Refugees increase, face education, language hurdles

By KATIE AMANN

Capital News Service

LANSING — The world has a growing number of displaced people driven from their homes because of conflict, more than ever before, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. For the 86 percent of them in developing countries, that means increasingly limited access to quality education.

“Education is vital in restoring hope and dignity to young people driven from their homes,” the agency said.

But even refugees living in Michigan may face serious obstacles in obtaining education, experts say.
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Turkey should help Syrians, Turkish students here say

By DUYGU KANVER

Capital News Service

LANSING – The Syrian town of Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish city by the Turkish border, has been under assault by the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) since mid-September, leaving about 800 dead and 300,000 displaced from their homes.

While airstrikes led by the U.S. have supported ongoing resistance by Kurdish forces in the region, Kurds say Turkey’s collaboration by opening its borders with Syria and Iraq is central to saving Kobani.

“We ask for nothing from the Turkish government but this,” says Ruken Sengul, a Turkish Kurd postdoctoral fellow in the Armenian Studies program at the University of Michigan.
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Ukraine supporters hope election leads to EU

By AMANDA PROSCIA

Capital News Service

LANSING — The victory of pro-European parties in the recent election in Ukraine is inspiring hope among Michigan’s Ukrainian residents that the country will eventually become a member of the European Union.

The Communist Party won’t have a seat in the new parliament for the first time since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union.

“The results are a strong statement,” said Vera Andrushkiw of Troy and vice president of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation in Washington, D.C.
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EU membership will elude Turkey, Michigan Turks say

By DUYGU KANVER

Capital News Service

LANSING — Turks in Michigan say they’re not hopeful about the success of an initiative by the new government of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to accelerate negotiations to win European Union membership for Turkey.

In the second cabinet meeting after Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election as president, “the focus and primary agenda was the European Union,” said Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

Arinc outlined a three-step plan to begin this year as “a new but scheduled course of action” to be carried out within five years. The strategy aims at preparing Turkey for EU membership by 2019.
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MSU students watch Hong Kong protest with eye on future

By QING ZHANG

Capital News Service

LANSING – Vicky Lee, a sophomore in human development and family studies at Michigan State University, had slept less than four hours in three days.

“Every time I am going to sleep, there is something big that happened there,” she said of the current protests in Hong Kong against the Chinese government concerning the procedure for electing the region’s chief executive.
She is one of about three dozen students from Hong Kong at MSU, according to its Office for International Students and Scholars.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has decided that Hong Kong residents can elect their chief executive from a field of two to three candidates in 2017. Before that election, however, candidates must get more than half the votes of a nomination committee.
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Planned military measures might not defeat ISIS, Michigan experts say

By KATIE AMANN

Capital News Service

LANSING – As the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria intensifies, some Michigan-based foreign policy and Middle East experts are expressing doubts about the effectiveness of airstrikes and the importance of international support in combating ISIS.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Barack Obama said that the United States will continue a coordinated campaign of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria but that it cannot work alone and a coalition of countries offering aid and troops on the ground is essential.

A new study from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a think tank in Washington, D.C., reported that the U.S. has already spent $780 to $930 million combating ISIS.
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