life and limb attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy and Malta in with 700 perishing along the way in 2013. That number increased by more than four times in 2014 to 3,224.

North Korea Lashes Out Against New Hack-Related Sanctions
The regime in Pyongyang has come out swinging against the US for its imposition of sanctions related to the hack of Sony Pictures, accusing the Obama administration of trying to “stifle” North Korea.

“The policy persistently pursued by the US to stifle the DPRK, groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, would only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country,” the ministry was quoted as saying by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, according to The Financial Times.

“The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap ‘sanctions’ against the DPRK patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnancy and hostility towards the DPRK,” it said on Sunday.

QUICK HITS
Foreign Policy reporter Nick Danforth argues that those who expect a Muslim Martin Luther to emerge and lead Islam through a period of reformation will be disappointed.

Christians suffering in the Middle East in the face of a rising tide of religious nationalism, writes Brian Catlos, a professor with the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Ariel Malka and Michael Inzlicht examine the “paradox” of those with conservative personalities, but left-leaning economic views.

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